questions of origin for the Atheist

jumbo1410
Theist
Posts: 166
Joined: 2009-07-25
User is offlineOffline
questions of origin for the Atheist

Forgive my ignorance, but I am curious about Atheists' beliefs about the universe. What is a singularity? Compressed matter of infinite density, a mass of infinite gravity? Two problems with the BB that have been bothering me are 1) Gravity existed after the BB; and 2) Gravity is a measure of force (attractive) between matter, meaning particles had to have existed before the BB - albeit packed together in infinite density. Is this correct?

 

Do Atheists believe in BB thoery, String theory or 11 Dimensional theory (sometimes called 26D theory I think)? I know most Atheists believe in evolution, but what about the origins of the universe?

 

Sorry if these have already been answered btw.


jumbo1410
Theist
Posts: 166
Joined: 2009-07-25
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Note each of the

Quote:
Note each of the 'powers' or capabilities are not logically impossible in themselves, but cannot both be true simultaneously, hence the potential contradiction.

I beg to differ, my friend. Logical impossibility is the opposite of logical possibility. It is logically possible that God exists (you said so yourself, it just can't be proven) and it is logically possible that he does not exist. So, it is a clear contradiction that God can simultaneously both exist and not exist, that is, it is a logical impossibility that God can be both. LI is another way of saying there is a contradiction. A square cannot be round, that is, there is a contradiction in terms of "square" and "round." If you ascribe LI to God, then he could make a square circle, or simultaneously exist and not exist. The question that you failed to address is if you believe that "omnipotent" means capable of LI, which makes your question:

Quote:
Can an all-powerful being create an absolutely unbreakable object, and also have the capability to break any object?

Irrelevant and without context until you ascribe powers and liabilities to an omnipotent being. This is found in any introductory logic textbook, I suggest you brush up your skills.

BTW, "powers" is a specific Philosophical term, so does not need inverted comma's. People can have powers and liabilities as well. Look the term up.

 

Quote:
Just pointing out that the 'all' powerful does not define the capabilities in a positive manner. You would still have to somehow provide a way to define which of 2 or more mutually exclusive powers apply.

Ya just don't get it do ya Scotty? Refer LI above, or refer answer below:

Quote:
"If God can do what is LI", then it is an incoherent concept, and no principles of logic can be applied.

Then you have answered your own question by ascribing powers and liabilities to God - namely "omnipotentence" is not capable of LI, therefore stones and unbreakables are irrelevant, since "making a stone so heavy" is an LI for an OOO being (a contadiction in terms). I'm disappointed that I had to spell that one out for you though.

 

Quote:
Anti-particles are still in our space-time

So, what particles were you referring to that appear out of nothing?

 

 

 


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:Quote:Note

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
Note each of the 'powers' or capabilities are not logically impossible in themselves, but cannot both be true simultaneously, hence the potential contradiction.

I beg to differ, my friend. Logical impossibility is the opposite of logical possibility. It is logically possible that God exists (you said so yourself, it just can't be proven) and it is logically possible that he does not exist. So, it is a clear contradiction that God can simultaneously both exist and not exist, that is, it is a logical impossibility that God can be both. LI is another way of saying there is a contradiction. A square cannot be round, that is, there is a contradiction in terms of "square" and "round." If you ascribe LI to God, then he could make a square circle, or simultaneously exist and not exist. The question that you failed to address is if you believe that "omnipotent" means capable of LI, which makes your question:

Quote:
Can an all-powerful being create an absolutely unbreakable object, and also have the capability to break any object?

Irrelevant and without context until you ascribe powers and liabilities to an omnipotent being. This is found in any introductory logic textbook, I suggest you brush up your skills.

You don't seem to have grasped my point - your response does not really address it in any way. God can't be proven, but any particular definition can be potentially disproven, if it involves a contradiction.

I was not addressing the logical possibility or impossibility of God, as such, rather the implications of describing the capabilities of any entity as being able to do all things not logically impossible, and the claim that was not a purely negative definition. I certainly was not thinking of anything as simplistic as the 'square circle' thing.

The idea of something having being "capable of LI" is nonsensical.

The question you then quoted was really a rhetorical question, pointing out that two individually logically possible capabilities cannot both be true for one entity, of any kind.

Quote:

BTW, "powers" is a specific Philosophical term, so does not need inverted comma's. People can have powers and liabilities as well. Look the term up.

 

Quote:
Just pointing out that the 'all' powerful does not define the capabilities in a positive manner. You would still have to somehow provide a way to define which of 2 or more mutually exclusive powers apply.

Ya just don't get it do ya Scotty? Refer LI above, or refer answer below:

Quote:
"If God can do what is LI", then it is an incoherent concept, and no principles of logic can be applied.

Then you have answered your own question by ascribing powers and liabilities to God - namely "omnipotentence" is not capable of LI, therefore stones and unbreakables are irrelevant, since "making a stone so heavy" is an LI for an OOO being (a contadiction in terms). I'm disappointed that I had to spell that one out for you though.

Obviously no possible being is capable of a LI. 

Any logical argument incorporating at least one contradiction in the sequence from the assumptions to a specific conclusion means that that conclusion is unproven.

Actually there are at least three categories of logical statement - true, false, and undecidable/unprovable. The classic example of the last is the Liar paradox.  "This sentence is false", etc).

If any contradiction or undecidable statement is present undetected in an argument, then the argument can appear to 'prove' anything.

I ascribed no powers to God. I merely pointed out that ascribing "the ability to do anything not logically impossible" is not definitive - it doesn't distinguish between sets of possible powers which cannot be possessed simultaneously by the one entity. I see nowhere you have actually addressed this.

Quote:

Quote:
Anti-particles are still in our space-time

So, what particles were you referring to that appear out of nothing?

Both particles of the pair.

You were the one who tried to argue that the anti-particle already existed by virtue of moving backwards in time in another dimension. I just pointed out this was a non-sequitur.

Now, maybe under some hypotheses, both virtual particles do exist in some other dimension, and just move into our dimension. If you had proposed that idea, it would be worth considering. But that is another line of argument.

There is a common thread between the appearance of virtual particle pairs, and the emergence of the singularity, which among other things, avoids violating Conservation of Energy. If the particles become separated by the event horizon, the one going off into external space has the opposite polarity of energy to the one absorbed by the BH.

In the BB, two kinds of energy can be imagined as emerging from the minimum energy-state background, one conventionally regarded as positive, the other gravitational,which can be validly treated s negative.

EDIT:

Mathematically, its like 

0 => (+N) + (-N) ... where N can be any large number.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:Is this your

jumbo1410 wrote:
Is this your knock down argument that "lays Plantinga flat?" "Evil is a social construct?" Have you even read Plantinga?

Yeah. He's a hack. If you have a concern of his, in particular, go ahead and bring it up. Am I dodging? No, I think Plantinga is lame, and his arguments are boring to read. So excuse me if I don't jump when you demand that I read a third-rate philosopher.

Locke, for instance, is interesting, as are Wittgenstein and Popper. Interesting. Plantinga is less so.

jumbo1410 wrote:
Firstly, research validity, then soundness, then what constitues a "good argument" and see if your reply even gets close to a response to Plantinga.

Oh hey, I agree -- Plantinga has taken a first-year logic course. He can sure do logic. But his premises are suspect, which is why he's about as much of a philosopher as I am.

To reply to your second question "Who cares if this so-called problem is 'solved'":

jumbo1410 wrote:
a) It appears on this very forum numerous times under various titles, posted by members of TRRS (eg if god exists why do bad things happen... and so on). If the answer is sooo irrelevant then why ask it?

It's mostly just blowing off steam, to be frank. The argument from evil isn't so much philosophy as it is having a good rant or expressing frustration.

jumbo1410 wrote:
b) You have not provided a valid objection to any of the premises of plantingas argument i.e. calling it a "so-called problem" is your opinion only.

Did you want me to explain why evil is a social construct? All you have to do is read some modern ethics. It turns out there's very little argument to be made for a determination of such absolutes, so evil is relative. I'm sure we could all find something we find awful and repugnant as an action, but deciding that there are things that are evil requires the invocation of an authority, and if that authority is human, it's a social construct.

If that authority isn't human, then it's begging the question.

jumbo1410 wrote:
I think I understand very well. I understand that instead of addressing any of the conundrums about your own theory (or lack thereof) you would rather insult someone who is genuinely curious about Atheism  by being condescending. Your complete lack of positioning is very convenient for a topic such as origin, I might add. Lots of places to hide. Insults being one. Ignorance being another.

Ignorance is an exceedingly good point. We don't know what happened before the big bang, and what happened going back to the big bang is largely a matter of mathematics and indirect observation.

There -- that's what we have. So, if you're genuinely curious about atheism, what is it that's bothering you about the above?

jumbo1410 wrote:
It upsets me when atheists ask everyday-christians questions about things that only a theologian would have answers to, and when I ask an atheist about BBT, they reply "thats something only a physicist can answer" or just plainly "there is no answer."

It's not something only a physicist can answer, it's something I can only answer to someone who understands at least a little math. The way you worded your questions made it fairly clear that you weren't familiar with the math.

So ... you're going to have to be specific, because there are entire scientific journals devoted to astronomy, with long histories, and many involve mathematics that -- it's true -- I don't understand.

But I don't see that as the question you're asking. You're asking maybe why I believe the description of the beginning of the universe? Maybe? Well, when it comes down to it, you're asking me why I believe the universe expanded from a single point. The "single point" part is mathematical abstraction. I believe that in the sense that it's the logical conclusion. The actual singularity is plausible to me, but I don't uphold it as a strong belief. It's simply the most likely situation at this point.

jumbo1410 wrote:
Personally, and this is my opinion only, it is too easy for Atheists to hide in the grey areas of theories of origin, as if having no theory somehow allows you to systematically fire questions at people, whilst never entering the battlefield yourself and claiming immunity.

What you might see as evasion has been nothing but an honest admission of ignorance. We don't know a lot, so instead of claiming to know, an empiricist (in the loosest sense) reserves judgement, and does not enter the fray until a good explanation is available. "The universe has been expanding for a few billion years, so it points to the beginning being a singularity" is a good explanation.

"This guy did it" is a bad explanation.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


jumbo1410
Theist
Posts: 166
Joined: 2009-07-25
User is offlineOffline
Quote:A positive, coherent

Quote:
A positive, coherent definition would require an actual enumeration of specific capabilities.

So you would like a list?

Quote:
He cannot know everything - he cannot know what it is like to be not omnipotent, or to be human, or to know what he is going to decide tomorrow and have free will, etc.

Experience is empirical. Knowing is transcendental. Which are you ascribing to omnisicience? If it is the former, what gives you the impression that God is experiential? If it is the latter, then there is no contradiction. You are making hasty assumptions again. Just look at the last statement you made. We have no idea whatsoever about free will and determinism. It is purely subjective. Who gave you the authority to declare God an incompatabalist?

Quote:
Can an all-powerful being create an absolutely unbreakable object, and also have the capability to break any object? Note each of the 'powers' or capabilities are not logically impossible in themselves, but cannot both be true simultaneously, hence the potential contradiction. Now if you want to preserve the 'all' category, you have to exclude one or both of such pairs of 'powers'.This sort of thing can be extended indefinitely, IOW, there will be whole sets of logically possible attributes which are mutually exclusive across the whole set, ie, they cannot all be true at the same time, maybe only one can be true.

Looks convincing, but:

1. An OOO being can not do what is LI

2. Contradictions in terms (CIT) constitutes  LI's

3. Making then breaking an unbreakable vase is a CIT

---

4. An OOO being cannot make then break an unbreakable vase.

 

They are actually LI's in themselves, as in, it is not God's omnipotence that produces the contradiction, rather the terms unbreakable breakables are contradictory. A more obvious analogy: "Two immortal men are fighting to the death, which one wins?" It is not the person who cannot answer the question that is contradicting himself, rather the person posing the question. Nice try though.

