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Old 3rd August 2020, 08:37 PM   #321
GDon
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Okay, I get your point about the other-minds question. The skeptical position is to go by the evidence, and, until such evidence is available, the honest answer is that one doesn't know; so then, provisionally, should one assume the one or the other? I agree, that's an open question, and either answer might be valid, as far as the answer itself. Absolutely, I take your point.
I think it goes deeper than that. I agree that the skeptic doesn't have enough evidence to go on, so as you say the honest answer is "I don't know." But how does the skeptic then act? Either other minds exist or they don't. Should she act as though there are other minds, or should she act as though there are no other minds, i.e. others are virtual people within some simulation? Because how she acts influences on how she might treat other minds. The first view implies treating people as having agency equal to her own, the second doesn't. Those are the implications. You might say that her beliefs -- regardless of her "I don't know" answer -- are revealed through her actions.

It's like the argument over free-will and determinism. Am I free to choose eggs or choose cereal for breakfast? Are all my decisions 'locked in' by the laws of physics? A person may decide that the universe is indeed deterministic and that there is no free-will, and then goes home and spends time deciding what to have for breakfast.

If a skeptic doesn't know that there are other minds, but she acts as though there are other minds, is that rational? Conversely, she may concede she doesn't know and then decides, pending more evidence, to act as though there were no other minds. Are the actions in doing one or the other more rational? If she finds it more agreeable (rather than more rational) to believe that there are other minds and acts accordingly, I would agree with her decision: I'd also find it a more agreeable choice. I think anyone who believes in the value of morality would find it more beneficial in treating apparent other-minds as actual other-minds until they can get evidence otherwise, as a kind of "moral Turing test". I know you consider agreeable choices (even beneficial ones) "wishful thinking" below, and maybe it is.

She has to act one way or the other. She has to bet: "other minds" vs "no other minds". In the absence of evidence, wouldn't betting on the more agreeable and beneficial option make sense?

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Where I disagree squarely with you is how you've chosen to extrapolate this principle, this broad heuristic, to your particular objective-morality question. That is, I agree, following your reasoning, that either answer to the objective-morality question may be valid, provisionally, pending evidence that definitely points one way or the other, provided your your reasons are sound. The problem is that your reasons are NOT sound.

You clearly say, in your post, that you choose in favor of an objective morality because that worldview appears agreeable to you. And that is where you err. As a skeptic yourself, I expect you'll agree with me when I say this. Even without evidence, I'd say your objective-morality position is sound, had you based it on subjective judgment about truth value. Heck, given equal probability of either position (per your subjective evaluation), I'd say it's rational to choose one even on grounds of convenience! But to provisionally choose one unevidenced position over another simply because the former is more agreeable/reassuring to you, that is no more than wishful thinking, and simply not rational.
Fair comment.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
And further: I realize, basis your latest post addressed to me, that what you'd said, earlier, about laying your bets hadn't been a reference to Pascal's Wager at all. But then, I now don't see your point, at all. In provisionally accepting, pending actual evidence, that there's an objective morality, how exactly do you end up benefiting if it so turns out that you're right after all? In what way will your gamble benefit you even if you do happen to win? That part of your reasoning I simply do not follow.
Cognition de-dissonanced, a grounding for morals, an origin to the universe and a sense of my place in it; vs none of that.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 10:39 PM   #322
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I think the bottom line is that any logical argument for God only works if you accept certain premises as true.
To be clear: An argument where the conclusion flows from the premises is valid.

An argument where the conclusion flows from the premises and the premises are true is sound.

So logical arguments about God's attributes can be made, and determined to be valid or invalid, as long as the premises are agreed upon.

But logically valid arguments don't count towards establishing the truth of the premises. So they don't count towards proving God exists or that God's attributes are real.

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Old 3rd August 2020, 10:47 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Logically, there is nothing stopping omniscience being compatible with free will as far as I know.
It all depends on what you define as 'omniscience' and 'free will'. Some versions are not compatible, others may be.

But does it even matter? The truth is that both were conceived by people who simply didn't think the logic through, because it didn't matter to them. The important thing was having a property that supported their religious dogma, not that it be logically consistent. If people believed it then mission accomplished!

