Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Cris, Jun 21, 2001.
hey it's chris who proved something can't exist. uh.. WHAM!.. i guess..
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Right, we don't need an alternative to something that never existed in the first place. We don't need an alternative to fairies.
For me believing in God is simple. I talk to him and usually he answers to me. I know he doesn't do it for everybody. But trust me he exists and has your best in mind. Try praying and ask for something simple. God will give plentifully. It might not allways be the exact thing you ask, it might be something better. But remember God also wants your thanks so remember to thank him when you receive anything at all.
Nope, it's all in your mind.
Uh oh someone who doesn't believe. I ask you to do simple test: Ask Archangel Mikael to give you energy that you will feel it. In a moment you will feel energy pour thru your head and your whole body. And in an instant you have proof that God and angels exist. No need to try to wait that someone actually says something to you.
The premiss of this thread is flawed in the extreme. It assumes that God is in fact omniscient, when we clearly see in Genesis that he is not. When he comes to visit Adam and Eve in the Garden, God has to asks them to come out from hiding. When Cain kills Able, God has to ask Cain why Ables blood is calling out to god.
While God is certainly All-Seeing (able to take in everything about the universe at a glance) and All knowing (he understand all he sees) he is not omniscient in the sense that he can foretell the future.
The approach of God to the first couple, is an example of manners. The other Divine attributes still stand.
So God is limited then and cannot therefore be all powerful, correct? Doesn't that destroy a basic property of godness (omnipotence).
Aqueous . . . . in the final analysis (in our minds?) . . . EVERYTHING . . . is in our minds!
Most likely everything is out there and we have a local copy of the atom we know. The proposition that fairies are whispering in someone's ear is pretty bogus. Hence, "in your mind" which equates to "only in your mind", which is another way of saying "You're nuts."
I don't see it that way. An omniscient god can exist and we have free will, it's just that our free will would be predestined. God could know according to our brain patterns what we are going to do. Science might even be able to do this.
The situation is that as the Bible was written over a long period of time, the writers had different ideas of what God was and what his attributes were.
The later prophets gave us the idea that God knew the far future and could know it in detail and let his prophets know the future. As Josephus reports, the Sadduccees who did not accept the prophets as true, rejected life after death because that was not in the Torah. They rejected the prophets and thus the idea that the future was determinate. The pharisees tried to find a way to blend the two, somethings were determinate, others maybe not. The Essenes adopted strict predestination and the Dead Sea Scrolls show indeed they did. This is probably where Paul adopted the idea. In the ancient world God was an idea that evolved over time. From Paul's epistles and Acts we get the claims all is known and predetermined. Starting with Plato, (Timaeus), Plato stated God created time, a position adopted by Boethius and Augustine. (Confessions Book 11, Consolation of Philosophy -Book 5). If so, the God creates all at once, knowingly and personally, so indeed, predestination is the proper word to use here. Which is a problematic thing that the founders of Protestantism, Luther, Calvin et al have struggled with. Luther, "Bondage of the Will" (on-line) If all we do is predetermined does that mean the moral evil we do is predetermined? Yes. Does that make God the author of all moral evil. Yes. Luther here plaintively whines he wishes he had not been born a man having to deal with this paradox. Maybe it is a test from God. Luther here is startlingly honest about this all. Calvin, ties himself i9n knots over all of this.. Both take refuge in the claim God is inscrutable. His ways past finding out. (And see Romans 11, Paul does that too.). Logic and reason out the window. If you read any theological works at all in the coming year, read Luther. Catholicism has long taken refuge in playing word games with the Bible's claims, a stance utterly rejected by Augustine in his "Retractions", which Luther, Calvin and others rejected. (AKA - semi-Pelagianism or Synergism). We must read the Bible honestly and not distort its claims for theological purposes. Read Luther to see how this problem became a big theological problem that is still with us. There are a round dozen major books in print today examining God and Time. If God does not create time and is in time it demonstrates God is not all powerful, but if God is outside time, he created all that is as it is, including all moral evil, personally and purposefully, and God is not good, most certainly not perfectly good. Quite a problem. As physics has demonstrated, time, dimensions and mass are all connected together and to reject God as creator of time but not subject to time is to reject God's creation of all, contradiction. God as described cannot exist. God cannot have created all as claimed (contradiction) and is at best a secondary phenomenon, and thus dispensable. Physics is primary and thus naturalism is established logically.