 

I only ask that any reply to the above be in strict standard form. I'm sick of the fancy-pancy talk that actually amounts to nothing more than hot air.

Quote:
I was not addressing the logical possibility or impossibility of God, as such, rather the implications of describing the capabilities of any entity as being able to do all things not logically impossible, and the claim that was not a purely negative definition. I certainly was not thinking of anything as simplistic as the 'square circle' thing.

Perhaps you should have taken more time with the "simplistic circle" thing. Once you have the "No OOO is LI" premise, its all down hill from there. You addressed the implications of an omnipotent being, just invalidly. If you disagree, I'd like to see the logical form of your argument, not the waffle on top.

In other news: Both particles of what pair?

Hiswillness:

Quote:
Did you want me to explain why evil is a social construct? All you have to do is read some modern ethics. It turns out there's very little argument to be made for a determination of such absolutes, so evil is relative. I'm sure we could all find something we find awful and repugnant as an action, but deciding that there are things that are evil requires the invocation of an authority, and if that authority is human, it's a social construct.

Ahh, so you are getting confused with the word "evil." I see. Plantinga (as well as mackie) uses the word evil to mean those very repugnant actions you speak of. Use the latter phrase if you wish. What do you mean by determination of such absolutes? You seem to draw the conclusion that "repugnant actions" (AKA evil) are relative from that premise so I'm interested in what you actually mean. I have a decent background in Ethical Theory so let rip.

Quote:
It's mostly just blowing off steam, to be frank. The argument from evil isn't so much philosophy as it is having a good rant or expressing frustration.

He he. Thats actually kinda funny.

Quote:
Well, when it comes down to it, you're asking me why I believe the universe expanded from a single point. The "single point" part is mathematical abstraction. I believe that in the sense that it's the logical conclusion. The actual singularity is plausible to me, but I don't uphold it as a strong belief. It's simply the most likely situation at this point.

Except for one minor problem, BBT does not posit a singularity, remember? Was reading an elective at your school? It appears under the GIANT LETTERS reading COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS. You might want to read my previous posts as well, or get an adult to read them to you, because that is not what I am asking. I can see why you call yourself a "lay philosopher at best."

 

Quote:
What you might see as evasion has been nothing but an honest admission of ignorance. We don't know a lot, so instead of claiming to know, an empiricist (in the loosest sense) reserves judgement, and does not enter the fray until a good explanation is available. "The universe has been expanding for a few billion years, so it points to the beginning being a singularity" is a good explanation.

Um, no. It isn't. Refer the link above. You're right about the first half though.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:Quote:A

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
A positive, coherent definition would require an actual enumeration of specific capabilities.

So you would like a list?

Unless you provide some list of actual attributes, even just ias examples, or in broad terms, not just what he can't do, then God is not defined.

Quote:

Quote:
He cannot know everything - he cannot know what it is like to be not omnipotent, or to be human, or to know what he is going to decide tomorrow and have free will, etc.

Experience is empirical. Knowing is transcendental.

Knowledge is just information encoded in your brain, as a result of experience.

Quote:

Which are you ascribing to omnisicience? If it is the former, what gives you the impression that God is experiential? If it is the latter, then there is no contradiction. You are making hasty assumptions again. Just look at the last statement you made. We have no idea whatsoever about free will and determinism. It is purely subjective. Who gave you the authority to declare God an incompatabalist?

What gives you the authority to assert anything about what would or would not be the attributes of such a hypothetical, poorly defined, basically impossible being?

Quote:

Quote:
Can an all-powerful being create an absolutely unbreakable object, and also have the capability to break any object? Note each of the 'powers' or capabilities are not logically impossible in themselves, but cannot both be true simultaneously, hence the potential contradiction. Now if you want to preserve the 'all' category, you have to exclude one or both of such pairs of 'powers'.This sort of thing can be extended indefinitely, IOW, there will be whole sets of logically possible attributes which are mutually exclusive across the whole set, ie, they cannot all be true at the same time, maybe only one can be true.

Looks convincing, but:

1. An OOO being can not do what is LI

2. Contradictions in terms (CIT) constitutes  LI's

3. Making then breaking an unbreakable vase is a CIT

---

4. An OOO being cannot make then break an unbreakable vase.

You still don't get it. I am not asserting that omnipotence implies any such thing. You really are thick.

He can have either the power to create an unbreakable vase, or the power to break any vase, without raising a LI, but not both.

The LI would not be in any specific power. The LI would be in one being possessing more than one of a set of mutually incompatible, but individually not LI, powers simultaneously. A logically valid being could not simultaneously have the ability to create unbreakable objects and break any object. Both powers are valid in themselves, but no being can possess both powers, therefore he cannot have all logically possible powers.

Quote:

They are actually LI's in themselves, as in, it is not God's omnipotence that produces the contradiction, rather the terms unbreakable breakables are contradictory. A more obvious analogy: "Two immortal men are fighting to the death, which one wins?" It is not the person who cannot answer the question that is contradicting himself, rather the person posing the question. Nice try though.

I am not talking about "unbreakable breakables".

The contradiction would be in a definition of omnipotence which did not exclude the possession of two mutually incompatible abilities, which would require specification of only one of such possibilities.

Your inability to see this is very revealing.

Quote:

I only ask that any reply to the above be in strict standard form. I'm sick of the fancy-pancy talk that actually amounts to nothing more than hot air.

Quote:
I was not addressing the logical possibility or impossibility of God, as such, rather the implications of describing the capabilities of any entity as being able to do all things not logically impossible, and the claim that was not a purely negative definition. I certainly was not thinking of anything as simplistic as the 'square circle' thing.

Perhaps you should have taken more time with the "simplistic circle" thing. Once you have the "No OOO is LI" premise, its all down hill from there. You addressed the implications of an omnipotent being, just invalidly. If you disagree, I'd like to see the logical form of your argument, not the waffle on top.

If you cannot comprehend what I spelled out above, and see how it what you just said is irrelevant to my point, please be honest enough to admit it.

Quote:

In other news: Both particles of what pair?

The virtual particle-antiparticle pairs proposed to spontaneously emerge, normally for a very brief time before recombining, in 'empty' space. I just checked and realize it was QED who first raised the subject of virtual particles, so forgive me for assuming you knew what I was referring to.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:Ahh, so you

jumbo1410 wrote:
Ahh, so you are getting confused with the word "evil." I see. Plantinga (as well as mackie) uses the word evil to mean those very repugnant actions you speak of. Use the latter phrase if you wish. What do you mean by determination of such absolutes? You seem to draw the conclusion that "repugnant actions" (AKA evil) are relative from that premise so I'm interested in what you actually mean. I have a decent background in Ethical Theory so let rip.

Let rip? If you have a decent background in "ethical theory" (you mean ethics?), then I just DID cover it. Did you miss the part about authority, etc? Are you keen on me using jargon or something? Absolutes in morality don't hold water. If you're already familiar with ethics, I don't even have to cite that statement.

Also, I don't care about the argument from evil. It's stupid. It's like asking "if centaurs exist, then why do they play chess?"

jumbo1410 wrote:
Quote:
It's mostly just blowing off steam, to be frank. The argument from evil isn't so much philosophy as it is having a good rant or expressing frustration.

He he. Thats actually kinda funny.

Of course it is. It's like wondering about the number of angels that can fit on the head of a pin.

jumbo1410 wrote:
Except for one minor problem, BBT does not posit a singularity, remember?

I'm sorry, did I use the wrong word? How lazy of me. It's that you don't inspire rigour of any kind.

jumbo1410 wrote:
Was reading an elective at your school? It appears under the GIANT LETTERS reading COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS. You might want to read my previous posts as well, or get an adult to read them to you, because that is not what I am asking. I can see why you call yourself a "lay philosopher at best."

Yeah. You sure got me -- on the internet. I was wrong, and it took a re-read of the scientific literature to remind me. Maybe it was my second year electromagnetics professor (the man was obsessed with saying the word "singularity&quotEye-wink. Or maybe it was an argument with that other guy who was on about the big bang being a singularity. Sometimes I just give up and address whatever nonsense my interlocutor spouts, and it's taken you to point out the hazard of that occupation. It's a good thing science was around to correct those facts. Don't go trusting science, though, because remember, it's just empiricism based on assumptions.

Not that you seem to care, but I make it a note never to be braver on the internet than I'd be in person, with that person looking right at me. You obviously don't have that rule.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


jumbo1410
Theist
Posts: 166
Joined: 2009-07-25
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Not that you seem to

Quote:
Not that you seem to care, but I make it a note never to be braver on the internet than I'd be in person, with that person looking right at me. You obviously don't have that rule.

That almost sounds like a threat. I speak to everybody - who blindly offers objections - the same way. Its hard to remain courteous when you continually (100 posts on) have to repeat the question until people FINALLY get it. Afortiori when said people are attacking my beliefs without reason. Go back over this thread completely objectively - I have been called stupid, thick, unintelligable etc for asking valid questions to which you dont even have an answer. I retalliated and I apologise.

I'm really not trying to prove you wrong. Rather I'm pointing out that you share a lot in common with your theist counterparts - namely cherry-picking information, biased assumptions, poorly formed arguments etc. Read my first few posts if you don't believe me. I stated from the outset that so long as you are happy being ignorant about origin, I am happy with my belief in God. If you disagree with this comparisson, I'll need something more than "I don't know/We can't know" to shift me, like anargument or evidence (and read the link again if you still think that BBT is evidence of origin.)

 

Quote:
Unless you provide some list of actual attributes, even just ias examples, or in broad terms, not just what he can't do, then God is not defined.

Read the Bibe. Or:

Omnipotent - cannot do what is logically impossible. Can do what is logically possible. eg. Cannot make a round triangle, can create the universe.

Omniscient - transcendent and not emperical or experiential. Knows everything possible to know (even LI or sin). eg. X knows what Y will do beforehand. Y still has a choice even if X does not make its prediction known and X is never wrong.

Omnipresent - being transcendent and omniscient leads to omnipresence. There is still debate about whether this means with or without time.

Omnibenevolent - this is a huge topic. Plenty of literature on this one. eg. Plantinga, Mackie, Taylor and the Bible.

 

Quote:
What gives you the authority to assert anything about what would or would not be the attributes of such a hypothetical, poorly defined, basically impossible being?

Why are you answering my question with a question?

 

Quote:
You still don't get it. I am not asserting that omnipotence implies any such thing. You really are thick.

He can have either the power to create an unbreakable vase, or the power to break any vase, without raising a LI, but not both.

The LI would not be in any specific power. The LI would be in one being possessing more than one of a set of mutually incompatible, but individually not LI, powers simultaneously. A logically valid being could not simultaneously have the ability to create unbreakable objects and break any object. Both powers are valid in themselves, but no being can possess both powers, therefore he cannot have all logically possible powers.

Ok, lets take this really slowly so I understand (I did ask that you use standard form):

 

1. Creating an unbreakable vase is logically possible; and

2. Breaking any object is logically possible

(* An unbreakable vase is an objectEye-wink - supressed premise.

3. No being can possess both powers; so

4. God cannot have all logically possible powers.

 

 To see what you have done, here is an analogy:

 

1. Being immortal is logically possible                            (if its not, then neither is an immortal vase)

2. Being able to die is logically possible

3. No God can be both immortal and be able to die

4. God cannot have all logically possible powers.

 

In logical form:

 

1. All A is B

2. All C is B

3. No G is A and C

---

4. No G is B

 

Substitution instance for the above:

1. All dogs are animals

2. All cats are animals

3. No Goldfish is a Dog or a Cat

---

4. No Goldfish is an animal

 

...And checkmate. You have made an invalid argument. The contradiction comes from you, on premise three, "No God can possess both powers." No being can possess both powers not because a being's omnipotence contradicts those powers, rather those two powers constitute a logical impossiblity. I addressed this question before, in my last post. But you obviously diddn't understand it. Thanks for playing though.