Originally Posted by ynot
All god belief claims completely fail at the very first "burden of proof" hurdle, as do all paranormal/supernatural beliefs. Such utterly failed belief claims don't require or deserve any further attention.
As far as "burden of proof" is concerned you are right. However these 'failed' beliefs may still be worth attention for understanding the thoughts and actions of believers.

Take omniscience and free will for example. What do they they mean to the believer in practice? Does free will mean they should carefully consider their options and always try to make the 'right' choices? Or does omniscience mean they can do whatever they feel like because God has already determined what they will do? The answer depends on what the believer thinks is the the purpose of these properties, and how they use them to rationalize their behavior. Whether they actually exist or not is irrelevant.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 10:58 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
So logical arguments about God's attributes can be made, and determined to be valid or invalid, as long as the premises are agreed upon.

But logically valid arguments don't count towards establishing the truth of the premises. So they don't count towards proving God exists or that God's attributes are real.
This is true, and its value is that it reduces the burden of proof on the believer. Just make that one leap of faith, and the rest is all logically consistent! (if you are lucky).

But theists who argue like this are deluding themselves. The true value in religion is not logical truths, because they are all false from the start so anything concluded from them is suspect. Better to just accept the dogma and not worry about logical consistency. Or if you don't like the dogma, make up your own! (It will be equally valid).
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Old 4th August 2020, 01:45 AM   #325
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Essentially, theology is the study of beliefs - particularly belief in supernatural forces that supposedly control the physical world and provide moral guidance. So what we are really talking about is human psychology.
That is very true, but in the same way as saying that dolphins are mammals. It doesn't also work the other way around. Not all mammals are dolphins. Similarly, not all psychological issues are the domain of theology.

And really that was my whole issue there: just because some of the more fanatical fans of the Austrian school of economics(*) are delusional, possibly even in the same way as some religious fanatics, it doesn't mean that the Austrian school of economics belongs in a discussion about theology.


(*) Because if we're talking about specifically the ideal free market pushed by specifically American right-wing libertarians, we're talking about the Austrian school. A.k.a., the ONLY school of economics ever that doesn't actually do maths or any actual economic efficiency studies or anything. It pretty much just postulates that if the free market does X, then that's the optimum. So yeah, I can see your point that it shares some common elements with religious beliefs.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Any arguments about the logic of theology have to start with the assumption that the supernatural exists.
Well, that's actually exactly why I don't include Austrian school economics under religion. There is no supernatural element claimed to be there.

And when it comes to religion, I would add that a key component is what I would call having a Santa Claus. I.e., that it has to care about whether you've been a good boy or a bad boy. That's what MAKES it supernatural.

Natural laws are simply mechanical cause and effect. If I drop a bowling ball from 100m high, it always hits the ground after 4.5 seconds. Gravity doesn't give a flip about my morality or piety. It doesn't matter if I'm the most saintly person who's ever lived, or worse than Hitler and Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot combined. And it doesn't matter if I worship Einstein with ample prayers 5 times a day, as our holiest prophet of GR, or if I don't even believe that gravity is real. That bowling ball hits the ground after the same time in any case.

Every religion I know of, though, has to have SOME element that is basically your personal Santa Claus. It may be a god, or it may be the universe itself, or whatever, but at the end of the day it acts like a Santa Claus. If you've been good enough, those laws of the universe get bent in your favour, and if you've been bad enough or annoying enough to the gods, those same laws bend a bit in your disfavour.

And much as it's just based on faith anyway, I don't see how Austrian school economics qualifies as a religion. Is all I was saying.
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Old 4th August 2020, 04:39 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
Precisely!!! Theism is irrational.

However theists like GDon cannot ever admit his omni-God is merely a product of his imagination.
Actually, he has, several times, in this very thread.
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Old 4th August 2020, 10:26 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
... I know you consider agreeable choices (even beneficial ones) "wishful thinking" ...

Only when the fact that a belief is agreeable is the only, or at least the primary, reason to (choose to) hold that belief.


Quote:
... She has to act one way or the other. She has to bet: "other minds" vs "no other minds". In the absence of evidence, wouldn't betting on the more agreeable and beneficial option make sense?

Emphatically not! And here's why: I think "Does it make more sense to act as if it were so?", and "Is it rational to believe it is so?" are two separate questions, and I think you may be conflating the two.

