Atheist Arrogance?

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Big_Willie_Styles:
Objectivity is impossible to truly obtain by humans since our knowledge of the world is dependent on our senses, which fail us all the damn time.

Of course it can't be "truly obtained", but there's a difference between augmenting our senses with machines and detectors and setting up experimentation and observation according to scientific principles, of testing and repeating etc.... and embracing subjectivity as a virtue for understanding the world.

As a religious man, I would say that God is the only thing that can be truly objective. He knows everything, is present everywhere, and can do everything: the trifecta of objectivity.

As a non-religious man, I don't think there's good reason to believe gods exist.

And then there's people like Einstein with his Theory of Relativity.

Are you referring to him when he first came up with an unfounded hypothesis or are you referring to him now? I hope it's the former, considering my GPS is based on relativity. Not only do we have practical applications for Einstein's theory, it had to go through a lot of rigors to be considered a theory. Theory is after all the highest stage of scientific understanding of an issue. There's not all that much subjectivity left at that point. And that's a good thing.

Big_Willie_Styles:

Kaulen Fuhs:
Right, because I inject myself into conversations I'm not a part of, that have nothing to do with me, contribute nothing, and then accuse everyone else of being arrogant. I don't really have anything else to say to you. You can have the last word.

The last word is where it's at though. You only think it doesn't concern me. I just enjoy being a fly in the ointment to those who construct terrible arguments. I love debating. It's my anti-drug.

It's all fine and good that you love debating. The issue you have is the same one that I have though. You're kind of bad at it.

You were factually incorrect in stating atheism is a belief system, and kind of spiraled downward from there instead of just admitting you were incorrect.

Big_Willie_Styles:

To paraphrase the atheist David Hume, all truth is subjective because humans are imperfect. In short, the only real truth any individual has is his or her own thoughts and opinions.

See people SAY this but when they (People i know who use this argument) come into my store and ask for some shoes and I bring them 17 T shirts and i claim "Sorry sir truth is subjective, my truth that i heard you wanted 17 t shirts is equally as valid as your truth you wanted shoes" they start complaining! Suddenly there IS an objective reality and i should have got them shoes instead! Pfff some people. Not very consistent.

Of course humans cant be entirely objective but like you said, some subjectivities are more objective than others. Einstein's theories are testable in reality and the vast vast vast majority of humans experience the results in the same way and see the impact in the same way (GPS works for EVERYONE) which is why its more valid than the earwigs. He provided some evidence :P

But anyway im an apatheist so ive only a tiny bit of desire to argue about god or whatever but i love the solipsism argument because everyone who uses it is immediately hypocritical. Next time youre at Mcdonalds and he doesnt bring you fries or refuses to give you what you wanted you have no right to complain, his reality is equally as valid as yours :P Truth is subjective! For all you know you DO have fries but cant perceive them. He may also perceive 100 bills as 20s so pay in those or you cant leave.

The fact of the matter is that total subjectivity is the weakest and worst justification for anything. Take my previous example before. If you were interested in paying in 20's other than 100's i imagine youd call the manager at this offront bringing in another person in the hopes that they also perceive the objective truth of the value of your money. Immediately you would look for common ground in evidence to prove to the manager something incorrect had happened with the employee, who YOU would claim is wrong whilst claiming your version of events (You DID want fries, you DONT have them now and your bills are worth what it says on the paper) are not only true for you but true for the employee as well meaning he should function by YOUR perception of reality rather than his own which you state is now objectively incorrect. You do this by providing evidence, showing him your incorrect order and bills. This evidence is the common ground in establishing who is correct since in this example youve thrown solipsism out the window for some fries and are trying to prove an objective truth in how much you should pay and the things you are carrying.

The employee doesnt have evidence to support his worldview. He is taking the money being incorrect and you not wanting fries on faith. He cant prove it but he is certain he is right and shouldnt be punished. However you bring evidence to the table. So you expect to win the argument and get your gorram order. Which is perfectly valid.

Im not saying that atheists have evidence god does not exist, simply that faith is pretty much the weakest appeal one can make in any situation. No one has any reason to believe or trust faith or hold it in any regard since in all other places it carries no weight at all.

Big_Willie_Styles:
He knows everything, is present everywhere, and can do everything: the trifecta of objectivity.

That's weird. I've seen from your blog and other posts that you've read some Hayek and are generally Libertarian. Surely those beliefs and your belief in an omniscient God clash, because omniscience necessitates determinism- the opposite of the free will upon which Libertarian ideas rest?

Also, can God make an object so heavy he can't move it?

Shadowstar38:
Whats the point of saying arrogance isn't as bad as burning people?