 

 EDIT: For those that pick at "or" in logical form (premise 3), replacing it with "and" exemplifies the LI perfectly - there is no such thing as a catdog, that is, a catdog is a logical impossibility.

 


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3945
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:In logical

jumbo1410 wrote:

In logical form:

 

1. All A is B

2. All C is B

3. No G is A and C

---

4. No G is B

Substitution instance for the above:

1. All dogs are animals

2. All cats are animals

3. No Goldfish is a Dog or a Cat

---

4. No Goldfish is an animal 

No, no, no. Your analogies don't make any sense at all.

God can only create an unbreakable vase or destroy any vase. It is logically impossible for him to possess both powers. If he destroys his own vase, then he cannot make an unbreakable vase. If he can't destroy his vase, then he can't destroy all vases. A better line might run:

1. An animal can be a dog.

2. An animal can be a cat.

3. An animal that is not a dog AND a cat is not ______. (nothing seems to fit here)

4. No animal can be a dog AND a cat.

5. No animal can be a ______.

Edit: 

Quote:
1. Being immortal is logically possible                            

2. Being able to die is logically possible

3. No God can be both immortal and be able to die

4. God cannot have all logically possible power

See, you even wrote the correct reasoning yourself, similar to the one I just typed.

Being immortal is possible and being able to die is possible. It doesn't say all entities are immortal or all entities can die. Plus, the point of this line of reasoning is to show that God cannot possess both traits, so we're referring to A, the same entity, throughout. 

1. A can be B.

2. A can be C.

There is an implicit premise here. 

3. If A is not B and C, then A is not D. (D being all-powerful)

Now, you wrote, "No God can be both immortal and be able to die." God is "A." Immortal is "B." Being able to die is "C."

3. No A can be B and C.

4. No A can be D.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:Quote:Not

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
Unless you provide some list of actual attributes, even just ias examples, or in broad terms, not just what he can't do, then God is not defined.

Read the Bibe. Or:

Are you serious? 

Quote:

Omnipotent - cannot do what is logically impossible. Can do what is logically possible. eg. Cannot make a round triangle, can create the universe.

Omniscient - transcendent and not emperical or experiential. Knows everything possible to know (even LI or sin). eg. X knows what Y will do beforehand. Y still has a choice even if X does not make its prediction known and X is never wrong.

Omnipresent - being transcendent and omniscient leads to omnipresence. There is still debate about whether this means with or without time.

Omnibenevolent - this is a huge topic. Plenty of literature on this one. eg. Plantinga, Mackie, Taylor and the Bible.

Still a few negative defines in there. I have demonstrated that it is LI to do everything LP, despite your pathetic attempt to find a fault with my argument - see later. I haven't got the arguments in front of mind at the moment, but I think Omnibenevolent has similar issues to Omnipotent.

Quote:

Quote:
What gives you the authority to assert anything about what would or would not be the attributes of such a hypothetical, poorly defined, basically impossible being?

Why are you answering my question with a question?

Because it is the most appropriate way to show the irrelevance of your question to the issues.

Quote:

Quote:
You still don't get it. I am not asserting that omnipotence implies any such thing. You really are thick.

He can have either the power to create an unbreakable vase, or the power to break any vase, without raising a LI, but not both.

The LI would not be in any specific power. The LI would be in one being possessing more than one of a set of mutually incompatible, but individually not LI, powers simultaneously. A logically valid being could not simultaneously have the ability to create unbreakable objects and break any object. Both powers are valid in themselves, but no being can possess both powers, therefore he cannot have all logically possible powers.

Ok, lets take this really slowly so I understand (I did ask that you use standard form):

 

1. Creating an unbreakable vase is logically possible; and

2. Breaking any object is logically possible

(* An unbreakable vase is an objectEye-wink - supressed premise.

3. No being can possess both powers; so

4. God cannot have all logically possible powers.

 

 To see what you have done, here is an analogy:

 

1. Being immortal is logically possible                            (if its not, then neither is an immortal vase)

2. Being able to die is logically possible

3. No God can be both immortal and be able to die

4. God cannot have all logically possible powers.

 

In logical form:

 

1. All A is B

2. All C is B

3. No G is A and C

---

4. No G is B

 

Substitution instance for the above:

1. All dogs are animals

2. All cats are animals

3. No Goldfish is a Dog or a Cat

---

4. No Goldfish is an animal

 

...And checkmate. You have made an invalid argument. The contradiction comes from you, on premise three, "No God can possess both powers." No being can possess both powers not because a being's omnipotence contradicts those powers, rather those two powers constitute a logical impossiblity. I addressed this question before, in my last post. But you obviously diddn't understand it. Thanks for playing though.

Fail.

Let's try this again:

A is LP

C is LP

if A then not C

if C then not A

======

(A AND C) is not LP

Get it now?

IOW, (possession of all LP powers) is LI

If this is representative of your ability to analyze argument for logical validity, you would be better advised to go back to do some study on the subject rather than continuing to waste our time demonstrating your incompetence...

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3945
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:No being can

jumbo1410 wrote:

No being can possess both powers not because a being's omnipotence contradicts those powers, rather those two powers constitute a logical impossiblity.

Did you even read what Bobspence wrote?

That's exactly what he wrote; it's a logical impossibility for any being to possess both such powers because they would contradict. Whether or not this adheres to the definition of 'omnipotent' is just semantics.

Nevertheless, I do wonder which of God's powers are stronger, his ability to create vases or destroy them.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:That almost

jumbo1410 wrote:
That almost sounds like a threat.

It's not. It would be cowardly in the extreme to threaten someone on the internet. I can understand how you might have confused my posts with someone else's, and interpreted my confusion as malicious abuse. At worst, I should hope I only give the impression of playful abuse, but given the medium, confusion of tone is inevitable.

jumbo1410 wrote:
Rather I'm pointing out that you share a lot in common with your theist counterparts - namely cherry-picking information, biased assumptions, poorly formed arguments etc.

Well of course! We're humans! We argue in much the same way, and lots of people use the same tactics.

jumbo1410 wrote:
Read my first few posts if you don't believe me. I stated from the outset that so long as you are happy being ignorant about origin, I am happy with my belief in God. If you disagree with this comparisson, I'll need something more than "I don't know/We can't know" to shift me, like anargument or evidence (and read the link again if you still think that BBT is evidence of origin.)

Here's where the frustration starts, though: to compare something observed with something unobserved, and then act like it's unreasonable to object to that comparison ... it's a bit weird. The big bang is an indirectly observed and reasoned description of the process near the beginning of the universe, and God is completely unobserved, subject to cultural interpretation, and experienced on a completely subjective level.

So you see the difference?

God also seems to be dependent on geography and time a lot for his definition. In parts of the middle east, it's Allah, in India it's a ton of different names, and a few thousand years ago, we preferred a pantheon. I suppose it's simply convenient for you that you were born somewhere that favoured the bible, is it? I imagine if you believe as hard as you can, then you're the right-est.

The thing is, people who truly believe they talk to God all the time are crazy. (At least, when he talks back.) I'm not saying you're crazy, I'm just saying someone who believes completely and with their whole being that they commune with the Almighty is nuts. They're the ones who believe the most. I imagine you've found the middle ground wherein you can keep yourself sane and functioning, and also believe that a mystical force wrote a confusing book for generations of people to argue over.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:A positive,

BobSpence1 wrote:

A positive, coherent definition would require an actual enumeration of specific capabilities. 'All' runs into those cases where he can't do anything which he cannot undo, and so on, which arise when you try to define such unlimited capabilities. So you are still defining the capabilities negatively - anything which does not give rise to some such contradiction. So he cannot create something absolutely indestructible - he can destroy it, presumably. 

He cannot create something which can go against his will.

He cannot know everything - he cannot know what it is like to be not omnipotent, or to be human, or to know what he is going to decide tomorrow and have free will, etc.

You cannot define such an entity except by a whole bunch equivocations and exceptions, ie, negatively.

Its a mess, an unnecessary mess, because omni attributes are not logically necessary attributes for a creator of our universe. You simply have no justification for even proposing such an incoherent entity.

The omni attributes are not unlimited.  They are bound by the laws of logic.  Thus, to be omnipotent simply means that God can do whatever is logically possible to do.  There is nothing problematic about this definition.  The fact that such a definition can be turned into a negative statement is irrelevant.

In regards to omniscience, one should not confuse this with experiencial knowledge.  It is better to think of it in terms of propositional knowledge.  That is, for any proposition p, God knows the truth value of p in every possible world.

By the way, how do you know that I have no justification for positing the existence of God?  Seems you are merely begging the question.

Quote:

I imply that the probability of God is infinitesimal, ie, approaches zero...

Virtual particles can become real particles - eg, Hawking radiation from black holes event horizon.

It doesn't mean they aren't effectively uncaused, either.

God must have very large 'effectiveness', some 'supernatural' analog of energy or physical extent, to be capable of wielding his presumed powers.

All my arguments are based on extrapolation from what we understand about physical reality - which is all we have to base any real arguments on.

Here again you are begging the question.  You are basing your claim, that physical reality is all we have to build real arguments upon, on your presupposition of a naturalistic worldview.

Quote:

If you are just going to pull concepts out of thin are and claim them somehow as possibilities, then of course you can put together words which seem to be describing something, but it tells us absolutely nothing about likelihood or plausibility of such ideas. The further the enetities described are fromwhat we actually experience or deduce from observation and experiment, the less they deserve to be taken seriously. Talk to that guy Occam.

Who says I'm pulling concepts out of thin air?

 

 

Quote:

Because it is a direct logical consequence of the statement you made.

You said:

Even if we accept, for the sake of argument, that certain events in this world can occur uncaused, it does not follow that worlds, themselves, can spontaneously occur by themselves (or uncaused).

That is not a valid statement.

If you had said that it does not follow that worlds actually do spontaneously occur, it would be valid.

But the fact that events do at least seem to occur spontaneously, means that it cannot logically be ruled out as impossible.

I disagree.  My statement is valid as is.

Quote:
 

So "Possible worlds" are possible ( d'uh! ), but do not necessarily exist as actual worlds, that's what 'are' means there. Why do you have difficulty with that statement?

I presume you meant by 'one actual world', one actual reality.

 

Right, there is only one actual world (there cannot be more than one).  All other worlds remain possible.  They could have been actual, but happen not to be.

Quote:

Something which is demonstrably unnecessary, and definitely adds complexity to reality, deserves such a conclusion. Not proof, of course, but a balance of probabilities.

Whatever the ultimate nature of a 'first cause',  even if it is assumed to be 'necessary', there is no logical argument for it being infinite or sentient. The only arguments I have seen for such attributes are based on intuitive assumptions about causation which Quantum Mechanics and Chaos Theory have clearly demonstrated are, at the very least, not necessarily true, and definitely in need of drastic revision. Reality is far more complex and subtle than philosophers thought, and in ways that they never imagined.

Even if the underlying reality of QM is deterministic, that neither makes it predictable or effectively non-random. The 'deterministic' interactions of an infinite number of elementary particles produce behavior which has all the essential attributes of a 'true' random process, including the finite probability of an arbitrarily sized fluctuation over any specified interval of time.

God ideas need to be re-thought in the context of current insights, probably abandoned as hopelessly obsolete.

 

How does God add complexity to reality?  It seems to me that God adds far less complexity than some of the naturalistic accounts of ultimate reality (e.g. multiverse theories, colliding brane theories, etc.)