The primitive God of Genesis is not a God worth bothering with. That God had to be magnified by increasinly sophisticated believers.
We still have a God that is impossible and the theologians are still struggling to find a way to square all of this, and have been doing so since the beginning of the Reformation, when Sola Scriptura was adopted as Christianity's most important theological principle.
In the end the final theological argument is "God is inscrutibe and not amenable to logical understanding". Not much of a theology, really.
All problems swept under the rug. In the end we still have a God that does not work, and shows no signs of being made viable by the theologians.
Your whole argument hinges on this misapprehension. The relativity of simultaneity demonstrates that "at once" can only be a relative statement.
Omniscience - If the definition is limited to what is knowable and that the future is unknowable then God could not be Omnipotent - is unable to know the future. One could argue that is an argument from imposibility and that even a god can only do things that are possible. But the bible talks a great deal about the future as if it is certain. Take the book of revelations for example. If these Christain writings represent a truth as written by God then clearly he must know the future, or do we choose to omit all parts of the bible that seem to include prophecies (knowledge of the future), and whole texts such as revelations? Based on the prophetic nature of the bible we must assume that Christianity assumes that God knows the future and that he does possess truth values known ahead of time. I'd conclude based on that reasoning that the definition of Omniscience must necessarily include knowledge of the future. Would that knowledge be limited? Not if we conclude that God has no limitations, since if he is capable of knowing some of the future why would he not know everything?
Determinism - Your stochastic argument relies on the concept that some events appear random and unpredictable, but the example from nature is essentially our inability to measure very small cause and effect relationships. One could argue that Heisenbergs uncertainty principle implies that true determinism is impossible, but that principle is based on our limited ability to both measure the position and momentaum of a fundametal particle concurrently. Our limitation is based on our need to fire a particle at the target to be able to observe it, unfortunately such an impact transfers energy to the target and hence the state of the particle is changed. But a God has no physical form and would not be so restricted by this principle. And randomness doesn't really exist. What appears random to us is again our inability to meaure cause and effect at the required low level. In computing we generate random numbers quite often, but these are more accurately defined as pseudo-random that begin from a seeded start value, the sequence is deterministic. With God's omnipotence and omniscience he either knows everything automatically or has total knowledge of all current variables that he could manufacture omniscience by being able to see alll future causes and effects.
Conclusion - I believe my case still stands. If the future is known perfectly then free will cannot exist.
i'd take pleasure at being contrary if my future were known
i haven't thought about this old saw in years. The problem you have is in trying to apply one theoretical principle of God proposed by a particular sect of a particular religion, which here is not the idea of "God predetermines all" (possibly biblical depending on who you ask), but rather "God knows all" (a more accepted idea), without also applying the "God is outside of time" thing that is coincident with that sect's belief.
Applying the "god is outside of time" thing becomes necessary if you want to attack this idea, because it would be no more valid without it than taking a fish out of the water and pointing out "fish don't breathe well". Properly applying both concepts to the question, God's knowledge could change as your choices change. Whatever the state of God's knowledge is at God's eternal now is then described by people who cannot apply a linear time stamp to it as having always been. So what? They could just as easily say, "God is going to know every thing that happened, later on, 100,000 years after each thing happens," and they would be no less accurate - i am sure nobody would accuse God of making robots out of us if stated that way. (Of course the far edges of universal time present a problem to saying 100,000 years later, but i find it highly unlikely that we will still exist in our current form, and be counting time the way we do now, without feeling more than a little discomfort at being so close to the "end of time", if molecular motion is petering out, or the universe is becoming a singularity, or whatever. Also perhaps, once we are done with humans endlessly multiplying entities, the universe will have become simple enough for god to know everything "1 second after it happens".)
if you want to talk about the bible's use of the word "pre-determined", that is a whole different discussion than this "logic based" thread.