Because it isn't. Or are you saying it is? Or maybe it is, but only when atheists are arrogant? Calling Dawkins "militant" implies that he's on the same level as other "militants" which is pure bullshit, no matter how you slice it.

No one is getting burned at the stake anymore. We sort of collectively realized that shit shouldn't be allowed. That just sounds like its okay for one group to act inconsiderate because they're not as hateful as people from hundreds of years ago.

You say that as if burning innocent women at the stake was the only bad thing christians ever did. Links have already been posted in this thread of very recent counterexamples. Besides, do you seriously want to start a competition to see who's got more arrogant people, Atheists or Christians? It's pretty disingenuous to demand saint-like perfection from Dawkins where even arrogance or *gasp* rudeness is somehow put on the same level as all the seriously bad shit christians have been doing for hundreds of years and are still doing.
Hey, how about a quick count of pedophile priest scandals where the priests where christians, compared to where they (non-priests) were atheists?
You want to know why atheists don't respect Christianity? Because christians apparently think it's more important they complain about atheist arrogance than clean up their own house.

Calling a christian an idiot for just being a christian is in itself a stupid statement without knowing more about why they believe.

"Christian" is not an empty label. If they told you they're Christian, they just told you what they believe. The No True Scotsman fallacy is no more convincing than a false equivalency.

AgedGrunt:
How was that false equivalency? You've said people are being "threatened" with torture in hell -- what?

What, "what?" Is "you're going to hell if you're not christian" suddenly some sort of metaphor? Do missionaries that tell me i'll go to hell if i don't convert to their religion actually mean they'll buy me a plane ticket to Hell, Norway, instead of the slightly more famous version?
Try to look at it from a distance, if some christian tells an atheist they should convert or they'll go to hell,and the atheist tells them that's silly, it's not the atheist who is acting like a dickhead. What the christian just said is "do as i say or you will be tortured for all eternity after you're dead". It's only because we're culturally used to christianity being dominant and ever present that we imagine things like that are normal.
quote]If you want to criticize tenets of a faith or what has been said by others, use examples, sources and be clear without committing your own foul of damning entire groups of people who don't necessarily say or believe what you're refuting.[/quote]You know what? I don't give a fuck. The threat title here is "Atheist Arrogance?". I see no great care taken to explain that Dawkins is only one example, that's he's not necessarily representative of all atheists, and i certaintly don't see a whole sourced wiki page on the topic. If christians have their persecution complex so internalized that they can't stand the replies after opening with a verbal broadside against atheists, that's their own damn fault.

You use the word militant a lot -- who has said that about Dawkins?

Want me to explain how google works?

You can't just take something and apply it to group -- much like you went on to do against "militant" Christians. I wouldn't say this is arrogant, it's bigotry.

Go ahead and search this thread of mentions of militant atheists. Pretty sure it wasn't the "arrogant atheists" that invented it.

Oh just to make it clear, (and to not the feed the persecution complex) it's not just christianity that is responsible for bad shit, neither in history nor today. It's pretty much all religions. Here for example is a proud example of what Jewish extremism leads to: Violent attacks on praying women.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/10/women-of-the-wall-attacke_n_3251379.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

AgedGrunt:

Actually the original context came from a post that simply labeled "theists", having no specific religious denomination, so you effectively argued against all religious people.

No, no I didn't. Here is exactly what I wrote;

Silvanus:

"Turn the other cheek" doesn't quite work when the group in question, the vast majority, occupies a privileged, near-untouchable position in society, and the institutions that represent it are able to use this influence to fight against equality and science.

When the religious institutions are campaigning against equal marriage law or stem cell research, the solution is not to turn the other cheek. It is worth our time to point out the absurdity of allowing an archaic, baseless belief from affecting modern law.

My charge that they "use this influence to fight against equality and science" applied, clearly, to "the institutions that represent it". You're building tiresome strawmen, now. I do not believe that all religious people are to blame, and I never argued such.

You must have read the line, "when the group in question", as a reference to the "theists" in the original post, and then somehow extrapolated from that that my charge of "fighting against equality and science" applied to all of them.

It never did.

What seems like arrogance on the part of most atheists I think amounts more to concealed angst.

Sometimes poorly concealed angst, sometimes possibly well concealed?

In either case, what it is that atheists are looking down upon, is really a venting at what they see are the social problems causes by a religion more times than not. It is true that atheists can be dumbfounded by people believing in what they know to be blatantly untrue.

I think that a lot of atheists are arrogant. But a lot of it is puffing themselves up against a perceived threat. Many atheists see religion as a threat to human prosperity. Inflating yourself over your stance on religion often comes with that. In reality, I think much of the arrogance though, is a way to conceal the fear of religion and its effects on society. Many atheists are, in reality, scared of religious people.