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:jumbo1410

BobSpence1 wrote:

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
A positive, coherent definition would require an actual enumeration of specific capabilities.

So you would like a list?

Unless you provide some list of actual attributes, even just ias examples, or in broad terms, not just what he can't do, then God is not defined.

Quote:

Quote:
He cannot know everything - he cannot know what it is like to be not omnipotent, or to be human, or to know what he is going to decide tomorrow and have free will, etc.

Experience is empirical. Knowing is transcendental.

Knowledge is just information encoded in your brain, as a result of experience.

Quote:

Which are you ascribing to omnisicience? If it is the former, what gives you the impression that God is experiential? If it is the latter, then there is no contradiction. You are making hasty assumptions again. Just look at the last statement you made. We have no idea whatsoever about free will and determinism. It is purely subjective. Who gave you the authority to declare God an incompatabalist?

What gives you the authority to assert anything about what would or would not be the attributes of such a hypothetical, poorly defined, basically impossible being?

Quote:

Quote:
Can an all-powerful being create an absolutely unbreakable object, and also have the capability to break any object? Note each of the 'powers' or capabilities are not logically impossible in themselves, but cannot both be true simultaneously, hence the potential contradiction. Now if you want to preserve the 'all' category, you have to exclude one or both of such pairs of 'powers'.This sort of thing can be extended indefinitely, IOW, there will be whole sets of logically possible attributes which are mutually exclusive across the whole set, ie, they cannot all be true at the same time, maybe only one can be true.

Looks convincing, but:

1. An OOO being can not do what is LI

2. Contradictions in terms (CIT) constitutes  LI's

3. Making then breaking an unbreakable vase is a CIT

---

4. An OOO being cannot make then break an unbreakable vase.

You still don't get it. I am not asserting that omnipotence implies any such thing. You really are thick.

He can have either the power to create an unbreakable vase, or the power to break any vase, without raising a LI, but not both.

The LI would not be in any specific power. The LI would be in one being possessing more than one of a set of mutually incompatible, but individually not LI, powers simultaneously. A logically valid being could not simultaneously have the ability to create unbreakable objects and break any object. Both powers are valid in themselves, but no being can possess both powers, therefore he cannot have all logically possible powers.

Quote:

They are actually LI's in themselves, as in, it is not God's omnipotence that produces the contradiction, rather the terms unbreakable breakables are contradictory. A more obvious analogy: "Two immortal men are fighting to the death, which one wins?" It is not the person who cannot answer the question that is contradicting himself, rather the person posing the question. Nice try though.

I am not talking about "unbreakable breakables".

The contradiction would be in a definition of omnipotence which did not exclude the possession of two mutually incompatible abilities, which would require specification of only one of such possibilities.

Your inability to see this is very revealing.

Quote:

I only ask that any reply to the above be in strict standard form. I'm sick of the fancy-pancy talk that actually amounts to nothing more than hot air.

Quote:
I was not addressing the logical possibility or impossibility of God, as such, rather the implications of describing the capabilities of any entity as being able to do all things not logically impossible, and the claim that was not a purely negative definition. I certainly was not thinking of anything as simplistic as the 'square circle' thing.

Perhaps you should have taken more time with the "simplistic circle" thing. Once you have the "No OOO is LI" premise, its all down hill from there. You addressed the implications of an omnipotent being, just invalidly. If you disagree, I'd like to see the logical form of your argument, not the waffle on top.

If you cannot comprehend what I spelled out above, and see how it what you just said is irrelevant to my point, please be honest enough to admit it.

Quote:

In other news: Both particles of what pair?

The virtual particle-antiparticle pairs proposed to spontaneously emerge, normally for a very brief time before recombining, in 'empty' space. I just checked and realize it was QED who first raised the subject of virtual particles, so forgive me for assuming you knew what I was referring to.

 

The apparent problem here seems to be contrived.  The problem stems simply from the fact that one ability is defined in terms of the other.  A more appropriate way to understand this issue is the following:

God has the power to create a vase of any strength.

God has the power to destroy a vase of any strength.

The above two abilities do not limit each other.  Creating an unbreakable vase is simply a pseudo-task once one ascribes omnipotence to God.


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:By the way, how do

QED wrote:
By the way, how do you know that I have no justification for positing the existence of God?  Seems you are merely begging the question.

What about God's sister? I posit the existence of God's sister.

QED wrote:
Here again you are begging the question.  You are basing your claim, that physical reality is all we have to build real arguments upon, on your presupposition of a naturalistic worldview.

What alternative are you suggesting? That we learn about the supernatural? How might we do that?

QED wrote:
How does God add complexity to reality?  It seems to me that God adds far less complexity than some of the naturalistic accounts of ultimate reality (e.g. multiverse theories, colliding brane theories, etc.)

"Ultimate reality" or the "thing-in-itself" is a well-trodden path, but it fails rather miserably. There's the easy objection that since the thing-in-itself is unreachable and indescribable, discussing it is a bit difficult. As a result, the naturalist is far more of a phenomenologist by default.

As for God adding complexity, you're suggesting that along with the reality that we know, there's an invisible anthropomorphic creature as well. That's an added bit of complexity.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:The apparent

QED wrote:

The apparent problem here seems to be contrived.  The problem stems simply from the fact that one ability is defined in terms of the other.  A more appropriate way to understand this issue is the following:

God has the power to create a vase of any strength.

God has the power to destroy a vase of any strength.

The above two abilities do not limit each other.  Creating an unbreakable vase is simply a pseudo-task once one ascribes omnipotence to God.

But they are undefined, unbounded, since you just used the word 'any' again.

Meaningless, just like God.

EDIT:

At the very least, this demonstrates that you have to exclude negatively defined terms like 'unbreakable', even though 'unbreakable' is not ''logically impossible". It is almost certainly physically impossible.

So perhaps you should restrict the attributes to all physically possible powers...

EDIT again:

Maybe "Creating an unbreakable vase" is a psuedo-task, but it is not logically impossible. 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


jumbo1410
Theist
Posts: 166
Joined: 2009-07-25
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Fail.Let's try this

Quote:
Fail.

Let's try this again:

A is LP

C is LP

if A then not C

if C then not A

======

(A AND C) is not LP

I really hate to link in posts, especially wikki, but it's all there in one spot and will save me some time.

 

 

 

 


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
Fail.

Let's try this again:

A is LP

C is LP

if A then not C

if C then not A

======

(A AND C) is not LP

I really hate to link in posts, especially wikki, but it's all there in one spot and will save me some time.

That link did NOT really address the scenario I have been trying to get you to grasp. It did however demonstrate how stupid theologians and philosophers can be...

The basic problem in the 'unbreakable X' scenario is the term 'unbreakable'. It is not really physically possible, implying infinite strength of the material of which it is composed. Now does that make the attribute 'unbreakable' logically impossible? That may well be in the third category of logic statement, undecidable. IOW the form appears valid but the proposition cannot be determined to be either true or false.

It is the sort of problem you are likely to encounter in logic and math when you introduce infinities, either implicitly or explicitly. Which is precisely why we have all these endless arguments about the impossibility or incoherence of the God concept.

In the 'rock' scenario, the problem is really the idea of an infinitely heavy rock.

Defining God as a finite but very powerful, knowledgable, and benevolent being is not going to run into these problems.

So the central problem arises from the insistence on God having attributes which are infinite in any sense. So the real debate should be "are the OOO attributes necessary?"

Obviously there are other problems with the God hypothesis, but all these paradoxes of the omni- attributes strike me as self-inflicted by the believers assumptions about the 'necessary' attributes of God.

After all, the naturalistic/scientific hypotheses of origins (or of anything else, in fact) avoid infinities wherever possible - they usually signal that a theory has a problem. This is why there is ongoing debate about the idea of a singularity in the Big Bang and in Black Holes - it implies infinite density. Is it an artifact of the mathematical model which is inevitably a simplified description of the real objects/events?

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:QED

BobSpence1 wrote:

QED wrote:

The apparent problem here seems to be contrived.  The problem stems simply from the fact that one ability is defined in terms of the other.  A more appropriate way to understand this issue is the following:

God has the power to create a vase of any strength.

God has the power to destroy a vase of any strength.

The above two abilities do not limit each other.  Creating an unbreakable vase is simply a pseudo-task once one ascribes omnipotence to God.

But they are undefined, unbounded, since you just used the word 'any' again.

Meaningless, just like God.

EDIT:

At the very least, this demonstrates that you have to exclude negatively defined terms like 'unbreakable', even though 'unbreakable' is not ''logically impossible". It is almost certainly physically impossible.

So perhaps you should restrict the attributes to all physically possible powers...

EDIT again:

Maybe "Creating an unbreakable vase" is a psuedo-task, but it is not logically impossible. 

In what sense are they undefined?  Since we are speaking of a physical vase, the strength of the vase must be in terms of properties concerning its atomic structure.  Given this physical nature, one might surmise that there is a limit to how strong it can be, unless of course, God changes the strength of certain fundamental forces.  Since these fundamental forces are well defined and could conceivably be changed, there is nothing meaningless about God having the power to make an increasingly "strong" vase.

Creating an "unbreakable vase" becomes a contradiction once you ascribe omnipotence to God.  So nothing is lost by admitting that God cannot create an "unbreakable vase".  Also, if we insist that the vase be physical, then it is logically impossible to create an "unbreakable" vase, given that it is physically impossible.  Thus, as long as "vase" carries with it the implicit assumption of being physical, then it would be logically impossible.


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:2. If God

jumbo1410 wrote:

2. If God was able to do the logically impossible (LI), i.e. if God was above logic, then it would be utterly pointless to try and argue his existence. I am not saying this is an impossibility (that God is above logic), but I am saying that if you take this road, the debate terminates at "God does and does not exist, simultaneously." That is a logical impossibility of course, but God can (apparently) do anything logically impossible, so God is perfectly able to both exist and not exist. In effect, you have made yourself "half wrong" (he does not exist), or "half right" (he does not exist.) I personally am undecided about logical impossibility. It may be a sensible construct, universally so, it may not.

What do you mean? You just solved your own problem! We'd actually have to change the meaning of "exist" for God to exist.

OR we could say that God is an idea, and everything falls into place nicely. It exists, but doesn't really exist, etc.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:QED

HisWillness wrote:

QED wrote:
By the way, how do you know that I have no justification for positing the existence of God?  Seems you are merely begging the question.

What about God's sister? I posit the existence of God's sister.

QED wrote:
Here again you are begging the question.  You are basing your claim, that physical reality is all we have to build real arguments upon, on your presupposition of a naturalistic worldview.

What alternative are you suggesting? That we learn about the supernatural? How might we do that?

QED wrote:
How does God add complexity to reality?  It seems to me that God adds far less complexity than some of the naturalistic accounts of ultimate reality (e.g. multiverse theories, colliding brane theories, etc.)

"Ultimate reality" or the "thing-in-itself" is a well-trodden path, but it fails rather miserably. There's the easy objection that since the thing-in-itself is unreachable and indescribable, discussing it is a bit difficult. As a result, the naturalist is far more of a phenomenologist by default.

As for God adding complexity, you're suggesting that along with the reality that we know, there's an invisible anthropomorphic creature as well. That's an added bit of complexity.

What you have here is a strawman.  The underlying operating assumption, here, is that positing the existence of God is as unjustified and arbitrary as positing a sister for God.  "Sister", however, is a loaded word that carries with it connotations of a biological relation.  It also entails the existence of parents, which misrepresents the theist position and view of God (or at least my position).  Besides a strawman, you are also begging the question, since positing arbitrary entities does not prove that I have done so.

 

As for for your apparent lack of ability to see outside of a naturalistic framework, you are operating under what seems to be a position of logical positivism.  But logical positivism is a dead philosophy and so one should not rule out the possibility of having knowledge outside of science.

