Atheist Arrogance?

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tstorm823:

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."

Its just so... convenient that everyones god is exactly the god they want in every particular and likes all the things they do anyway and hates all the things they hate. You see ive met atheists who say "I dont like the fact i cant believe in a god, i just cannot bring myself to do it anymore i can not believe in this cup, i wish there was evidence for an all loving god". See that to me speaks volumes. Reality is set in a certain way, its totally independent of how they feel about it and the fact that reality doesnt match their exact wishes is frankly incredibly likely. But ive never met someone who says "I hate gays and think they deserve hell, but my god doesnt hate gays" or visa versa. Their god seems more an icon for what they wish justice looked like, for what they wished a god would be rather than an interpretation of any supposedly divinely inspired materials.

Also like you said, youve declared your god is "Outside time" and looking at it from a certain perspective rather than waiting for it to happen and hes just really old. And seriously the question is "Why is that the way he is rather than any other way and how on EARTH do you know". There is literally NO evidence to work with on how god perceives time. Or anything about him not mentioned in the bible. It seems like youve plucked some definitions for your god out of well... nothing. And those things just "happen" to coincide with what you thought anyway (we have free will) which is really convenient. I understand church and the whole sinner thing might be undesirable concepts but it seems to be a way people rationalise their faults in a totally "Now i dont have to feel guilty :D" fashion. I mean in terms of "what does god want and what kind of god is he" everyones version seems to be exactly what they want and never seems to properly challenge them in a way that undermines all the things they thought were right and wrong. A followers and a gods morality always seem to align perfectly in every tiny particular. It just seems so... unlikely that this should be the case if a god is based on divine source.

To give an example if a scientist made a thousand studies and ALL of them gave him the EXACT results he explicitly wanted id call shenanigans. Hard. When a person says "My god is all concepts i like, dislikes all i dislike, and exists in a way that is totally random compared to other ideas on how he might exist but that confirms all concepts i like to think are real" it feels more like an expression of the self. I read in fantasy ALL the time (yeah im going here) about gods people understand, know exist, but hate and disagree with. They shun them. They also might believe their god is incorrect on things while still believing in them and praying to them. Its a compelling argument that the lack of this stance in real life shows that gods might just be an attempt to avatar the self in divine form.

Obviously as an atheist i think religions come from somewhere, and obviously not divine inspiration. I just think its pretty likely that god is almost always a representation of the self. Or rather the perfect self that one wishes they were. If you always behaved in a way you thought was right and had infinite power would you be identical to your own god? The whole sinner thing seems to be the dissonance between the ideal self represented as god and the failings in between, it comes off as coming to terms with ones own imperfection by using stand ins to make introspection easier. Youre no longer holding yourself to your own standards. Now they are someone elses with supreme authority but exactly the same as your standards.

Also for the record as an atheist i do understand we dont have really have free will. Its just the brain is a wonderful free will simulator. I came to the realisation that i possessed the same amount of free will before and after i understood i lacked free will. Nothing changed with the revelation. So i had no excuse not to LIVE like i had free will. Sure its a farce but im playing along because frankly my brain is freaking awesome at simulating it. Thats good enough for me since as far as im concerned on a practical level its a worthless distinction.

tstorm823:
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.

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.

You have LITERALLY described determinism in your first paragraph. No one is saying knowing an event MAKES the event happen that way. What we are saying is knowing the event makes choice a fairly pointless concept. If you only have one option that can logically follow from all before it thats a lack of meaningful choice. Similarly if atoms collide in a certain way by certain laws logically there is one outcome. The atoms dont choose. This is the exact same thing. You are defining determinism to a key and then saying it isnt a lack of free will. Yes it is.

BiscuitTrouser:
snip that rant

You ranted about how every religious person makes up their own God, I tell you you're imagining that, so you rant some more anyway. Don't blame me.

