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Aaron Guthrie
27-02-2008, 05:05 AM
http://www.conservapedia.com/Diagonalization

"However, diagonalization argues that no greatest idea can exist: quite bluntly, God is infinite, therefore He can be diagonalized to produce an even greater infinite.[2] This seeming disproof of the existence of God has cast doubt on the validity of Cantor's diagonalization."
:eek:
"In particular, it provides yet another counterintuitive conclusion from the dubious Axiom of Choice."
Another conclusion that has been had from the axiom of choice is that God exists! (See Meyer, "God exists!", 1987)

Rincewind
27-02-2008, 01:03 PM
http://www.conservapedia.com/Diagonalization

"However, diagonalization argues that no greatest idea can exist: quite bluntly, God is infinite, therefore He can be diagonalized to produce an even greater infinite.[2] This seeming disproof of the existence of God has cast doubt on the validity of Cantor's diagonalization."
:eek:

I haven't seen Cantor dragged into this debate before but I guess when you are going to talk about infinity and pretend you understand the concept I guess it makes sense. I would have issues with any using the expression "even greater infinite" without some caveats or definition of what they mean by "greater".

Aaron Guthrie
27-02-2008, 02:59 PM
I haven't seen Cantor dragged into this debate before but I guess when you are going to talk about infinity and pretend you understand the concept I guess it makes sense. I would have issues with any using the expression "even greater infinite" without some caveats or definition of what they mean by "greater".I have come across the point before, I was eeking the methadology in this case (this argument disproves God, thus the argument must be wrong). Also I didn't make it clear from that post, but those two sentences are conjoined-
"However, diagonalization argues that no greatest idea can exist: quite bluntly, God is infinite, therefore He can be diagonalized to produce an even greater infinite.[2] This seeming disproof of the existence of God has cast doubt on the validity of Cantor's diagonalization. In particular, it provides yet another counterintuitive conclusion from the dubious Axiom of Choice."
And I didn't know diagonalization relied on the axiom of choice.

Igor_Goldenberg
27-02-2008, 03:39 PM
And I didn't know diagonalization relied on the axiom of choice.
And I still do not understand how diagonalization disproves God

Aaron Guthrie
27-02-2008, 05:25 PM
And I still do not understand how diagonalization disproves GodThe idea is (something like) that God is the greatest thing that can be, but there can be no greatest thing, hence, there can be no God. Of course as Rincewind points out one needs to define greatest thing and such, but this is the gist of it.

Aaron Guthrie
27-02-2008, 05:27 PM
And I didn't know diagonalization relied on the axiom of choice.And I am pretty sure it doesn't, as if it did then there would be a pretty simple soultion to Godel's incompleteness theorem(s).

Capablanca-Fan
27-02-2008, 05:44 PM
The idea is (something like) that God is the greatest thing that can be, but there can be no greatest thing, hence, there can be no God. .
Anselm's ontological argument used a negative formulation rather than a positive one that would be vulnerable: God is that than which no greater can be conceived.

Cantor was a devout Christian.

Aaron Guthrie
27-02-2008, 05:59 PM
Anselm's ontological argument used a negative formulation rather than a positive one that would be vulnerable: God is that than which no greater can be conceived.How is that any better? For all x something greater can be conceived, thus there is no x such that no greater can be conceived.

To simplify things, forget God and think of sets. Is there any set, call it G, such that no set can be concieved that has a greater cardinality? No, there is always the power set of G.

I think the two "x is the greatest" and "nothing is greater than x" really are just equivalent if there is any ordering of greatness.

Capablanca-Fan
27-02-2008, 06:18 PM
How is that any better? For all x something greater can be conceived, thus there is no x such that no greater can be conceived.
Much better. Defining God as the greatest conceivable being would not have been a good basis for Anselm's ontological argument.

Aaron Guthrie
27-02-2008, 06:21 PM
Much better. Defining God as the greatest conceivable being would not have been a good basis for Anselm's ontological argument.How is it any better at avoiding the argument which we were talking about?

Igor_Goldenberg
27-02-2008, 06:56 PM
The idea is (something like) that God is the greatest thing that can be, but there can be no greatest thing, hence, there can be no God. Of course as Rincewind points out one needs to define greatest thing and such, but this is the gist of it.
Cantor merely proved special case of the theorem that set of all subsets has a greater power then the set itself.
Godel's incompleteness theorem is a more general case. If I remember correctly, one of interpretation is that no system is complete as you can find an operation leading to a bigger system. The bigger system contains this operation, but has another one, that leads to an even bigger system, and so on.
(subtraction on a natural set leads to a whole numbers set, division to a set of rational number, taking root to set of algebraic numbers and so on).
However, another view is that at the end you reach a complete system which is God. Mathematically speaking, the God is the limit of expanding system which is complete.
Don't take it seriously, but it's an interesting way of viewing things.

I remember a highly respected professor of mathematics says:
"thanks God for making world in agreement with Pythagoras theorem, otherwise the whole mathematics wouldn't have a leg to stand on".

Igor_Goldenberg
27-02-2008, 07:05 PM
There is a famous question which is ought to prove that God is not almighty:
"Can God create a stone he cannot lift himself".
When I asked a colleague of mine who is religiously observant that question, his answer was: "Definitely". I asked:
- but what God not being able to lift it himself?
- then it must've been his intention

Capablanca-Fan
27-02-2008, 07:09 PM
There is a famous question which is ought to prove that God is not almighty:
"Can God create a stone he cannot lift himself".
When I asked a colleague of mine who is religiously observant that question, his answer was: "Definitely". I asked:
- but what God not being able to lift it himself?
- then it must've been his intention
I answered that in If God can do anything, then can He make a being more powerful than Himself? What does God’s omnipotence really mean? (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5566/) It falls under the fallacy of contradictory premises.

Aaron Guthrie
27-02-2008, 07:12 PM
I don't see much force in the stone lifting argument. If God qua God ought be able to do the logically impossible, well, let him. And if allowing the logically impossible is such a big problem for you, why do you care that God cannot do such?

Igor_Goldenberg
27-02-2008, 07:44 PM
I don't see much force in the stone lifting argument. If God qua God ought be able to do the logically impossible, well, let him. And if allowing the logically impossible is such a big problem for you, why do you care that God cannot do such?
I don't see much force in this argument either. However, it is an argument atheists like and it has something in common with diagonalization.

Igor_Goldenberg
27-02-2008, 07:47 PM
If God can do anything, then can He make a being more powerful than Himself? What does God’s omnipotence really mean? (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5566/)

Makes sense.

Aaron Guthrie
27-02-2008, 08:56 PM
I don't see much force in this argument either. However, it is an argument atheists like and it has something in common with diagonalization.What does it have in common?

Igor_Goldenberg
27-02-2008, 09:06 PM
What does it have in common?
Constructing an example out of the possible set of subsets

Aaron Guthrie
27-02-2008, 09:12 PM
I answered that in If God can do anything, then can He make a being more powerful than Himself? What does God’s omnipotence really mean? (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5566/)I was going to add to my post that the question to ask those that ask God do the logically impossible is "draw me a picture of what you are asking him to do". Then I saw that in your article have such a picture!

Anyway the point is that to give an account of logical impossibility probably involves saying stuff like "it is just the meaning of negation that a proposition and its negation cannot obtain", in which case it is legitimate to ask just what they suppose they are asserting when they say that God cannot perform any particular contradiction. What is it that God cannot do?

Aaron Guthrie
27-02-2008, 09:13 PM
Constructing an example out of the possible set of subsetsHuh?
edit-Because I can't make much sense of your comment, I can't say much more on it. I can however say that I don't see how the rock lifting argument uses sets.

Aaron Guthrie
28-02-2008, 12:27 PM
It falls under the fallacy of contradictory premises.This is my first meeting with this term. How is the rock argument not a case of RAA?

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2008, 01:38 PM
This is my first meeting with this term.
From Logical Fallacies in Scientific Writing (http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~cristian/i2rcs/i2rcs_docs/logic.htm)


Contradictory Premises A conclusion which is drawn from premises which cannot both be true at the same time is the fallacy of contradictory premises. "'What would happen if an irresistible force met an immovable object?' (One student's answer: 'An inconceivable smash!')"

From Greg Wright's page (http://www.gregwright.info/subpage42.html), (Adapted from Sahakian and Sahakian’s Ideas of the Great Philosophers)


Contradictory Premises: Self-Contradictions are necessarily false; consequently, when an argument contains premises which contradict each other, no conclusion is possible. Any conclusion would involve the fallacy of contradictory premises, a self-contradiction. When contradictory premises are present in an argument, one premise cancels out the other. It is possible for one or the other of the two premises to be true, but not for both to be simultaneously true. For example, "If God is all-powerful, can he make a stone so heavy that he cannot lift it?" "What would happened if an irresistible force met an immovable object?"


How is the rock argument not a case of RAA?
What is RAA? I agree with you that omnipotence does not mean the power to do a nothing.

Aaron Guthrie
28-02-2008, 02:14 PM
What is RAA?Reductio ad absurdum. Assume a proposition, prove that it entails a contradiction, from this conclude that the negation of the assumption is true.

To me it seems that the rock argument is (close enough to) this-

Assume God can make a stone too heavy for him to lift
He can't lift it (by assumption)
He can lift it (he can do all)
Contradiction, thus ~(God can make a stone too heavy for him to lift)

Then from here the arguer tries to show that such a God would not really be a God at all.

Now if the argument really did contain a contradiction in a non RAA form it should be possible to prove such, as if it did, every proposition could be validly deduced from it.
I agree with you that omnipotence does not mean the power to do a nothing.That is not how I put it.

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2008, 02:33 PM
Reductio ad absurdum. Assume a proposition, prove that it entails a contradiction, from this conclude that the negation of the assumption is true.
It seems to be the other way round, with the contradiction in the premise,
God cannot make a rock too heavy for him to lift, therefore God is not all powerful.

The premise contains the self contradiction of a rock too heavy for an omnipotent being.


Now if the argument really did contain a contradiction in a non RAA form it should be possible to prove such, as if it did, every proposition could be validly deduced from it.
That's a point I made:"


an argument with a false premise can tell us nothing about the truth or falsity of a conclusion


That is not how I put it.
I know, but it was similar to your challenge to draw what the person wanted God to be able to do.

Aaron Guthrie
28-02-2008, 03:12 PM
It seems to be the other way round, with the contradiction in the premise,Surely not asserted as true. For example ~(p.~p) is not a dangerous premise.

God cannot make a rock too heavy for him to lift, therefore God is not all powerful."God cannot make a rock too heavy for him to lift" is not asserting a contradiction! This is simply asserting that God cannot make contradictions obtain. ~(G->possibly (p.~p)
That's a point I made:"


an argument with a false premise can tell us nothing about the truth or falsity of a conclusionMy point is simple (and strong), if the argument asserted a contradiction, you can prove any proposition you like from the argument. So if it really does assert a contradiction then show such by proving an arbitrary proposition.

Aaron Guthrie
28-02-2008, 03:15 PM
I request a change to the thread title "You know you're a lifty if ...".

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2008, 03:32 PM
"God cannot make a rock too heavy for him to lift" is not asserting a contradiction! This is simply asserting that God cannot make contradictions obtain. ~(G->possibly (p.~p)
A rock too heavy for an omnipotent being is a contradiction in terms.

Aaron Guthrie
28-02-2008, 03:39 PM
A rock too heavy for an omnipotent being is a contradiction in terms.So it is now a contridiction in terms which is in the premise. Can you explain what the difference between a contradiction and a contradiction in terms is, and why this matters in this instance.

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2008, 03:41 PM
So it is now a contridiction in terms which is in the premise. Can you explain what the difference between a contradiction and a contradiction in terms is, and why this matters in this instance.
Not sure what you're asking. The premise involves a contradiction.

Aaron Guthrie
28-02-2008, 03:52 PM
Not sure what you're asking. The premise involves a contradiction.I am asking what relevance the distinction between contradiction and contradiction in terms is, since all you did with your reply was make such a distinction.

Anyway, again, the premise doesn't assert a contradiction. This means the objection against the contradiction being in the premises is not a good one.

~(G->possibly(p.~p)) contains a contradiction (in a sense anyway), and is a good translation of the premise. But it does not assert a contradiction. It is a perfectly good proposition, it is not necessarily false.

Compare the assertion of a contradiction (p.~p), which on the recieved view is necessarily false. From this you can deduce anything whatsoever, e.g. "Aaron has no water bottle in front of him". Proof-
1) p.~p
2) p (from 1)
3) p v Aaron has no water bottle in front of him (from 2)
4) ~p (from 1)
5) Aaron has no water bottle in front of him (3,4 by disjunctive sylogism)

Garrett
28-02-2008, 05:20 PM
The 'rock being to heavy to lift' is a stupid word game.

increase the size of the rock and it will collapse on itself and form a black hole.

Cheers
George.

Aaron Guthrie
28-02-2008, 08:17 PM
The 'rock being to heavy to lift' is a stupid word game.The "The 'rock being to heavy to lift' is a stupid word game." comment is contentless rhetoric.
increase the size of the rock and it will collapse on itself and form a black hole.So God cannot possibly do anything that is against the laws of physics? If so A) he could not create such a rock, but now for contingent reasons B) he could not do anything against the laws of physics. Thus on your account there are contingently possible things that God cannot do.

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2008, 08:35 PM
The "The 'rock being to heavy to lift' is a stupid word game." comment is contentless rhetoric.
You've changed your tune then, now trying to defend this village atheist argument.


So God cannot possibly do anything that is against the laws of physics?
It's against the laws of logic: a rock too heavy for an all-powerful being to lift is as self-contradictory as a male mother or married bachelor or square circle.


If so A) he could not create such a rock, but now for contingent reasons B) he could not do anything against the laws of physics. Thus on your account there are contingently possible things that God cannot do.
More likely, Garrett was treating it as the joke it is.

Aaron Guthrie
28-02-2008, 08:42 PM
You've changed your tune then, now trying to defend this village atheist argument.The comment was mere assertion, and assertion of stupidity no less. Regardless of if the argument is stupid or not, my comment would still be reasonable and true! Also, that I think it is not a good argument does not entail that I should think it is stupid. Thus your assertion is utter nonsense.
It's against the laws of logic: a rock too heavy for an all-powerful being to lift is as self-contradictory as a male mother or married bachelor or square circle.I was responding to Garrett's assertion. That it may also be against the laws of logic is of course not relevant.
More likely, Garrett was treating it as the joke it is.If he was making a joke, good. Of course I ought note that your comment of the argument being a joke is just rhetoric.

Also, why not respond to the posts I have made in response to you?

Rincewind
28-02-2008, 09:02 PM
It's against the laws of logic: a rock too heavy for an all-powerful being to lift is as self-contradictory as a male mother or married bachelor or square circle.

I think logically the two are quite different. Your latter two examples are just things which are inconsistent with the definition oof a single object. However the god-rock paradox involves two entities. The rock and the god.

For example, is it logically impossible for there to exist two omnipotent gods? If not, you have a logical paradox regarding any act in which they compete. For example, who wins when two omnipotent gods sit down and play a game of chess that they both want to win? Or better still who wins a coin toss between two omnipotent gods?

(PS Please note, I know Xians generally don't believe that more than one omnipotent god exists, however that should be distinguished from saying that the existence of two gods is logically impossible).

Aaron Guthrie
28-02-2008, 09:15 PM
I think logically the two are quite different. Your latter two examples are just things which are inconsistent with the definition oof a single object. However the god-rock paradox involves two entities. The rock and the god.This is reasonable, but I am not sure it doesn't come down to the same thing. Namely that Fa, and ~Fa. The square circle is an figure which has the property of being a square, but also the property of not being a square. With a couple of premises you get the rock having the property of being too heavy, and also the property of not being too heavy. I say this rather tentatively, though.

On the other hand the liar paradox for example is a problem specifically because it is self contained. I don't have much to say on the in-between contradiction (if there is such a thing). So skipping to the two thing contradiction and it is worth noting that it is very simple to resolve- don't put the two together.

Currently to me it seems that the two thing production of a contradiction at least gets you to the square circle type contradiction in the end, even if it is in some way to be distinguished from it. Again I say all this tentatively.

Aaron Guthrie
28-02-2008, 09:19 PM
Also Jono, before you get side-tracked again, can you tell me why mere mention of a contradiction makes the argument fallacious.

And here is another proof that it doesn't- if it did, then you couldn't make such a claim non-fallaciously, for you would have to mention a contradiction yourself!

Adamski
28-02-2008, 09:33 PM
Mangafranga, I have no doubt that Jono will answer your questions - but it will probably be after 11.00pm Queensland time!

Desmond
28-02-2008, 10:34 PM
"'What would happen if an irresistible force met an immovable object?' (One student's answer: 'An inconceivable smash!'Given that an irresistible force is time, an immovable object is space, the answer is everything.

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2008, 10:43 PM
Also Jono, before you get side-tracked again, can you tell me why mere mention of a contradiction makes the argument fallacious.
What part of fallacy of contradictory premises don't you understand, as opposed to the above straw man?