 

Finally, I do not believe in an invisible anthropomorphic creature.  Or, before I make any hasty denials, what exactly do you mean by "anthropomorphic creature"?  And no, I am not asking for the definition of 'anthropomorphic'.  I want to know in what sense or in what ways you believe God to be anthropomorphized.


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:What you have here

QED wrote:
What you have here is a strawman.

Okay. Clarify your position so I don't have to misunderstand.

QED wrote:
The underlying operating assumption, here, is that positing the existence of God is as unjustified and arbitrary as positing a sister for God.  "Sister", however, is a loaded word that carries with it connotations of a biological relation.  It also entails the existence of parents, which misrepresents the theist position and view of God (or at least my position).

Yeah, so does "He". The use of a male signifier means all the same things you just said: parents, biological connections, etc. Anything male had parents.

QED wrote:
As for for your apparent lack of ability to see outside of a naturalistic framework

Oh, I didn't realize you could see into the supernatural (which makes absolutely no sense at all). Please enlighten us with your impossible knowledge of the supernatural, so that I can free myself from the shackles of a mistaken reality.

QED wrote:
you are operating under what seems to be a position of logical positivism.

I guess you haven't seen me quote Popper (the so-called destroyer of the Vienna Circle). No, I'm not taking the position of logical positivism.

QED wrote:
But logical positivism is a dead philosophy and so one should not rule out the possibility of having knowledge outside of science.

That was a pretty quick non sequitur. A group of people are wrong, therefore there is a possibility of knowledge outside of science. Not very tight as a syllogism.

Not that it matters, really, because to a certain extent, I agree that "There are no married bachelors". These, I take to be a priori, and thus there are things that are not empirical. That wasn't difficult.

QED wrote:
I want to know in what sense or in what ways you believe God to be anthropomorphized.

The "God created man in his own image" thing. That. Or how God has been portrayed in art, or in non-Christian religions, how gods are always portrayed as creatures that can communicate in exactly the same way people can, or ... etc.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:BobSpence1

QED wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

QED wrote:

The apparent problem here seems to be contrived.  The problem stems simply from the fact that one ability is defined in terms of the other.  A more appropriate way to understand this issue is the following:

God has the power to create a vase of any strength.

God has the power to destroy a vase of any strength.

The above two abilities do not limit each other.  Creating an unbreakable vase is simply a pseudo-task once one ascribes omnipotence to God.

But they are undefined, unbounded, since you just used the word 'any' again.

Meaningless, just like God.

EDIT:

At the very least, this demonstrates that you have to exclude negatively defined terms like 'unbreakable', even though 'unbreakable' is not ''logically impossible". It is almost certainly physically impossible.

So perhaps you should restrict the attributes to all physically possible powers...

EDIT again:

Maybe "Creating an unbreakable vase" is a psuedo-task, but it is not logically impossible. 

In what sense are they undefined?  Since we are speaking of a physical vase, the strength of the vase must be in terms of properties concerning its atomic structure.  Given this physical nature, one might surmise that there is a limit to how strong it can be, unless of course, God changes the strength of certain fundamental forces.  Since these fundamental forces are well defined and could conceivably be changed, there is nothing meaningless about God having the power to make an increasingly "strong" vase.

Creating an "unbreakable vase" becomes a contradiction once you ascribe omnipotence to God.  So nothing is lost by admitting that God cannot create an "unbreakable vase".  Also, if we insist that the vase be physical, then it is logically impossible to create an "unbreakable" vase, given that it is physically impossible.  Thus, as long as "vase" carries with it the implicit assumption of being physical, then it would be logically impossible.

If you are in the context of attributes of God, 'any' strength does not define the range of material strength he can create, as you just demonstrated.

Ok, if you want to nit-pick, 'inadequately defined' rather than 'undefined'.

Is it made of physical 'material'? What would a non-physical 'vase' mean? 

If you mean any finite strength, then unless you specify this, you have not completely defined the 'power'. 'Any' does not preclude 'unbreakable'.

'Increasingly'? 

The problem for the idea of 'omnipotence' is that unless the powers include actual infinities, as in the power to create a truly unbreakable object, they are not impressive as attributes of a God, ie they do not adequately distinguish such an entity from merely strong and powerful mortals, but if they do include some infinities, it is not possible to show that they are coherent. This is why we have debate about the 'paradox' of 'omnipotence': it is a particular case of the problem of making a clearly valid logical argument incorporating infinities.

Here I rather agree with part of the quote from CS Lewis in that link:

Quote:

...you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combination of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them to other words ‘God can’

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote: QED

HisWillness wrote:

 

QED wrote:
But logical positivism is a dead philosophy and so one should not rule out the possibility of having knowledge outside of science.

That was a pretty quick non sequitur. A group of people are wrong, therefore there is a possibility of knowledge outside of science. Not very tight as a syllogism.

Not that it matters, really, because to a certain extent, I agree that "There are no married bachelors". These, I take to be a priori, and thus there are things that are not empirical. That wasn't difficult.

QED wrote:
I want to know in what sense or in what ways you believe God to be anthropomorphized.

The "God created man in his own image" thing. That. Or how God has been portrayed in art, or in non-Christian religions, how gods are always portrayed as creatures that can communicate in exactly the same way people can, or ... etc.

I wasn't making a hard and fast conclusion here.  You are right, though, that the following reasoning is invalid:

 

(i) If LP is true, then it is not possible to obtain meaningful knowledge outside of science.

(ii) LP is not true.

(iii) Therefore meaningful knowledge is possible outside of science.

 

Of course, the problem with the above argument is that it commits the fallacy of denying the antecedent.  

I guess my point was that we should not rule out knowledge outside of science on account of logical positivism.  But if you do not hold to such a view, then I stand corrected.

 

While I cannot speak for other religions and their depictions of god, the "in God's image" idea that you refer to simply means that humanity is endowed by God to be rational and moral.  It has nothing to do with physical appearance (at least in my interpretation).


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:If you are

BobSpence1 wrote:

If you are in the context of attributes of God, 'any' strength does not define the range of material strength he can create, as you just demonstrated.

Ok, if you want to nit-pick, 'inadequately defined' rather than 'undefined'.

Is it made of physical 'material'? What would a non-physical 'vase' mean? 

If you mean any finite strength, then unless you specify this, you have not completely defined the 'power'. 'Any' does not preclude 'unbreakable'.

'Increasingly'? 

The problem for the idea of 'omnipotence' is that unless the powers include actual infinities, as in the power to create a truly unbreakable object, they are not impressive as attributes of a God, ie they do not adequately distinguish such an entity from merely strong and powerful mortals, but if they do include some infinities, it is not possible to show that they are coherent. This is why we have debate about the 'paradox' of 'omnipotence': it is a particular case of the problem of making a clearly valid logical argument incorporating infinities.

Here I rather agree with part of the quote from CS Lewis in that link:

Quote:

...you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combination of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them to other words ‘God can’

 

Since you agree that it does not make much sense to speak of a non-physical vase, then I stand by my statement that an "unbreakable" vase is logically impossible given that it is physically impossible.  Thus, God's ability to do whatever is logically possible in this case would mean:  For any vase V with physical strength S (S being a function of physical properties and fundamental forces) God can make a vase V* with strength S*>S.  It is in this sense, then, that God's ability is unlimited, which does, IMO, distinguish God from a merely "strong and powerful" mortal.

NOTE: The existence of actual infinities is logically suspect, which is why physicists have questioned the reality of singularities. 


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:While I cannot

QED wrote:
While I cannot speak for other religions and their depictions of god, the "in God's image" idea that you refer to simply means that humanity is endowed by God to be rational and moral.  It has nothing to do with physical appearance (at least in my interpretation).

Okay. then what we have so far is that you believe in an invisible creature that is both rational and moral. I suppose we could figure out what that means if we knew how that could happen. Also, if that's true, then "image" is a poor choice of words.

Your version of God is not just rational and moral, but secretive. It requires your interpretation of its words. Interpretation of those words also leads to a great deal of destruction, death, torment and confusion. One might wonder what particular type of moral your God is.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:QED

HisWillness wrote:

QED wrote:
While I cannot speak for other religions and their depictions of god, the "in God's image" idea that you refer to simply means that humanity is endowed by God to be rational and moral.  It has nothing to do with physical appearance (at least in my interpretation).

Okay. then what we have so far is that you believe in an invisible creature that is both rational and moral. I suppose we could figure out what that means if we knew how that could happen. Also, if that's true, then "image" is a poor choice of words.

Your version of God is not just rational and moral, but secretive. It requires your interpretation of its words. Interpretation of those words also leads to a great deal of destruction, death, torment and confusion. One might wonder what particular type of moral your God is.

 

How what could happen?

 

Why is "image" a poor choice of words?  It is no worse than the analogical way in which we use words today.

 

Any form of communication requires interpretation on the part of the recipient, so I don't see how that is a valid objection.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:BobSpence1

QED wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

If you are in the context of attributes of God, 'any' strength does not define the range of material strength he can create, as you just demonstrated.

Ok, if you want to nit-pick, 'inadequately defined' rather than 'undefined'.

Is it made of physical 'material'? What would a non-physical 'vase' mean? 

If you mean any finite strength, then unless you specify this, you have not completely defined the 'power'. 'Any' does not preclude 'unbreakable'.

'Increasingly'? 

The problem for the idea of 'omnipotence' is that unless the powers include actual infinities, as in the power to create a truly unbreakable object, they are not impressive as attributes of a God, ie they do not adequately distinguish such an entity from merely strong and powerful mortals, but if they do include some infinities, it is not possible to show that they are coherent. This is why we have debate about the 'paradox' of 'omnipotence': it is a particular case of the problem of making a clearly valid logical argument incorporating infinities.

Here I rather agree with part of the quote from CS Lewis in that link:

Quote:

...you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combination of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them to other words ‘God can’

 

Since you agree that it does not make much sense to speak of a non-physical vase, then I stand by my statement that an "unbreakable" vase is logically impossible given that it is physically impossible.  Thus, God's ability to do whatever is logically possible in this case would mean:  For any vase V with physical strength S (S being a function of physical properties and fundamental forces) God can make a vase V* with strength S*>S.  It is in this sense, then, that God's ability is unlimited, which does, IMO, distinguish God from a merely "strong and powerful" mortal.

NOTE: The existence of actual infinities is logically suspect, which is why physicists have questioned the reality of singularities. 

OK so if there is a God, it must logically be finite. Fine. I agree. 

We then similarly eliminate all the other illogical arguments, like the 'Uncaused first cause', and we are saying, along with Dawkins, that there could be a finite but very powerful being that maybe even conceivably 'seeded' the Earth with life, then chooses to occasionally interact in ambiguous ways with some people, but these days keeps a very low profile so that non-belief in his existence is very plausible, and so on... 

Where are we going with this? And is there actually any evidence for this this vaguely possible entity? And what would be its connection with the Christian God (and similar entities).

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote: OK so if

BobSpence1 wrote:

 

OK so if there is a God, it must logically be finite. Fine. I agree. 

We then similarly eliminate all the other illogical arguments, like the 'Uncaused first cause', and we are saying, along with Dawkins, that there could be a finite but very powerful being that maybe even conceivably 'seeded' the Earth with life, then chooses to occasionally interact in ambiguous ways with some people, but these days keeps a very low profile so that non-belief in his existence is very plausible, and so on... 

Where are we going with this? And is there actually any evidence for this this vaguely possible entity? And what would be its connection with the Christian God (and similar entities).

 

I guess it depends on what you mean by "finite".  I am not saying that God is some physically transparent being with measurable size.  Nor am I saying that God is composed of parts (which would have to be finite).  Under my position, it would not be right to say that God is a being that happens to exist (contingently) within our physical universe (or perhaps space), but our space obtains within the larger reality of God (not to be confused, however, with pantheism or panentheism).