It is easy to want to cover fear and frustration with arrogance. Many atheists have good reason to fear and feel frustration with religious people.

Also as many have stated, there tends to be arrogance from every perspective in life.

McKitten:
Because it isn't. Or are you saying it is? Or maybe it is, but only when atheists are arrogant? Calling Dawkins "militant" implies that he's on the same level as other "militants" which is pure bullshit, no matter how you slice it.

I'm saying it doesn't matter who's the biggest dick in the bunch so long as someone is a dick in the equation. So putting it on a scale for me is a waste.

You want to know why atheists don't respect Christianity? Because christians apparently think it's more important they complain about atheist arrogance than clean up their own house.

Whose house? Which churches are you talking about? Just the Vatican? Because otherwise, christianity isn't stucture enough that cleaning its own house is a thing it needs to do.

"Christian" is not an empty label. If they told you they're Christian, they just told you what they believe. The No True Scotsman fallacy is no more convincing than a false equivalency.

You lost me.

Kaulen Fuhs:
And the reason Christianity bears the brunt of my attacks in this thread is its heavy influence on American politics, and my desire to see that end. Buddhism may be just as irrational, but I don't see Buddhists pressing the teachings of Buddha into the classroom, or attempting to, anyway.

I think it has a lot to do with so few people understanding world religions. Buddhism is often considered non-violent, non-intervention and pacifist, but it's far from it. Buddhism and violence know each other surprisingly well. It's just in places of the world like Tibet, Thailand and Sri Lanka, not Texas.

Speaking of classrooms, there's some heavy influence going on in some that affect American politics, too. College campuses in particular can be nasty places engineering social change, and not all of it should be tolerated. It definitely doesn't get enough attention.

McKitten:
You want to know why atheists don't respect Christianity? Because christians apparently think it's more important they complain about atheist arrogance than clean up their own house.

Except there isn't one house and some Christians might not even belong to them. Continuing to lump the faith all into one group isn't right, and neither is trying to excuse wrong behavior and holding grudges. It's not that Atheists should be the bigger people and shake hands, what I'm saying is

1)No matter what you believe in, don't judge entire groups of people like that and
2)If you're running with the attitude that group X deserves no respect and therefore can be treated with the same disrespect they show others, don't take offense when you get called on it

There's a heck of a lot more to the than you're allowing, but my impression is that your mind is made up and there's probably not much to be gained from picking everything apart. Especially when you think it's my job to validate your claims and you plainly state that you don't give a fuck, that nobody is stepping up to walk back all the bad things said about Dawkins. It seems a lot of people just want Christian apologists. Sorry, but maybe you should take your own advice and clean up your act.

AgedGrunt:

Kaulen Fuhs:
And the reason Christianity bears the brunt of my attacks in this thread is its heavy influence on American politics, and my desire to see that end. Buddhism may be just as irrational, but I don't see Buddhists pressing the teachings of Buddha into the classroom, or attempting to, anyway.

I think it has a lot to do with so few people understanding world religions. Buddhism is often considered non-violent, non-intervention and pacifist, but it's far from it. Buddhism and violence know each other surprisingly well. It's just in places of the world like Tibet, Thailand and Sri Lanka, not Texas.

Speaking of classrooms, there's some heavy influence going on in some that affect American politics, too. College campuses in particular can be nasty places engineering social change, and not all of it should be tolerated. It definitely doesn't get enough attention.

True, many people misunderstand Buddhism as somehow being "enlightened" religion dedicated to peace, without a history of demagogic violence behind it. I try to dismantle this misunderstanding when discussing religion with anyone I know.

I'm curious about "social engineering", though. I assume you mean a heavy liberal influence on college campuses?
I'd consider that a problem, but:
1) We are talking about college students, who are frankly old enough to figure this shit out for themselves
2) Conservatives can get jobs teaching at colleges just as easily as liberals (unless there are concerted efforts to prevent conservatives from being hired)

The second I know to be untrue, since I've had conservative professors. I just don't think most conservative people are interested in teaching college-level classes. Of course, this is all contingent on you meaning what I think you meant; if not, please disregard!

Danny Ocean:

Big_Willie_Styles:
He knows everything, is present everywhere, and can do everything: the trifecta of objectivity.

That's weird. I've seen from your blog and other posts that you've read some Hayek and are generally Libertarian. Surely those beliefs and your belief in an omniscient God clash, because omniscience necessitates determinism- the opposite of the free will upon which Libertarian ideas rest?

Also, can God make an object so heavy he can't move it?

To be perfectly fair, even omnipotence would not allow logical impossibilities. It's not so much that a lack of power prevents one from, say, existing and not existing, but that such a state is an impossibility because it encapsulates two exclusionary and contradicting ideas.

