'God' is Impossible

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by SciWriter, May 2, 2011.

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  1. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    I read your post Signal. But I'm not in the mood to get drawn into a discussion with you that is based on what appears to be projections of yourself onto me.

    I said what I said and it makes sense in the context in which I said it.
     
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  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    You said:

    How can you examine the veracity of something that is by definition bigger, stronger, more advanced, on a higher level of consciousness than you??

    Other than, of course, not agreeing to that definition in the first place.

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  5. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    I remember you presenting that refutation, although I'm too lazy to go and find the thread myself in order to reexamine it. But I do remember thinking that I didn't find it comprehensive enough to be compelling. You seemed more annoyed with Sci's continued reposting of it than anything else.

    In any case, I don't see this thread as a "proof" myself. But I do find the arguments interesting. This thread would have some value if people who disagree with it would actually properly address it (not that I am suggesting that that is your job).
     
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  7. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    There is nothing about the philosophical position of a theist that is bigger, stronger, more advanced or on a higher level of consciousness than me.
     
  8. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    What he talks about, namely God, is, per definition so.
     
  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    That he's somehow proven the impossibility of "God's" existence?

    It isn't necessary to conceive of 'God' that way.

    The Neoplatonists appear to agree with Sciwriter's (so far undefended) intuition that the ultimate source of being must be absolutely simple and unitary. They imagined the ultimate Godhead as what they called 'The One', above all thought and conceptualization. All of the conventional divine personality stuff, the divine attributes, all the rather crude mythological analogies of creation with the actions of an artisan and so on, were imagined as emanations, hypostases or energies (in the late antique Greek sense) proceeding from the primal Source like sunlight from the Sun. The traditional mythological concepts of God were treated as analogical, not describing God's unknowable essence at all, but rather how the divine energies (divine action flowing into our plane of being) impact beings like us and are perceived by us.

    It's a large and interesting family of philosophical/theological theories that first appeared in the 200's CE, is found in Pagan, Christian, Jewish and Islamic variants, and went on to have tremendous historical influence on late antique and medieval religious thinking for more than 1,000 years through the Renaissance. (We still see it today in Islamic illuminationism.)

    But the point to notice here in this thread is that it embraces and even insists upon precisely the intuition of primordial unity and simplicity that Sciwriter appears convinced represents a 'disproof' of God. (I have difficulty understanding what the details of Sciwriter's argument actually are.)

    I think that the Neoplatonists would explain the cosmic archetypes, the Platonic Forms of such things as mathematics and the physical laws, as proceeding from the highest hypostases of timeless intellect and abstract form. But these in turn proceed from the brilliantly featureless and incomprehensible Source of everything that is.

    I agree with you 100% about that. It's why "creation science" has little or no real explanatory value.

    But my point in this thread is rather different. It's that even if the 'God' concept adds little or nothing of value to our understanding of the physical world, it hasn't actually been disproven. Superfluous? Probably so. Impossible? Demonstrating that is going to require additional argument.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  10. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    So you're saying that I'm not in a position to examine the veracity of the philosophical claims of a theist because such claims are by definition (because they include God) far beyond my capacity to comprehend? Wouldn't that almost be the equivalent of suggesting that God must exist because he is beyond our understanding? Is that what you believe?
     
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Yes.


    No and no.

    I am saying that a being cannot on its own efforts know a being greater than oneself.
    Like an ant cannot know what a human is.
    Atheists, however, are claiming exactly the opposite.
     
  12. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    No, I don't believe that it's been proven, as I stated earlier (although I probably should have included such a statement in my response to you so it was clear where I was coming from). I think Sci's arguments should be examined in much the same way as something like St. Anslem's ontological "proof". I'm not saying that they are in any way similar in content, but they both serve as proofs that are offered up for evaluation. Such arguments by their very nature are convincing to some but not to others.
     
  13. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    Let's get back to basics. Why does God exist?
     
  14. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    So says the reductionist view of reality

    all you are saying is that you believe material reductionism is the ants pants.