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:BobSpence1

QED wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

 

OK so if there is a God, it must logically be finite. Fine. I agree. 

We then similarly eliminate all the other illogical arguments, like the 'Uncaused first cause', and we are saying, along with Dawkins, that there could be a finite but very powerful being that maybe even conceivably 'seeded' the Earth with life, then chooses to occasionally interact in ambiguous ways with some people, but these days keeps a very low profile so that non-belief in his existence is very plausible, and so on... 

Where are we going with this? And is there actually any evidence for this this vaguely possible entity? And what would be its connection with the Christian God (and similar entities).

 

I guess it depends on what you mean by "finite".  I am not saying that God is some physically transparent being with measurable size.  Nor am I saying that God is composed of parts (which would have to be finite).  Under my position, it would not be right to say that God is a being that happens to exist (contingently) within our physical universe (or perhaps space), but our space obtains within the larger reality of God (not to be confused, however, with pantheism or panentheism).

So why do believe in the existence of this entity, and how do you determine what its attributes are?

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:How what could

QED wrote:
How what could happen?

An invisible creature could be rational and moral. Or that you could ascribe rationality or morality to something invisible. Actually, not just invisible, but immeasurable in every sense. They would have to be moral or rational in some different way, like other-rational and other-moral, because they're not rational like we are, right?

QED wrote:
Why is "image" a poor choice of words?  It is no worse than the analogical way in which we use words today.

Yeah, but it's vague enough so that I could say it means that God painted man into a painting he was working on. Why is it necessary for God to be vague in the bible? He's so specific with other stuff, like stoning. It's a good thing the later part says "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" because otherwise, the seriously faithful would be going nuts with those stones.

QED wrote:
Any form of communication requires interpretation on the part of the recipient, so I don't see how that is a valid objection.

You'd think a god would know that, though. You'd think a god would be able to anticipate the confusion it caused. It seems more like men wrote the bible, instead of something that could anticipate future events, or even phrase things in such a way as to not be confusing.

For instance, every creature walks on three points contacting the earth all the time. From centipedes to humans, we all touch three balance points to the ground in our normal stride. That's an interesting fact about the natural world that's missing from the Bible. Instead, we get facts like beetles being four-legged in Leviticus.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not interested in a biblical errancy debate, because given the lack of archeological evidence for enough biblical liturature, it's like beating a dead horse. (Looks like Exodus didn't happen, or if it did, it's not like in the Bible -- big surprise.) But "God works in mysterious ways" seems to not cover it when dealing with the belief in a creature whose only contribution is to give us a piece of literature we can confirm contains outright false statements.

In fact, if the plan was to eventually forgive, what's with Leviticus? The whole book is ridiculous. I think people with bad eyesight are targeted, if I remember correctly. Is the bible some kind of bad attempt by men to write down the message?

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:QED

HisWillness wrote:

QED wrote:
How what could happen?

An invisible creature could be rational and moral. Or that you could ascribe rationality or morality to something invisible. Actually, not just invisible, but immeasurable in every sense. They would have to be moral or rational in some different way, like other-rational and other-moral, because they're not rational like we are, right?

QED wrote:
Why is "image" a poor choice of words?  It is no worse than the analogical way in which we use words today.

Yeah, but it's vague enough so that I could say it means that God painted man into a painting he was working on. Why is it necessary for God to be vague in the bible? He's so specific with other stuff, like stoning. It's a good thing the later part says "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" because otherwise, the seriously faithful would be going nuts with those stones.

QED wrote:
Any form of communication requires interpretation on the part of the recipient, so I don't see how that is a valid objection.

You'd think a god would know that, though. You'd think a god would be able to anticipate the confusion it caused. It seems more like men wrote the bible, instead of something that could anticipate future events, or even phrase things in such a way as to not be confusing.

For instance, every creature walks on three points contacting the earth all the time. From centipedes to humans, we all touch three balance points to the ground in our normal stride. That's an interesting fact about the natural world that's missing from the Bible. Instead, we get facts like beetles being four-legged in Leviticus.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not interested in a biblical errancy debate, because given the lack of archeological evidence for enough biblical liturature, it's like beating a dead horse. (Looks like Exodus didn't happen, or if it did, it's not like in the Bible -- big surprise.) But "God works in mysterious ways" seems to not cover it when dealing with the belief in a creature whose only contribution is to give us a piece of literature we can confirm contains outright false statements.

In fact, if the plan was to eventually forgive, what's with Leviticus? The whole book is ridiculous. I think people with bad eyesight are targeted, if I remember correctly. Is the bible some kind of bad attempt by men to write down the message?

Okay, you have some good questions here.  Let me try to address them in turn:

(1)  The fact that God is "invisible" only means that God is not the sort of being that absorbs and emits photons.  But such a property does not preclude God from being rational or moral.  God is rational in that God understands all things and moral in the sense that God is perfect... God's actions are always good (or perhaps neutral).  Does that clarify?  Or am I missing your question?

(2)  Your question about ambiguity (or vagueness) in the Bible is a good one.  IMO, this difficulty is largely due to the limitations of language and context.  The meaning of something at any given time is largely determined by the background and context of the one using the language.  Thus, much of our confusion arises when we read a text from our 21st century framework without due diligence in first understanding the historical context in which the thing was written and then translating it into roughly equivalent ideas in our context.

(3)  If it seems like men wrote the Bible, it is because men did write the Bible.  I would never claim that the Bible magically descended from Heaven in divine shrink-wrap.  I would claim, however, that God "spoke" to certain people who recorded these things with their own words and in their own frame of reference.


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:QED

BobSpence1 wrote:

QED wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

 

OK so if there is a God, it must logically be finite. Fine. I agree. 

We then similarly eliminate all the other illogical arguments, like the 'Uncaused first cause', and we are saying, along with Dawkins, that there could be a finite but very powerful being that maybe even conceivably 'seeded' the Earth with life, then chooses to occasionally interact in ambiguous ways with some people, but these days keeps a very low profile so that non-belief in his existence is very plausible, and so on... 

Where are we going with this? And is there actually any evidence for this this vaguely possible entity? And what would be its connection with the Christian God (and similar entities).

 

I guess it depends on what you mean by "finite".  I am not saying that God is some physically transparent being with measurable size.  Nor am I saying that God is composed of parts (which would have to be finite).  Under my position, it would not be right to say that God is a being that happens to exist (contingently) within our physical universe (or perhaps space), but our space obtains within the larger reality of God (not to be confused, however, with pantheism or panentheism).

So why do believe in the existence of this entity, and how do you determine what its attributes are?

This is a very good question, to which I would like to give a substantial response.  Permit me then to gather my thoughts so that I may give an adequate response.  Perhaps, later tonight, as other affairs of the day are demanding my attention.


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:(1)  The fact

QED wrote:
(1)  The fact that God is "invisible" only means that God is not the sort of being that absorbs and emits photons.  But such a property does not preclude God from being rational or moral.

Oh, well then. You know this how? I mean, how much experience do you have with things that do not emit or absorb photons, but are rational or moral?

QED wrote:
God is rational in that God understands all things and moral in the sense that God is perfect

Again, I'm not sure where you got any of this. When we understand things, we use our brains. God doesn't have a brain like we do (ours would absorb and reflect photons). God has a God-brain. We'd have to say, then, that God has God-morals and is God-rational, because God is not rational like we are, nor moral like we are.

So no, God is not moral, and God is not rational. Those things are what humans do. God must, by the properties described, be doing something else, in the context that God does not interact with photons.

QED wrote:
... God's actions are always good (or perhaps neutral).

Because God says that every action of God's is good. Right. I'm sure I don't have to point out that your argument is circular.

QED wrote:
Thus, much of our confusion arises when we read a text from our 21st century framework without due diligence in first understanding the historical context in which the thing was written and then translating it into roughly equivalent ideas in our context.

That would be an excuse for a creature that did not understand, like a person, but less so for the apparent broken telephone that resulted. It's difficult to know which parts fall short of the original message.

QED wrote:
I would claim, however, that God "spoke" to certain people who recorded these things with their own words and in their own frame of reference.

Sidestepping first the obvious destination of those who hear voices in their heads, their own frame of reference was chosen specifically by God. If God understands everything, and yet made sure to pick a time and context and level of education that would get his message extremely wrong, then God is actually stupider than I am.

I'm pretty full of myself, but I doubt anyone would say that I understand everything. God's talent at picking the perfect era in history to be misunderstood for thousands of years is phenomenal.

So ... God's aim was to be misunderstood. I think it's fair to say that creates more problems than it solves.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


jumbo1410
Theist
Posts: 166
Joined: 2009-07-25
User is offlineOffline
Quote:The basic problem in

Quote:
The basic problem in the 'unbreakable X' scenario is the term 'unbreakable'. It is not really physically possible, implying infinite strength of the material of which it is composed. Now does that make the attribute 'unbreakable' logically impossible? That may well be in the third category of logic statement, undecidable. IOW the form appears valid but the proposition cannot be determined to be either true or false.

Well Bobspence1, I wrote:

1. An OOO being can not do what is LI

2. Contradictions in terms (CIT) constitutes  LI's

3. Making then breaking an unbreakable vase is a CIT

 

Then I said:

"it is not God's omnipotence that produces the contradiction, rather the terms unbreakable breakables are contradictory."

"It is not the person who cannot answer the question that is contradicting himself, rather the person posing the question."

"A square cannot be round, that is, there is a contradiction in terms of "square" and "round."

"[This is all] Irrelevant and without context until you ascribe powers and liabilities to an omnipotent being." - IOW which way you look at it.

 

Direct quote from me:

"I personally am undecided about logical impossibility. It may be a sensible construct, universally so, it may not." - sensible here means "things that are able to be sensed."

"The last two sentences are waffle unless you sate what the powers and liabilities are for an "OOO" being." - IOW how you look at it.

 

I think somebody was right all along...

 

Quote:
It is the sort of problem you are likely to encounter in logic and math when you introduce infinities, either implicitly or explicitly. Which is precisely why we have all these endless arguments about the impossibility or incoherence of the God concept.[/quotes]

Math needs infinites just as much as God does. Without them, our universe would not be possible on both accounts. Anyone for a singularity? Theres your infinite. NO? Black Holes then, the producers of stars. If you ascribe incoherence to infinites (like infinite gravity/event horizon) you are calling your own beliefs incoherent. Lol.

 

Quote:
Defining God as a finite but very powerful, knowledgable, and benevolent being is not going to run into these problems.

Yeah but I don't need to.

 

Quote:
So the central problem arises from the insistence on God having attributes which are infinite in any sense. So the real debate should be "are the OOO attributes necessary?

Read above and think again.

 

Quote:
Obviously there are other problems with the God hypothesis, but all these paradoxes of the omni- attributes strike me as self-inflicted by the believers assumptions about the 'necessary' attributes of God.

Not much strikes you, so I'm happy something did. Are they assumptions though? Can a finite being produce an infinite universe? Note that an infinite universe is a hypothesis on the table.

 

Quote:
After all, the naturalistic/scientific hypotheses of origins (or of anything else, in fact) avoid infinities wherever possible - they usually signal that a theory has a problem. This is why there is ongoing debate about the idea of a singularity in the Big Bang and in Black Holes - it implies infinite density. Is it an artifact of the mathematical model which is inevitably a simplified description of the real objects/events?

You tell me. Even so, you stated in not so fewer words: infinites=incoherence or some babble. If it is a feature of empirical evidence, you are wasting your time on a rational response forum. Kinda supports what I've been saying since post 3, though...