Let's say I'm an atheist, and am majorly attracted to a hot Catholic girl who is fully sold on the entire RCC deal, and, while she reciprocates my feelings, I stand no chance with her unless I were to convert to RCC myself. In such a situation, it may well "make sense" for me to convert, and, depending on how smitten I am, to even live out my life out with her and with her God and her Church. Nor is it an irrational choice, if I'm clear, in my own mind, why I'm doing this. But this speaks only to my deferring to Church doctrine and rituals, and has nothing to do with actually believing all of that. My perception of the truth value of these things has nothing to do with what is personally agreeable to me.

In the absence of clinching evidence for or against objective morality -- hell, even in spite of clinching evidence AGAINST objective morality -- it may "make sense" for you to act as if morality is objective, simply because it is agreeable to you, as long as you're clear of your reasons and motives. But this does NOT affect the truth value of the proposition, and if you think it does then you are mistaken.

Because you speak of BELIEF -- belief in objective morality, no matter how tentative that belief, and from that to a theistic principle, and finally an omni-max God -- it seems to me that you're letting what is agreeable to you to affect your opinion of the truth value of each of these propositions, starting with the objective morality idea. And in so doing, I believe you're acting irrationally. To the extent you do this, to that extent I don't see how you can claim for yourself the label of skeptic, as far as this particular question.

I'm sorry if my argumentation sounds aggressive or insensitive. In general I'm of the view that what someone else believes is their business, and unless they force their belief onto others their belief is not my lookout. By that measure, I have no business probing your beliefs like this. But since your belief has turned out to be what we're discussing, I hope you won't mind my clearly pointing out where I disagree with what and why you believe, and request you to further clarify your position if you wish. (And I'm happy to stop the discussion if continued probing of your personal beliefs is in any way 'disagreeable'!)


Quote:
... Cognition de-dissonanced, a grounding for morals, an origin to the universe and a sense of my place in it; vs none of that.

Pardon my obtuseness, but again, I don't understand. What you've said, above, explains how exactly you find theism agreeable, it details out the terms of that agreeable-ness, but does not speak, at all, to the "gamble" you referred to earlier. Let's say it turns out that you're right after all, I simply don't see how having believed without evidence in an objective morality and the rest of it will have benefited you by virtue of your having been right about this. (The factors you describe above, the factors that make theism agreeable to you -- like my hypothetical hot Catholic girl -- will apply irrespective of whether your belief in objective morality turns out to be true.) If you win the gamble, what exactly are you winning?
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Old 5th August 2020, 01:41 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I'm sorry if my argumentation sounds aggressive or insensitive.
No, not at all! Quite the opposite. I've really appreciated the questions you've asked. Keep in mind though that I'm not trying to convince you I'm right. I'm not mounting an argument that rests on provable premises that I'd expect anyone to accept. As you rightly said before, the burden of proof ultimately rests on oneself. Your questions and responses have offered me a mirror to examine my beliefs anew, to see if they make sense. You might not be surprised to hear that, after careful personal evaluation, my beliefs have come through with flying colors!

But I emphasize: my responses are only to explain, not to convince.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Emphatically not! And here's why: I think "Does it make more sense to act as if it were so?", and "Is it rational to believe it is so?" are two separate questions, and I think you may be conflating the two.
I definitely agree that we shouldn't conflate the two, and I try to use them separately. "Rational" implies an objective view. "Makes sense" implies a more subjective one.

So my question: "She has to act one way or the other. She has to bet: "other minds" vs "no other minds". In the absence of evidence, wouldn't betting on the more agreeable and beneficial option make sense?"

I think it makes sense, because if she acts as though there are other minds with agency equal to her own, and she's right, then she's done the right thing. If she's wrong, then she's done nothing wrong. On the other hand, if she acts as though there are only NPCs, and she's wrong, she's done the wrong thing. If she feels that doing the 'right' thing is more agreeable than doing the 'wrong' thing, then the more agreeable decision would guide her actions. (I'll note here that 'right' and 'wrong' are subjective evaluations.)