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2008, 10:44 PM
Mangafranga, I have no doubt that Jono will answer your questions - but it will probably be after 11.00pm Queensland time!
Not that I have any obligation to answer someone being argumentative for its own sake. I've covered the bases already in If God can do anything, then can He make a being more powerful than Himself? (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5566/)

Adamski
28-02-2008, 11:04 PM
I've covered the bases already in If God can do anything, then can He make a being more powerful than Himself? (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5566/)Which contains an excellent reply by Jono to the question posed therein. As he says, much of the content has been discussed earlier in this thread.

Garrett
29-02-2008, 07:49 AM
If God fiddled with the laws of physics and created a rock the size of the universe that contained it then what would be exerting gravity upon it which would need it to be 'lifted'?

Perhaps the rock could be moved by shifting the universe that contains it ?

Futhermore - why would God need to lift anything ? If I was a god and wanted a rock moved from 'A' to 'B' then I would simply un-create it at point 'A', and re-create it at point 'B'. I wouldn't see the need to waste time lifting anything when there are so many mortal women around to have sex with (pagan !!).

Furthermore - for every really really heavy rock around there is usually a heavier planet which it is sitting on which would be a greater test of God's power.

I am guessing that if nursery riddles were sufficient to disprove the notion of god then people like Richard Dawkins wouldn't see the need to write several books on the subject.

Garrett

TheJoker
29-02-2008, 08:32 AM
Just a quick question for Jono. Does the bible actually state or imply that the christian god is omnipotent?

The actual argument seems to be whether omnipotence is a logical impossibility.

What does it matter if a "god" is not omnipotent or not, if we assume he/she is vastly powerful and can do 'almost' anything?

Capablanca-Fan
29-02-2008, 09:56 AM
Just a quick question for Jono. Does the bible actually state or imply that the christian god is omnipotent?
Yes, e.g. "The Lord God Almighty" in 2 Corinthians 6:18; "almighty" in the Greek is Παντοκράτωρ (Pantokratōr) = “Universal Ruler”. And Jesus said that for God, all things are possible (Mt 19:26).


The actual argument seems to be whether omnipotence is a logical impossibility.
It's not, as explained in my article. A logically contradictory state of affairs is not a "thing".


What does it matter if a "god" is not omnipotent or not, if we assume he/she is vastly powerful and can do 'almost' anything?
It matters greatly; a god who is not all powerful might be unable to keep his promises.

Capablanca-Fan
29-02-2008, 10:00 AM
If God fiddled with the laws of physics and created a rock the size of the universe that contained it then what would be exerting gravity upon it which would need it to be 'lifted'?

Perhaps the rock could be moved by shifting the universe that contains it ?

Futhermore - why would God need to lift anything ? If I was a god and wanted a rock moved from 'A' to 'B' then I would simply un-create it at point 'A', and re-create it at point 'B'. I wouldn't see the need to waste time lifting anything when there are so many mortal women around to have sex with (pagan !!).

Furthermore - for every really really heavy rock around there is usually a heavier planet which it is sitting on which would be a greater test of God's power.

I am guessing that if nursery riddles were sufficient to disprove the notion of god then people like Richard Dawkins wouldn't see the need to write several books on the subject.

Garrett
Good point.

Maybe the omnipotence posts could be tranferred to a new thread?

pax
29-02-2008, 10:24 AM
While we're doing nursery school arguments about God, how about this one:

A child, when told that God made something or other, replies "but who made God?"

Now this one is not a disproof of God, or anything like it. But it does point out that postulating a God creator does not provide a satisfactory solution to the question of why or how the universe exists. The God solution requires that you accept an a priori God that always existed. So just as the atheist might say the universe "just exists", the theist must also say that God "just exists".

Aaron Guthrie
29-02-2008, 01:51 PM
What part of fallacy of contradictory premises don't you understandI have showed exactly why the argument isn't in error as regards its mention of a contradiction. I have even given you a translation into logical form to demonstrate incontrovertibly that the premise is not faulty. If you have no actual argumentation to demonstrate that there is a real fallacy from its mention of contradiction, beside catagorizing it as (i.e. no response to my argument)-
It falls under the fallacy of contradictory premises.other than,
It seems to be the other way round, with the contradiction in the premise,
God cannot make a rock too heavy for him to lift, therefore God is not all powerful.

The premise contains the self contradiction of a rock too heavy for an omnipotent being.
A rock too heavy for an omnipotent being is a contradiction in terms.
Not sure what you're asking. The premise involves a contradiction.which is just an attempt to supporting the categorization that you made, rather than a response to my argument demonstrating why the premise is not faulty, then so be it.
, as opposed to the above straw man?If I have misrepresented your position, all apologies. But then if I have, could you please explain in what way I have misrepresented your position?

Aaron Guthrie
29-02-2008, 01:58 PM
Which contains an excellent reply by Jono to the question posed therein. As he says, much of the content has been discussed earlier in this thread.No it does not. If anything it provides more ammunition to demonstrate my point.
The argument of your son’s acquaintance is a type of the Fallacy of contradictory premises. In logic, a contradiction is necessarily false, and an argument with a false premise can tell us nothing about the truth or falsity of a conclusion (see the fallacy of denying the antecedent in the paper Logic and Creation). This means that the sceptical argument cancels itself out right at the start.(Emphasis mine) But the premise provided by Jono (God cannot make a rock too heavy for him to lift) is not necessarily false, the premise is not a contradiction as I have shown quite clearly.

Igor_Goldenberg
29-02-2008, 02:12 PM
God created the universe that functions according to particular set of natural laws.
It does not mean that those law apply to God or outside the universe

Aaron Guthrie
29-02-2008, 02:35 PM
A child, when told that God made something or other, replies "but who made God?"

...

So just as the atheist might say the universe "just exists", the theist must also say that God "just exists".I thought the simple answer would be God made God.

Adamski
29-02-2008, 09:58 PM
I thought the simple answer would be God made God.No, Christians would not say that. The mainline Christian belief is that God is eternal - He always was and He always will be. At a point in time he created the universe. I would tell a child asking who made Him that nobody made Him as He has always existed.

Aaron Guthrie
29-02-2008, 10:06 PM
No, Christians would not say that.I didn't (and don't) assert that Christians would.
The mainline Christian belief is that God is eternal - He always was and He always will be. At a point in time he created the universe.Isn't this inconsistent with physics? It would at least seem to commit one to a meta-time beyond that of the physical universe.

Basil
29-02-2008, 10:10 PM
Isn't this inconsistent with physics? It would at least seem to commit one to a meta-time beyond that of the physical universe.
I'm way out of my depth here, but isn't physics (as far as we know here in the little_doofus_'ol 21 st century) somewhat limited compared to God's qualities/ parameters/ whatever the word is?

Aaron Guthrie
29-02-2008, 10:17 PM
I'm way out of my depth here, but isn't physics (as far as we know here in the little_doofus_'ol 21 st century) somewhat limited compared to God's qualities/ parameters/ whatever the word is?Yes but so? I didn't propose that my comment establishes that there is no God. Now of course just as one might argue that because (for example) young earth contradicts science, this is good reason to doubt a religion which asserts such, one might also argue that this is an inconsistency which gives rise to doubt for whatever religion that is committed to it. But I so far have not made any such assertion, I have so far only questioned if there is such an inconsistency. And for the interested, I actually have no interest in making such a case.

pax
29-02-2008, 10:19 PM
Isn't this inconsistent with physics? It would at least seem to commit one to a meta-time beyond that of the physical universe.
The bible literalists would have you believe the entire universe is 6000 years old, so infinite time is the least of their worries as far as physics is concerned.

Aaron Guthrie
29-02-2008, 10:21 PM
The bible literalists would have you believe the entire universe is 6000 years old, so infinite time is the least of their worries as far as physics is concerned.As I have just said, I am not actually concerned with such, but in any case Jono2 talked of the "mainline Christian belief".

Basil
29-02-2008, 10:44 PM
Yes but so? I didn't propose that my comment establishes that there is no God.
And I didn't suggest you did.

I was wondering about the your suggested "inconsistency with physics comment" by my suggestion that physics in the 21st century is in no shape to be measured against an omnipotent being. Just expanding on what I meant, physics in the 31st century may understand all sorts of properties that appear impossible and nonsensical today.

Miguel
29-02-2008, 10:45 PM
The bible literalists would have you believe the entire universe is 6000 years old...
Not necessarily (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Answers_in_Creation).

Aaron Guthrie
29-02-2008, 11:06 PM
I was wondering about the your suggested "inconsistency with physics comment" by my suggestion that physics in the 21st century is in no shape to be measured against an omnipotent being.I am not sure what you mean.

Regardless though, I am only interested in if there is an inconsistency. What you make of that inconsistency (that God wins out, that physics wins out, that our notion of Gods existence is wrong, that our physics needs to be tweaked on the time front, whatever) is a different question.
Just expanding on what I meant, physics in the 31st century may understand all sorts of properties that appear impossible and nonsensical today.31st century theology may also be in better shape, but I am still not sure of the relevance.

Rincewind
01-03-2008, 12:18 AM
Which contains an excellent reply by Jono to the question posed therein. As he says, much of the content has been discussed earlier in this thread.

It does not answer the question...

Can god create a being as powerful as himself?

Surely a being as powerful as god is not a logical impossibility for those who believe in the existence of god in the first place accept that at least one such being already exists.

So if the first god (G1) creates a second god (G2), what happens if G2 tries to do something using his omnipotence which G1 tries to prevent? Someone must win to a certain extent in which case the other is not omnipotent.

The point is if you have a system which allows the property of omnipotence then to maintain consistency, you can only assign omnipotence to one being in that system. If you accept this, then the omnipotence of god (G1) is limited to the extent that he cannot assign omnipotence (something we can agree as being a part of the system) to another being (G2) without giving it up himself. Therefore god's (G1 or 2) omnipotence is limited in extent by nature of such a system.

Of course you could say, "to hell with consistency".

Garrett
01-03-2008, 06:13 AM
the words 'infinite' and 'omnipotence' seem to get bandied around here a lot.

Try to imagine a square of infinite size.

I just tried. I saw a line which I assumed must be an edge. I even thought I saw a corner. As soon as I saw a second corner I knew I was screwed, this imaginary square was no longer of 'infinite' dimensions.

End result is I do not even know for sure if this imaginary object is even a square at all as I only ever can imagine at most one corner.

I will stop raving now and go get caffeinated before I strain myself. :wall:

Garrett.

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 06:41 AM
Try to imagine a square of infinite size.Easy. I can even draw a picture of it.

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 07:26 AM
Can god create a being as powerful as himself?Say omnipotence is defined as the ability to make any logically possible formula true.

If so then if creating a second God would mean it were possible that (p.~p), so God could not do such. (Because God1 would have the ability to make p true, and God2 the ability to make to make ~p true.)

Let us just consider if creating a second God doesn't entail such. In this case, if God1 wanted p, and God2 wanted ~p it seems neither can give way because for the other (then they would not be omnipotent). So then it would seem the law of excluded middle would fail (for neither p nor ~p could obtain), and God1 would actually lose power from such a creation.

So then let us consider if both Gods always wanted the same thing. In this case at least in respect of omnipotence, the Gods are indistinguishable, in which case it is unclear in what manner God1 is different from God2 (maybe it must be that God1=God2).

So God could not, at least the above implications of such are unacceptable, create a second God.
Surely a being as powerful as god is not a logical impossibility for those who believe in the existence of god in the first place accept that at least one such being already exists.I don't see why. Surely logical impossibility is not determined by peoples beliefs. If an omnipotent God could not create more Gods as powerful as he on pain of contradiction, then so be it. I see no contradiction inherent in there being such a God.
Of course you could say, "to hell with consistency".Or to hell with the possibility of a plurality of Gods.

Spiny Norman
01-03-2008, 08:26 AM
My answer to Rincewind's question "Can God make a being as powerful as Himself" would be to suggest that this is much the same as suggesting "Can God make Himself" ... to which I would answer "No". But anyway, my view is that if God is maximally powerful, then I cannot see how it is logically possible that another maximally powerful being could exist.

Changing tack, I am quite amazed at how God identifies Himself in the Hebrew scriptures. For example, when Moses complains about God sending him to Egypt to confront Pharaoh he asks "Who shall I say has sent me?" to which God replies "Tell them I AM has sent you".

I AM.

Not "I'm the God of the universe turkey, I created you" or "Don't be daft, my name's Michael, I'll fry everyone to a crisp if you don't do what I say".

I AM.

Simple, safe, reliable ... I AM ... there is no time when I wasn't, there is no time when I will not be any longer ... I AM ... self-contained, no further explanation necessary ... "Where did You come from?" ... "Who created You then?" ... "Can You make a rock so big you can't lift it up?"

I AM.

End of story.

I find that particularly convincing, when compared with accounts from other religions.

Spiny Norman
01-03-2008, 08:35 AM
Easy. I can even draw a picture of it.
Thanks Manga ... my kids had been asking me "How big is infinity" ... now I have a definitive answer: 1.8mm :owned:

Adamski
01-03-2008, 09:22 AM
My answer to Rincewind's question "Can God make a being as powerful as Himself" would be to suggest that this is much the same as suggesting "Can God make Himself" ... to which I would answer "No". But anyway, my view is that if God is maximally powerful, then I cannot see how it is logically possible that another maximally powerful being could exist.

Changing tack, I am quite amazed at how God identifies Himself in the Hebrew scriptures. For example, when Moses complains about God sending him to Egypt to confront Pharaoh he asks "Who shall I say has sent me?" to which God replies "Tell them I AM has sent you".

I AM.

Not "I'm the God of the universe turkey, I created you" or "Don't be daft, my name's Michael, I'll fry everyone to a crisp if you don't do what I say".

I AM.

Simple, safe, reliable ... I AM ... there is no time when I wasn't, there is no time when I will not be any longer ... I AM ... self-contained, no further explanation necessary ... "Where did You come from?" ... "Who created You then?" ... "Can You make a rock so big you can't lift it up?"

I AM.

End of story.

I find that particularly convincing, when compared with accounts from other religions.Totally agree, with you Spiny.

Adamski
01-03-2008, 10:55 AM
Isn't this inconsistent with physics? It would at least seem to commit one to a meta-time beyond that of the physical universe.Please enlighten me. Is there a contradiction with a generally accepted law of physics? (I did not study physics beyond the NZ equivalent of Year 10). iIf so, I would say that law is wrong (or at least, unproven). Yes, I believe there is more time than the time of the physical universe's existence, because God is eternal. I do not believe that the universe is eternal because there was a point (approx 6000 years ago) when God created it.

Rincewind
01-03-2008, 12:13 PM
Say omnipotence is defined as the ability to make any logically possible formula true.

Ok. But that demands that god can imping on the will of humans and theologically we are held to have free will. But that is another discussion. For now let say that god can ensure p is true regardless of p, provided it is consistent.


If so then if creating a second God would mean it were possible that (p.~p), so God could not do such. (Because God1 would have the ability to make p true, and God2 the ability to make to make ~p true.)

Exactly. But this is a limitation of the system and not something someone normally considers to be definitional of god.


Let us just consider if creating a second God doesn't entail such. In this case, if God1 wanted p, and God2 wanted ~p it seems neither can give way because for the other (then they would not be omnipotent). So then it would seem the law of excluded middle would fail (for neither p nor ~p could obtain), and God1 would actually lose power from such a creation.

Perhaps we need a system without the excluded middle.

Regarding losing power. This again comes to the question of free will. If god gave man free will, then didn't that creation diminish his omnipotence? Let's say p = "mf wills X", then gods ability to ensure the truth of p or ~p impinges on the free will of mf. Or conversely, mf's free will diminished the omnipotence of god. I'm sure there are theological arguments addressing this issue so perhaps the definition of god you give above needs modification.


So then let us consider if both Gods always wanted the same thing. In this case at least in respect of omnipotence, the Gods are indistinguishable, in which case it is unclear in what manner God1 is different from God2 (maybe it must be that God1=God2).

Yes two (or three) indistinguishable gods may as well be one god. This also raises the question as to whether god is good. But that too is another tangent.


I don't see why. Surely logical impossibility is not determined by peoples beliefs. If an omnipotent God could not create more Gods as powerful as he on pain of contradiction, then so be it. I see no contradiction inherent in there being such a God.

Not determined but at least believed. The point of this whole example is Jono's article cites easily demolished examples (a square circle, and the like). However, generally xians accept that one omnipotent being exists and therefore there is nothing impossible by definition in this example. You need to think about implications, and then the limitation is coming from the system you are operating in and not by definition.


Or to hell with the possibility of a plurality of Gods.

Yes one interpretation is that god cannot create a plurality of gods.

Rincewind
01-03-2008, 12:32 PM
Try to imagine a square of infinite size.

Hey George. I won't pretend that mathematics knows the nature of infinity. It was a matter of some debate and is probably still some disagreement. However, the lack of imagination in a 2-dimensional sense is not the same as saying infinity cannot be fathomed at all. Generally what is required is a formalisation which encapsulates the concept and then we know how to work within the formalisation. Consider the following.

f(x) = 1/x

That is f is a function of x which is defined as x raised to the power -1. Now we cannot write down a number for f(0). As this falls outside the usual set of numbers. However we can think about limits. That is we consider the behaviour of f(x) as x approaches 0. As we approach from below (ie x is negative) we say that f approaches negative infinity, as we approach from above (+ve x) then f approaches positive infinity.