 

bobspence1 wrote:
The problem for the idea of 'omnipotence' is that unless the powers include actual infinities, as in the power to create a truly unbreakable object, they are not impressive as attributes of a God, ie they do not adequately distinguish such an entity from merely strong and powerful mortals, but if they do include some infinities, it is not possible to show that they are coherent. This is why we have debate about the 'paradox' of 'omnipotence': it is a particular case of the problem of making a clearly valid logical argument incorporating infinities.

Immortality is analogous to infinite "life." There is a distinction between powerful mortals. We have crossed this bridge. Whatever fine toothed comb you rake over God, you have to use afortiori with emperical evidence. Infinites are on both sides my friend. I agree with CS Lewis, but this changes nothing for either side.

 

Hiswillness:

Quote:

What do you mean? You just solved your own problem! We'd actually have to change the meaning of "exist" for God to exist.

OR we could say that God is an idea, and everything falls into place nicely. It exists, but doesn't really exist, etc.

Traditionally OOO=LI means God is before logic, as in, transcends reality. It has the drastic implication that God could lie though, whch in my poinion is not an actuality because of omnibenevolence. Still, God may have lied about being omnibenevolent... which is why I am undecided. Interestingly, I am leaning that way though (outside LI)

 

 


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:Quote:What

jumbo1410 wrote:
Quote:

What do you mean? You just solved your own problem! We'd actually have to change the meaning of "exist" for God to exist.

OR we could say that God is an idea, and everything falls into place nicely. It exists, but doesn't really exist, etc.

Traditionally OOO=LI means God is before logic, as in, transcends reality. It has the drastic implication that God could lie though, whch in my poinion is not an actuality because of omnibenevolence. Still, God may have lied about being omnibenevolent... which is why I am undecided. Interestingly, I am leaning that way though (outside LI)

I suppose it's the only thing that makes sense, since omnipotence means that God could change the rules at anytime. Of course, as I've argued elsewhere, an omnipotent being is in complete control of all things, so the way it is is exactly the way the omnipotent being wants it at all times.

Of course, sin can't exist in that framework.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:Oh, well

HisWillness wrote:

Oh, well then. You know this how? I mean, how much experience do you have with things that do not emit or absorb photons, but are rational or moral?

Well, if God is indeed real, then I guess I have more experience with such things than you think.

Quote:

Again, I'm not sure where you got any of this. When we understand things, we use our brains. God doesn't have a brain like we do (ours would absorb and reflect photons). God has a God-brain. We'd have to say, then, that God has God-morals and is God-rational, because God is not rational like we are, nor moral like we are.

So no, God is not moral, and God is not rational. Those things are what humans do. God must, by the properties described, be doing something else, in the context that God does not interact with photons.

I get this from thinking about it.  But it is begging the question to suggest that a brain is necessary for rationality.  We only know this for physical beings.  Rationality is rationality and does not depend upon a brain.  The brain is merely the instrument that allows us to be rational.  It would be a mistake to define rationality and morality as things humans do.  Rather, they are things in which humans participate.

Really, I think you are concluding way too much from the fact that God is not "visible".

Quote:

Because God says that every action of God's is good. Right. I'm sure I don't have to point out that your argument is circular.

First, I didn't give an argument, I made an assertion.  Second, I never claimed that God's actions are good because God says so... where are you getting this?

Quote:

That would be an excuse for a creature that did not understand, like a person, but less so for the apparent broken telephone that resulted. It's difficult to know which parts fall short of the original message.

Not sure what your point is here.

Quote:

Sidestepping first the obvious destination of those who hear voices in their heads, their own frame of reference was chosen specifically by God. If God understands everything, and yet made sure to pick a time and context and level of education that would get his message extremely wrong, then God is actually stupider than I am.

I'm pretty full of myself, but I doubt anyone would say that I understand everything. God's talent at picking the perfect era in history to be misunderstood for thousands of years is phenomenal.

So ... God's aim was to be misunderstood. I think it's fair to say that creates more problems than it solves.

I think you are in danger of a strawman again by automatically jumping to suggestions of schizophrenia.

Now, who says that anyone got God's message wrong?  The bible is not meant to be a scientific handbook.  Also, the same problems of understanding arise no matter what time is chosen.  


jumbo1410
Theist
Posts: 166
Joined: 2009-07-25
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Of course, sin can't

Quote:
Of course, sin can't exist in that framework.

This is why a thorough understanding of Plantinga is necessary. I'm assuming you are trying to derive a contradiction between God's omnibenevolence and sin?

By sin, you are saying evil, right?

Evil is (according to you) a social construct. That is, if you believe sin is created by God, then it can't be a social construct?

Or do you take that sin is created by humans and therefore is not created by God, rather, God is comitted to eliminating sin yet has not; thereby deriving the contradiction?

I think you will have to clarify what you mean for me to answer any of the above. Mind you, if I take your statement to be serious, then your comments about Plantinga being a "Hack" (among other things) are completely unfounded.

 

In other news, I didn't get to address Bobspence1's particle pair thing. These pairs, you say, pop out of nowhere. That is not correct. Quantum foam theory states that quantum tunnelling may be responsible. The pairs that appear could be from another area of our universe, crossing both time and spacial dimensions that otherwise limit matter particles; instataneously. This would give the impression of "vanishing" from one area, and "appearing out of nowhere" in another. By saying they spontaneosuly formed out of nothing is a blatant disregard of the empirical extrapolation (you so desperately need) in order to make sense of your theory.

 

It seems you set aside various elements of physics and hypothesis as and when you feel, in order to win an argument.


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:Well, if God is

QED wrote:
Well, if God is indeed real, then I guess I have more experience with such things than you think.

That's a big "if", so I guess I'll have to take you at your word ... which is the problem.

QED wrote:
I get this from thinking about it.

I see. It's difficult for me to balance that with scientific rigour.

QED wrote:
But it is begging the question to suggest that a brain is necessary for rationality.  We only know this for physical beings.  Rationality is rationality and does not depend upon a brain.

Here, you're really stretching the applicability of knowledge. If your idea is that we can trust any information our brains process entirely (things like "I think about this, so it must be true" ) it opens a very large can of worms. On the other hand, if you start from available information, you have things like brain damage to the left hemisphere eliminating the ability to be rational. That means that not only do we need a brain to be rational, we specifically need the left hemisphere to function to be rational.

QED wrote:
It would be a mistake to define rationality and morality as things humans do.  Rather, they are things in which humans participate.

Okay, that's fine. I was talking about human behaviour, and of course we need a social context for morality and rationality.

QED wrote:
Really, I think you are concluding way too much from the fact that God is not "visible".

Well, no. If God is immeasurable, then God is made of completely different stuff than we are. The way in which God does things cannot be the way that we do things, and thus, God's morality is different than ours, because we use a brain to perform moral thinking. To what degree God's moral thinking is different, we can't know, if God is immeasurable.

QED wrote:
First, I didn't give an argument, I made an assertion.  Second, I never claimed that God's actions are good because God says so... where are you getting this?

Actually, it was a guess. Go ahead, tell me why God's actions are always good.

QED wrote:
Quote:

That would be an excuse for a creature that did not understand, like a person, but less so for the apparent broken telephone that resulted. It's difficult to know which parts fall short of the original message.

Not sure what your point is here.

If your information about God is coming from the Bible, and the Bible is a bit spotty about its information, that's circular.

QED wrote:
Now, who says that anyone got God's message wrong?

Here we are again, where you seem to know the important parts of God's message, and I'm left wondering how you know that. The factual parts seem unimportant to the message, so which parts are?

QED wrote:
The bible is not meant to be a scientific handbook.

That's a given.

QED wrote:
Also, the same problems of understanding arise no matter what time is chosen.

That implies your exhaustive knowledge of past and future, which I assume you don't have.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:Quote:Of

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
Of course, sin can't exist in that framework.

This is why a thorough understanding of Plantinga is necessary. I'm assuming you are trying to derive a contradiction between God's omnibenevolence and sin?

No, omnipotence, just like I wrote. It's impossible to displease an omnipotent creature.

jumbo1410 wrote:
By sin, you are saying evil, right?

Nope, I'm saying displeasing God, which would be impossible if God were omnipotent.

jumbo1410 wrote:
I think you will have to clarify what you mean for me to answer any of the above. Mind you, if I take your statement to be serious, then your comments about Plantinga being a "Hack" (among other things) are completely unfounded.

I don't have to show you that Plantinga's a hack. He does that all by himself.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


jumbo1410
Theist
Posts: 166
Joined: 2009-07-25
User is offlineOffline
Quote:No, omnipotence, just

Quote:
No, omnipotence, just like I wrote. It's impossible to displease an omnipotent creature

You could be a little more explicit than that, surely?

For example:

1. God is omnipotent

2. God is omniscient

3. God is omnibenevolent

4. Sin exists

     a) Omnipotent things have unlimited power

     b) Omniscient things know everything possible

     c) An omnibenevolent thing will forgive all sin

etc....

How do you figure an omnipotent thing cannot be offended? I think I read some other post of yours that said an omnipotent thing cannot have emotion or something. Is this what you are referring to?

 

EDIT: I just went and looked at other posts about the topic. I'm guessing its an "emotions are reactionary" type argument you are employing, correct?


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:Quote:No,

jumbo1410 wrote:

Quote:
No, omnipotence, just like I wrote. It's impossible to displease an omnipotent creature

You could be a little more explicit than that, surely?

For example:

1. God is omnipotent

2. God is omniscient

3. God is omnibenevolent

4. Sin exists

     a) Omnipotent things have unlimited power

     b) Omniscient things know everything possible

     c) An omnibenevolent thing will forgive all sin

etc....

No, I'm just talking about omnipotence. Let's stick with omnipotence. We're not talking about offense, either.

Let's make it simple: if there are two creatures in the universe, and one is omnipotent, and the other is less than omnipotent, who gets their way? The omnipotent creature, right?

That's what I'm saying. A creature that is omnipotent is ALWAYS getting its way. Always. There is never a time when that omnipotent creature is not getting its way, because omnipotence is power over everything at all times.

So ... how would that creature not get its way? That situation cannot happen. Therefore, there is no such thing as doing something that creature does not want you to do.

In fact, that creature cannot really "want" anything, since there's never a time when it doesn't have exactly what it wishes.

So IF God is omnipotent, then there is no point at which God is not getting what God wants. This has nothing to do with omni-benevolence, and omniscience is implied by omnipotence.

It's not an argument from evil.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:HisWillness

QED wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Again, I'm not sure where you got any of this. When we understand things, we use our brains. God doesn't have a brain like we do (ours would absorb and reflect photons). God has a God-brain. We'd have to say, then, that God has God-morals and is God-rational, because God is not rational like we are, nor moral like we are.

So no, God is not moral, and God is not rational. Those things are what humans do. God must, by the properties described, be doing something else, in the context that God does not interact with photons.

I get this from thinking about it.  But it is begging the question to suggest that a brain is necessary for rationality.  We only know this for physical beings.  Rationality is rationality and does not depend upon a brain.  The brain is merely the instrument that allows us to be rational.  It would be a mistake to define rationality and morality as things humans do.  Rather, they are things in which humans participate.

Really, I think you are concluding way too much from the fact that God is not "visible".

"I get this from thinking about it." is not an an answer - of course you "thought about it". A real response would reference what evidence, observations, concepts, arguments, you based your conclusion on.

We only have knowledge and experience of rational thought as something that occurs in physical objects with certain forms of very complex structure with complex interactions between their constituent elements, such as neurons.

The idea that a formless non-material entity (whatever that may mean) could do something like this is completely unsupported by experience and investigation. It is pure speculation, without foundation.

Morality is a category of ideas which thinking agents use in judging actual or possible actions, derived from a combination of instinct and learned rules, IOW just a sub-category of thought within the mind of a conscious agent.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


jumbo1410
Theist
Posts: 166
Joined: 2009-07-25
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Let's make it simple:

Quote:
Let's make it simple: if there are two creatures in the universe, and one is omnipotent, and the other is less than omnipotent, who gets their way? The omnipotent creature, right?