You have LITERALLY described determinism in your first paragraph. No one is saying knowing an event MAKES the event happen that way. What we are saying is knowing the event makes choice a fairly pointless concept. If you only have one option that can logically follow from all before it thats a lack of meaningful choice. Similarly if atoms collide in a certain way by certain laws logically there is one outcome. The atoms dont choose. This is the exact same thing. You are defining determinism to a key and then saying it isnt a lack of free will. Yes it is.

My entire point there, the entire thing I typed out, was saying that there isn't only one option, just that you can only make one choice, and that people like Danny Ocean are confusing the two concepts. You have billions of different options for actions but can only make one of them- not that one specifically, but one of the whole field of choices. Omniscience means that God knows everything, which means every event must be knowable. For it to be knowable, it has to happen in one way (which there is more than one reason why an event logically cannot transpire in two different ways), but it does not have to happen in one specific way. If you pick chocolate ice cream, God can know that. If you pick vanilla ice cream, God can know it. You can only choose one (or anything inbetween I guess, but that's still only one method of choosing ice cream) but it doesn't matter which way you choose, there is no logical reason that God can't know it without taking away your input.

tstorm823:

BiscuitTrouser:
snip that rant

You ranted about how every religious person makes up their own God, I tell you you're imagining that, so you rant some more anyway. Don't blame me.

Its not a rant, its just musings. None of this is meant to be negative, im not attacking anyone nor am i implying creating god from the self is innately a bad thing. Im just curious about what part of the human psyche is responsible for the personal definition of god and the creation (or development if it IS divinely inspired) of the god character and what thats based on. Its more for me than you, im just expanding my thoughts on type. Sorry.

My entire point there, the entire thing I typed out, was saying that there isn't only one option, just that you can only make one choice, and that people like Danny Ocean are confusing the two concepts. You have billions of different options for actions but can only make one of them- not that one specifically, but one of the whole field of choices. Omniscience means that God knows everything, which means every event must be knowable. For it to be knowable, it has to happen in one way (which there is more than one reason why an event logically cannot transpire in two different ways), but it does not have to happen in one specific way. If you pick chocolate ice cream, God can know that. If you pick vanilla ice cream, God can know it. You can only choose one (or anything inbetween I guess, but that's still only one method of choosing ice cream) but it doesn't matter which way you choose, there is no logical reason that God can't know it without taking away your input.

It does have to be one specific way, if it isnt, why isnt god aware of what specific way it will be? If he is aware its going to be one specific way then its going to be one specific way regardless of my thought process. God cant know im going to pick vanilla and chocolate since im only going t pick one. He is aware of which one i pick. Thats a specific scenario with a 100% chance im taking one option and a 0% chance im taking the others. Thats the definition of a lack of choice.

If god knows what input im going to give before i give it then im only giving a single set input. There is no choice, only a predicted input. If i programme a machine to print "1.2.1.2.2.1" each of those data points COULD be 1 or 2. But has it chosen to do anything? No, its just given me data i knew it would give me because i knew what it would print before. Sure i still get to give an input, but its the single input i was as destined to put out as the first 1 in my line of code. No choice is possible here for me or the computer, we have a destined output in a certain situation because both are actions are equally as predictable to the being above us. God is as certain i will choose chocolate as i am the machine will print those numbers in that order. Its not a question of god knowing what i chose past tense. Its god knowing what i WILL choose before i am faced with the choice at all, similarly i know the computer will give me 1.2.1.2.2.1, does the computer make a choice when i run the code? Do i make a choice when i have to perform an action but the action is already known and understood by a higher being?

The time traveller analogy is really interesting actually. Ill give this one a lot of thought. Im tired now though and i have work tomorrow :C

tstorm823:

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.

I imagine our opinions are the same because I'm spouting off stuff from my Metaphysics+Epistemology course. Namely the nature of knowledge part of epistemology, and the time and determinism parts of metaphysics.

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.

That's not what I'm trying to say. It's more complicated.

BiscuitTrouser:

The time traveller analogy is really interesting actually. Ill give this one a lot of thought. Im tired now though and i have work tomorrow :C

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.