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Let's say I'm an atheist, and am majorly attracted to a hot Catholic girl who is fully sold on the entire RCC deal, and, while she reciprocates my feelings, I stand no chance with her unless I were to convert to RCC myself. In such a situation, it may well "make sense" for me to convert, and, depending on how smitten I am, to even live out my life out with her and with her God and her Church. Nor is it an irrational choice, if I'm clear, in my own mind, why I'm doing this. But this speaks only to my deferring to Church doctrine and rituals, and has nothing to do with actually believing all of that. My perception of the truth value of these things has nothing to do with what is personally agreeable to me.
I agree. Catholic Church doctrine and rituals could all still be entirely correct.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
In the absence of clinching evidence for or against objective morality -- hell, even in spite of clinching evidence AGAINST objective morality -- it may "make sense" for you to act as if morality is objective, simply because it is agreeable to you, as long as you're clear of your reasons and motives. But this does NOT affect the truth value of the proposition, and if you think it does then you are mistaken.
Yes, I agree. Similarly, if a skeptic acts as though there are other minds, it doesn't affect the truth value of whether there are other minds or not. If I act as though there is a subjective or objective morality, that doesn't affect the truth value of whether there is a subjective or objective morality or not.

It might be pertinent to repeat: I'm not expecting to convince anyone of anything, I'm just explaining my beliefs. At its base, I'm holding a faith position. Atheists don't hold faith positions, as they go about their business acting as though other minds exist and that there is some kind of morality -- even subjective -- that they feel they ought to follow.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Because you speak of BELIEF -- belief in objective morality, no matter how tentative that belief, and from that to a theistic principle, and finally an omni-max God -- it seems to me that you're letting what is agreeable to you to affect your opinion of the truth value of each of these propositions, starting with the objective morality idea. And in so doing, I believe you're acting irrationally. To the extent you do this, to that extent I don't see how you can claim for yourself the label of skeptic, as far as this particular question.
On that particular question, I'm not claiming the label of skepticism. I think you suggested earlier that I am rejecting skepticism by my decision. However, my argument is not that I'm rejecting the use of skepticism, but that it doesn't apply at all in this case. There simply isn't enough information to make a determination one way or the other. I am making a decision based on what makes sense to me. I know you disagree with the utility of doing that, and that's perfectly fine and understandable. Happy to agree to disagree. It might be best to leave it at that.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Pardon my obtuseness, but again, I don't understand. What you've said, above, explains how exactly you find theism agreeable, it details out the terms of that agreeable-ness, but does not speak, at all, to the "gamble" you referred to earlier. Let's say it turns out that you're right after all, I simply don't see how having believed without evidence in an objective morality and the rest of it will have benefited you by virtue of your having been right about this. (The factors you describe above, the factors that make theism agreeable to you -- like my hypothetical hot Catholic girl -- will apply irrespective of whether your belief in objective morality turns out to be true.) If you win the gamble, what exactly are you winning?
I'm not sure what you aren't understanding, I'm sorry. Perhaps you suspect I have in mind something like the "heaven or nothing" options from Pascal's Wager? I'm afraid all I can do is repeat my previous answer: I win "Cognition de-dissonanced, a grounding for morals, an explanation for the origin of the universe and a sense of my place in it". Perhaps 'bet' and 'win' aren't the right words, but it feels like I am making a bet, where the satisfaction is being correct. Neither Pascal nor I can collect until after we are dead.

How about we sweeten the deal, Chanakya? When we get to heaven: if I am right, you buy me a beer. If you are right, I'll buy you a beer. If we are both right somehow (which I wouldn't rule out), then we'll look for hot Catholic chicks.

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Old 5th August 2020, 08:05 AM   #329
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Well this has been a wild thread. I'm gonna go back to the original question because I don't think GDon is using a definition of omnipotence that favors his argument. Though, to be fair, I don't think any alternative definition helps either.

Let's just keep it simple: For the sake of argument, God can do anything that is logically possible.

Okay, so what exactly is logically possible? That's an extremely broad set of options. It is logically possible that every single rain drop that falls in 2031 will land on my roof. It is logically possible that George Washington rose from the dead 18 days after he died and started a hip hop group. It is logically possible that we are all simulations of an advanced AI program.

All of the above seem difficult to believe, and they are, but they are not logically impossible. For something to be logically impossible, it must entail a logical contradiction. A four-sided triangle is logically impossible. Having precisely 1 stone and precisely 2 stones in your left hand at the same time is logically impossible, etc.