Kaulen Fuhs:

Danny Ocean:

Big_Willie_Styles:
He knows everything, is present everywhere, and can do everything: the trifecta of objectivity.

That's weird. I've seen from your blog and other posts that you've read some Hayek and are generally Libertarian. Surely those beliefs and your belief in an omniscient God clash, because omniscience necessitates determinism- the opposite of the free will upon which Libertarian ideas rest?

Also, can God make an object so heavy he can't move it?

To be perfectly fair, even omnipotence would not allow logical impossibilities. It's not so much that a lack of power prevents one from, say, existing and not existing, but that such a state is an impossibility because it encapsulates two exclusionary and contradicting ideas.

Would such limitations really apply to the being who has defined them? Or does this being have read only authorisation for logic?

Knight Templar:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Danny Ocean:

That's weird. I've seen from your blog and other posts that you've read some Hayek and are generally Libertarian. Surely those beliefs and your belief in an omniscient God clash, because omniscience necessitates determinism- the opposite of the free will upon which Libertarian ideas rest?

Also, can God make an object so heavy he can't move it?

To be perfectly fair, even omnipotence would not allow logical impossibilities. It's not so much that a lack of power prevents one from, say, existing and not existing, but that such a state is an impossibility because it encapsulates two exclusionary and contradicting ideas.

Would such limitations really apply to the being who has defined them? Or does this being have read only authorisation for logic?

I don't think anyone could say that any god created logic, per say, since logic is less about finding the truth of the universe and more about discerning how we know what we know.

Logic is really just the organization of our thoughts, and determining what makes sense and what does not. It isn't particularly conditional, and therefore cannot create limitations in the way you describe them. So I suppose yes, such a being would have "read only" authorization, but it could not be any other way.

Danny Ocean:

Big_Willie_Styles:
He knows everything, is present everywhere, and can do everything: the trifecta of objectivity.

That's weird. I've seen from your blog and other posts that you've read some Hayek and are generally Libertarian. Surely those beliefs and your belief in an omniscient God clash, because omniscience necessitates determinism- the opposite of the free will upon which Libertarian ideas rest?

I don't think that political libertarianism has to necessarily rest upon the notion of free will. I tend to be more (politically) libertarian inclined, but I am a hard determinist. Though I don't believe in god, don't think I'm defending that.

Kaulen Fuhs:

To be perfectly fair, even omnipotence would not allow logical impossibilities. It's not so much that a lack of power prevents one from, say, existing and not existing, but that such a state is an impossibility because it encapsulates two exclusionary and contradicting ideas.

So God can't do everything? But then he's not omnipotent, because logic is more powerful than god?

Arakasi:

I don't think that political libertarianism has to necessarily rest upon the notion of free will.

Why?

Libertarianism seems to rest on the principal that people are rational decision making agents, like economics, right? The "rational" bit is often up for debate and is an OK foundation, but if someone were to poke a hole in the "decision making" part surely the whole edifice falls down?

Danny Ocean:

So God can't do everything? But then he's not omnipotent, because logic is more powerful than god?

If he can make it, he's not omnipotent. If he can't lift it, he's also not omnipotent. Is your point that God can't create a paradox? Because I'd say a lack of that ability would still make someone omnipotent.

Shadowstar38:

If he can make it, he's not omnipotent. If he can't lift it, he's also not omnipotent. Is your point that God can't create a paradox? Because I'd say a lack of that ability would still make someone omnipotent.

I think my point isn't that he can't create a paradox (even Dr.Who can create paradoxes :P), it's that the concept of omnipotence is itself a paradox.

BiscuitTrouser:

Big_Willie_Styles:

To paraphrase the atheist David Hume, all truth is subjective because humans are imperfect. In short, the only real truth any individual has is his or her own thoughts and opinions.

See people SAY this but when they (People i know who use this argument) come into my store and ask for some shoes and I bring them 17 T shirts and i claim "Sorry sir truth is subjective, my truth that i heard you wanted 17 t shirts is equally as valid as your truth you wanted shoes" they start complaining! Suddenly there IS an objective reality and i should have got them shoes instead! Pfff some people. Not very consistent.

Well, my subjective truths is that 17 is 2 and T shirts are shoes.

OT: How did you get to have such a ridiculous arguement with him?

Danny Ocean:

Arakasi:

I don't think that political libertarianism has to necessarily rest upon the notion of free will.

Why?

Libertarianism seems to rest on the principal that people are rational decision making agents, like economics, right? The "rational" bit is often up for debate and is an OK foundation, but if someone were to poke a hole in the "decision making" part surely the whole edifice falls down?

Decision making ability is something that no one would deny, that is different from the notion of free will. People are simply not self-causing agents.