"Getting their way" is a poor way of putting it. For example, say the omnipotent being's "wants" are for the lesser being to have free will. Presumably then, the lesser being now has the will to do whatever it wants, which may contradict what the omnipotent being "wants."

Quote:
That's what I'm saying. A creature that is omnipotent is ALWAYS getting its way. Always. There is never a time when that omnipotent creature is not getting its way, because omnipotence is power over everything at all times..

I don't think the omnipotent being "ALWAYS" gets what it wants, even if it has the means to do so, but that does not mean a limit to omnipotence. You are assuming that having omnipotence means acting omnipotent.

Quote:
IF God is omnipotent, then there is no point at which God is not getting what God wants. This has nothing to do with omni-benevolence, and omniscience is implied by omnipotence.

Omnibenevolence is an inevitable sub-argument in this scenario. If an omnibenevolent being is committed to doing all good things possible, then that being is comitted to giving a lesser being the ability to choose between options, some of which may contradict the OOO being's OOO. Sure, it has the power to take it back (or judge someone for future events) but that would be a very bad thing, and hence contradict it's omnibenevolence. It gets even more complex when you think in terms of absolutes. An inferior being's life may be wholly bad, and God's omniscience would dictate that that being should never exist. However, if that being has children that are going to produce a whole geneaology of good people, then what should God's action be?

This is why a thorough understanding of Plantinga is necessary. Plantinga logically sets out what an OOO being can and cannot do, in terms of contradictions. Had you have read Plantinga, you would know this already.

 

I think you have built a straw man factory.


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
jumbo1410 wrote:I don't

jumbo1410 wrote:
I don't think the omnipotent being "ALWAYS" gets what it wants, even if it has the means to do so, but that does not mean a limit to omnipotence. You are assuming that having omnipotence means acting omnipotent.

"Acting" omnipotent? What are you talking about? If omnipotence is unlimited, then it's unlimited. An omnipotent creature could suffer no moment of want (ie lacking something).

Since this is getting into crazy town, where contradiction is no issue, we can just stop. You already have an emotionally anthropomorphic invisible creature with all power, so ...

jumbo1410 wrote:
Omnibenevolence is an inevitable sub-argument in this scenario.

Why? How does omnibenevolence follow omnipotence? Not that either concept makes any sense at all, but omnibenevolence just means "standard for good", so since your being IS, apparently your standard for good, OF COURSE it's omnibenevolent! That's circular. Again.

jumbo1410 wrote:
This is why a thorough understanding of Plantinga is necessary. Plantinga logically sets out what an OOO being can and cannot do, in terms of contradictions. Had you have read Plantinga, you would know this already.

I read it, I just think it's nonsense. Congratulations to Plantinga for making the rules for the rule maker.

jumbo1410 wrote:
I think you have built a straw man factory.

It would be a lot easier for me to avoid a straw man if your ideas were clear. You present an ever-moving target, and then accuse me of creating a straw-man! It's funny, I'll admit it, but it's not a strong argument.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Fascinating? So an

Fascinating!! So an omnipotent being can decide that he will, at will, refrain from opposing the will of another being. His will is that this other being be allowed to act against his (the omnipotent being's) will....

So if at the same time, the other being's will is to submit to the Omni-being's will...

This whole subject is just semantic play - the concept of will, let alone 'free will', is such an all but meaningless abstraction. You can construct all sorts of arguments and 'definitions' which appear to be logically constructed, legitimate nouns, verbs and adjectives strung together, but until you start trying to apply them, and come up with these convoluted, circular, or spiral arguments, you can't be sure they actually are workable. It is then you reveal the consequences of the hidden assumptions or flaws in the concepts being applied, such as the omni attributes themselves.

Throw it in the dustbin with the rest of misconceived medieval philosophy, and any other 'thinkers' who take the whole omni- attributes crap seriously.

Seriously, better to speak of desires, preferences, likes and dislikes, wishes, etc.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


QED
QED's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2009-08-11
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

That's a big "if", so I guess I'll have to take you at your word ... which is the problem.

I am not asking you to take my word for it.  I understand that you would be skeptical.

Quote:

I see. It's difficult for me to balance that with scientific rigour.

That is fair, but I don't believe that science is the sole source of knowledge.  This is not to say that science is irrelevant and has nothing to say concerning ultimate reality.  It is, however, limited and cannot, IMO, be our only resource.

Quote:

Here, you're really stretching the applicability of knowledge. If your idea is that we can trust any information our brains process entirely (things like "I think about this, so it must be true" ) it opens a very large can of worms. On the other hand, if you start from available information, you have things like brain damage to the left hemisphere eliminating the ability to be rational. That means that not only do we need a brain to be rational, we specifically need the left hemisphere to function to be rational.

Oh, I would never hold to so audacious and illogical a claim as "I think about this, so it must be true"!  You are right that we need our brains (and specifically the left hemisphere) to be rational.  But rationality is still rationality even if there are no brains.  If you think rationality is simply a matter of proper function, then how would you know who's brain is functioning more properly: the atheist or the theist?

Quote:

Okay, that's fine. I was talking about human behaviour, and of course we need a social context for morality and rationality.

Respectfully, I question the accuracy of this statement.  If there are moral facts, then social context is only needed for morality and rationality to be instantiated.  What is in fact moral and what is in fact rational does not change, even in the absence of social context.

Quote:

Well, no. If God is immeasurable, then God is made of completely different stuff than we are. The way in which God does things cannot be the way that we do things, and thus, God's morality is different than ours, because we use a brain to perform moral thinking. To what degree God's moral thinking is different, we can't know, if God is immeasurable.

What do you mean by "immeasurable"?

In light of my above comments, the "stuff" out of which something is made is irrelevant to whether or not it can be rational or moral.  The only question is whether a being is capable of participating in morality and rationality.  The means by which a being participates in morality or rationality is of no concern.

Quote:

Actually, it was a guess. Go ahead, tell me why God's actions are always good.

The answer to this question depends on who you ask.  IMO, God's actions are always good by definition.  IOW, I take the concept of God to include moral perfection.  Thus, if any being, no matter how powerful exists, but is not morally perfect, then I would not attribute the title 'God' to such a being.

Quote:

If your information about God is coming from the Bible, and the Bible is a bit spotty about its information, that's circular.

Do I believe that the Bible yields information about God?  Yes.  Would I appeal to the Bible to prove such information? No (at least not directly).

Quote:

Here we are again, where you seem to know the important parts of God's message, and I'm left wondering how you know that. The factual parts seem unimportant to the message, so which parts are?

I would not claim to be absolutely right in my understanding of... well, just about anything.  But I think time, reflection, reasoning and proper criticism can lead one down the right road at least.  The bible, however, appears to be incredibly accurate if looked at in the proper light.  True, there are errors, which can be attributed to scribal error or copying error, etc. but I believe that if one can truly get a handle on the purpose for the writing and the context in which it was written, then it really does emerge as a remarkable work.

 

Quote:

That implies your exhaustive knowledge of past and future, which I assume you don't have.

You assume correctly.  I have no such knowledge.  But consider, for the sake of argument, that God is real and wants to communicate to mankind a message.  If God waits too long, then a vast amount of people never get to hear it.  And even if God waited for a longer period of time, generations from now would most likely accrue the same level of skepticism that you possess.  The problem is simply inherent to finite beings with finite language and communication and seems to be independent of time or place.


Nordmann
atheist
Nordmann's picture
Posts: 904
Joined: 2008-04-02
User is offlineOffline
Nusquam Erat Demonstrandum

Nusquam Erat Demonstrandum wrote:

If God waits too long, then a vast amount of people never get to hear it.

 

Gratifying to hear that even omnipotent entities have take waiting into consideration sometimes. I'll be checking out my fellow rain-sodden commuters at the 37 bus stop with a little more attentiveness from now on.

 

What is the opposite to skepticism according to you by the way? Believing any old shit? Shouldn't "realism" be in the mix somewhere?

 

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 4127
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:  Any form of

QED wrote:

 

 

Any form of communication requires interpretation on the part of the recipient, so I don't see how that is a valid objection.

      It is a valid objection as well as being an obvious one.  Why would difficulties regarding human comprehension be a problem for a God who allegedly designed the human mind ?  I mean really, in spite of his divine intellect and his vast creative resources, God was unable to work out a satisfactory solution to overcome such a banal obstacle ? 

     Apparently God, despite having every advantage that being OMNI  confers, hits a creative wall if he is confronted with iron chariots ( Judges 1:19 ) or beings that have limited intellects.

  

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:HisWillness

QED wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

That's a big "if", so I guess I'll have to take you at your word ... which is the problem.

I am not asking you to take my word for it.  I understand that you would be skeptical.

Quote:

I see. It's difficult for me to balance that with scientific rigour.

That is fair, but I don't believe that science is the sole source of knowledge.  This is not to say that science is irrelevant and has nothing to say concerning ultimate reality.  It is, however, limited and cannot, IMO, be our only resource.

But it is the only approach to knowledge which has a rigorous process for assessing the reliability of the ideas and models of reality that it constructs. That is its essence, awareness of the fallibility of the human mind and its perceptions, and subjecting all hypotheses to as impartial and objective a testing process as can be devised. Also an explicit rejection of any form of "argument from authority". 

Quote:

Quote:

Okay, that's fine. I was talking about human behaviour, and of course we need a social context for morality and rationality.

Respectfully, I question the accuracy of this statement.  If there are moral facts, then social context is only needed for morality and rationality to be instantiated.  What is in fact moral and what is in fact rational does not change, even in the absence of social context.

There is no way to establish such absolute moral facts. It is an empty concept.

Quote:

Quote:

That implies your exhaustive knowledge of past and future, which I assume you don't have.

You assume correctly.  I have no such knowledge.  But consider, for the sake of argument, that God is real and wants to communicate to mankind a message.  If God waits too long, then a vast amount of people never get to hear it.  And even if God waited for a longer period of time, generations from now would most likely accrue the same level of skepticism that you possess.  The problem is simply inherent to finite beings with finite language and communication and seems to be independent of time or place.

Why can God not repeat his message whenever the memories fade and the message gets scrambled? The problem then disappears. Such a being certainly should know that it is inevitable that mere mortals, even with the best will in the world, will eventually lose things, misinterpret, and progressively drift away from any path. Languages drift, so the meaning of ancient texts will inevitable become ambiguous, even if the authors took great care originally.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 4127
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is offlineOffline
QED wrote:    For

QED wrote:

 

   For instance, to say that God is omnipotent means that God can do whatever is actually possible to do.  It does not and cannot mean that God can do what is logically impossible.  Thus, there are limits.  Is there some other way that such attributes are contradictory?  Because it is not at all clear to me how they are.

 

 

    Forgive me for interrupting the flow of the original theme regarding BBT with a mundane biblical perspective....just a theological consideration in respect to the above statement that God cannot do what is logically impossible.  

  A major doctrine of orthodox Christianity asserts that the incarnate Jesus was fully man and fully God.  That would be impossible, a blending of attributes perhaps, but in no sense could Jesus be fully ( ie, totally, exclusively ) God while being simultaneously fully ( totally, completely ) human.   These are mutually exclusive conditions and could not exist within a single being.  It is not logically possible.

   You and I are examples of what it means to be fully human.  That entails an existence which is defined by very pronounced limitations regarding every aspect of our being.  God's attributes are the complete antithesis of the human condition. The moment a human being possesses Divine attributes he has ceased to fully human.

   It would be just as logical to say that a person could physically be both fully and completely male and at the same time be fully and completely female.  It is not possible, logically or otherwise.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.