So where does that leave us with God? Is it logically possible for God to bring about some favorable result without some kind of preliminary suffering? Of course it is. There is no contradiction in saying, "God created precisely 100 souls, all of which experienced an eternity of bliss, without so much as a single, fleeting moment of suffering." All-sweet-and-no-sour may very well fly in the face of human psychology, but that is not a logical contradiction.

Anyone saying that God must allow suffering to bring about a greater good is undermining God's omnipotence.
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Old 5th August 2020, 09:20 AM   #330
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I would add that it's not even a novel proposition, nor has it been called illogical by the faithful. The Xians are saying that God already created a better world where you can live forever in bliss. It's called Heaven.
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Old 5th August 2020, 09:29 AM   #331
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I would add that it's not even a novel proposition, nor has it been called illogical by the faithful. The Xians are saying that God already created a better world where you can live forever in bliss. It's called Heaven.
Yeah I was thinking about this today. According to the Christians and Muslims god can and does remove all suffering, keep us all happy for ever and ever, reunite us with our loved ones and so on. He has already made the perfect world, and according to the most popular Christian sect it doesn't matter what you do on this earth as long as you repent at the end of your life and are given your all-access pass by the Priest.

Which gets us back to "So why does god make us suffer?".

At least Scorpion's version provides a reason no matter how sick the consequences are.
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Old 5th August 2020, 10:35 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
Let's just keep it simple: For the sake of argument, God can do anything that is logically possible.
Actually, I believe GDon anticipated your argument by leaving out the ďlogicallyĒ. He merely says that God can anything that is possible. His definition of omnipotence allows it to be so weak that if rain of a single drop of water could have saved a child from thirst, but does not happen, it can be said to be ďimpossibleĒ, because otherwise God would have done it (being omnibenevolent). Effectively, this omnipotence is merely nominal, but not real.
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:07 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
To be clear: An argument where the conclusion flows from the premises is valid.

An argument where the conclusion flows from the premises and the premises are true is sound.

So logical arguments about God's attributes can be made, and determined to be valid or invalid, as long as the premises are agreed upon.

But logically valid arguments don't count towards establishing the truth of the premises. So they don't count towards proving God exists or that God's attributes are real.

Right. Iím concerned with soundness -that is, evaluating the truth of the premises. Logically valid but soundness-averse arguments (where the truth of the premises is either false or un-investigable) are not interesting to me.

You mentioned other minds and how should skeptics act. I think any rational person should act in accordance with the evidence they have. It appears that there are other minds; therefore, I should act as if there are other minds. Reality being a simulation is un-investigable, so the argument is basically philosophical wankery. Iím all for having a good olí philosophical wankfest, just donít expect me to accept logically valid arguments as representing reality when you donít present evidence as to the truth of your premises.

This is impossible when talking about the nature of God. I only have the evidence I can observe. It appears to me as if there is no Triple O God and definitely not a God as most religions describe Him. I therefore act as if there isnít such a God. Note that this does not mean I have no moral compass.
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:25 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
No, not at all! Quite the opposite. I've really appreciated the questions you've asked. Keep in mind though that I'm not trying to convince you I'm right. I'm not mounting an argument that rests on provable premises that I'd expect anyone to accept. As you rightly said before, the burden of proof ultimately rests on oneself. Your questions and responses have offered me a mirror to examine my beliefs anew, to see if they make sense. You might not be surprised to hear that, after careful personal evaluation, my beliefs have come through with flying colors!

But I emphasize: my responses are only to explain, not to convince.


I definitely agree that we shouldn't conflate the two, and I try to use them separately. "Rational" implies an objective view. "Makes sense" implies a more subjective one.

So my question: "She has to act one way or the other. She has to bet: "other minds" vs "no other minds". In the absence of evidence, wouldn't betting on the more agreeable and beneficial option make sense?"

I think it makes sense, because if she acts as though there are other minds with agency equal to her own, and she's right, then she's done the right thing. If she's wrong, then she's done nothing wrong. On the other hand, if she acts as though there are only NPCs, and she's wrong, she's done the wrong thing. If she feels that doing the 'right' thing is more agreeable than doing the 'wrong' thing, then the more agreeable decision would guide her actions. (I'll note here that 'right' and 'wrong' are subjective evaluations.)


I agree. Catholic Church doctrine and rituals could all still be entirely correct.