This also demonstrates that in some sense -infinity and +infinity are very closely related, or you could even say adjacent. As x varies continuously say from -1 to 1 then f(x) passes through all numbers less than -1, all the way to -infinity and becomes back from +ve infinity through all the numbers greater than 1. Obviously some magic happens as x=0 (analytically we say f is discontinuous at zero) but we are able to think about the limit as x gets as close to 0 as we like.

If your interested in 2D geometry then this concept can be extended to as more dimensions. You might enjoy reading about a Riemann sphere (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riemann_sphere). Which extends the 1/x idea to the complex plane and you can think about the real and imaginary parts of z = x + iy, where x and y are your two spatial dimensions.

Rincewind
01-03-2008, 01:16 PM
My answer to Rincewind's question "Can God make a being as powerful as Himself" would be to suggest that this is much the same as suggesting "Can God make Himself" ... to which I would answer "No". But anyway, my view is that if God is maximally powerful, then I cannot see how it is logically possible that another maximally powerful being could exist.

I don't think the question is the same unless you consider the option that any omnipotent being would only be able to make identical omnipotent beings.

Regarding the bolded statement, what you agree then is that a limitation in the definition of omnipotent. God is not a logical impossibility, but a plurality of gods is logically impossible. This is a limitation of the system which we are placing god in and not something intrinsic in the definition of god.

Miguel
01-03-2008, 01:20 PM
I find that particularly convincing, when compared with accounts from other religions.
Precisely, with which accounts from other religions are you comparing Exodus 3 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%203%20;&version=31;)? (The Hindu God Brahman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman), for example, is also said to be eternal and omnipotent.)

Rincewind
01-03-2008, 01:21 PM
I do not believe that the universe is eternal because there was a point (approx 6000 years ago) when God created it.

Perhaps that is true but it has no intellectual basis.

Basil
01-03-2008, 02:00 PM
Perhaps that is true but it has no intellectual basis.
And if it is true, the lack of intellectual basis is irrelevant! :eek: (to the outcome, if not the 21st century discussion).

Spiny Norman
01-03-2008, 02:17 PM
I don't think the question is the same unless you consider the option that any omnipotent being would only be able to make identical omnipotent beings.
.. only being able to make identically omnipotent beings would, it seems to me, necessarily mean that the first omnipotent being is not in fact omnipotent after all ... i.e. I find the idea of two maximally powerful (omnipotent) beings contradictory .. but I am not certain that this is true ... and I haven't thought about it very hard.

Perhaps we're arguing over the definition of God. If your definition includes "God is the source of everything else that exists" then the existence of a 2nd maximally powerful being means that the 1st God made the 2nd God ... and since in my definition of God is that he isn't made by any other God ... well, we just go around in circles.

For me ... God "just is" and that's all that can really be said about that ...


Regarding the bolded statement, what you agree then is that a limitation in the definition of omnipotent. God is not a logical impossibility, but a plurality of gods is logically impossible. This is a limitation of the system which we are placing god in and not something intrinsic in the definition of god.
A plurality of maximally powerful Gods is logically impossible (for me anyway). To say otherwise would mean (for me) changing the definition of God in such a way that one or more of the other gods would not in fact be God at all.

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "the system we are placing god in" ... but if by that you mean that our attempts at logic/reason/perception constitute a system within which we try to apprehend the existence of God ... well, any system has limits, yes ... I often ponder that ... I spend quite a deal of time thinking about the fact that much of what I believe is wrong (i.e. will be shown at some future time to have been wrong) ... and I wonder how much of the religious framework I've adopted might turn out to be wrong.

Still ... 2nd-guessing doesn't get one very far ... so instead I'm gradually whittling down the number of things which I hold to be absolutely true. It used to be a long list. The older I get, the shorter the list gets. :)

Spiny Norman
01-03-2008, 02:19 PM
Precisely, with which accounts from other religions are you comparing Exodus 3 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%203%20;&version=31;)? (The Hindu God Brahman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman), for example, is also said to be eternal and omnipotent.)
I meant more the "I AM" self-identification component, not the eternal+omnipotent component. AFAIK that is only true of Judaism and Christianity. I don't know enough about Islam to know whether that's something they accept too ...

Miguel
01-03-2008, 03:21 PM
I meant more the "I AM" self-identification component, not the eternal+omnipotent component.
What do you mean? What exactly does the "I AM" self-identification convince you of, if not the eternal/omnipotent nature of God?

You still haven't said to which accounts from other religions you're comparing the "I AM" self-identification. Are you comparing with specific verses from their religious texts?

Rincewind
01-03-2008, 03:57 PM
And if it is true, the lack of intellectual basis is irrelevant! :eek: (to the outcome, if not the 21st century discussion).

No the point is we are trying to reason something and if you adopt the position that p is true and any evidence to the contrary is, by definition, false. Then the discussion is not going to get very far.

Rincewind
01-03-2008, 04:01 PM
.. only being able to make identically omnipotent beings would, it seems to me, necessarily mean that the first omnipotent being is not in fact omnipotent after all ... i.e. I find the idea of two maximally powerful (omnipotent) beings contradictory .. but I am not certain that this is true ... and I haven't thought about it very hard.

Ok lets move on to the immortal soul. I take it you believe that god is the source of the whole universe and therefore the creator of all the souls. The question is, can god destroy souls? If so, by what definition are such souls immortal. If god cannot destroy souls, then he has created something he cannot destroy and in so doing diminished his omnipotence.

Spiny Norman
01-03-2008, 05:01 PM
Ok lets move on to the immortal soul. I take it you believe that god is the source of the whole universe and therefore the creator of all the souls. The question is, can god destroy souls? If so, by what definition are such souls immortal. If god cannot destroy souls, then he has created something he cannot destroy and in so doing diminished his omnipotence.
Good questions. Yes, I believe that God is the originator (a.k.a. source) of the universe. So yes, it logically follows that he is the creator of the souls/spirits in that universe (leaving aside the issue of whether all souls in the current universe were created here, or whether some of them came here from outside). So lets restrict that to human souls/spirits. Can God destroy a soul/spirit? Have never thought about it. But I'll say "yes", provisionally. I see no compelling reason to say "no" at this stage. The last question is therefore not an issue for me.

Spiny Norman
01-03-2008, 05:07 PM
What do you mean? What exactly does the "I AM" self-identification convince you of, if not the eternal/omnipotent nature of God?
I find it a quite odd answer to give to the question of "Who are you?". Didn't give a name. Didn't give a purpose for existence. Didn't declare any intentions. No need to differentiate Himself from any other ageless beings (so perhaps there are not any of any consequence). Just "I AM". In thinking about an ageless/eternal being, I guess this is probably a quite appropriate answer to give. I am not aware of this being used in any other religious accounts.


You still haven't said to which accounts from other religions you're comparing the "I AM" self-identification. Are you comparing with specific verses from their religious texts?
No, I am comparing it with a "general knowledge"-level understanding of what they are about. In doing so I thought about what little I know of Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto and a few others about which I have not much more than a passing familiarity.

If you happen to know about any other religion in which God (of the supreme creator variety) identifies Himself as "I AM" then I'd certainly be interested to know more about that.

Basil
01-03-2008, 05:32 PM
No the point is we are trying to reason something and if you adopt the position that p is true and any evidence to the contrary is, by definition, false. Then the discussion is not going to get very far.
I wasn't trying to do this. I agree that you were entitled to suggest the original comment had no intellectual basis. And I agree that an intellectual basis is required for a deducted position. Notwithstanding any of that, I was observing (independently and surplus to your position as paraphrased and agreed with) that the requirement for intellectual bases may be moot.

Back to the reasoning ... aren't we trying to reason something using present knowledge parameters which I'm suggesting are simply inadequate for the subject matter at hand?

The world is flat/ round. Given what was previously known about water falling off the edge, perpetual motion being impossible, people being upside down and so forth, physics of the day simply wouldn't have allowed by any deductive measure for the possibility that the world was round!

I'm suggesting that this discussion in the 21st century is simply a variation on a theme - the theme being that the sum total of human is simply not up to the task of assessing. God (if in fact he exists) must be having a jolly old belly laugh!

Miguel
01-03-2008, 06:16 PM
I find it a quite odd answer to give to the question of "Who are you?"... In thinking about an ageless/eternal being, I guess this is probably a quite appropriate answer to give.
I think you adequately answered yourself, so I don't need to add anything ;)


I am not aware of this being used in any other religious accounts.
That doesn't necessarily make it any more significant.


No, I am comparing it with a "general knowledge"-level understanding of what they are about. In doing so I thought about what little I know of Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto and a few others about which I have not much more than a passing familiarity.
Fair enough, but if you're going to compare religions, your research should probably be a bit more rigorous.


If you happen to know about any other religion in which God (of the supreme creator variety) identifies Himself as "I AM" then I'd certainly be interested to know more about that.
I'm not aware of any. But I suspect that such deity self-identification (i.e., "I AM") would be most likely to occur with monotheistic anthropomorphic religions. (I say "anthropomorphic" because I'm guessing that non-anthropomorphic religions probably don't have their gods talking to people.)

In essence, if you believe the account in Exodus is true, then you already believe in God and so the "I AM" self-identification adds nothing extra. And if you don't believe the account to be true, then "I AM" cannot be convincing.

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 06:34 PM
Please enlighten me. Is there a contradiction with a generally accepted law of physics? (I did not study physics beyond the NZ equivalent of Year 10). iIf so, I would say that law is wrong (or at least, unproven). Yes, I believe there is more time than the time of the physical universe's existence, because God is eternal. I do not believe that the universe is eternal because there was a point (approx 6000 years ago) when God created it.My knowledge of physics is fairly basic, so I could just be way off. The simple point of contradiction that I see is simply that there was no (space-)time before the beginning of the universe. The more complicated point is that space and time are intermingled, but I don't know enough about this to say much more on it.

Rincewind
01-03-2008, 07:18 PM
Back to the reasoning ... aren't we trying to reason something using present knowledge parameters which I'm suggesting are simply inadequate for the subject matter at hand?

The world is flat/ round. Given what was previously known about water falling off the edge, perpetual motion being impossible, people being upside down and so forth, physics of the day simply wouldn't have allowed by any deductive measure for the possibility that the world was round!

I'm suggesting that this discussion in the 21st century is simply a variation on a theme - the theme being that the sum total of human is simply not up to the task of assessing. God (if in fact he exists) must be having a jolly old belly laugh!

Well there is a couple of comments to make about that.

The accumulation of scientific knowledge has lead to a number of discoveries which have changed the way most people interpret scripture. Advancement in geology, zoology, cosmology, etc has almost put paid to learned people thinking that the world could possibly be anything like 6,000 years old or covered with a world wide flood for something like a year. Those who cling to those beliefs do so purely with the anti-intellectual basis that any evidence contrary to their position must be false, by definition.

Regarding this specific discussion, we are using reasoning based on the beliefs of the representative theists and a system of logic which hasn't changed an awful lot in the last 2,000 years. So the mechanics of this particular discussion isn't particularly a 21st century discussion any more than it is a 1st century discussion, other than the beliefs of the theists being shaped by the times in which they lived.

Rincewind
01-03-2008, 07:20 PM
But I'll say "yes", provisionally. I see no compelling reason to say "no" at this stage. The last question is therefore not an issue for me.

So the soul is contingently immortal?

Can god, if he wanted to, create a being which can also destroy souls?

Basil
01-03-2008, 07:27 PM
Of your two points
The accumulation of scientific knowledge has lead to a number of discoveries which have changed the way most people interpret scripture. Advancement in geology, zoology, cosmology, etc has almost put paid to learned people thinking that the world could possibly be anything like 6,000 years old or covered with a world wide flood for something like a year.
On that note I'll leave the adults to it (save to mention as I did to Aaron that as a neutral I fail to see how 21st century knowledge, regardless of how far it has come is in any way fit to assess an omnipotent being's existence).


Regarding this specific discussion, we are using reasoning based on the beliefs of the representative theists and a system of logic which hasn't changed an awful lot in the last 2,000 years. So the mechanics of this particular discussion isn't particularly a 21st century discussion any more than it is a 1st century discussion, other than the beliefs of the theists being shaped by the times in which they lived.
No argument. We are at cross purposes.

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 07:35 PM
Regarding this specific discussion, we are using reasoning based on the beliefs of the representative theists and a system of logic which hasn't changed an awful lot in the last 2,000 years.Modality (specifically and relevantly possible world modality) has only been relatively recently understood in a formal sense.
So the mechanics of this particular discussion isn't particularly a 21st century discussion any more than it is a 1st century discussion, other than the beliefs of the theists being shaped by the times in which they lived.But I'd tend to agree with this anyway. Aside from which of course it is possible our beliefs will be overturned, but this isn't a good reason to abandon them. (Not that GD said to.)

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 07:36 PM
I haven't addressed all of your post because this took a while to write.

For now let say that god can ensure p is true regardless of p, provided it is consistent.Actually I am not sure in what significant sense this differs from the definition I gave. But I don't think I actually stuck to my definition. I will come to that aspect shortly.
Exactly. But this is a limitation of the system and not something someone normally considers to be definitional of god.It is the result of a definition of God + a logic. Isn't this definitional? So perhaps it isn't part of our definition in the sense of we didn't anticipate it when writing the definition. But if it is a logical consequence of the definition, isn't this just the usual sense of definitional?
Perhaps we need a system without the excluded middle.Reasonable, but for the moment I will assume it holds and see if I can maintain it.
Regarding losing power. This again comes to the question of free will. If god gave man free will, then didn't that creation diminish his omnipotence?On the previous way I ran the argument, if we take free will to mean the (logical) determiner of at least some truth values, then yes I agree it does. I don't actually agree that this is a good definition of free will, but I will run with it to see where it leads.

The previous way I ran the argument, while I wrote "Say omnipotence is defined as the ability to make any logically possible formula true.", I actually continued as though I had written "omnipotence is defined as the determiner of all formula's truth values". From now on I will stick to the literal meaning of the first definition I gave (which I think is the same as your definition).

So now the situation is this, God has the ability, i.e. the choice, to make any formula true. This doesn't mean he has to though. But I want to see if I can keep excluded middle. So the objection would be, if God doesn't make any choice about p, and no choice about ~p, then the formula must lack a truth value. The simple hard nosed reply would be, well if excluded middle is possible without a God, how could adding a God make it fail? I actually think this reply works. If it didn't one could reply that God could make a non-deterministic decider. So far so good. Now onto free will.
Let's say p = "mf wills X", then gods ability to ensure the truth of p or ~p impinges on the free will of mf. Or conversely, mf's free will diminished the omnipotence of god.So on the way I am running things the answer is that only God could diminish mf's free will, but he won't necessarily do so. Thus free will is a logical possibility.

But does this lead back to a plurality of Gods? It doesn't for the same reason as before. But I will spell it out again just for fun. So it would be possible that you would have God1 want p and only p, and God2 want q and only q, and these wants are not inconsistent. But God1 still has the ability to make ~q true. This would mean possibly(q.~q) is true. But this is necessarily false.

Miguel
01-03-2008, 08:14 PM
I fail to see how 21st century knowledge, regardless of how far it has come is in any way fit to assess an omnipotent being's existence.
Unless the supposition of existence leads to a contradiction, how do you prove the non-existence of something? If the supposition of existence does not lead to a contradiction, does it necessarily imply existence? (E.g., Can you disprove the existence of leprechauns? If not, is it reasonable to assume they exist?)

Basil
01-03-2008, 08:23 PM
Unless the supposition of existence leads to a contradiction, how do you prove the non-existence of something? If the supposition of existence does not lead to a contradiction, does it necessarily imply existence? (E.g., Can you disprove the existence of leprechauns? If not, is it reasonable to assume they exist?)
I understand. I understood this 20 years ago. I will say that you stated the case very well. Nevertheless, just because your job (proving/ disproving God's existence) is unenviable, nay impossible, doesn't mean that I have to give any credit for the work done so far.

Miguel
01-03-2008, 08:38 PM
I understand. I understood this 20 years ago. I will say that you stated the case very well. Nevertheless, just because your job (proving/ disproving God's existence) is unenviable, nay impossible, doesn't mean that I have to give any credit for the work done so far.
Just to clarify your position, do you think is it the obligation of the leprechaun believers to prove existence, or the obligation of the non-believers to prove non-existence?

Basil
01-03-2008, 08:51 PM
Just to clarify your position, do you think is it the obligation of the leprechaun believers to prove existence, or the obligation of the non-believers to prove non-existence?
It is no-one's obligation. Anyone who wishes to state "I can prove/ disprove God's/ leprechaun's existence" had better have their sh$* together. Much better IMO to avoid the concept of proof altogether. Instead all parties could agree that very little evidence exists (if any) and go and have a cigarette together.

Carry on everybody!

Kevin Bonham
01-03-2008, 08:54 PM
Just to clarify your position, do you think is it the obligation of the leprechaun believers to prove existence, or the obligation of the non-believers to prove non-existence?

Neither; the obligation is on the leprechauns!

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 09:04 PM
Neither; the obligation is on the leprechauns!This is far fetched. I mean really, if the leprechaun was non-existent wouldn't it have some trouble proving that it was?

Kevin Bonham
01-03-2008, 09:25 PM
This is far fetched. I mean really, if the leprechaun was non-existent wouldn't it have some trouble proving that it was?

Exactly.

Miguel
01-03-2008, 09:25 PM
It is no-one's obligation.
Why? Don't you think if somebody asserts something they should have to prove their point? (I'm pretty sure you wouldn't fence-sit if somebody glibly made defamatory remarks about you in public.)