Arakasi:

Decision making ability is something that no one would deny, that is different from the notion of free will. People are simply not self-causing agents.

How is it different?

To make a decision requires free will, or else your decision is not your own. If someone holds a gun to your head and tells you to shoot your wife you are not making the decision to do so, because you are not acting of your own free will (if you assume free will exists). Similarly, if every event has a prior cause, then your choice in the decision was forgone by prior circumstances, so you are not acting of your own free will, so you are not making a decision.

Danny Ocean:

Kaulen Fuhs:

To be perfectly fair, even omnipotence would not allow logical impossibilities. It's not so much that a lack of power prevents one from, say, existing and not existing, but that such a state is an impossibility because it encapsulates two exclusionary and contradicting ideas.

So God can't do everything? But then he's not omnipotent, because logic is more powerful than god?

Well, no, I suppose not if you count the capacity for creating paradoxes we can't even conceive of. Most Christians I know don't tend to assert that kind of thing though.

Kaulen Fuhs:
Do you believe in unicorns? If not, would you consider not believing in unicorns a belief system?

An amusing point is that unicorns are mentioned in the bible. Most notably the King James version.

But making a point of this brings out the ever lasting translation argument when things get a bit hard or silly to explain. They may be right, but it is still cause for a smile or two. But I guess that would make me an arrogant atheist:P

It's hard avertising for a group without making you feel smug about being a part of it.
Also, this video came to mind:

No offense to most people here, but creationism, and religion seem really stupid, and I am not even going to waste my time with it. There is not enough proof for me that we were form from a explosion or that there is a god. So I going to get on with my life, and I would belong in the group thats open to both if both prove ample proof, but now does not care.

Kaulen Fuhs:

Danny Ocean:

Kaulen Fuhs:

To be perfectly fair, even omnipotence would not allow logical impossibilities. It's not so much that a lack of power prevents one from, say, existing and not existing, but that such a state is an impossibility because it encapsulates two exclusionary and contradicting ideas.

So God can't do everything? But then he's not omnipotent, because logic is more powerful than god?

Well, no, I suppose not if you count the capacity for creating paradoxes we can't even conceive of. Most Christians I know don't tend to assert that kind of thing though.

I've seen the exact opposite answer given to this supposedly religion-busting question; yes, God can create an object that he can't lift. You know what he does immediately after creating it? Lift it.

There's two explanations that I know of for why this is so. The first is that, immediately after making the object that he couldn't lift, he gains the ability to lift it. That explanation only really works with the phrasing used though, if you used "an object that could never be lifted" it wouldn't work.

The second is that he can lift it because he's God and just because it doesn't fit into human logic doesn't make it impossible. Which sorta makes sense considering he's supposed to be an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient (though some arguments have varying ideas on the actual extent of some of these), and therefore higher than anyone could possibly imagine.

As a person who has been called ignorant and stupid for a belief somebody thought I had, and on the other hand has been condemned to hell for having a tattoo and holding the belief that being born with an attraction to the same sex doesn't make you less human, I can confidently say some human beings are cunts, and their cuntiness overflows into less cunty parts of who they are, sometimes their beliefs or lack thereof.

LifeCharacter:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Danny Ocean:

So God can't do everything? But then he's not omnipotent, because logic is more powerful than god?

Well, no, I suppose not if you count the capacity for creating paradoxes we can't even conceive of. Most Christians I know don't tend to assert that kind of thing though.

The second is that he can lift it because he's God and just because it doesn't fit into human logic doesn't make it impossible. Which sorta makes sense considering he's supposed to be an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient (though some arguments have varying ideas on the actual extent of some of these), and therefore higher than anyone could possibly imagine.

While your first makes sense, it is, as to your own admission, a play on words.

The second is the one that interests me, since it sort of encapsulates what I'm talking about.

See, logic isn't like an otherworldly barrier that prevents paradoxes which can tear our world apart. It is simply if/then conditions, in the simplest form, that describe possibilities and how one piece of information fits with another. It's not a matter of unbelievable power that would allow one to create such a paradox. It cannot happen. If God has infinite strength, he can lift anything, no matter how heavy. In such a case, no, he could not create something so heavy he can't lift it, because we've already established he can lift anything. The only way we could say he could create something he could not lift is if his strength had a physical limit.

God has strength of A
Strength of A allows lifting of any weight
God can lift any weight
Therefore, God cannot create a weight exceeding his strength

The only reason I continue to go on about this is that there are plenty of reasons why God is impossible, including ones based purely in logic. Paradoxes make up none of these, because they come from a fundamental misunderstanding of why the limitations imposed by paradoxes are limitations. It isn't lack of omnipotence; it's attempting to reconcile to incompatible meanings.