Yes, I agree. Similarly, if a skeptic acts as though there are other minds, it doesn't affect the truth value of whether there are other minds or not. If I act as though there is a subjective or objective morality, that doesn't affect the truth value of whether there is a subjective or objective morality or not.

It might be pertinent to repeat: I'm not expecting to convince anyone of anything, I'm just explaining my beliefs. At its base, I'm holding a faith position. Atheists don't hold faith positions, as they go about their business acting as though other minds exist and that there is some kind of morality -- even subjective -- that they feel they ought to follow.


On that particular question, I'm not claiming the label of skepticism. I think you suggested earlier that I am rejecting skepticism by my decision. However, my argument is not that I'm rejecting the use of skepticism, but that it doesn't apply at all in this case. There simply isn't enough information to make a determination one way or the other. I am making a decision based on what makes sense to me. I know you disagree with the utility of doing that, and that's perfectly fine and understandable. Happy to agree to disagree. It might be best to leave it at that.


I'm not sure what you aren't understanding, I'm sorry. Perhaps you suspect I have in mind something like the "heaven or nothing" options from Pascal's Wager? I'm afraid all I can do is repeat my previous answer: I win "Cognition de-dissonanced, a grounding for morals, an explanation for the origin of the universe and a sense of my place in it". Perhaps 'bet' and 'win' aren't the right words, but it feels like I am making a bet, where the satisfaction is being correct. Neither Pascal nor I can collect until after we are dead.

How about we sweeten the deal, Chanakya? When we get to heaven: if I am right, you buy me a beer. If you are right, I'll buy you a beer. If we are both right somehow (which I wouldn't rule out), then we'll look for hot Catholic chicks.

Cheers!


-----


Not to beat this to death, GDon, but one last comment, if I may. I appreciate you're saying, up front, clearly, that you're not arguing your case, but explaining your beliefs. Understood. Further, you're very clear that this is faith we're talking of, so the usual skeptical thing of "Where's the evidence?" will not, by definition, come into play. Fair enough, and it is not my place to argue against your personal beliefs. Especially when you further say, yourself, that you realize it's turtles all the way down, and that you're not trying to sell your turtles to anyone. Just, personal faith. All good.

Just ... you do realize those turtles, they're all, well, random turtles, don't you? Adopting the first turtle doesn't necessarily lead you to the other two turtles; and also, it is quite possible to directly hold on to the second or the third turtle without necessarily first adopting the other two. That is, from where I stand, it seems pretty much random, all the way through. I mention this because others base their random beliefs on tradition, but you don't even do that (you've said you're not a Christian). That's ... unusual, that kind of iconoclastic faith.

But no matter, I'm happy this works for you!
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Old 5th August 2020, 04:53 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Actually, I believe GDon anticipated your argument by leaving out the ďlogicallyĒ. He merely says that God can anything that is possible. His definition of omnipotence allows it to be so weak that if rain of a single drop of water could have saved a child from thirst, but does not happen, it can be said to be ďimpossibleĒ, because otherwise God would have done it (being omnibenevolent). Effectively, this omnipotence is merely nominal, but not real.
If that actually is his argument, then it's even weaker than I had imagined. By those definitions, everyone on the planet is both omnipotent and omnibonevolent. Why didn't I put out that fire in China last week? It was impossible for me to do so. Why did I kick that old woman in the shin yesterday? It was impossible for me to do otherwise. But it will all work out for the better. Trust me.
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Old 5th August 2020, 05:16 PM   #336
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Just out of interest, is "Tri-Omni" a common term, or just one we made up for the purposes of this thread? It's not a term that I've seen used before.
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Old 5th August 2020, 06:20 PM   #337
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Just out of interest, is "Tri-Omni" a common term, or just one we made up for the purposes of this thread? It's not a term that I've seen used before.
New to me too, though it seems pretty apt. I am guessing it's ours.
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Old 5th August 2020, 06:47 PM   #338
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I've heard "tri-omni" plenty of times over the years, from lots of other places.
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Old 5th August 2020, 07:20 PM   #339
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Okay.

* arthwollipot returns to lurking
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Old 5th August 2020, 07:27 PM   #340
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Oh well, I haven't, but that's no surprise either as I haven't been connected to a lot of stuff. Handy term, though.
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Old 5th August 2020, 08:53 PM   #341
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
For something to be logically impossible, it must entail a logical contradiction. A four-sided triangle is logically impossible. Having precisely 1 stone and precisely 2 stones in your left hand at the same time is logically impossible, etc.

