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  #49  
Old June 29th, 2017, 04:28 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

Yes, love your latest post, @Dad_Scaper ! Only quibble is the part where you seemed to be still implying that either 1) you can't measure supernatural even when it interacts with the natural world or 2) the god people tend to be talking about in these discussions doesn't interact with the natural world in such ways.

There is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. --MLK
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  #50  
Old June 29th, 2017, 04:32 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

Great post, @Xorlof

I like proposing those types of questions as a way to show that even when we have found a foundational way in which to approach answering the big questions, still we are searching for those answers. Naturally, there was quite a bit of what you posted with which I am not in agreement, but since very little of it was directed towards me, I think I will let those to whom you addressed those points answer them.

JS,

Truly, I understand what you are saying. I simply cannot agree. How can freedom NOT include the potential to always make the best possible choice within the context of having perfect knowledge and power? Can you really say that the only way to be free is to occasionally, intentionally, act wrongly or poorly, violating your own nature simply to demonstrate the ability to do so? That just doesn't make any sense. The question of whether or not an omniscient, omnipotent God has the ability to act against their nature is irrelevant because there is no reason an omnipotent, omniscient God could possibly desire to do so.

~Aldin, acting within his nature

He either fears his fate too much
or his desserts are small
That dares not put it to the touch
to gain or lose it all
~James Graham
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  #51  
Old June 29th, 2017, 04:36 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

It really is all about the journey.

I find the double blind, prayers vs. cancer study interesting.
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  #52  
Old June 29th, 2017, 04:56 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldin View Post
JS,

Truly, I understand what you are saying. I simply cannot agree. How can freedom NOT include the potential to always make the best possible choice within the context of having perfect knowledge and power? Can you really say that the only way to be free is to occasionally, intentionally, act wrongly or poorly, violating your own nature simply to demonstrate the ability to do so? That just doesn't make any sense. The question of whether or not an omniscient, omnipotent God has the ability to act against their nature is irrelevant because there is no reason an omnipotent, omniscient God could possibly desire to do so.

~Aldin, acting within his nature
So I would beg your forgiveness if I seem (or in fact am) simply ignorant to your points. Allow me to try and break down your post point-by-point.

Quote:
Can you really say that the only way to be free is to occasionally, intentionally, act wrongly or poorly, violating your own nature simply to demonstrate the ability to do so? That just doesn't make any sense.
I am not saying he needs to commit an action contrary to what is best in order to prove he is omnipotent (although I would argue that supposing there is a god he has already committed actions contrary to the greater good, but I don't have infinite knowledge so I could be wrong). I am saying he can't commit those actions, I am saying he lacks the ability to do so by the definition of his attributes. The two powers are mutually exclusive and cannot coexist in the same character.

Quote:
The question of whether or not an omniscient, omnipotent God has the ability to act against their nature is irrelevant because there is no reason an omnipotent, omniscient God could possibly desire to do so.
It's hardly irrelevant when discussing if such a being exists. Because potency is not a measure of what one will do, but what one has the potential to do.

Imagine for second, you were to propose to me that a perfectly green and yet perfectly blue, invisible unicorn was flying about the room. I would argue that a unicorn (disregarding the fact that I don't believe they exist) could not be both entirely blue and entirely green, because those two attributes could not exist in the same respect in the same character. Then imagine you told me that the fact is irrelevant because the unicorn is invisible, so despite the fact that it has those two colors, it doesn't matter because it could never be seen anyways.

A rough analogy I know, but similarly, you are proposing I concede that the god is both omniscient and omnipotent despite the contradiction, and you are proposing this on the grounds that the god would only choose one path to begin with.

I am arguing that an omnipotent, and omniscient god cannot exist because, by definition of his attributes, would be unable to do all things (e.g. change what he already knows will happen).

You're asking me to ignore the contradiction in character, because if such a being would exist it wouldn't matter. But the fact is, it's impossible for such a being to exist at all.

~JS
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  #53  
Old June 29th, 2017, 05:09 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

What's hilarious is that I think the only disagreement we have is semantics. Our definitions of omnipotence diverge. Would you agree that an omniscient God with the ability to act within their nature and achieve all that they desire is possible? If so, then my standard for omnipotence has been met. Kinda like the guy who wishes that he can always put his hand in his pocket to pull out the exact amount of money he needs for any situation. His resources are effectively limitless, however you might want to argue about his net worth.

~Aldin, putting his hand in his pocket and pulling out his two cents

He either fears his fate too much
or his desserts are small
That dares not put it to the touch
to gain or lose it all
~James Graham
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  #54  
Old June 29th, 2017, 05:16 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldin View Post
What's hilarious is that I think the only disagreement we have is semantics. Our definitions of omnipotence diverge. Would you agree that an omniscient God with the ability to act within their nature and achieve all that they desire is possible? If so, then my standard for omnipotence has been met. Kinda like the guy who wishes that he can always put his hand in his pocket to pull out the exact amount of money he needs for any situation. His resources are effectively limitless, however you might want to argue about his net worth.

~Aldin, putting his hand in his pocket and pulling out his two cents
I could agree to that definition for the sake of the argument (although it is not the definition that typically comes to mind). But I think that simply achieving all within one's desire and nature is not enough to warrant the term omnipotent. Powerful? By all means, and incredibly so. But all powerful? I would think nit because I maintain that there are still things the individual would not be able to do.