EDIT: So I just reread your post, and noticed that you were talking about the ways in which Christians try to rationalize this paradox. So apply this to them, not yourself. Apologies for the mixup.

Kaulen Fuhs:

LifeCharacter:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Well, no, I suppose not if you count the capacity for creating paradoxes we can't even conceive of. Most Christians I know don't tend to assert that kind of thing though.

The second is that he can lift it because he's God and just because it doesn't fit into human logic doesn't make it impossible. Which sorta makes sense considering he's supposed to be an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient (though some arguments have varying ideas on the actual extent of some of these), and therefore higher than anyone could possibly imagine.

See, logic isn't like an otherworldly barrier that prevents paradoxes which can tear our world apart. It is simply if/then conditions, in the simplest form, that describe possibilities and how one piece of information fits with another. It's not a matter of unbelievable power that would allow one to create such a paradox. It cannot happen. If God has infinite strength, he can lift anything, no matter how heavy. In such a case, no, he could not create something so heavy he can't lift it, because we've already established he can lift anything. The only way we could say he could create something he could not lift is if his strength had a physical limit.

Well omnipotence means having the ability to do everything, up to and including the logically impossible, so having the act not be logically possible doesn't really matter when what is and isn't possible isn't an issue for you. Understanding omnipotence is similar to understanding infinity, and omniscience, and so on; you can make assumptions about what it's like, but you're never going to really know.

Though, of course, there is the answer that doesn't allow for logic to be broken, and that's the "no" answer which comes with the explanation that, when all the religious texts were being written, the prophets and writers who mentioned his omnipotence weren't really considering adding in the clauses that he can do anything that isn't self-contradictory or nonsensical, as it would probably make the verses seem a bit contrary to the overall point and be awkward to read a religious text and need to check notes for it.

Danny Ocean:
because omniscience necessitates determinism-

No, no it doesn't.

Firstly, it's not as though God is really old and knew all things at the beginning and is waiting for them to happen as predicted. God is eternal, outside of time and space. God knows all things in all times because to the perspective of the God I believe in they are all happening constantly forever... So if the omniscience of God doesn't slot nicely into your temporally centered concept of causation, congratulations, you are doing it wrong.

Secondly, this particular arguement about omniscience is the only place I've ever heard anyone conflate knowledge of something with determination of it. I know the sun will rise tomorrow, but that does not mean I set it in motion. I know you choose to perticipate in this forum, and am pretty positive you will continue in the future, but that hardly effects your decision.

LifeCharacter:

Kaulen Fuhs:

LifeCharacter:

The second is that he can lift it because he's God and just because it doesn't fit into human logic doesn't make it impossible. Which sorta makes sense considering he's supposed to be an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient (though some arguments have varying ideas on the actual extent of some of these), and therefore higher than anyone could possibly imagine.

See, logic isn't like an otherworldly barrier that prevents paradoxes which can tear our world apart. It is simply if/then conditions, in the simplest form, that describe possibilities and how one piece of information fits with another. It's not a matter of unbelievable power that would allow one to create such a paradox. It cannot happen. If God has infinite strength, he can lift anything, no matter how heavy. In such a case, no, he could not create something so heavy he can't lift it, because we've already established he can lift anything. The only way we could say he could create something he could not lift is if his strength had a physical limit.

Well omnipotence means having the ability to do everything, up to and including the logically impossible, so having the act not be logically possible doesn't really matter when what is and isn't possible isn't an issue for you. Understanding omnipotence is similar to understanding infinity, and omniscience, and so on; you can make assumptions about what it's like, but you're never going to really know.

Though, of course, there is the answer that doesn't allow for logic to be broken, and that's the "no" answer which comes with the explanation that, when all the religious texts were being written, the prophets and writers who mentioned his omnipotence weren't really considering adding in the clauses that he can do anything that isn't self-contradictory or nonsensical, as it would probably make the verses seem a bit contrary to the overall point and be awkward to read a religious text and need to check notes for it.

I've read your piece, you've read mine. Either we fundamentally misunderstand each other, or... I don't know. In any case, I don't think we'll be able to squeeze any more blood from this particular stone.

tstorm823:

No, no it doesn't.

Firstly, it's not as though God is really old and knew all things at the beginning and is waiting for them to happen as predicted. God is eternal, outside of time and space. God knows all things in all times because to the perspective of the God I believe in they are all happening constantly forever... So if the omniscience of God doesn't slot nicely into your temporally centered concept of causation, congratulations, you are doing it wrong.

Secondly, this particular arguement about omniscience is the only place I've ever heard anyone conflate knowledge of something with determination of it. I know the sun will rise tomorrow, but that does not mean I set it in motion. I know you choose to perticipate in this forum, and am pretty positive you will continue in the future, but that hardly effects your decision.