That's because my knowledge results from the event in my frame of reference. You're getting timelines mixed up. The witnessing of the event causes my knowledge- the event cannot happen any other way than it does because I am witnessing a re-run. We do not, however, place such a restriction on God, who doesn't need to witness or experience an event to know its outcome, because he knows already (if he can be said to exist before or after something, anyway), because he's Omniscient: Omniscience includes knowing the future before it happens- it is independent of time.

The truth of my belief is contingent upon reality, but the truth of God's beliefs is analytically derived. They're true because God knows them, he doesn't know them because they're true, or else he is not Omniscient and so not God.

Let me borrow a schematic summation from a paper:

1. "God existed at T1" entails "If Jones did X at T2, God believed at T1 that Jones would do X at T2.

2. "God believes X" entails "; 'X' is true."

3. It is not within one's power at a given time to do something having a description that is logically contradictory.

4. It is not within one's power at a given time to do something that would bring it about that someone who held a certain belief at a time prior to the time in question did not hold that belief at the time prior to the time in question.

5. It is not within one's power at a given time to do something that would bring it about that a person who existed at an earlier time did not exist at that earlier time.

6. If God existed at T1 and if God believed at T1 that Jones would do X at T2, then if it was within Jones's power at T2 to refrain from doing X, then (1) it was within Jones's power at T2 to do something that would have brought it about that God held a false belief at T1. or (2) it was within Jones's power at T2 to do something which would have brought it about that God did not hold the belief He held at T1 or (3) it was within Jones's power at T2 to do something that would have brought it about that any person who believed at T1 that Jones would do X at T2 (one of whom was, by hypothesis, God) held a false belief and thus was not God-that is, that God (who by hypothesis existed at T1) did not exist at T1.

7. Alternative 1 in the consequent of item 6 is false (due to 2 and 3).
8. Alternative 2 in the consequent of item 6 is false (due to 4).
9. Alternative 3 in the consequent of item 6 is false (due to 5).

10. Therefore, if God existed at T1 and if God believed at T1 that Jones would do X at T2, then it was not within Jones's power at T2 to refrain from doing X (from 6 through 9).

11. Therefore, if God existed at T1, and if Jones did X at T2, it was not within Jones's power at T2 to refrain from doing X (from 1 and 10).

N. Pike, 'Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action' p33, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 74, No. 1 (Jan., 1965), pp. 27-46. http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/2183529.pdf Accessed 14/05/2013 21:03

I don't think it can be put much more clearly than that.

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.

Well I don't think you've successfully shown that belief in an omniscient God allows for free will, but let's carry on.

Yup. That doesn't mean God exists, though. Supernatural=/=God. Similarly, the opposite of belief in God is not disbelief in all things supernatural, it is simply not believing in God in particular. Depending, of course, on the arguments one uses to justify their lack of belief in God.

Personally, I don't think empiricism factors much into Godly debates- sure, it can be used to question certain assertions about God, but it never really gets very far. I think one can disprove God (not gods, though) simply by sitting in an armchair and noting the flaws in the arguments used to justify its/his/her existence. It seems to be mostly the various claims of perfection that are the conceptual undoing.

Danny Ocean:

That's because my knowledge results from the event in my frame of reference. You're getting timelines mixed up. The witnessing of the event causes my knowledge-

There! That's it! That's the one! End discussion. The witnessing of the event causes the knowledge. God is omniscient because God is witness to all time and space eternally. The witnessing of the event causes the knowledge, the knowledge does not cause the event. Not in a time sense, of course, because that's not how "eternal God" is supposed to work. I don't see how you don't see that.

The truth of my belief is contingent upon reality, but the truth of God's beliefs is analytically derived.

See, you made that up. You somehow decided that people believe God is just so smart He predicts what will happen, and that is not a reasonable belief at all.

2. "God believes X" entails "; 'X' is true."

Rather " 'X' is true entails "God believes X."

BiscuitTrouser:

If he is aware its going to be one specific way then its going to be one specific way regardless of my thought process.

No, that specific way is decided by your thought process. He knows what will happen because you chose it, not you choose it because He knows.

Thats a specific scenario with a 100% chance im taking one option and a 0% chance im taking the others. Thats the definition of a lack of choice.