Would you agree with that?

~JS
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  #55  
Old June 29th, 2017, 05:30 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Sweeney View Post
I could agree to that definition for the sake of the argument (although it is not the definition that typically comes to mind). But I think that simply achieving all within one's desire and nature is not enough to warrant the term omnipotent. Powerful? By all means, and incredibly so. But all powerful? I would think nit because I maintain that there are still things the individual would not be able to do.

Would you agree with that?

~JS
From the perspective of the individual, they are indeed all powerful. There is literally nothing which they would choose to do which they cannot do. If you had the ability to do literally anything you chose to do, would you not be all powerful? Whether or not you would choose to do things wouldn't change whether or not you had the power to do so, right?

~Aldin, unsure as to what power beyond the power to do anything you want without restriction could possibly be

He either fears his fate too much
or his desserts are small
That dares not put it to the touch
to gain or lose it all
~James Graham
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  #56  
Old June 29th, 2017, 05:42 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldin View Post
From the perspective of the individual, they are indeed all powerful. There is literally nothing which they would choose to do which they cannot do. If you had the ability to do literally anything you chose to do, would you not be all powerful? Whether or not you would choose to do things wouldn't change whether or not you had the power to do so, right?

~Aldin, unsure as to what power beyond the power to do anything you want without restriction could possibly be
Well let me try and illustrate that for you. Let's put myself in the shoes of this theoretical being and give me your definition of omnipotence.

Suppose I have the power to make the love of my life fall hopelessly in love me, and this woman is the only woman to ever exist that I have wanted. She is all I want, and I have the power to make her mine unreservedly. Am I omnipotent? I am sure you would agree that to assert I was would be ridiculous. I may be all powerful in the respect to a given circumstance (e.g. making the woman love me) but for every other woman, man, dog, cat etc. I lack omnipotence. I lack omnipotence in every respect save for my want. Am I omnipotent?

The example meets your criteria because the woman is all I desire, but it still doesn't make me omnipotent because I do not maintain the power to do anything and everything.

~JS
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  #57  
Old June 29th, 2017, 05:47 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

Well, you changed the criteria. You specifically limited the power to the power to make her love you. So, I agree, in this case you would not be all powerful. Had you not changed the criteria, had you said you had the ability to do whatever you wanted and the only thing you wanted was the woman, then you would still be all powerful. You would exercise it in a limited fashion, but it would still remain that should you choose to do anything else, you could.

~Aldin, feeling the floor shift

He either fears his fate too much
or his desserts are small
That dares not put it to the touch
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  #58  
Old June 29th, 2017, 07:26 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

I find many of the "omni-s" incoherent. In some respects, it is easy to discuss infinities, but when you drill down to the details you often are forced into weird conclusions. To bring the omni-s into coherence, you have to make them limited in some sense, as Aldin is attempting to do. I think that when you do so, if done correctly, it might still possible to usefully apply those terms.

This might be the source of the back-and-forth between you two--JS is attempting to bring things back to the classical notion. It's not the usage Aldin accepts, but JS expressing his objection to the classical notion is useful because I suspect it is the notion most people hold. (When you use a term in a "non-standard way" (sorry the better term eludes me at the moment), as Aldin is, you risk confusion).

JS rejecting the label "omnipotent" when it carries the restrictions Aldin outlines seems reasonable to do, but it's a preference thing; I'm OK with using the label under the restrictions already brought up. I would have a greater reluctance to applying the omnipotent label if that hypothetical notion of god that can do whatever he wants within his nature could not change his nature (regardless of whether he has the desire to do so). If he can't, even if only in principle, and he really can do nothing other than what his nature commands him to do, I personally find it harder to swallow the omnipotent label. I think I still accept it, but in that case, it really feels like he is a slave to his nature. More of a genie in the bottle than an omnipotent being. But again, YMMV; I'm mostly expressing my preference for how the word is used.

There is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. --MLK

Last edited by Xorlof; June 29th, 2017 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Missing words
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  #59  
Old June 29th, 2017, 10:24 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xorlof View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hahma View Post
I think people that want to, can choose to argue either case. There is no proof either way, mostly faith in their being a God, or faith in science.
I like the spirit of much of your post, Hahma, but I wanted to point out the false dichotomy there. Plenty of believers adore scientific inquiry and the scientific method. And I also wanted to quickly point out that you're possibly equivocating on the use of "faith" here. "Faith" as in "confidence" is often a result of evidence. "Faith" as in "belief without evidence" is a whole other kettle of fish.


Nothing's simple in this thread. I wasn't trying to be deep or anything, because I don't have the education you guys have in order to be that deep.

I was just trying to say that there is no undeniable proof either way. People can argue their point based on spiritual faith (while of course some of those may still be open to scientific exploration), while others can argue based on their faith/confidence in pure science (and of course some of them may be open to spiritual exploration).

People can talk in circles forever and there is still no proof one way or the other. Some people may end up being persuaded to change their minds, or not.

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  #60  
Old June 29th, 2017, 10:31 PM
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Re: Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God

Ha! Fair enough, Hahma!

There is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. --MLK
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