You didnt really make a point explaining why it doesnt. Your example doesnt hold up because youre explaining a mechanical process like its different from the human brain which determinism asserts it is not. You also seem to equate induction (the idea that if something happens before it must happen again under the same conditions) that you used for the sun example with total omniscience (The idea that a creator that is totally aware of all atoms at all times in eternity will know the future and the past without the need of induction to "presume" what will occur under what conditions). The examples in your second paragraph imply that god functions like you said he DIDNT with your first paragraph, ie waiting for something to happen using induction to predict. If he IS outside time and looking in on all of it at once like you claim surely the ability to see me tomorrow performing a set amount of actions is the definition of determinism. Its even more deterministic than the other view, if he is currently watching me perform tomorrows actions then for him they are the past present and future and are set in stone. Its already a certainty what will occur. Thats deterministic. If it ISNT deterministic you should be able to demonstrate my choices could result in mulitple outcomes, with god unable to know which one ill pick. To be frank god cant be omniscient anyway, it totally undermines the test part of the whole human existance thing. Its like an author judging and punishing the characters in a book they wrote.

If god KNOWS tomorrow ill wake up, eat cerial, say these words to these people, walk outside, take 3 steps east, yawn, go down the street ect all in an exact way, if he KNOWS PRECISELY what i am going to do with absolute certainty then as of this moment my idea of choice is illusionary. God is already aware of my precise actions tomorrow and EVERYTHING i do in an attempt to escape that is futile, im confined to a set day tomorrow as known by god. If he knows im walking down the street im walking down the street and i cant choose not to in a meaningful way. And if i did choose not to he knew i was gonna do that anyway and his known day wouldnt involve me walking down the street. Omniscience of the future, not guessing, not induction (which both your examples are) but true absolute knowledge (only really possibly with omniscience) pretty much promises that there are one set of events that will happen tomorrow. Every choice i could make already has an outcome that god is aware i will take. So im still presented with the illusion of choice even though my actions are already known in their entirety. You cant use examples from your own knowledge because ALL your future predications are based on induction, which while useful, is not as supremely accurate as absolute timeless knowledge which at the end of the day flaws your analogy.

It also seems odd the people just attach whatever labels to their gods that are convenient for them. Ive never met a person who desperately wanted free will who believed their gods omnipotence takes it away, and ive never met one who was deterministic be annoyed their idea was disproved by a god with choice. People seem totally comfortable with their notion of gods because they just mould and shape the idea of god around what makes them happy and leaves the concepts they enjoy in tact. Ive never met someone who actively disliked their god because of their teachings but followed them anyway because they thought it an objective truth that they exist and demand worship. Think about it, isnt that kind of odd? If gods and faith were things you could have a religious experience of why arent more people effectively "forced" (by a religious experience) into believing into a god that doesnt match their beliefs. One they dont necessarily agree with on all points but believe because its their truth.

Everyones god seems to match their own opinions on everything they think exactly despite the gods coming from the exact same source material. It seems like every god is just a projection of someone's own opinions of what is right and wrong onto a higher power to grant authority. Im not gonna presume thats true for you but it seems FAR too coincidental that almost everyones notion of god is entirely different because they "create" a god that always agrees entirely with them on every matter even within a single religion. Ironically it always sounds like people created their gods in their own image which i suppose could be construed as arrogance but its a stretch and i doubt its an intentional inflation of the ego, although perhaps sometimes it is. It seems like people scan holy books, take aspects and characteristics that match their world view and then construct a god from those basic building blocks and assign it the label of a certain religion. This isnt about cherry picking in so much as the whole "Create your own god, make him AAAAANY way you like" seems more like an expression of a persons inner self than it does interpreting the divine.

Sorry that wasnt really aimed at you at all im just thinking by typing.

tstorm823:

Firstly, it's not as though God is really old and knew all things at the beginning and is waiting for them to happen as predicted. God is eternal, outside of time and space. God knows all things in all times because to the perspective of the God I believe in they are all happening constantly forever... So if the omniscience of God doesn't slot nicely into your temporally centered concept of causation, congratulations, you are doing it wrong.

All that means is that God knows the same thing in three tenses.

It knows the sun will rise.
It knows the sun is rising.
It knows the sun rose.

Secondly, this particular arguement about omniscience is the only place I've ever heard anyone conflate knowledge of something with determination of it. I know the sun will rise tomorrow, but that does not mean I set it in motion. I know you choose to perticipate in this forum, and am pretty positive you will continue in the future, but that hardly effects your decision.

That's because those are merely beliefs about things, not knowledge. You do not know the sun will rise tomorrow, you simply believe it will because of past instances of the sun rising. Most epistemologists I believe hold some variant of the justified true belief theory of knowledge. This means that, for a belief to be knowledge, it must be both justified and true.