Anyone who wishes to state "I can prove/ disprove God's/ leprechaun's existence" had better have their sh$* together.
Why do they have to "have their sh$* together" if you think there is no burden of proof?


Much better IMO to avoid the concept of proof altogether.
I doubt you'd be saying that if you happened to be arrested for no reason :P


Instead all parties could agree that very little evidence exists (if any) and go and have a cigarette together.
How can you expect believers to agree that very little evidence exists?

Kevin Bonham
01-03-2008, 09:29 PM
Exactly.

Or not. I actually misunderstood your question.

I was suggesting that if the leprechauns exist, they should get their act together and prove it. If they exist but don't want people to believe in them, that's their problem and they shouldn't expect anyone to do so.

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 09:29 PM
Exactly.Haha.

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 09:31 PM
Or not. I actually misunderstood your
question.And maybe I misunderstood your answer. The non-existence of leprechauns would be proved by them for they would deliver no proof to us. But this contradicts what you just said.

Really I just like referring to the non-existing leprechauns.

Kevin Bonham
01-03-2008, 09:34 PM
And maybe I misunderstood your answer. The non-existence of leprechauns would be proved by them for they would deliver no proof to us.

This is a bit like what I was getting at, which strays over into "Does God Exist" territory a bit by analogy.

Miguel
01-03-2008, 09:35 PM
Neither; the obligation is on the leprechauns!
Wasn't that the reason Fermat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermat%27s_last_theorem) gave for not providing a proof?

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 09:37 PM
This is a bit like what I was getting at, which strays over into "Does God Exist" territory a bit by analogy.On that note, I have always thought the "how could God convince you he existed?" question is well answered by "if he delivered a rational proof I would be convinced" (because it seems only a God could do this ;)).

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 09:40 PM
Wasn't that the reason Fermat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermat%27s_last_theorem) gave for not providing a proof?Indeed, maybe he was making a joke.

"I have a truly marvelous proof of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain."Because he couldn't fit all the integers into the margin!

Basil
01-03-2008, 09:42 PM
Why? Don't you think if somebody asserts something they should have to prove their point?
Huh? You asked whose onus it is to prove existence (the believers or the non-believers). I answered 'neither' based on that it is no one's obligation to prove any personal belief to anyone.

This (my position as stated here and previously) has nothing to do with your rebuttal (above) which introduces for the first time an assertion that God exists. If someone asserts 'God exists' for the purpose of convincing others or entering the affirmation into evidence as fact, then yes, the onus is on them to either prove it or qualify that their belief is based on an existential leap or similar.

Now we can get bogged down in whether someone's actions are an assertion that God exists (such as going to Church) - but I'm not remotely interested in that debate.


Why do they have to "have their sh$* together" if you think there is no burden of proof?
Huh? Because within the confines and context of my statement, burden was not the issue, the ability to prove is.


How can you expect believers to agree that very little evidence exists?
I should have said 'is apparent', not 'exists'.

Capablanca-Fan
01-03-2008, 09:42 PM
Why? Don't you think if somebody asserts something they should have to prove their point?
In that case, shouldn't you prove THIS assertion?

Capablanca-Fan
01-03-2008, 09:45 PM
Ok lets move on to the immortal soul. I take it you believe that god is the source of the whole universe and therefore the creator of all the souls. The question is, can god destroy souls? If so, by what definition are such souls immortal. If god cannot destroy souls, then he has created something he cannot destroy and in so doing diminished his omnipotence.
Immortal in the case of the soul merely means it continues to exist. But this continued existence is due to God's sustaining power.

Rincewind
01-03-2008, 10:02 PM
For the record "my" definition of omnipotence was meant to be just yours in slightly different words.


So now the situation is this, God has the ability, i.e. the choice, to make any formula true. This doesn't mean he has to though. But I want to see if I can keep excluded middle. So the objection would be, if God doesn't make any choice about p, and no choice about ~p, then the formula must lack a truth value. The simple hard nosed reply would be, well if excluded middle is possible without a God, how could adding a God make it fail? I actually think this reply works. If it didn't one could reply that God could make a non-deterministic decider. So far so good. Now onto free will.So on the way I am running things the answer is that only God could diminish mf's free will, but he won't necessarily do so. Thus free will is a logical possibility.

Regarding the excluded middle, I don't think this is a big problem unless you add a second god. If you are willing to give it up then you could possibly have multiple competing omnipotent beings. However common experience seems to suggest excluded middle holds.

Regarding free will. We are saying there there a subset of statements whose truth can be decided by the holder of free will, being someone other than god. Then so doing, has god, by bestowing free will on this being diminished his power as before the free will he was able to decide on the truth of all statements. If you are saying god simply chooses not to decide on the truth of that subset of statements but remains able to do so, then we only possess a contingent will able to be over-ridden whenever it falls outside the will of of god.

Capablanca-Fan
01-03-2008, 10:09 PM
While we're doing nursery school arguments about God, how about this one:
That's about right: Dawko likes that one, which just shows that his theological acumen is about nursery school level, just like his historical revisionism.


A child, when told that God made something or other, replies "but who made God?"
Already answered at If God created the universe, then who created God? (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/1851) and The old ‘Who created God?’ canard revisited: Who designed the Designer? (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5448)


Now this one is not a disproof of God, or anything like it. But it does point out that postulating a God creator does not provide a satisfactory solution to the question of why or how the universe exists. The God solution requires that you accept an a priori God that always existed. So just as the atheist might say the universe "just exists", the theist must also say that God "just exists".
But hardly any atheists believe that. The big bang theory which is popular among secularists postulates a beginning for the space-time-matter universe.

Miguel
01-03-2008, 10:20 PM
Huh? You asked whose onus it is to prove existence (the believers or the non-believers). I answered 'neither' based on that it is no one's obligation to prove any personal belief to anyone.

This (my position as stated here and previously) has nothing to do with your rebuttal (above) which introduces for the first time an assertion that God exists. If someone asserts 'God exists' for the purpose of convincing others or entering the affirmation into evidence as fact, then yes, the onus is on them to either prove it or qualify that their belief is based on an existential leap or similar.
Okay. I misunderstood what you were saying. I was under the impression you were saying that somebody who asserts the existence of God/leprechaun/whatever is not required to prove their assertion. Sorry about that.


It is no one's obligation to prove any personal belief to anyone.
I don't necessarily agree with this. If the belief affects other people, then there may be an obligation. (Of course, you could make a distinction between holding a belief and acting on that belief.)

Miguel
01-03-2008, 10:21 PM
In that case, shouldn't you prove THIS assertion?
Huh? :hmm:

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 10:23 PM
Regarding free will. We are saying there there a subset of statements whose truth can be decided by the holder of free will, being someone other than god. Then so doing, has god, by bestowing free will on this being diminished his power as before the free will he was able to decide on the truth of all statements.The way I was thinking of things is not that he bestows free will per se. Rather there are a set of propositions which God could choose to rule on, and which also happen to be able to be affected by a non-God being. In as much as the God doesn't rule on these propositions, the non-God being has free will. Perhaps this isn't theologically satisfying though.
If you are saying god simply chooses not to decide on the truth of that subset of statements but remains able to do so, then we only possess a contingent will able to be over-ridden whenever it falls outside the will of of god.So yes, originally this was my idea. But I think I can refine it.

I now think the cleanest solution is this- God chooses not to make any choice on a subset of propositions. So god makes the proposition "I will not make choices on {p,q,r...}" true. And if one wishes, to make things theologically satisfying you make {p,q,r...} conform to whatever you think humans ought to be free on. Now the freewill cannot be over-ridden as regards these propositions on pain of contradiction. This is OK as this God was already restricted to consistent choices. This would give a freewill that was contingent on the God choosing to give it, but once given could not be stripped.

Miguel
01-03-2008, 10:23 PM
How could an omnipotent being demonstrate its omnipotence with certainty? Is it logically possible?

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 10:26 PM
How could an omnipotent being demonstrate its omnipotence with certainty? Is it logically possible?If omniscience isn't logically impossible, then granting this would seem to be a simple solution.

Aside from this it is hard to understand what you want from "demonstrate". I mean this- the even simpler solution would be to make "Bob knows that God exists (and is omnipotent)" true. But perhaps this doesn't fall under demonstration.

Miguel
01-03-2008, 10:39 PM
If omniscience isn't logically impossible, then granting this would seem to be a simple solution.
I'm assuming that the observer is not omniscient. Or are you suggesting an omnipotent+omniscient being would know how to demonstrate omnipotence?


Aside from this it is hard to understand what you want from "demonstrate". I mean this- the even simpler solution would be to make "Bob knows that God exists (and is omnipotent)" true. But perhaps this doesn't fall under demonstration.
Essentially, I'm wondering how omnipotence could be proven. E.g.:
God: "I'm here Bob. Do you believe in me now?"
Bob: "Okay, so you exist. But how do I know you're omnipotent?"

Is it possible to distinguish omnipotent from just really powerful?

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 10:50 PM
I'm assuming that the observer is not omniscient. Or are you suggesting an omnipotent+omniscient being would know how to demonstrate omnipotence?No, I mean that the omnipotent being could just give omniscience to other beings. And in giving all knowledge clearly one would give knowledge of the omnipotence. So now if this were not an option, and I if you don't like the solution of the God just making "Bob knows God is omnipotent" true, then I don't have an answer.

Miguel
01-03-2008, 11:00 PM
No, I mean that the omnipotent being could just give omniscience to other beings. And in giving all knowledge clearly one would give knowledge of the omnipotence. So now if this were not an option, and I if you don't like the solution of the God just making "Bob knows God is omnipotent" true, then I don't have an answer.
I'm not sure I like this solution. I think it might have the same problem: How can Bob be certain that he really is omniscient, and not just thinking that he's omniscient. (Ah! But an omnibenevolent god wouldn't play such a trick on Bob... We could just go around in omni-circles :P)

Aaron Guthrie
01-03-2008, 11:09 PM
I'm not sure I like this solution. I think it might have the same problem: How can Bob be certain that he really is omniscient, and not just thinking that he's omniscient. (Ah! But an omnibenevolent god wouldn't play such a trick on Bob... We could just go around in omni-circles :P)If Bob were omniscient, he would by definition know such. In case you missed it though I have proposed two different solutions.

A) The omnipotent God makes "Bob is omniscient" true
B) The omnipotent God makes "Bob knows God is omnipotent" true

Miguel
01-03-2008, 11:52 PM
If Bob were omniscient, he would by definition know such.
Yes, true. But what is the difference (from Bob's POV) between knowing that you're omniscient, and thinking that you're omniscient?


In case you missed it though I have proposed two different solutions.

A) The omnipotent God makes "Bob is omniscient" true
B) The omnipotent God makes "Bob knows God is omnipotent" true
These work to demonstrate omnipotence, but how do they satisfy the "with certainty" bit? That is, how can Bob distinguish with certainty A/B from C/D:

C) The really powerful God' makes "Bob thinks he is omniscient" true
D) The really powerful God' makes "Bob thinks God' is omnipotent" true

Aaron Guthrie
02-03-2008, 12:04 AM
Yes, true. But what is the difference (from Bob's POV) between knowing that you're omniscient, and thinking that you're omniscient?I think is is a general problem, not one specific to the problem at hand. For any proposition, what is the difference between knowing, and thinking that you know?
These work to demonstrate omnipotence, but how do they satisfy the "with certainty" bit?How does any bit of knowledge satisfy the "with certainty" bit? I think you need to spell this out. Also if there is a problem God, as regards his omniscience, would have just the same problem as Bob.

I am inclined to just give a true justified belief analysis of knowledge and consider certainty a red herring. Without an analysis of how anything can measure up to certain knowledge the only answer I can give is that Bob would know that he knew, and know that he knew that he knew... (I note that this is probably an unsatisfying answer.)

Kevin Bonham
02-03-2008, 12:04 AM
Miguel seems to be thinking along similar lines to my oft-stated view that there would be no way of rationally deducing that any one particular posited form of omnipotent god exists, as opposed to a significantly different god faking being that one.

Indeed, the same problem applies to any kind of god that has the power of creating any delusion it likes.

Aaron Guthrie
02-03-2008, 12:08 AM
That is, how can Bob distinguish with certainty A/B from C/D:

C) The really powerful God' makes "Bob thinks he is omniscient" true
D) The really powerful God' makes "Bob thinks God' is omnipotent" trueAnother answer might be- yes, Bob cannot distinguish between the situations, but so what. This doesn't entail that it isn't possible that there could be a Bob that is in the situation whereby all his beliefs are true, and are justified.

Miguel
02-03-2008, 12:35 AM
How does any bit of knowledge satisfy the "with certainty" bit? I think you need to spell this out.
I'm not sure it can be satisfied.


I am inclined to just give a true justified belief analysis of knowledge and consider certainty a red herring.
I understand the words, I don't understand the meaning :P


Another answer might be- yes, Bob cannot distinguish between the situations, but so what.
Then "giving knowledge" doesn't really satisfy the requirements.


This doesn't entail that it isn't possible that there could be a Bob that is in the situation whereby all his beliefs are true, and are justified.
No, it doesn't. But I'm not concerned about this.

Basically, I think Kevin's post encapsulates my point.

Aaron Guthrie
02-03-2008, 01:09 AM
I'm not sure it can be satisfied.But then what are the grounds for dismissing such as knowledge? So Bob cannot know with certainty that an omnipotent God exists, but now so does most (if not all) of the rest of knowledge dissipate! Quite a high cost.

The other point to make is that this is an argument against not only Bob, but omniscience in general. But if omniscience is contended to be logically impossible, where is the contradiction?


I understand the words, I don't understand the meaningA reasonable analysis of knowledge is as true justified belief. For a belief to count as knowledge it must A) be believed B) be justified in being believed it C) the belief must be true (and the truth is in the world of course, not in the belief)

Perhaps your (and Kevin's) issue with is the justification aspect in that, what could possibly justify Bob in believing that a God were omnipotent? I have no answer for this, but I do note that inconceivability doesn't necessarily entail logical impossibility. I also note that God would have the same problem; how would he know that he were omnipotent?
Then "giving knowledge" doesn't really satisfy the requirements.It does satisfy what I would count as knowledge.

Rincewind
02-03-2008, 08:41 AM
I now think the cleanest solution is this- God chooses not to make any choice on a subset of propositions. So god makes the proposition "I will not make choices on {p,q,r...}" true. And if one wishes, to make things theologically satisfying you make {p,q,r...} conform to whatever you think humans ought to be free on. Now the freewill cannot be over-ridden as regards these propositions on pain of contradiction. This is OK as this God was already restricted to consistent choices. This would give a freewill that was contingent on the God choosing to give it, but once given could not be stripped.

That's ok but in so doing god has not only reduced his power on the propositions in question {p,q,r,...} but also all propositions which flow from it. For example p' is a proposition not in the original set but p' -> p. Then there are a wider set of contingent proposition of which god loses the ability to decide the truth. I think this confounds particular abilities which we associate with omnipotent beings in particular, such us being able to make prophetic statements about events which are intrinsic to individual free will.

Miguel
02-03-2008, 08:57 AM
But then what are the grounds for dismissing such as knowledge? So Bob cannot know with certainty that an omnipotent God exists, but now so does most (if not all) of the rest of knowledge dissipate! Quite a high cost.
You're extrapolating the discussion too far. I'm saying that an omnipotent being cannot demonstrate its omnipotence such that the observer has absolute confidence. This could itself be seen as a "limit" on the being's omnipotence. But this has no ramifications for the rest of knowledge.


The other point to make is that this is an argument against not only Bob, but omniscience in general. But if omniscience is contended to be logically impossible, where is the contradiction?
Maybe the contradiction lies in true omniscience being indistinguishable from delusion:

Omniscient Bob: "I know everything. I know that I know everything. I know that I'm not deluded."
Deluded Bob: "I know everything. I know that I know everything. I know that I'm not deluded."

So that OB knows with absolute confidence that he's not deluded, yet at the same time cannot guarantee that he's not deluded.


A reasonable analysis of knowledge is as true justified belief. For a belief to count as knowledge it must A) be believed B) be justified in being believed it C) the belief must be true (and the truth is in the world of course, not in the belief)

Perhaps your (and Kevin's) issue with is the justification aspect in that, what could possibly justify Bob in believing that a God were omnipotent?
Yes, I think so.


I have no answer for this, but I do note that inconceivability doesn't necessarily entail logical impossibility.
Agreed.


I also note that God would have the same problem; how would he know that he were omnipotent?
I don't know.

Miguel
02-03-2008, 09:05 AM
I answered 'neither' based on that it is no one's obligation to prove any personal belief to anyone.
Just another point. The voicing of ones beliefs (as opposed to just holding them) could be seen as implying an assertion. And if you don't assume an assertion (and leave the voiced belief unchallenged), then sticking "I believe" at the front becomes a universal get-out-of-jail-free card.

I'm not entirely sure this is relevant to what we were discussing, but anyway...

Basil
02-03-2008, 09:32 AM
Just another point. The voicing of ones beliefs (as opposed to just holding them) could be seen as implying an assertion. And if you don't assume an assertion (and leave the voiced belief unchallenged), then sticking "I believe" at the front becomes a universal get-out-of-jail-free card.