By this logic, you must also state that a God which is outside of time can't actually act because it is frozen in a state of eternal now and can't move. But that is just basically saying, "i don't understand anything outside of the box of time", EVEN THOUGH a scientist could easily say there was, or could be, a state of the universe where there is no time as we know it, if we can't even get an atomic clock to run in that state. There certainly wouldn't be any people there to look at the clock. We accept the idea that something could be unregulated by our current concept of time, but yet we cannot think about it without applying the concept of time to it. i think it is even impossible, in this model, to say "when" in God's view, something "happened".
If you wanted to say the concept of God's omniscience adds nothing to our understanding, because the concept predicates nothing and is just an explanation of an eternal now, consisting of what eternally is, you are free to say that. Of course a bunch of theologians would agree with you, so i am not sure how this idea disturbs the God concept at all. It is a nice mental exercise though. (i am sure the proposition has been plausibly denied other times in this thread in other ways. Maybe i should go back through it and see how I found the idea illogical back in the past and compare.)
P.S. The idea that if God exists in another system, we can't get "over" to it anyway, is probably the main philosophical reason i am not a buddhist.
hahaha - there is a lot of stuff in here that doesn't relate to the thread at all, like people saying, "if you don't believe in God, and life is meaningless, why are you alive," or some other stupid stuff like that. Also, lots of preconceived ideas about unknowables, like the assumption that many worlds entities are all different people, which i feel safe in saying isn't something we can conclude without disregarding my perfectly valid definition of "I". Also, I see that paradox is a pretty powerful, meaningless tool, especially since godel was around. AND, i guess I used to be really mean.
If you accept the definition of maximal knowledge then it follows that omnipotence is in terms of maximal power (where power is ability plus opportunity, i.e. ability can always exist even when opportunity, or possible circumstances, may not).
And how concise is Revelations? Do you assume that these predictions are accurate even though they are so cloaked in symbolism that they offer a very wide variety of interpretations? Is it not more reasonable to assume that the vagueness of these predictions is inherent to their nature?
Or have I missed a more literal and specific prediction somewhere?
These are all a priori assumptions based solely on what a group of people may believe being considered true. (And this is a particularly humorous gem: "we must assume that Christianity assumes"). Christians also believe in free will, although most are not apt enough theologians to reconcile the two. You will find that most Christians have no more than vague ideas about what things like omniscience may actually entail, usually to the point of dismissing it as something "humans cannot understand".
Religious people generally accept absolutes in lieu of understanding, so it is not surprising that is how they justify their faith.
Quantum indeterminacy is a better example than the uncertainty principle. "In quantum mechanics, however, indeterminacy is of a much more fundamental nature, having nothing to do with errors or disturbance." -wiki If a god designed nature to have these fundamental, inherent limitations then it would be counter to the intent of that design to bypass them. Christians do not generally believe that god designed the world to deceive them, and it is you who is making the argument that what Christians believe should taken into account.
It seems you did not bother to look up stochastic process. "In a stochastic or random process there is some indeterminacy: even if the initial condition (or starting point) is known, there are several (often infinitely many) directions in which the process may evolve." -wiki Computers generate pseudo-random numbers because there is such a thing as random that a computer cannot deterministically emulate.
Stochastic processes assure us that, even if we (or a god) had total knowledge of all current variables, these processes would still evolve in an indeterministic manor. That is what defines a stochastic process. One set of initial conditions can have an infinite number of possible outcomes. That you think it is a apparency only shows that you do not understand.
Your first premise, "if the future is known perfectly", cannot be assumed and has not been sufficiently justified, hence your conclusion is faulty. But you are free to "believe" whatever you can convince yourself of.
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