Your belief that the sun will rise tomorrow is partially justified, but its truth value is indeterminate until you see it rising.

If God, however, knows that the sun will rise because he's omniscient, the truth value of that proposition is already determined, so the event cannot happen any other way.

Your assertion that God is eternal only solidifies the determinism that results from an omniscient God. If one struggles to agree that God can know the truth value before the fact, temporal omnipresence means that, even by our conception of time, he knows the sun is rising and that it rose. So your lack of choice is even more determined.

I am an atheist, and i have to admit arrogance is not a quality that i lack.
However neither does believers. I saw people who would stand up in the middle of conversation and leave looking like hes about to kill somone if his friend confesses that he doesnt go to church.
Though the more often situation is when i talk to a friend and we seem to have a lot in common and after 4 hours she starts telling me about god. So i tell her i dont believe in it, but she ignores it and keeps tellign me how she "Saw him" and how its real and im at fault for not believing.
Personally i havent met an atheist more arrogant than me, i met plenty of chistians, so take from that what you will.

Kaulen Fuhs:
I'm curious about "social engineering", though. I assume you mean a heavy liberal influence on college campuses?

It can come from anywhere, and it really depends upon the environment and when one way of thinking dominates.

And while people grow older and can make their own decisions, like whether to ignore the bias of a boorish professor, it's a totally different story outside, where most people belong to something: societies, clubs, organizations, groups or social cliques. They all shape how people think, and to be a member means getting down for the cause.

Danny Ocean:

All that means is that God knows the same thing in three tenses.

It knows the sun will rise.
It knows the sun is rising.
It knows the sun rose.

That's because those are merely beliefs about things, not knowledge. You do not know the sun will rise tomorrow, you simply believe it will because of past instances of the sun rising. Most epistemologists I believe hold some variant of the justified true belief theory of knowledge. This means that, for a belief to be knowledge, it must be both justified and true.

Your belief that the sun will rise tomorrow is partially justified, but its truth value is indeterminate until you see it rising.

If God, however, knows that the sun will rise because he's omniscient, the truth value of that proposition is already determined, so the event cannot happen any other way.

Your assertion that God is eternal only solidifies the determinism that results from an omniscient God. If one struggles to agree that God can know the truth value before the fact, temporal omnipresence means that, even by our conception of time, he knows the sun is rising and that it rose. So your lack of choice is even more determined.

I usually like your posts, but you are just wrong. I had a philosophy course on time travel with a professor named Richard Hanley who's opinion is pretty much the same, and try as he might, he never adequately defended this point himself. The context was different, but I'm sure you can imagine the nature of deities came up quite a bit there.

At any rate, of course an event cannot happen any other way than the way it happens. That's just definition. An event cannot happen two different ways at the same time. That does not discount the existance of choice by any means. It's just writing out that a real event cannot contradict itself. If I were to choose to eat chocolate ice cream and you witnessed it, then imagining this was possible, you traveled back in time to watch me make that choice again, I would obviously still choose chocolate ice cream (the event cannot happen any other way than it did), but not because you knew it would happen. Your knowledge of the event would have no physical effect on the event in question. The reason it would still be the same is not because you knew it would, but because it not happening that way would be a logical contradiction anyway. Your knowledge does not logically assure us that I only had one option, it only logically assures us that I could only pick one of the options, which with or without God or time travellers, anyone could tell you is common sense.

Now to go on more of a tangent, I'd like to flip this on you a bit and say that belief in God not only does not preclude belief in free will, but the opposite is true that one must believe at least in supernatural forces to believe in free will. If one believes only in natural forces, one must bind humans to the limits of natural forces. "Natural" almost by definition dictates determined. Something that is natural is something that is exactly as it will be within the laws of nature, which for the most part are quite determined, the only exceptions being in subatomic quantum stuff where outcomes are believed to be completely random. If those are the options for natural forces, then so to must be all human actions- either determined or random, neither of which makes a good case for free will. In order for people to have free will, to truly be able to decide something for themselves, we must have a supernatural identity that allows us to break natural deterministic causation.

BiscuitTrouser:

Everyones god seems to match their own opinions on everything they think exactly despite the gods coming from the exact same source material.

I think that you're going a little overboard here. I mean, one of the basic tenants of Christianity is that everyone is a sinner. That basically says that there is at least one part of every christian's religion they don't like. And trust me, there is more than one. An old joke is that God made going to church a commandment because if he didn't, nobody would go. I think you just have this view that people twist their religion to be exactly what they want because (for reasons that should be obvious) you only ever witness people defending their religion. Nobody is going to go up to you and say "Oh, you don't like my religion? Me neither."

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