God knows what choice you will make. Your choice is your choice or its not. There's a 100% chance it will be your choice, and a 0% chance that it won't. That's the definition of a lack of choice... Do you see the circles you're running around in. Throwing probability numbers at the problem doesn't change anything. If there is a 100% that your choice is going to be the one God knows you will make, how does that mean you didn't make it. Nobody has gotten even close to connecting that bridge.

If god knows what input im going to give before i give it then im only giving a single set input. There is no choice, only a predicted input. If i programme a machine to print "1.2.1.2.2.1" each of those data points COULD be 1 or 2. But has it chosen to do anything? No, its just given me data i knew it would give me because i knew what it would print before. Sure i still get to give an input, but its the single input i was as destined to put out as the first 1 in my line of code. No choice is possible here for me or the computer, we have a destined output in a certain situation because both are actions are equally as predictable to the being above us. God is as certain i will choose chocolate as i am the machine will print those numbers in that order. Its not a question of god knowing what i chose past tense. Its god knowing what i WILL choose before i am faced with the choice at all, similarly i know the computer will give me 1.2.1.2.2.1, does the computer make a choice when i run the code? Do i make a choice when i have to perform an action but the action is already known and understood by a higher being?

Need I explain why this analogy is bad? You know what the computer does because you made it do that. Its lack of choice isn't because you know what will happen, it's because you made it happen. You do not at all have that assumption in the discussion of God's omniscience unless you want to claim now that God makes us do everything we do, which is a giant claim with nothing behind it.

Danny Ocean:

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.

It is different because decision making capability is an evolutionarily selected for adaption, humans have it, other animals have it to a lesser degree. Free will doesn't exist in either animals or humans. Sure the decision is not ultimately your own, but that's not the point.

I just don't see the point in being arrogant as an atheist. After all atheism, in its broadest sense, is lack of belief in gods. This is a good thing as we have no evidence to support the existence of anything supernatural, let alone specific deities. It's a good, intelligent stance to have; one that shows you are in tune with the nature of reality. Anything else above and beyond that basic premise is in addition to atheism, but not atheism. Skepticism, humanism, liberalism or conservatism, rationalism, feminism, environmentalism, etc.

Unless being more honest about the nature of reality give you a massive hard on, there's not much to be arrogant about. While conversely, the same is not always true.

I'd wager that your average Christian, with average beliefs, sitting in an average church, on any average Sunday; probably posses a level of arrogance unheard of in science. Why? Because we are one species, surviving on less then half of the surface of one planet, orbiting an average sun, one of tens billions of stars in our average galaxy, one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable universe. And your average Christian believes that this was all put into place so that the creator of the Universe can have a personal relationship with THEM, and that they will continue to exist after death forever in paradise; and they believe all of this without any evidence. Whether expressed openly or not, that basic concept seems far more arrogant to me than the alternative.

EvolutionKills:
I just don't see the point in being arrogant as an atheist. After all atheism, in its broadest sense, is lack of belief in gods. This is a good thing as we have no evidence to support the existence of anything supernatural, let alone specific deities. It's a good, intelligent stance to have; one that shows you are in tune with the nature of reality. Anything else above and beyond that basic premise is in addition to atheism, but not atheism. Skepticism, humanism, liberalism or conservatism, rationalism, feminism, environmentalism, etc.

Unless being more honest about the nature of reality give you a massive hard on, there's not much to be arrogant about. While conversely, the same is not always true.

I'd wager that your average Christian, with average beliefs, sitting in an average church, on any average Sunday; probably posses a level of arrogance unheard of in science. Why? Because we are one species, surviving on less then half of the surface of one planet, orbiting an average sun, one of tens billions of stars in our average galaxy, one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable universe. And your average Christian believes that this was all put into place so that the creator of the Universe can have a personal relationship with THEM, and that they will continue to exist after death forever in paradise; and they believe all of this without any evidence. Whether expressed openly or not, that basic concept seems far more arrogant to me than the alternative.