But they're not in gaol. I covered this one with the 'going to church' idea.

If I believe in:
- The Broncos
- 3rd time lucky
- re-incarnation
- karma
- Smith's work ethic

then I wouldn't be expected to prove my beliefs because someone thought I was ramming them down their throat when I was simply going about my business.

Miguel
02-03-2008, 10:19 AM
But they're not in gaol. I covered this one with the 'going to church' idea.

If I believe in:
- The Broncos
- 3rd time lucky
- re-incarnation
- karma
- Smith's work ethic

then I wouldn't be expected to prove my beliefs because someone thought I was ramming them down their throat when I was simply going about my business.
Of course, you're perfectly entitled to hold any belief you like. No objections there. But voicing a belief is different. For example, if I were to say in a casual manner (i.e., not ramming) "I believe soccer fans are less intelligent than baseball fans" or "I believe smoking improves health", would you be content to leave my beliefs unchallenged?

Basil
02-03-2008, 11:15 AM
Of course, you're perfectly entitled to hold any belief you like. No objections there. But voicing a belief is different. For example, if I were to say in a casual manner (i.e., not ramming) "I believe soccer fans are less intelligent than baseball fans" or "I believe smoking improves health", would you be content to leave my beliefs unchallenged?
I may well wish to challenge them, but I won't insist you have an onus to prove.

pax
02-03-2008, 11:39 AM
That's about right: Dawko likes that one, which just shows that his theological acumen is about nursery school level, just like his historical revisionism.



Already answered at If God created the universe, then who created God? (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/1851) and The old ‘Who created God?’ canard revisited: Who designed the Designer? (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5448)
You're missing the point, which is this: God does not solve the question of why the universe exists, because that simply replaces the question of "why does the universe exist" with the question of "why does God exist", which is equally difficult - more difficult, really, since there is considerably more evidence for the existence of the universe than for the existence of God.



But hardly any atheists believe that. The big bang theory which is popular among secularists postulates a beginning for the space-time-matter universe.
Actually, the big bang theory is popular among scientists, many of whom are Christian. In fact it is popular with many non-scientist Christians as well.

But actually whether you think that the universe began as a singularity has no relevance to this argument. Atheists believe that the universe exists with no creator, theists believe that God exists with no creator - both are difficult conundrums to understand.

Rincewind
02-03-2008, 11:49 AM
You're missing the point, which is this: God does not solve the question of why the universe exists, because that simply replaces the question of "why does the universe exist" with the question of "why does God exist", which is equally difficult - more difficult, really, since there is considerably more evidence for the existence of the universe than for the existence of God.

Of course you might go in for infinite regression (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down). :)

Miguel
02-03-2008, 11:58 AM
I may well wish to challenge them, but I won't insist you have an onus to prove.
If I'm not required to prove anything, what is the point of your challenge? Are beliefs necessarily so worthy of respect that you won't say "prove your point, bub"?

Basil
02-03-2008, 12:10 PM
Are beliefs necessarily so worthy of respect that you won't say "prove your point, bub"?
Yes. In many instances for many reasons as discussed.

Now that's me done. Back to the issue at hand. Do you believe that someone who affirms their belief in God, either in passing conversation, or by their actions (such as going to church) or if asked directly, should be required to prove a basis for their belief?

Miguel
02-03-2008, 03:30 PM
Yes. In many instances for many reasons as discussed.
Okay, but it's not at all clear to me why the questioning of beliefs (and their justifications) should be taboo.


Now that's me done. Back to the issue at hand. Do you believe that someone who affirms their belief in God, either in passing conversation, or by their actions (such as going to church) or if asked directly, should be required to prove a basis for their belief?
(Just to make clear, I don't purposefully go around asking people "Do you believe X?".)

If someone were to tell me that they believed in God and I asked "Why?" (1), then I would expect a cogent response (2). But this is not restricted to the supernatural. I would equally ask "Why do you think naturopathy is superior to orthodox medicine?", "Why do you think Nxf6 is better than Bb2?", or "Why do you think the solution is x = 5, and not x = 6?". Who knows, I might even learn something.

(1) Depending on the situation, I might be inclined to just let it slide and not bother asking "Why?".
(2) And if they got all uppity about my questioning their belief, I would ask why they bothered to tell me in the first place!

Basil
02-03-2008, 03:46 PM
Okay, but it's not at all clear to me why the questioning of beliefs (and their justifications) should be taboo.
It's not taboo. I am a taboo-free zone! I'm trying to winkle out the difference between 'discussing and asking about their beliefs' and 'demanding proof for their beliefs', the latter being the critical point of our discussion.


If someone were to tell me that they believed in God and I asked "Why?", then I would expect a cogent response
Invariably you would receive it, however I doubt that response would ever contain proof of God's existence.


(2) And if they got all uppity about my questioning their belief, I would ask why they bothered to tell me in the first place!
I doubt very much many would get uppity. Again we're back to the difference between discussion of their belief and a demand of deductive proof.

For instance, if a Christian were to answer "I know he's there, I can feel Him and see His hand at work everywhere", that would be more than sufficient for me. Would that answer satisfy you?

Aaron Guthrie
02-03-2008, 04:18 PM
I am not sure I am understand the Miguel-Gunner Duggan discussion, but I will suggest this. If there is a non-assertive expression of belief that entails that one need not defend it, one can of course non-assertively express belief that they should defend it. (As it were, if "I believe", for example, made any difference then the difference would disappear as soon as the other party started tacking that on to his sentences as well.)

Miguel
02-03-2008, 04:21 PM
It's not taboo. I am a taboo-free zone! I'm trying to winkle out the difference between 'discussing and asking about their beliefs' and 'demanding proof for their beliefs', the latter being the critical point of our discussion.
Since we're not talking mathematics, I think "evidence" would be more appropriate than "proof".

I'm not going to interrogate somebody about their beliefs, but if they voluntarily state a belief then I expect them, if questioned, to be able to provide a supporting argument, and "I just know" doesn't cut it.


For instance, if a Christian were to answer "I know he's there, I can feel Him and see His hand at work everywhere", that would be more than sufficient for me. Would that answer satisfy you?
I think "not cogent" would be an understatement.

Aaron Guthrie
02-03-2008, 04:30 PM
That's ok but in so doing god has not only reduced his power on the propositions in question {p,q,r,...} but also all propositions which flow from it.So then more specifically the consequences (i.e. closure) of the set of propositions. I am perfectly happy with this.
I think this confounds particular abilities which we associate with omnipotent beings in particular, such us being able to make prophetic statements about events which are intrinsic to individual free will.This would arise from the omniscience (though omniscience could of course be a result of the omnipotence). Intuitively I don't think this is a problem, because the knowing of things does not entail that the knower made things as they are. But this is just my first thought on the matter.

Rincewind
02-03-2008, 04:46 PM
So then more specifically the consequences (i.e. closure) of the set of propositions. I am perfectly happy with this.

I'm not so sure. The point is I think free will has larger implications than one might think at first blush. Furthermore the number of being with free will may give god very little say about what happens here on earth.


This would arise from the omniscience (though omniscience could of course be a result of the omnipotence). Intuitively I don't think this is a problem, because the knowing of things does not entail that the knower made things as they are. But this is just my first thought on the matter.

Knowing doesn't make things as they are but if you know the result of decision of free will even before the proposition is considered by the being supposedly have the power to decide casts more than a shadow of the "free" part of free will.

Aaron Guthrie
02-03-2008, 04:57 PM
Maybe the contradiction lies in true omniscience being indistinguishable from delusion:

Omniscient Bob: "I know everything. I know that I know everything. I know that I'm not deluded."
Deluded Bob: "I know everything. I know that I know everything. I know that I'm not deluded."My point is that it is distinguishable, just not from the inside.

For all propositions which are true, Bob must have a belief of that proposition. In case one, Bob is omniscient, case two, he isn't.
So that OB knows with absolute confidence that he's not deluded, yet at the same time cannot guarantee that he's not deluded.But perhaps he can, it is just that OB would be right, and DB wrong.

So your reply might be that he would know that he couldn't distinguish between OB and DB. As such, how could he know that he was OB, rather than DB? I reject this on the basis that neither can I distinguish between brain in a vat Aaron, and non-brain in a vat Aaron, but I still think I can claim to know that I am not brain in a vat Aaron.

But then you could even concede this and contend that your point is not knowledge, but knowledge with certainty. An omnipotent God would surely be able to deliver knowledge with certainty. And if knowledge with certainty is to be had, then surely an omniscient being would have it. I am warey of answering this point, because I don't know how to give an analysis of certain knowledge. What I could suggest is that if there is a contradiction to be had somewhere, perhaps it is not omniscience or omnipotence that delivers it. Perhaps it is this idea of certain knowledge that delivers a contradiction.

Aaron Guthrie
02-03-2008, 05:12 PM
I'm not so sure. The point is I think free will has larger implications than one might think at first blush. Furthermore the number of being with free will may give god very little say about what happens here on earth.So is an interventionist God possible. I would say in principle yes, but spelling out the details might get complicated. For example if you wanted to have an apple tree at a certain place and at a certain spot in time you would have to spell out how you assigned free will in an odd way (you can make your own choices, if they do not interfere with the apple tree). In which case it is arguable that this is an odd sort of free will, and perhaps not really free will at all.

Knowing doesn't make things as they are but if you know the result of decision of free will even before the proposition is considered by the being supposedly have the power to decide casts more than a shadow of the "free" part of free will.I admit it is odd to say "It could be either way, but it will be this way". On the other hand if you contend that you could not know in advance, then excluded middle might fail.

This is also related to the above problem. If the God could know in advance, then spelling out what he won't decide on can become very specific. If not there is the problem of, for example, the world going to shit and God wanting to save it. Spelling out this type of condition in advance of knowing how things go might indeed involve restricting free will to a large extent. In this second case I agree it is worrying the degree of the implications of intervening/not intervening.

Basil
02-03-2008, 05:21 PM
Since we're not talking mathematics, I think "evidence" would be more appropriate than "proof".
We're back to square one. There is no evidence that God exists (that you accept as evidence).

I assume you have no objection to people believing in God. If you indeed do have no objection, what are we discussing?

We were discussing at one stage whether Christians can go about their business without being challenged to provide proof (or the lesser standard of evidence) as to the existence of God. We've decided that we won't call on them to do that.

We were also discussing whether, if asked specifically about their religion, Christians could/ would aver the existence of God, and if so could we could enquire as to the foundation for that belief. It seems, if I understand you correctly, that a Christian who declares an existentially-based belief rather than one based on evidence (that you accept) "just won't cut it". Is my assessment of your position correct?

If so, what does "just won't cut it" actually mean? Does it mean that:
a) they haven't convinced you of the existence of God?
b) that Christians should stop espousing their belief?
c) that they are doing wrong?
d) that they are wasting your (their) time?
e) everybody as they were and to carry on in peace?
f) other

Miguel
02-03-2008, 06:33 PM
But then you could even concede this and contend that your point is not knowledge, but knowledge with certainty. An omnipotent God would surely be able to deliver knowledge with certainty. And if knowledge with certainty is to be had, then surely an omniscient being would have it.
I'm reluctant about the "surely" bit, because that's the whole point of the discussion. If OB can't distinguish himself from DB with absolute confidence, is he really OB after all?


I am warey of answering this point, because I don't know how to give an analysis of certain knowledge. What I could suggest is that if there is a contradiction to be had somewhere, perhaps it is not omniscience or omnipotence that delivers it. Perhaps it is this idea of certain knowledge that delivers a contradiction.
Perhaps, but what is omniscience without certain knowledge?

Miguel
02-03-2008, 07:00 PM
We're back to square one. There is no evidence that God exists (that you accept as evidence).

I assume you have no objection to people believing in God.
Correct, have no objection to people believing in God. (My "belief" discussion was not about God, per se, but we keep coming back to it so...)


If you indeed do have no objection, what are we discussing?
I guess what it comes down to is, if somebody makes a belief-statement, then they should be prepared to defend it against close scrutiny and harsh criticism. And if the retort is that it's a personal belief so it shouldn't need to be defended, then my answer is: If it's so personal, why make it public?


We were discussing at one stage whether Christians can go about their business without being challenged to provide proof (or the lesser standard of evidence) as to the existence of God. We've decided that we won't call on them to do that.

We were also discussing whether, if asked specifically about their religion, Christians could/ would aver the existence of God, and if so could we could enquire as to the foundation for that belief. It seems, if I understand you correctly, that a Christian who declares an existentially-based belief rather than one based on evidence (that you accept) "just won't cut it". Is my assessment of your position correct?
I think so.


If so, what does "just won't cut it" actually mean? Does it mean that:
a) they haven't convinced you of the existence of God?
b) that Christians should stop espousing their belief?
c) that they are doing wrong?
d) that they are wasting your (their) time?
e) everybody as they were and to carry on in peace?
f) other
a, d, f (Leprechauns are just as plausible an explanation)

Aaron Guthrie
02-03-2008, 07:00 PM
I'm reluctant about the "surely" bit, because that's the whole point of the discussion. If OB can't distinguish himself from DB with absolute confidence, is he really OB after all?Why wouldn't he be? His beliefs don't make the world. If all his beliefs are true, he is OB, if not he is DB.

I don't think we are making much progress.
Perhaps, but what is omniscience without certain knowledge?What is certain knowledge? I am doubtful that it is even a coherent concept, and regardless of those doubts I don't even know what it is, so I of course would never associate it with omniscience to begin with. So as I have said before, I would just run true justified belief.

Also in what you quoted I just questioned if certain knowledge derives the contradiction. If this is so, then omniscience without certain knowledge is knowledge without contradiction! This would be complete knowledge, for there is just no such thing as certain knowledge (the claim is stronger than omni+certain knowledge=contradiction, it is just certain knowledge=contradiction.)

Basil
02-03-2008, 07:17 PM
OK. I think we can safely agree to disagree.

I guess what it comes down to is, if somebody makes a belief-statement, then they should be prepared to defend it against close scrutiny and harsh criticism.
I think nothing of the sort should occur. I assume you hold the same ideas about other religions concerning deities?

Miguel
02-03-2008, 09:03 PM
Why wouldn't he be? His beliefs don't make the world. If all his beliefs are true, he is OB, if not he is DB.
He's still the same Bob, but is he really omniscient if he can't determine his own omniscience status?


I don't think we are making much progress.
Agreed.


What is certain knowledge?
I guess I would tentatively define it as knowledge without doubt.


I am doubtful that it is even a coherent concept, and regardless of those doubts I don't even know what it is, so I of course would never associate it with omniscience to begin with. So as I have said before, I would just run true justified belief.
But is it satisfactory for an omniscient being to have doubts about their own knowledge?


Also in what you quoted I just questioned if certain knowledge derives the contradiction. If this is so, then omniscience without certain knowledge is knowledge without contradiction!
I'm still not sure it makes sense to speak of omniscience without certainty of the knowledge, but anyway why should certain knowledge be the contradiction, and not just a contradiction?

Miguel
02-03-2008, 09:08 PM
OK. I think we can safely agree to disagree.
I think we have to.


I think nothing of the sort should occur. I assume you hold the same ideas about other religions concerning deities?
Sure. But again, I'm not limiting myself to just a religious discussion.

Axiom
02-03-2008, 09:26 PM
If it's so personal, why make it public?



:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Basil
02-03-2008, 09:36 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
I deliberately didn't respond to Mig's statement which has delighted you so. Actually he's full statement was


And if the retort is that it's a personal belief so it shouldn't need to be defended, then my answer is: If it's so personal, why make it public?
To which my answer was (but subsequently deleted as distracting) that I doubt Christians would "retort that's it's personal". So what we have here is:

Mig putting unlikely words in a Christian's mouth
Mig shoving responding to the unlikely question with a nah nah nah answer
Axiom exciting himself silly over the whole affair.

This to me is Christian bashing (I and no doubt they, couldn't give two hoots), but why the antagonism over answers which are unlikely? Why so less discussion given to the more common ones?

Aaron Guthrie
02-03-2008, 09:41 PM
He's still the same Bob, but is he really omniscient if he can't determine his own omniscience status?But OB did determine his omniscience status, and DB didn't.
I guess I would tentatively define it as knowledge without doubt.It is unclear to me what doubt means in this context. Does it mean- OB could be possibly wrong, OB is unsure, OB has no justification for his belief, OB has a high likelihood of being wrong...
I'm still not sure it makes sense to speak of omniscience without certainty of the knowledge, but anyway why should certain knowledge be the contradiction, and not just a contradiction?I said "derives the", not "is the".edit- oh I see what you meant now, OK disregard the last sentence. In any case I will try and clear things up, and refine my position as well.

If omniscience+certain knowledge entails a contradiction we have 4 possibilities.
1)omniscience entails a contradiction
2)certain knowledge entails a contradiction
3)Only a conjunction of them entails a contradiction
4)either one of them by themselves entails a contradiction

The main point I have been pushing is just that 2 is entirely possible. This is probably not a controversial point.

I also think that if there is a contradiction to be had, most likely 2 is at fault. But more important than this guess is that certain knowledge remains undefined. I can quite easily give an analysis of omniscience with true justified belief (which is pretty close to the right analysis of knowledge anyway ;)). So omniscience is quite cogent. On the other hand I have no reasonable analysis of certain knowledge, not even an analysis applying to a basic case.