    If you disagree, please provide proof for your beliefs
     
  15. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Can someone who understands his arguments please break them
    down? Please!

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    jan.
     
  16. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    all he is saying is that because everything is essentially made of matter, there is no possibility of anything preempting it
    :shrug:
     
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Not exactly his argument... his is one from complexity - specifically with reference to systems.

    If one accepts that systems are what do things (e.g. plan, create etc) then the God who is defined as the planner, creator, manager etc of our universe MUST be a system.
    His argument is then that systems can not be first, as systems contain constituents and these must be first.
    God is commonly defined as "the first".
    But God is also a "system".

    The conclusion of the "proof" is that since a "system" can not be "first", God is either not "first" (and thus the definition of God as "first" is wrong), or not a "system" (and thus can not be the planner, creator etc).


    At least this is how I understand the claimed "proof" to flow.

    Note, LG, that there is no mention of "material" or "non-material" - as the "proof" is applying to systems in general.
    While the phrasing might imply "matter", I would say that this is purely due to our language being based on the physical realm, and that we should not read too much into such implied notions of matter/non-matter in this regard.



    One flaw in this argument, as I see it, is whether one can have mere constituents without there being an overriding system in which to contain the constituents... and that both the consistuents and system are thus contingent rather than one (the constituents) being temporally first.
     
  18. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    short form : systems don't preempt matter
    :shrug:

    (BTW don't know what you were reading, but here is the mention which you so plainly missed : 1. First Being, or even any beings, or even molecules cannot be first and fundamental because they are compositional. No way around this. )
     
  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Do systems preempt non-matter, then??
     
  20. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    non-matter?
    Is that your contribution for the word salad?
     
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    What word or phrase would you prefer I use for that which is not matter?
    Afterall, you contend that matter is not all there is, so how would you have this other aspect termed/worded if you find "non-matter" so offensive to your sensibilities?

    The point remains that the "proof" provided in the OP is not restricted to such issues, but a question of systems and constituents.

    Are you even going to bother to argue against the "proof" or just continue your blinkered view that it must be inferring that "all is matter" , and then just continue your pathetic "So says the reductionist view of reality" comments.
    Have you even tried to explain WHY it is a proof that is limited to the reductionist view? Nope, didn't think so.
     
  22. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    that's precisely the problem : the reductionist view doesn't accommodate one
    actually I am contending that discussing things in terms of systems and matter (or even non-matter if we want to get all salady) are ineffective terms for discussing anything but the reductionist view

    the point is that devising the discussion in terms of systems and constituents doesn't take the topic outside the reductionist paradigm

    I am not going to bother arguing with loaded questions, no
    Why?
    Because discussing things in terms of systems and their constituents is the nuts and bolts of reductionist thinking.



    Surely this doesn't have to be explained to the likes of you
     
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not asking for a word covered by the reductionist view... I'm asking YOU what word YOU would use to describe those things that are not material!!

    Then it behooves you to say this in the first instance rather than just make some trite quip.
    WHY do you contend such? What is it about the proof that suggests it can only refer to the reductionist view? Do non-material things not operate in terms of systems or constituents?
    If this is your contention then detail the flaw - explain how they do operate and why the proof is thus not applicable.
    But do you? No.

    Further, I would suggest you offer some leniency with regard the language being used, given that it is predominantly built upon the material realm.
    Given that you haven't even been bothered to provide a term to cover the "non-material", how do you expect someone to express themselves with such a proof to cover both material and non-material aspects? Consider them metaphors for their non-material equivalent... much like you use material analogies to try to get your points across regarding the non-material.

    So again - if you consider that the non-material realm (whatever term you wish to use for it) does not operate in ways analogous to systems and constituents... explain how it DOES operate, and why the proof is therefore not applicable.

    "the likes of you"? Care to expand on this term? Which characteristic(s) are you referring to?

    And perhaps they DO need to be explained to "the likes of me".
    Or perhaps I am just trying to get you to explain to the thread-readers in general.
    Who are you to decide which it is?
    But since I have asked you to explain....
     
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