So where does that leave us with God?
God is defined as supernatural. The supernatural is is not real. Therefore God is not real. God doesn't exist by definition, so it is logically impossible for him to be anything other than a fictional character.

But in the world of fiction a 4 sided triangle or having both 1 and 2 stones in your hand at the same are quite 'possible' within the logical framework of the story. So if you accept that there is a god you can't complain about it having illogical powers, because magic is not bound by the normal rules of logic.
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Old 5th August 2020, 09:40 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Just ... you do realize those turtles, they're all, well, random turtles, don't you? Adopting the first turtle doesn't necessarily lead you to the other two turtles; and also, it is quite possible to directly hold on to the second or the third turtle without necessarily first adopting the other two. That is, from where I stand, it seems pretty much random, all the way through.
Fair comment. I've built a nice glass house for me to live in, so I am wary at lobbing stones at others' foundational beliefs.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I mention this because others base their random beliefs on tradition, but you don't even do that (you've said you're not a Christian). That's ... unusual, that kind of iconoclastic faith.
Actually, it isn't that rare, at least when looking back through history. Karen Armstrong's History of God is a great book that traces the evolution of the concept of God which includes a range of ideas, many like mine.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
But no matter, I'm happy this works for you!
Thank you, I really appreciated the questions. Great discussion!
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Old 5th August 2020, 11:24 PM   #343
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Yes, but this thread is about a specific set of attributes that a specific concept of God is supposed to have. Sure, there have been, and there still are, different concepts of God, and yours is just as good as any other. But if it's basically not the same God as that we're talking about, it's not very relevant.
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Old 6th August 2020, 10:27 PM   #344
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
If that actually is his argument, then it's even weaker than I had imagined. By those definitions, everyone on the planet is both omnipotent and omnibonevolent.
I am not sure that everyone on the planet is omnibenevolent. If that was the case, we would not need criminal courts. But you are right, according to that definition, everyone can be said to be omnipotent.

I wonder if GDon could comment on this? Perhaps some adjustment of the definition?
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Old 6th August 2020, 10:29 PM   #345
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
God is defined as supernatural. The supernatural is is not real. Therefore God is not real.
How are you going to prove your premise that the supernatural is not real?
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Old 6th August 2020, 11:32 PM   #346
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Old 6th August 2020, 11:53 PM   #347
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Have we really got to the "can God make a rock so big He can't lift it" stage? Is that where we are right now?
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Old 6th August 2020, 11:59 PM   #348
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
No, I'm okay with the definition of omnipotence. The problem is that people are confusing the definition with the implication of the definition.

Let's agree that omnipotence means "unlimited power". I know that some people think that omnipotence means "the ability to do anything", or that the implication of "unlimited power" means "the ability to do anything", but to me that is a broader category. Omnipotence, as far as I know, is never defined as "the ability to do anything".

So what are the implications of "unlimited power"? What can a being with "unlimited power" do? I think we can safely say:

1. It can do anything that can be done with unlimited power.
2. It can't do anything that can't be done with unlimited power.
Please, 1&2 are essentially identical. You are engaged in a circular argument..

Originally Posted by GDon

So the question we have to ask is: is there anything that can't be done even with unlimited power? To test that, let's ask: how much power does it take to create a rock so heavy that it can't be lifted? I would argue: it can't be done, even with unlimited power. If you disagree, that is, if you think it CAN be done by unlimited power, then our conversation ends here. If you are affirming that the statement "'a being with unlimited power can create a rock so heavy it can't lift it' is TRUE", then you have moved outside the boundaries of logic.

If I am right and unlimited power can't do it, then we have to ask "why". The answer is that unlimited power is not enough power to do the logically impossible. It's not a restriction on unlimited power. The being still has unlimited power. But it is the implication of how unlimited power intersects with the logically impossible in a "1=1" universe.

So I would argue that omnipotence means "unlimited power" is fine. There is no restriction in the use of power. The being could set up the universe in any way it likes. This universe seems to have been set up so that "1=1". Within that universe, there is not enough power -- even with unlimited power -- to make "1=2" while maintaining a "1=1" universe.