Miguel
02-03-2008, 09:50 PM
I deliberately didn't respond to Mig's statement which has delighted you so. Actually he's full statement was


To which my answer was (but subsequently deleted as distracting) that I doubt Christians would "retort that's it's personal". So what we have here is:

Mig putting unlikely words in a Christian's mouth
Mig shoving responding to the unlikely question with a nah nah nah answer
Axiom exciting himself silly over the whole affair.

This to me is Christian bashing (I and no doubt they, couldn't give two hoots), but why the antagonism over answers which are unlikely? Why so less discussion given to the more common ones?
Actually, I put that in because of what you said here:

I answered 'neither' based on that it is no one's obligation to prove any personal belief to anyone.

Again, my discussion was not religion-centric. You kept bringing up God and Christianity.

Miguel
02-03-2008, 10:06 PM
But OB did determine his omniscience status, and DB didn't.
I'm thinking that OB would have a monologue like such:

"I'm omniscient, therefore I know everything. Hence I know that I'm not delusional. However, I know that if I were in fact not omniscient, but only thought I were omniscient because of a delusion, then my thought processes regarding omniscience could be exactly the same! Hmmm... I'm confused. How can I determine if I really am omniscient or not?"


It is unclear to me what doubt means in this context. Does it mean- OB could be possibly wrong, OB is unsure, OB has no justification for his belief, OB has a high likelihood of being wrong...
I was thinking "OB is unsure".

Aaron Guthrie
02-03-2008, 10:19 PM
I'm thinking that OB would have a monologue like such:

"I'm omniscient, therefore I know everything. Hence I know that I'm not delusional. However, I know that if I were in fact not omniscient, but only thought I were omniscient because of a delusion, then my thought processes regarding omniscience could be exactly the same! Hmmm... I'm confused. How can I determine if I really am omniscient or not?"He could have this monologue:

"I know I am omniscient. I know if I were wrong, I wouldn't know it. But I also know that if I am not wrong, my beliefs count as knowledge. I know that the mere possibility of my being wrong (i.e. that I am not omniscient) doesn't entail that I am. Thus I don't see it reasonable to discard my belief that I am omniscient on this basis."
I was thinking "OB is unsure".But now I think "unsure" needs to be spelled out in some type of objective terms. Otherwise we just make OB a confident type of guy.

Capablanca-Fan
02-03-2008, 10:20 PM
This to me is Christian bashing
That's the only allowable bigotry to the Left. Similarly, "multiculturalism" to a Lefty means respecting every culture apart from the Christian ones, hence banning Christmas pageants because it might offend non-Christians, but promoting Muslim, Hindu and other festivals.

Aaron Guthrie
02-03-2008, 10:23 PM
That's the only allowable bigotry to the Left.Wrong thread, Jono.

Axiom
02-03-2008, 10:25 PM
That's the only allowable bigotry to the Left. Similarly, "multiculturalism" to a Lefty means respecting every culture apart from the Christian ones, hence banning Christmas pageants because it might offend non-Christians, but promoting Muslim, Hindu and other festivals.
Not me, i'll bash ALL religions, if they cant keep their PERSONAL god belief in the home !

Axiom
02-03-2008, 10:32 PM
I deliberately didn't respond to Mig's statement which has delighted you so. Actually he's full statement was


To which my answer was (but subsequently deleted as distracting) that I doubt Christians would "retort that's it's personal". So what we have here is:

Mig putting unlikely words in a Christian's mouth
Mig shoving responding to the unlikely question with a nah nah nah answer
Axiom exciting himself silly over the whole affair.

This to me is Christian bashing (I and no doubt they, couldn't give two hoots), but why the antagonism over answers which are unlikely? Why so less discussion given to the more common ones?
So are you saying that god belief is kept personal and not public ?
of course it isnt.
if anyone wants to believe in any god ,thats fine , but keep it at home, and if you must start a church , at least pay your goddam taxes !

Adamski
02-03-2008, 10:49 PM
So are you saying that god belief is kept personal and not public ?
of course it isnt.
if anyone wants to believe in any god ,thats fine , but keep it at home, and if you must start a church , at least pay taxes !As a Christian, I can't keep my belief in God to myself and be true to my Saviour Jesus Christ. He tells us in the Bible (in many places) to share / spread the good news. e.g. by being "living letters" reflecting Christ. (Also by being good corporate citizens giving our employers their due time, on which note he looks at his watch and thinks he'd better get organised for work tomorrow!)

Miguel
02-03-2008, 10:53 PM
He could have this monologue:

"I know I am omniscient. I know if I were wrong, I wouldn't know it. But I also know that if I am not wrong, my beliefs count as knowledge. I know that the mere possibility of my being wrong (i.e. that I am not omniscient) doesn't entail that I am. Thus I don't see it reasonable to discard my belief that I am omniscient on this basis."
Does it preclude him also having the monologue I presented?


But now I think "unsure" needs to be spelled out in some type of objective terms. Otherwise we just make OB a confident type of guy.
I'm not at all certain this is satisfactory, but: There exists at least one yes/no question that cannot be answered with 100% confidence.

Capablanca-Fan
02-03-2008, 10:53 PM
Not me, i'll bash ALL religions, if they cant keep their PERSONAL god belief in the home !
What about atheists who want to impose their faith, e.g. in the Communist countries, the ACLU ...?

Capablanca-Fan
02-03-2008, 11:01 PM
You're missing the point, which is this: God does not solve the question of why the universe exists, because that simply replaces the question of "why does the universe exist" with the question of "why does God exist", which is equally difficult — more difficult, really, since there is considerably more evidence for the existence of the universe than for the existence of God.
You're missing the point: only things that begin to exist need a cause; God had no beginning since He is the creator of time.


Actually, the big bang theory is popular among scientists, many of whom are Christian. In fact it is popular with many non-scientist Christians as well.
And more and more are realizing that a theory requiring so many fudge factors (dark matter, dark energy and inflaton field) and ad hoc assumptions, as well as not producing the right shadows for CMB, is a crappy theory. See Nobel Prize for alleged big bang proof (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/4678/) and An Open Letter to the Scientific Community (http://www.cosmologystatement.org/)
(Published in New Scientist, 22 May 2004)

Axiom
02-03-2008, 11:05 PM
As a Christian, I can't keep my belief in God to myself and be true to my Saviour Jesus Christ. He tells us in the Bible (in many places) to share / spread the good news. e.g. by being "living letters" reflecting Christ. (Also by being good corporate citizens giving our employers their due time, on which note he looks at his watch and thinks he'd better get organised for work tomorrow!)
ok, as a libertarian , i have to condone god believers recruiting others to their cult .
my point is that it is fraud , like false advertising, selling an unproven product.
i wish to protect the innocent from mind control brainwashing.
tax free institutions with tv time recruiting for an unproven product , is just like a company recruiting subscribers to a frequent flyers scheme without honouring it !
god belief is the oldest con in history , and i, like many , am heartily sick of it .
im sick of the end time christians preaching on tv , manipulating consciousness towards a most destructive and evil outcome for humanity.
which incidently dove tails nicely into the elite's eugenics plans !

Basil
02-03-2008, 11:08 PM
Oh dear.

Capablanca-Fan
02-03-2008, 11:09 PM
ok, as a libertarian , i have to condone god believers recruiting others to their cult .
my point is that it is fraud , like false advertising, selling an unproven product.
That's what the Communists said to justify their persecutions. Not exactly libertarian.


which incidently dove tails nicely into the elite's eugenics plans !
Yet eugenics was founded by Darwin's cousin Galton.

Axiom
02-03-2008, 11:16 PM
What about atheists who want to impose their faith, e.g. in the Communist countries, the ACLU ...?
because our faith doesnt involve an unproven product
we cannot produce a no-thing
we dont sell a thing , we simply support the absence of proof of a thing.

Rincewind
02-03-2008, 11:18 PM
You're missing the point: only things that begin to exist need a cause; God had no beginning since He is the creator of time.

First of all the premise "everything with a beginning needs a cause" is far from unquestionable.

Secondly there is no guarantee that the big bang was the beginning of everything, just the beginning of the universe we experience. Assuming for the moment that it is true, then there is no telling what happened before the big bang due to the homogenising effect of the singularity.

Axiom
02-03-2008, 11:19 PM
That's what the Communists said to justify their persecutions. Not exactly libertarian.
I'm not justifying persecution
Its libertarian to protect from fraud !



Yet eugenics was founded by Darwin's cousin Galton.
yes, and the elite have always used religion for their purposes.

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 12:08 AM
I'm not justifying persecution
Its libertarian to protect from fraud !

yes, and the elite have always used religion for their purposes.
It's notable that atheist atrocities of last century alone, using this faux libertarian justification, have hugely outnumbers all atrocities from religious causes from all previous centuries combined.

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 12:09 AM
because our faith doesnt involve an unproven product
we cannot produce a no-thing
we dont sell a thing , we simply support the absence of proof of a thing.
You have blind faith that nothing exploded and became everything, and that non-living chemicals evolved into the first living cell, for example. You can't prove these, so should a libertarian government stop you from promoting your faith?

Axiom
03-03-2008, 12:12 AM
It's notable that atheist atrocities of last century alone, using this faux libertarian justification, have hugely outnumbers all atrocities from religious causes from all previous centuries combined.
there is no causative link between atheism and atrocities

eclectic
03-03-2008, 12:17 AM
there is no causative link between atheism and atrocities

wow, you're someone who really knows where it's at! ;) ;)

Axiom
03-03-2008, 12:20 AM
You have blind faith that nothing exploded and became everything, and that non-living chemicals evolved into the first living cell, for example.i have problems with the big bang evolution model so am not one of those of which you speak.


You can't prove these, so should a libertarian government stop you from promoting your faith?

but science correctly adhered to , is not faith as such , and certainly not based on an invisible omnipotent being , and not one that encourages end times.

Axiom
03-03-2008, 12:22 AM
wow, you're someone who really knows where it's at! ;) ;)
under appreciated i assure you ;)

Rincewind
03-03-2008, 12:23 AM
You have blind faith that nothing exploded and became everything, and that non-living chemicals evolved into the first living cell, for example. You can't prove these, so should a libertarian government stop you from promoting your faith?

We teach science as science and cultural studies as cultural studies.

Big bang and evolution are scientific facts as stated by 67 of the world's academies in the IAP STATEMENT ON THE TEACHING OF EVOLUTION (http://www.interacademies.net/Object.File/Master/6/150/Evolution%20statement.pdf).

Christianity is a religion, accepted by its adherents on faith and might be taught in religion or cultural studies.

Aaron Guthrie
03-03-2008, 08:23 AM
Does it preclude him also having the monologue I presented?I'd say mine is the right monologue. In any case, just as long as it is possible that he doesn't have your monologue, then that monologue does no damage.
I'm not at all certain this is satisfactory, but: There exists at least one yes/no question that cannot be answered with 100% confidence.First the usual complaint, is there anything that can be?

Second how does that actually make things objective? How about-not 100% confidence if and only if there exists a possibility of error. Would this be a fair analysis?

Aaron Guthrie
03-03-2008, 08:38 AM
First of all the premise "everything with a beginning needs a cause" is far from unquestionable.Even if it were true, it doesn't get his argument anywhere. It just means that, even with the big bang, the universe had no beginning (since time is a creation of the universe isn't it?).

only things that begin to exist need a cause; God had no beginning since He is the creator of time.only things that begin to exist need a cause; The universe had no beginning since it is the creator of time.

pax
03-03-2008, 08:46 AM
That's the only allowable bigotry to the Left. Similarly, "multiculturalism" to a Lefty means respecting every culture apart from the Christian ones, hence banning Christmas pageants because it might offend non-Christians, but promoting Muslim, Hindu and other festivals.
This is the ficticious Left of Jono's vivid imagination. It is the same Left that ticks all the boxes on his little list.

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 09:23 AM
This is the ficticious Left of Jono's vivid imagination. It is the same Left that ticks all the boxes on his little list.
Not at all. The hate crime law proponents don't want to include Christians in the list of people it's forbidden to hate. And there are gynormous numbers of TV shows and newspaper articles that attack Christians, where no editor would dare to substitute "Jew", "Muslim", "homosexual" etc. in the same spot. E.g. a number of shows recently have gone out of their way to preach that the terrorist was acting inconsistently with the "religion of peace", but in other episodes, conservative Christians blow up abortion clinics, and not the slightest indication of its extreme rarity as well as the explicit condemnation by Christian organizations.

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 09:25 AM
Even if it were true, it doesn't get his argument anywhere. It just means that, even with the big bang, the universe had no beginning (since time is a creation of the universe isn't it?).
Of course it had a beginning. Time began with the universe.


only things that begin to exist need a cause; The universe had no beginning since it is the creator of time.
It began in time, it was hardly the creator of time.

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 09:28 AM
We teach science as science and cultural studies as cultural studies.
Government should not be in the education business.


Big bang and evolution are scientific facts as stated by 67 of the world's academies in the IAP STATEMENT ON THE TEACHING OF EVOLUTION (http://www.interacademies.net/Object.File/Master/6/150/Evolution%20statement.pdf).
Big deal. Consensus is not science, but politics. It's especially daft in this case, because it's crass to count heads to reach a consensus, when those heads also reached their consensus by counting heads.


Christianity is a religion, accepted by its adherents on faith and might be taught in religion or cultural studies.
It is accepted by many of adherents for good historical reasons, which is what pistis actually means in the New Testament.

Aaron Guthrie
03-03-2008, 09:29 AM
It began in time, it was hardly the creator of time.Not according to some people, for example-

Time began with the universe.

pax
03-03-2008, 10:26 AM
The hate crime law proponents don't want to include Christians in the list of people it's forbidden to hate.
I call bullshit.

And there are gynormous numbers of TV shows and newspaper articles that attack Christians, where no editor would dare to substitute "Jew", "Muslim", "homosexual" etc. in the same spot.
Rubbish, there are plenty of column inches devoted to criticism of Islam. Your favourite pundit Andrew Bolt, for example. Not to mention all the tabloid TV segments about "men of middle eastern appearance". Even the ABC ran a show "Jihad Sheilas" last month, which was hardly flattering to Islam.

E.g. a number of shows recently have gone out of their way to preach that the terrorist was acting inconsistently with the "religion of peace", but in other episodes, conservative Christians blow up abortion clinics, and not the slightest indication of its extreme rarity as well as the explicit condemnation by Christian organizations.
When is the last time you saw a segment about Christians blowing up abortion clinics? I can't recall ever seeing one.

Miguel
03-03-2008, 02:57 PM
I'd say mine is the right monologue.
There's something about your monologue which doesn't feel right. Bear with me while I hand-wave a bit.

"I know if I were wrong, I wouldn't know it."
This is like my delusion bit.

"I know that the mere possibility of my being wrong (i.e. that I am not omniscient) doesn't entail that I am. Thus I don't see it reasonable to discard my belief that I am omniscient on this basis."
This looks to me like probabilistic decision making:
H0 = null hypothesis, H1 = alternative hypothesis;
Although H1 could be true, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that H0 is false/highly unlikely. Therefore, I fail to reject H0 (but I haven't proven H0 true).
I don't think this reasoning is satisfactory for an OB.


In any case, just as long as it is possible that he doesn't have your monologue, then that monologue does no damage.
I think it needs to be shown that he can't have the monologue. Since even if he doesn't actually have the monologue, he still knows the contents, because he's OB.


First the usual complaint, is there anything that can be?
Is there anything that can be answered with 100% confidence? How about "Is Black in checkmate?". But I get your point. For you and me 100% confidence is typically not achievable, which is why we usually have to be content with conditional knowledge. But were talking about OB.


Second how does that actually make things objective? How about-not 100% confidence if and only if there exists a possibility of error. Would this be a fair analysis?
I (tentatively) think that's okay.

Aaron Guthrie
03-03-2008, 06:03 PM
There's something about your monologue which doesn't feel right. Bear with me while I hand-wave a bit.


"I know if I were wrong, I wouldn't know it."
This is like my delusion bit.Maybe I should refine it a bit- "I know if I were wrong, I would still have the same beliefs but they wouldn't match up to the world.", or something like that.

"I know that the mere possibility of my being wrong (i.e. that I am not omniscient) doesn't entail that I am. Thus I don't see it reasonable to discard my belief that I am omniscient on this basis."
This looks to me like probabilistic decision making:
H0 = null hypothesis, H1 = alternative hypothesis;
Although H1 could be true, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that H0 is false/highly unlikely. Therefore, I fail to reject H0 (but I haven't proven H0 true).
I don't think this reasoning is satisfactory for an OB.I'd call it plausibalistic reasoning. I am just trying to run an analogue with the brain in a vat situation. Perhaps omniscience has more stringent requirements, but I am not sure why it is supposed to.
I think it needs to be shown that he can't have the monologue. Since even if he doesn't actually have the monologue, he still knows the contents, because he's OB.I'd agree that he would be aware of the possibility of that monoluge. OK so actually I think what it comes down to is- OB would know the right approach to knowledge. If that were mine, he would believe my monoluge, if it were yours, it would be your monoluge.
Is there anything that can be answered with 100% confidence? How about "Is Black in checkmate?". But I get your point. For you and me 100% confidence is typically not achievable, which is why we usually have to be content with conditional knowledge. But were talking about OB.But I am not sure the reason for the uncertainty (which I use loosesly here ;)) is a result of our mushy brains. I think it is just a brute fact- we do not hold the things our beliefs are about in those beliefs themselves. The truth of them comes from outside. Thus there just must be the possibility of being wrong.