When reality is as bleak as it is, being disconnected from it is the far better choice. Being deluded into thinking things are better than they are is a healthier way to live life.

... Why can't we all just drop the debates and come to the "people believe different things and I should know how to deal with that" conclusion?
o vo'
You don't see me trying to force vegetarianism on people, so why do I feel like others are forcing God/Not-God on people?
As my mother would say "Kümmer dich um dein Kramm" (="Take care of your (own) stuff")

Shadowstar38:

EvolutionKills:
I just don't see the point in being arrogant as an atheist. After all atheism, in its broadest sense, is lack of belief in gods. This is a good thing as we have no evidence to support the existence of anything supernatural, let alone specific deities. It's a good, intelligent stance to have; one that shows you are in tune with the nature of reality. Anything else above and beyond that basic premise is in addition to atheism, but not atheism. Skepticism, humanism, liberalism or conservatism, rationalism, feminism, environmentalism, etc.

Unless being more honest about the nature of reality give you a massive hard on, there's not much to be arrogant about. While conversely, the same is not always true.

I'd wager that your average Christian, with average beliefs, sitting in an average church, on any average Sunday; probably posses a level of arrogance unheard of in science. Why? Because we are one species, surviving on less then half of the surface of one planet, orbiting an average sun, one of tens billions of stars in our average galaxy, one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable universe. And your average Christian believes that this was all put into place so that the creator of the Universe can have a personal relationship with THEM, and that they will continue to exist after death forever in paradise; and they believe all of this without any evidence. Whether expressed openly or not, that basic concept seems far more arrogant to me than the alternative.

When reality is as bleak as it is, being disconnected from it is the far better choice. Being deluded into thinking things are better than they are is a healthier way to live life.

Citation requested.
I'd argue that a healthier life would be one where you accept the facts and enjoy your life.

Shadowstar38:

EvolutionKills:
I just don't see the point in being arrogant as an atheist. After all atheism, in its broadest sense, is lack of belief in gods. This is a good thing as we have no evidence to support the existence of anything supernatural, let alone specific deities. It's a good, intelligent stance to have; one that shows you are in tune with the nature of reality. Anything else above and beyond that basic premise is in addition to atheism, but not atheism. Skepticism, humanism, liberalism or conservatism, rationalism, feminism, environmentalism, etc.

Unless being more honest about the nature of reality give you a massive hard on, there's not much to be arrogant about. While conversely, the same is not always true.

I'd wager that your average Christian, with average beliefs, sitting in an average church, on any average Sunday; probably posses a level of arrogance unheard of in science. Why? Because we are one species, surviving on less then half of the surface of one planet, orbiting an average sun, one of tens billions of stars in our average galaxy, one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable universe. And your average Christian believes that this was all put into place so that the creator of the Universe can have a personal relationship with THEM, and that they will continue to exist after death forever in paradise; and they believe all of this without any evidence. Whether expressed openly or not, that basic concept seems far more arrogant to me than the alternative.

When reality is as bleak as it is, being disconnected from it is the far better choice. Being deluded into thinking things are better than they are is a healthier way to live life.

You're kidding me, right? That sounds like your world view has been poisoned and abused by religion. Try this on for size...

The picture that science presents to us is in some sense uncomfortable, because what we've learned is that we are more insignificant than we ever could have imagined. You could get rid of us, and all of the galaxies and everything we see and the universe would be largely the same. So we're insignificant on a scale that Copernicus never would have imagined. And in addition, it turns out that the future is miserable. So the two lessons I like to say I like to give is, first we are insignificant and second the future is miserable. Now you might think that should depress you, but I would argue that in fact it should embolden you, and provide you a different kind of consolation. Because if the universe doesn't care about us, and if we're an accident in a remote corner of the universe, in some sense it makes us more precious.

The meaning in our lives is provided by us, we provide our own meaning. And we are here by accidents of evolution and the formation of the planets, and we should enjoy our brief moment in the sun. We should make the most of our brief moment in the sun because this is all we have. And even if we're so rare that we're the only life forms in the universe, which I doubt, that makes us while in some sense even more insignificant we're more special. We are endowed with a consciousness that can ask questions about the beginning of the universe and learn about the universe on its largest scales and experience everything it means to be human; music, art, literature, and science!