Of course, the being could create a different universe with different rules, i.e. a "1=2" universe. But then we don't know how that would affect any other question that is asked in such a universe. Logic would be built on entirely different premises, unknown by us here.

So no need to adjust the definition of "omnipotence". But we do need to consider the implications of the definition.
Again, your argument is circular.

If your imaginary omni-God can do miracles then he is able to do things which are logically impossible.

If your imaginary omni-God can create the universe by talking then your omni-God is engaged in doing things which are not logically possible.

Please, your definition of omni-potence makes no sense whatsoever since it contradicts the supposed actions of the imaginary omni-God Creator and miracle worker.
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Old 7th August 2020, 12:09 AM   #349
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
No, I'm okay with the definition of omnipotence. The problem is that people are confusing the definition with the implication of the definition.

Let's agree that omnipotence means "unlimited power". I know that some people think that omnipotence means "the ability to do anything", or that the implication of "unlimited power" means "the ability to do anything", but to me that is a broader category. Omnipotence, as far as I know, is never defined as "the ability to do anything".
Err... No. Just no. It's EXACTLY what church fathers claimed it means. For example, Augustine of Hippo in the City Of God says exactly that: God can do anything it chooses to do.

Later theologians, including the Catholic Encyclopaedia put some rather unnecessary extra explanations of it, basically boiling down to some version of 'but there's stuff he would never choose to do'. (E.g., lie, since god is Truth.) Usually framed more like he can do everything, except that. But as I said before that's a rather unnecessary restriction once you also have claims about omnibenevolence, infinite justice, etc.

I mean, I think we can agree that as power goes, I have the power to choke a kitten if I wanted to. I would never want to, but that's a whole other attribute than not having the power to.

But basically even those don't think of it as power in watts.

Not the least because if we're talking about the RCC, we're talking about Latin, which had a lot more narrow meaning of a lot of words. The relevant one here is "potestas", which means precisely the power to DO stuff.
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Old 7th August 2020, 12:34 AM   #350
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Old 7th August 2020, 12:37 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
No. The question is "can a being with unlimited power create a rock so heavy that it can't be lifted even with unlimited power?" What is your opinion?
LOL...Theists: Just redefine stuff until its fits the agenda.
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Old 7th August 2020, 12:48 AM   #352
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Old 7th August 2020, 05:06 AM   #353
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
I am not sure that everyone on the planet is omnibenevolent. If that was the case, we would not need criminal courts.
"Your Honor, while my client's terrorist attack against that orphanage may appear evil to the average person, I would like to remind the court that this act was necessary to bring about a greater good."

If your interpretation of GDon is correct, then no one has any grounds upon which to disagree with the above statement.
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Old 7th August 2020, 08:12 AM   #354
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The Problem of the Tri-Omni God

Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
"Your Honor, while my client's terrorist attack against that orphanage may appear evil to the average person, I would like to remind the court that this act was necessary to bring about a greater good."

If your interpretation of GDon is correct, then no one has any grounds upon which to disagree with the above statement.
I think that defense could only work if the defendant could prove she is omniscient as well being omnibenevolent
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Old 7th August 2020, 10:12 AM   #355
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The Problem of the Tri-Omni God

If I were a theist, hereís how Iíd sell the Triple-O

We donít have the capacity to understand things on the level of God. We say He has unlimited power, he knows everything there is to know and he is the ultimate source of goodness. But we only understand those terms on a human level. We donít understand what they mean on Godís level. Itís an incomplete and ultimately wrong description of something we canít understand.

On Godís level, human terms are inapplicable. Therefore, we can never use the intellect to prove God. We proclaim the mystery of faith precisely because it eludes our intellect.
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Old 7th August 2020, 12:40 PM   #356
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
If I were a theist, hereís how Iíd sell the Triple-O

We donít have the capacity to understand things on the level of God. We say He has unlimited power, he knows everything there is to know and he is the ultimate source of goodness. But we only understand those terms on a human level. We donít understand what they mean on Godís level. Itís an incomplete and ultimately wrong description of something we canít understand.

On Godís level, human terms are inapplicable. Therefore, we can never use the intellect to prove God. We proclaim the mystery of faith precisely because it eludes our intellect.
"Now, about that tithing..."
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Old 8th August 2020, 02:55 AM   #357
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
"Now, about that tithing..."
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