There are possible exceptions to this- logical truths, doubting entailing that there is doubting going on. I am currently unsure if allowing these exceptions harms my position.

bill718
03-03-2008, 06:13 PM
These are all interesting ideas, but if I may
suggest...God does indeed exist, and faith
in God is a gift. Some have it, some do not.
:hmm:

Aaron Guthrie
03-03-2008, 06:15 PM
These are all interesting ideas, but if I may
suggest...God does indeed exist, and faith
in God is a gift. Some have it, some do not.
:hmm:Strangely enough there are a few (I reckon) of us here who are interested in questions about the implications of God or God like qualities but are not interested so much in the question of if God exists. (Or at least we are able to seperate the questions.)

Axiom
03-03-2008, 06:23 PM
if people are capable of not only believing in a god , but will fight wars for a god and spend all their lives worshipping a god and recruiting believers of their god , just think what else people are capable of believing in , .....their news media perhaps ?

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 06:58 PM
if people are capable of not only believing in a god , but will fight wars for a god and spend all their lives worshipping a god and recruiting believers of their god , just think what else people are capable of believing in , .....their news media perhaps ?
What about the wars against their own people by officially atheistic governments? They have killed far more than in all religious wars and persecutions combined. Under your reasoning, we should ban proselytizing of this pathological faith.

Rincewind
03-03-2008, 07:09 PM
Government should not be in the education business.

Nah, that's just silly.


Big deal. Consensus is not science, but politics. It's especially daft in this case, because it's crass to count heads to reach a consensus, when those heads also reached their consensus by counting heads.

They did not reach a consensus by counting heads. If you actually read the statement you would know that.


It is accepted by many of adherents for good historical reasons, which is what pistis actually means in the New Testament.

By and large only ones who are raised in a christian culture. If someone popped out from another universe and just looked at everything except the bible, they would conclude that the universe is 15 billion years old.

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 07:15 PM
I call bullshit.
Bovine excreta yourself. Just compare the trees felled calling for hate crime laws that especially favor homosexuals because of Matthew Shepard (who it turns out was killed for drugs and money not for his sexuality (http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=277685&page=1)), but none favoring Christians after the homosexual Nicholas Gutierrez murdered the Christian lady Mary Stachowicz in a fit of anti-Christian rage (http://americansfortruth.com/news/matthew-shepard-vs-mary-stachowicz-why-did-ap-hype-one-murder-victim-and-ignore-the-other.html).


Rubbish, there are plenty of column inches devoted to criticism of Islam. Your favourite pundit Andrew Bolt, for example.
He is the exception rather than the rule. But far too many are pandering to Islam as a "religion of peace".


Not to mention all the tabloid TV segments about "men of middle eastern appearance".
Islam is not a race.


When is the last time you saw a segment about Christians blowing up abortion clinics? I can't recall ever seeing one.
You evidently haven't watched TV shows where the protagonist is one, or a lefty interviewer of Ayaan Hirsi Ali making this moral equivalence (http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hq5xV0p4l-0). Of course you won't see any actually news segments about it because they are so rare.

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 07:18 PM
Nah, that's just silly.
Why? What does the government do better than private enterprise, apart from providing the law to protect lives and property?


They did not reach a consensus by counting heads. If you actually read the statement you would know that.
Of course they did. Many of them have no clue about the issues, e.g. those raised by secular big bang dissenters (http://cosmologystatement.org/). It happens far too often with politics mixing with science, as we have seen recently with globull warm-mongering.


By and large only ones who are raised in a christian culture. If someone popped out from another universe and just looked at everything except the bible, they would conclude that the universe is 15 billion years old.
Why? The age of the universe seems to have been increasing over the last 200 years or so.

Desmond
03-03-2008, 07:25 PM
If God is omnipotent, can He lie? See Hebrews 6:18 - "it was impossible for God to lie"

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 07:31 PM
If God is omnipotent, can He lie? See Hebrews 6:18 - "it was impossible for God to lie"
I cover that basic issue as well in If God can do anything, then can He make a being more powerful than Himself? What does God’s omnipotence really mean? (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5566/)


Christian theologians have often applied certain ‘omni–’ (Latin for all, every) attributes to God: omnipotence (all powerful), omniscience (all knowing), and omnipresence (present everywhere) ...

But to avoid all the nonsense about them, it’s important to realise that theologians first applied these terms negatively rather than positively. I.e., they were meant to show that God has no limitations from outside Himself. This covers points like this critic, since there is no limitation in being unable to do a ‘nothing’.

It also covers biblical teachings such that God cannot sin, because this would go against His nature, but this is an internal limitation and not from outside. The Bible explicitly says that He cannot approve evil or tolerate wrongdoing (Habakkuk 1:13), ‘He cannot deny himself’ (2 Timothy 2:13), ‘cannot lie’ (Titus 1:2)....

There is nothing self-contradictory about the God of the Bible, as opposed to misunderstanding of certain terms theologians use to describe Him. God is no way invalidated because certain omni-terms contradict each other when misunderstood.

Miguel
03-03-2008, 07:47 PM
I'd call it plausibalistic reasoning. I am just trying to run an analogue with the brain in a vat situation. Perhaps omniscience has more stringent requirements, but I am not sure why it is supposed to.
I don't consider this to be particularly dissimilar to probabilistic reasoning. It suggests (to me) that there exists some uncertainty in the decision making process. But more on uncertainty below...


But I am not sure the reason for the uncertainty (which I use loosesly here ;)) is a result of our mushy brains. I think it is just a brute fact- we do not hold the things our beliefs are about in those beliefs themselves. The truth of them comes from outside. Thus there just must be the possibility of being wrong.
I guess the question that needs to be answered is: (A) Can uncertainty be inherent, regardless of possessing complete information, or (B) is uncertainty necessarily the result of incomplete information?
I can't answer that, but I'd be tempted to lean towards the latter.
(Note that I'm talking about "complete information" in a rather abstract/supernatural sense, so that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle isn't really an issue.)

I also think we need a complete and precise definition of omniscience, but even so, if we can't answer the uncertainty question, maybe the whole exercise is futile.

Rincewind
03-03-2008, 07:50 PM
Why? What does the government do better than private enterprise, apart from providing the law to protect lives and property?

Education. Before the state got involved it didn't happen at all for the vast majority of the population.


Of course they did. Many of them have no clue about the issues, e.g. those raised by secular big bang dissenters (http://cosmologystatement.org/). It happens far too often with politics mixing with science, as we have seen recently with globull warm-mongering.

Ipse dixit the non-scientist. Did you actually read the statement?


Why? The age of the universe seems to have been increasing over the last 200 years or so.

Just like the speed of light. :)

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 08:03 PM
Education. Before the state got involved it didn't happen at all for the vast majority of the population.
In America, most kids were educated well before attendance was made compulsory. Today, non-government schools and homeschooling turn out many well educated students. There is no reason to expect that governments can provide education any better than they can provide water, groceries or cars.


Ipse dixit the non-scientist.
Talking about yourself again?


Just like the speed of light. :)
Some big bangers, e.g. João Magueijo, have proposed that the speed of light was much faster in the past, to explain away the horizon problem.

Desmond
03-03-2008, 08:11 PM
It also covers biblical teachings such that God cannot sin, because this would go against His nature, but this is an internal limitation and not from outside. The Bible explicitly says that He cannot approve evil or tolerate wrongdoing (Habakkuk 1:13), ‘He cannot deny himself’ (2 Timothy 2:13), ‘cannot lie’ (Titus 1:2)....If, as you seem to be claiming, God is not the ultimate cause of evil, then how do you reconcile that with 2 Kings 6:33, Isaiah 45:7, and Amos 3:6 for a start?

Axiom
03-03-2008, 08:17 PM
In America, most kids were educated well before attendance was made compulsory. Today, non-government schools and homeschooling turn out many well educated students. There is no reason to expect that governments can provide education any better than they can provide water, groceries or cars.



spot on .
see recently where in germany (where modern mass govt schooling began in prussia about 300 yrs ago) a ban on homeschooling (we we cant raise independent thinkers can we !) , with many families fleeing to the uk .

Most seem incapable of seeing the most obvious.
Q.What is the most important element for human survival ?
A. Water
Q. Govt should only protect us from violence theft and fraud, but as they take on a whole host of other responsibilities, shouldnt water supply be a high priority ?
A.well , youd think so
Q.why do we have water restrictions, shouldnt govt plan ahead ?
A. of course, hence this is blatant evidence of failure of govt.

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 08:18 PM
If, as you seem to be claiming, God is not the ultimate cause of evil, then how do you reconcile that with 2 Kings 6:33, Isaiah 45:7, and Amos 3:6 for a start?
Why not explain what you mean, instead of verse references parroted from a gutter misotheistic site?

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 08:22 PM
spot on .
see recently where in germany (where modern mass govt schooling began in prussia about 300 yrs ago) a ban on homeschooling (we we cant raise independent thinkers can we !) , with many families fleeing to the uk .
Just like Comrade Gillardova's educratic spokespeople claiming that the government must educate kids into a common set of values. Last year they were spruiking forth on the virtues of multiculturalism. Lefty statophiles are amazing in the number of mutually contradictory ideas they can hold in their skulls.


Most seem incapable of seeing the most obvious.
Q.What is the most important element for human survival ?
A. Water
Q. Govt should only protect us from violence theft and fraud, but as they take on a whole host of other responsibilities, shouldnt water supply be a high priority ?
A.well , youd think so
Q.why do we have water restrictions, shouldnt govt plan ahead ?
A. of course, hence this is blatant evidence of failure of govt.
Like a few decades ago, government goons smashed up people's water tanks to make sure they were dependent on government supply. Now they are subsidizing them. Would be more efficient to let the water prices fluctuate with supply and demand, but that would mean less control for the Wasserspolizei.

Desmond
03-03-2008, 08:41 PM
Why not explain what you mean, instead of verse references parroted from a gutter misotheistic site?Speaking of the gutter, I notice that your mouth is back there.

The simple point is that those 3 verses seem to imply that God makes/creates evil.

Rincewind
03-03-2008, 08:48 PM
In America, most kids were educated well before attendance was made compulsory. Today, non-government schools and homeschooling turn out many well educated students. There is no reason to expect that governments can provide education any better than they can provide water, groceries or cars.

None of that is an argument that government schooling is bad.


Talking about yourself again?

Zing. Still thinking up with come-backs at a 3-grade level I see.


Some big bangers, e.g. João Magueijo, have proposed that the speed of light was much faster in the past, to explain away the horizon problem.

Do you have a point?

Aaron Guthrie
03-03-2008, 09:07 PM
I guess the question that needs to be answered is: (A) Can uncertainty be inherent, regardless of possessing complete informationDoesn't possessing complete information presuppose that there is no uncertainty? (If I have the information that I am typing, I must be typing, for if I wasn't that couldn't count as information.)

I don't think I know what you mean by "information".

I can't answer that, but I'd be tempted to lean towards the latter.As I said in my last post, I think that 'uncertainty' (scare quotes so I don't commit to anything that I don't mean to) is a necessary result of beliefs not being the very things that they are about.
I also think we need a complete and precise definition of omniscienceFirst 2 necessary conditions that seem uncontroversial-
1)for all formula, the being must have a belief about that formula
2)the beliefs must all correspond to the world (e.g. if the being believes "p", it must be the case that p)

Then tack on justification [3), for all formula there is reasonable justification for believing that formula], and I'm basically happy with it being both necessary and sufficient.
, but even so, if we can't answer the uncertainty question, maybe the whole exercise is futile.Like I say, I doubt the coherence of certain knowledge, and I have provided an argument against the coherence of it, so I am not sure I can add much at this point.

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2008, 09:07 PM
Speaking of the gutter, I notice that your mouth is back there.
Hardly "gutter talk", and this time I wasn't calling you a misotheist but talking about the sites that you parroted.


The simple point is that those 3 verses seem to imply that God makes/creates evil.
Did you bother to check a modern translation this time (checking the original languages would clearly be too much to ask), or did you just rely on 400yo Jacobean English?

Miguel
03-03-2008, 10:31 PM
Doesn't possessing complete information presuppose that there is no uncertainty?
Okay, scratch that. I'm quite happy to assume "complete information" iff "no uncertainty".


First 2 necessary conditions that seem uncontroversial-
1)for all formula, the being must have a belief about that formula
2)the beliefs must all correspond to the world (e.g. if the being believes "p", it must be the case that p)
I'm not comfortable about using "belief" in the definition of omniscience. I'd be happier with something along the lines of: For all "p", the being knows the truth of "p".

Edit: Actually, this definition would seem to eliminate my previous contradiction, since there is no reasoning or justification required. He just knows, by definition, that he's OB and not DB.

Aaron Guthrie
04-03-2008, 09:57 AM
I'm not comfortable about using "belief" in the definition of omniscience. I'd be happier with something along the lines of: For all "p", the being knows the truth of "p".I was just adapting my normal account of know to omniscience. The normal account being thus-

A being has knowledge of a proposition iff

1) the being has a belief of a proposition (e.g. "p")
2) that belief corresponds to the world (e.g. if "p" is the belief, p is the case in the world)
3) that belief is justified

I don't know why you would want to eliminate belief from an analysis of know.
Edit: Actually, this definition would seem to eliminate my previous contradiction, since there is no reasoning or justification required. He just knows, by definition, that he's OB and not DB.It is a starting point, for all p he knows that p gives you the completeness of knowledge. But yes, I agree it can't end there and there needs to be further analysis of "know".

Miguel
04-03-2008, 11:30 AM
I was just adapting my normal account of know to omniscience. The normal account being thus-

A being has knowledge of a proposition iff

1) the being has a belief of a proposition (e.g. "p")
2) that belief corresponds to the world (e.g. if "p" is the belief, p is the case in the world)
3) that belief is justified

I don't know why you would want to eliminate belief from an analysis of know.
I don't object to this definition for knowledge in an ordinary sense, but I'm not sure "belief" in the definition of omniscience is appropriate (at least to me, belief connotes uncertainty), but let's run with it anyway.

I think in the case of omniscience, the justification for a belief is necessarily the omniscience itself, since the knowledge is not gained through experience (e.g., OB gained knowledge through God snapping his fingers... I guess you could argue that the belief is justified because God gave it to him, but I'm not sure this improves the situation.)

Aaron Guthrie
04-03-2008, 12:46 PM
I don't object to this definition for knowledge in an ordinary sense, but I'm not sure "belief" in the definition of omniscience is appropriate (at least to me, belief connotes uncertainty), but let's run with it anyway.Rejecting belief because of that reason would be question begging.
I think in the case of omniscience, the justification for a belief is necessarily the omniscience itself, since the knowledge is not gained through experienceI'd say this is plainly false. Yes, omniscience itself is a justification for all beliefs, but it is clearly not the only justification. Why exclude experience as a way of gaining the justification, just because they are omniscient? God could also snap his fingers and provide experience (or the opportunity for experience).

This would also clearly mean the omniscient is committed to circularity to justify all of its beliefs. However while I disagree that the justification for all beliefs that the omniscient believe is only their omniscience, I think there is one which might be forced to be. I will return to this in a moment.


(e.g., OB gained knowledge through God snapping his fingers... I guess you could argue that the belief is justified because God gave it to him, but I'm not sure this improves the situation.)Put like this it seems circular. But there might be good reasons for believing in God independent of the omniscience.

Actually I can now articulate a good argument that omniscience cannot be justified non-circularly (but I don't think a notion of 'uncertainty' or 'certainty' needs to be invoked).

Let us run with my analysis of knowledge. Let us say there is a being that has beliefs for all propositions, and all it's beliefs are true. Let us also grant that it has justification for all beliefs except omniscience. Now what could justify "I am justified in my belief that I am omniscient?". Well only beliefs about every proposition, and justification for every proposition (the omniscient of course cannot appeal to truth). But the omniscient needs to justify "I believe that I am omniscient", so it cannot do so without appealing to a justification of "I believe that I am omniscient. QED

This might not be totally devastating to omniscience though. Perhaps one would be justified in believing one was omniscient even if one didn't have independent justification for every proposition. (Something like, so far I have been right, so it seems my belief box just matches up with the world. So one bases the justification of a subset of ones beliefs on the seeming infallibility of ones other beliefs.)

Igor_Goldenberg
04-03-2008, 03:08 PM
Why? The age of the universe seems to have been increasing over the last 200 years or so.

Correct. Over the last 200 years it increased by about 200 years:D :D :D

Spiny Norman
04-03-2008, 04:01 PM
So the soul is contingently immortal?
Can god, if he wanted to, create a being which can also destroy souls?
Dunno. Again, had never thought about it, until now. Provisionally I'll answer "yes" ... it seems possible ... and I see no compelling reason at first glance why I would think that it were impossible or somehow logically inconsistent.

Desmond
04-03-2008, 05:11 PM
Did you bother to check a modern translation this time (checking the original languages would clearly be too much to ask), or did you just rely on 400yo Jacobean English?You have not convinced me that I should prefer your version to the traditional one. I know plenty of Christians who use the KJV, and even a pastor who believes it literally.

Capablanca-Fan
04-03-2008, 06:27 PM
You have not convinced me that I should prefer your version to the traditional one. I know plenty of Christians who use the KJV, and even a pastor who believes it literally.
Who cares? What matters is what the original language means, not a translation into 400yo English. A more modern translation could make the meaning clearer, e.g. in KJV English, "prevent" meant "precede", a meaning closer to its etymology but not what it means now.

Capablanca-Fan
04-03-2008, 06:29 PM
The myth of the noble scientist (http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/the-myth-of-the-noble-scientist/2008/03/02/1204402275168.html?page=2)
Terence Kealey, vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, on peer review
Sydney Morning Herald, 3 March 2008


"But peer review carries dangers. First, it allows dunderheads to block unexpected ideas. Everybody in science knows of researchers such as Barbara McClintock, who won a Nobel prize in 1983 for discovering gene-jumping, a process by which scraps of DNA move about the genome. She had to publish her findings informally, in the annual reports of the Carnegie Institution, because she could not persuade peer reviewers to accept them. Moreover, peer review is slow, and allows unscrupulous reviewers to plunder their competitors' papers and to block their publication.

...

Peer review was always an illusion, providing a deceptive imprimatur of objective truth. Less formal arrangements will remind us that new science is always provisional — and that validation comes only after publication, when others try to reproduce the work."

Axiom
04-03-2008, 06:30 PM
Who cares? What matters is what the original language means, not a translation into 400yo English. A more modern translation could make the meaning clearer, e.g. in KJV English, "prevent" meant "precede", a meaning closer to its etymology but not what it means now.
so the word of god is dependent upon translation?
what about the translation from god to man when the originals were written ?

Aaron Guthrie
04-03-2008, 06:33 PM
How did the subject of peer review get in here?

Capablanca-Fan
04-03-2008, 06:53 PM
so the word of god is dependent upon translation?
What, you'd blame God for translators' mistakes?

So if I interpreted one of your posts as "Axiom likes Morris Dancing with parsnips sticking out his nose" it would be all your fault not mine?


what about the translation from god to man when the originals were written ?
God uses language, so what's the problem?

I will deign to defend only the original manuscripts, not copies or translations. See also Copyist Errors and Estimations (http://www.tektonics.org/af/copyisterrors.html) and The Bible and hermeneutics (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/4880/), and a standard Christian position paper, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (http://www.kulikovskyonline.net/hermeneutics/csbe.htm):


Article VIII.

WE AFFIRM that God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared.

WE DENY that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.

...

Article X.

WE AFFIRM that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.

WE DENY that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.

...

Transmission and Translation

Since God has nowhere promised an inerrant transmission of Scripture, it is necessary to affirm that only the autographic text of the original documents was inspired and to maintain the need of textual criticism as a means of detecting any slips that may have crept into the text in the course of its transmission. The verdict of this science, however, is that the Hebrew and Greek text appear to be amazingly well preserved, so that we are amply justified in affirming, with the Westminster Confession, a singular providence of God in this matter and in declaring that the authority of Scripture is in no way jeopardized by the fact that the copies we possess are not entirely error-free.

Similarly, no translation is or can be perfect, and all translations are an additional step away from the autographa. Yet the verdict of linguistic science is that English-speaking Christians, at least, are exceedingly well served in these days with a host of excellent translations and have no cause for hesitating to conclude that the true Word of God is within their reach. Indeed, in view of the frequent repetition in Scripture of the main matters with which it deals and also of the Holy Spirit's constant witness to and through the Word, no serious translation of Holy Scripture will so destroy its meaning as to render it unable to make its reader "wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:15).

Capablanca-Fan
04-03-2008, 06:54 PM
How did the subject of peer review get in here?
Where would you put it? Some of the resident atheopaths are obsessed by it.

Aaron Guthrie
04-03-2008, 07:06 PM
Where would you put it? Some of the resident atheopaths are obsessed by it.You and Rincewind have had big long debates on peer review, right? If you feel the need to post it, surely one of those threads would at least make some sense. So far it hadn't even been mentioned here.

I'd dare also to say that if anyone is to be accused of obsession, surely it is the one that posted a link to a story about it out of the blue, and without regard to the fact that it hadn't even been mentioned. (In contrast to the supposed obsessed, who had so far got by just fine without mentioning it.)

Capablanca-Fan
04-03-2008, 07:10 PM
I'd dare also to say that if anyone is to be accused of obsession, surely it is the one that posted a link to a story about it out of the blue, and without regard to the fact that it hadn't even been mentioned. (In contrast to the supposed obsessed, who had so far got by just fine without mentioning it.)
I was merely presenting this as another side to one who uses it as a mantra to avoid dealing with actual evidence.

Axiom
04-03-2008, 07:14 PM
What, you'd blame God for translators' mistakes?
of course not , how could i blame god !
simply questioning the accuracy of the original translated word.


So if I interpreted one of your posts as "Axiom likes Morris Dancing with parsnips sticking out his nose" it would be all your fault not mine? no, i would assume you were insane.




God uses language, so what's the problem?

I will deign to defend only the original manuscripts, not copies or translations. See also Copyist Errors and Estimations (http://www.tektonics.org/af/copyisterrors.html) and The Bible and hermeneutics (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/4880/), and a standard Christian position paper, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (http://www.kulikovskyonline.net/hermeneutics/csbe.htm):


Article VIII.

WE AFFIRM that God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared.

WE DENY that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.

...

Article X.

WE AFFIRM that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.

WE DENY that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.

...

Transmission and Translation

Since God has nowhere promised an inerrant transmission of Scripture, it is necessary to affirm that only the autographic text of the original documents was inspired and to maintain the need of textual criticism as a means of detecting any slips that may have crept into the text in the course of its transmission. The verdict of this science, however, is that the Hebrew and Greek text appear to be amazingly well preserved, so that we are amply justified in affirming, with the Westminster Confession, a singular providence of God in this matter and in declaring that the authority of Scripture is in no way jeopardized by the fact that the copies we possess are not entirely error-free.

Similarly, no translation is or can be perfect, and all translations are an additional step away from the autographa. Yet the verdict of linguistic science is that English-speaking Christians, at least, are exceedingly well served in these days with a host of excellent translations and have no cause for hesitating to conclude that the true Word of God is within their reach. Indeed, in view of the frequent repetition in Scripture of the main matters with which it deals and also of the Holy Spirit's constant witness to and through the Word, no serious translation of Holy Scripture will so destroy its meaning as to render it unable to make its reader "wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:15).
ok , god would make sure there were no original translation errors , only subsequent ones.

Capablanca-Fan
04-03-2008, 07:21 PM
of course not , how could i blame god !
simply questioning the accuracy of the original translated word.
No you weren't, you were demanding that I defend translations.


no, i would assume you were insane.
Thus the same applies to those who would attack the Bible for what the King James translators wrote 400 years ago.


ok , god would make sure there were no original translation errors , only subsequent ones.
Why should He hold everyone's hands?

Aaron Guthrie
04-03-2008, 07:24 PM
Jono, is there a Christian, or denomination thereof, theory of meaning that you are aware of?

Axiom
04-03-2008, 07:27 PM
No you weren't, you were demanding that I defend translations. demanding ? no, just hoping.



Thus the same applies to those who would attack the Bible for what the King James translators wrote 400 years ago.
but not the original versions, because they were unequivocally the word of god ?


Why should He hold everyone's hands?
depends how much god values his word reaching his people in unambiguous form.

Miguel
04-03-2008, 08:21 PM
I'd say this is plainly false. Yes, omniscience itself is a justification for all beliefs, but it is clearly not the only justification. Why exclude experience as a way of gaining the justification, just because they are omniscient?
If omniscience is sufficient for justification, what more is necessary? Isn't the experience superfluous (for justification)?


God could also snap his fingers and provide experience (or the opportunity for experience).
He could, but is it necessary?


Let us run with my analysis of knowledge. Let us say there is a being that has beliefs for all propositions, and all it's beliefs are true. Let us also grant that it has justification for all beliefs except omniscience. Now what could justify "I am justified in my belief that I am omniscient?". Well only beliefs about every proposition, and justification for every proposition (the omniscient of course cannot appeal to truth). But the omniscient needs to justify "I believe that I am omniscient", so it cannot do so without appealing to a justification of "I believe that I am omniscient. QED
Yes, I think this works.


This might not be totally devastating to omniscience though. Perhaps one would be justified in believing one was omniscient even if one didn't have independent justification for every proposition. (Something like, so far I have been right, so it seems my belief box just matches up with the world. So one bases the justification of a subset of ones beliefs on the seeming infallibility of ones other beliefs.)
I think there might be a stronger justification by using probability (e.g., Pr(some event) = 1 iff omniscient), but I can't think of any right now.

Aaron Guthrie
04-03-2008, 08:55 PM
If omniscience is sufficient for justification, what more is necessary? Isn't the experience superfluous (for justification)?This reduces quite blantatly to every belief being circularly justified.

Also why constrain the omniscient to only that justification?

It also just seems to me the way to produce omniscience is to have all ones beliefs be justified (and true), rather than the reverse. Currently I can't put this into rigorous form though, and I am unsure if it is actually a coherent view.

Aaron: So Bob, who will win the election?
OB: It will be Fred!
Aaron: Can you justify that assertion?
OB: I am OB! Thus my belief is justified by that very fact!
Aaron: But isn't there an objective reason to think so?
OB: Well all my beliefs are justified.
Aaron: They are justified only by the fact that they are all justified?
OB: Yep, that is all there is too it.
Aaron: So it isn't that you have a justification for every belief, and thus you are omniscient, it is rather that you are omniscient, and that is your justification for every belief.
Aaron: I mean, sure if you are omniscient, you have a justification for every belief, and omniscience is a justification to say that you have a justification, i.e. that your beliefs are justified, but is omniscience that very justification?

Miguel
04-03-2008, 10:28 PM
This reduces quite blantatly to every belief being circularly justified.
Yes, it does.


Also why constrain the omniscient to only that justification?
I wasn't. I was just noting that if omniscience is sufficient, then any other justification process necessarily must have the same result.


It also just seems to me the way to produce omniscience is to have all ones beliefs be justified (and true), rather than the reverse.
This may be easier said than done. It might require omnipotence in order to zip all over space-time to be able to justify the beliefs.

Actually, if you require external justification (i.e., it's unacceptable to say "I am OB! Thus my belief is justified by that very fact!"), then maybe beliefs are restricted by physics (e.g., Heisenberg uncertainty principle).

Aaron Guthrie
04-03-2008, 11:14 PM
This may be easier said than done.If we are talking logical possibility, consistently said is good enough. ;)
It might require omnipotence in order to zip all over space-time to be able to justify the beliefs.Maybe it would, I am not sure.
Actually, if you require external justification (i.e., it's unacceptable to say "I am OB! Thus my belief is justified by that very fact!")The circularity in this case does seems viciously circular.

, then maybe beliefs are restricted by physics (e.g., Heisenberg uncertainty principle).So perhaps omniscience isn't possible in this world.

Also there may still be a way around things- so to determine both place and velocity, God makes a duplicate of the universe, and in one you measure one, the other the other. Maybe this would work, maybe not, my real point in attempting to is just that- logical possibility allows quite a lot of things that seem impossible to be possible.

edit-(Actually probably it is even easier- it is logically possible that another universe exists that records the positions of such particles.)

Rincewind
04-03-2008, 11:38 PM
I was merely presenting this as another side to one who uses it as a mantra to avoid dealing with actual evidence.

:lol:

He also says...


Some form of peer review will need to survive, to deter fraudsters...

So you will still not be able to get your stuff published. :)

Capablanca-Fan
05-03-2008, 01:41 AM
"Some form of peer review will need to survive, to deter fraudsters..."

So you will still not be able to get your stuff published. :)
Of course, because of the paradigm keeping that he pointed out, riding off the back of the alleged fraud prevention. Even though this couldn't keep out evolutionary frauds like Haeckel's embryo pics, Piltdown man, Archaeoraptor ;)

Rincewind
05-03-2008, 08:04 AM
Of course, because of the paradigm keeping that he pointed out, riding off the back of the alleged fraud prevention. Even though this couldn't keep out evolutionary frauds like Haeckel's embryo pics, Piltdown man, Archaeoraptor ;)

The fact of the matter is that peer review is not sufficient nor without faults. I never said otherwise. I would say it is not as flawed as Kealey makes out, but when you are in the business of selling your latest book, essays saying science is running smoothly are not going to get published. So why not be controversial? I hardly thing the editors at the Proc Roy Soc or anywhere else are going to lose much sleep over it.

Miguel
05-03-2008, 04:29 PM
Also there may still be a way around things- so to determine both place and velocity, God makes a duplicate of the universe, and in one you measure one, the other the other.
I thought of something like this too, except my idea is that God would wind back the clock. I'm not sure if this really works either.


Maybe this would work, maybe not, my real point in attempting to is just that- logical possibility allows quite a lot of things that seem impossible to be possible.
No argument there :D


edit-(Actually probably it is even easier- it is logically possible that another universe exists that records the positions of such particles.)
Would that actually solve the problem, or compound it? Another universe means more propositions, doesn't it?

Aaron Guthrie
05-03-2008, 04:36 PM
I thought of something like this too, except my idea is that God would wind back the clock. I'm not sure if this really works either.Yeah I thought of a similar one to that (maybe the same). Rewind, show initial position, show laws (not sure how that is done), then the omni one just deduces what happens in the rest of time.


No argument there :D



Would that actually solve the problem, or compound it?I don't think it compounds things. One may ask how the guy knows that this universe tells him information about the other, but I don't think that is a serious problem.
Another universe means more propositions, doesn't it?Ask me after next semester. :lol:

On current knowledge I say no- it is just omega regardless. (if p, then p v p, and p v p v p...). But I am sure I am missing something (how do you fit propositions about all the reals in?). Probably I am confusing ordinals and cardinals or something. No idea really.

Miguel
05-03-2008, 04:39 PM
Incidentally, I wonder how much storage would be required to hold omniscient knowledge of all space-time. Finite?

Aaron Guthrie
05-03-2008, 05:03 PM
Incidentally, I wonder how much storage would be required to hold omniscient knowledge of all space-time. Finite?If you were going syntactically and did closure on propositions you would end up with an infinite amount of propositions to consider (as in my last post, p entails p v p, and it entails p v p v p...). If you did it via models (e.g. p=T is a model of p, p v p...) you might get around that. But then you have to say what knowledge of all space-time means. Are you counting mathematical truths (assuming there are any)? Knowledge of the implications of laws? Knowledge of logic?

Miguel
05-03-2008, 05:31 PM
I was referring to the same omniscience we were previously discussing (i.e., OB).

Aaron Guthrie
05-03-2008, 06:02 PM
I was referring to the same omniscience we were previously discussing (i.e., OB).Assuming that we were talking about the same thing. I don't see why you specified "space-time" (hence my questions). Does it specify only a proper subset of propositions, or does it specify all propositions?

Anyway, if you allow mathematics with multiplication (or other recursive functions), it must be infinite (proof, Goedel).

Desmond
05-03-2008, 07:22 PM
Who cares? What matters is what the original language means,And what the original language means is conveyed to us through translations.


not a translation into 400yo English. A more modern translation could make the meaning clearer, I doubt it. Given that language obviously evolves over time, it seems to me that the oldest translation is most likely the closest to the mark.



e.g. in KJV English, "prevent" meant "precede", a meaning closer to its etymology but not what it means now.Yeah, and according to you, "dragons" then translates to "jackals" now.

Capablanca-Fan
05-03-2008, 07:41 PM
And what the original language means is conveyed to us through translations.
Yes.


I doubt it. Given that language obviously evolves over time, it seems to me that the oldest translation is most likely the closest to the mark.
No, given that language evolves, the modern translation is likely to be closer to our meaning. I've already given you an example of how KJV words have changed meaning; anyone familiar with Shakespeare would know that.

Also, modern translators have access to older manuscripts than were available to the KJV translations, and an understanding that the New Testament was written in Koinē Greek rather than the Classical Greek that the KJV translators knew.


Yeah, and according to you, "dragons" then translates to "jackals" now.
That is within the word's semantic range.

Miguel
05-03-2008, 09:35 PM
Assuming that we were talking about the same thing. I don't see why you specified "space-time" (hence my questions). Does it specify only a proper subset of propositions, or does it specify all propositions?
I'm talking about the same ol' OB. I just put that in to emphasise that space-time is much "bigger" (hence more propositions) than just space. It's not really something to get stuck on.


Anyway, if you allow mathematics with multiplication (or other recursive functions), it must be infinite (proof, Goedel).
This is what I was getting to. What is the consequence of this on OB's brain size? (I'm not really intending for this to go into a discussion about dualism.)

Aaron Guthrie
05-03-2008, 10:04 PM
This is what I was getting to. What is the consequence of this on OB's brain size? (I'm not really intending for this to go into a discussion about dualism.)Really big, infinite. I have no idea in what physical or other sense the beliefs should be thought of being in. Physical sense is odd, just because we are not used to that, but in principle, probably OK. Perhaps there is a problem with non-denumerable physical infinites, not sure.

I think there is a potentially serious problem lurking, the possibility that the belief box has to be bigger than itself. This problem potentially arising from having to have beliefs about the belief box.

Miguel
06-03-2008, 05:51 PM
Really big, infinite.
Talk about a know-it-all being bigheaded! :D