So for me it should be spiritually uplifting that we're not created with a purpose by someone who takes care of us like a mannequin with strings determining everything. We determine our future.

-Professor Lawrence M. Krauss

carapaxtothemax:
... Why can't we all just drop the debates and come to the "people believe different things and I should know how to deal with that" conclusion?
o vo'
You don't see me trying to force vegetarianism on people, so why do I feel like others are forcing God/Not-God on people?
As my mother would say "Kümmer dich um dein Kramm" (="Take care of your (own) stuff")

If only it was that simple, but it is not. A universe in which a god or gods exists is a very different universe from the one we find ourselves in. People have many personal preferences across many topics, most of which are picked subjectively. But affirming belief in a particular religion or gods requires you to make and accept truth statements about the nature of reality; most all of which are fundamentally flawed, lack any evidence or falsifiability, or directly contradict what we know and can prove about reality. The problem is, reality and truth are not a democracy. The majority opinion is not correct by default.

So people who believe in delusions like gods, allow those delusions to color the rest of their decisions. This causes them to support uninformed positions of ignorance on everything from equality for women and homosexuals, the ethicacy of stem cell research, to the limits on freedom of speech, and to the rest of our nation's foreign and domestic policies.

If you believe as did Mother Teresa, that abortion is the greatest threat to peace on earth, then you should support policies that criminalize abortion and outlaw contraception. Women should be prosecuted and jailed for having an abortion for any reason, without exception. There are nations that have enacted these policies, and I think they are absolutely misguided. They are enacted to fulfill religious dogma (in this particular case, Catholic dogma), not out of any concern for the well-being of humans or the limiting of suffering. And only the religiously deluded don't see it for the problem it is.

So being a vegetarian has a far smaller and less devastating impact in our societies and the world at large, than does belief in the irrational.

azchowdhury:
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Rastelin:
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It's just a spambot, dude.

Godavari:

Rastelin:
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It's just a spambot, dude.

A spam boot linking to Islamic propaganda site? First I have seen. Normally they try to sell you shit.

tstorm823:

Danny Ocean:

That's because my knowledge results from the event in my frame of reference. You're getting timelines mixed up. The witnessing of the event causes my knowledge-

There! That's it! That's the one! End discussion. The witnessing of the event causes the knowledge. God is omniscient because God is witness to all time and space eternally. The witnessing of the event causes the knowledge, the knowledge does not cause the event. Not in a time sense, of course, because that's not how "eternal God" is supposed to work. I don't see how you don't see that.

The truth of my belief is contingent upon reality, but the truth of God's beliefs is analytically derived.

See, you made that up. You somehow decided that people believe God is just so smart He predicts what will happen, and that is not a reasonable belief at all.

2. "God believes X" entails "; 'X' is true."

Rather " 'X' is true entails "God believes X."

So you don't think God's omniscience extends to knowing what would happen if he created the Universe? This knowledge-gathering seems pretty passive for a being that supposedly created the universe-- and had a choice in the matter.

tstorm823:

There! That's it! That's the one! End discussion. The witnessing of the event causes the knowledge. God is omniscient because God is witness to all time and space eternally. The witnessing of the event causes the knowledge, the knowledge does not cause the event. Not in a time sense, of course, because that's not how "eternal God" is supposed to work. I don't see how you don't see that.

If one is required to witness an event to know it, one is not omniscient. That is limiting perfection, which makes it imperfect and so ungodly.

Unless you want to weaken the power of omniscience to exclude past and future events.

See, you made that up. You somehow decided that people believe God is just so smart He predicts what will happen, and that is not a reasonable belief at all.

Which is why I don't think he's omniscient, but that's what it is. God knows all because he is God, not because he's just seen everything happen before.

If we go down the line that God is an "eternal witness", then the implications are that:

    1. God is required to witness events before he can know them, therefore he is not timeless. He still bears a very strong relation to time. One as strong as ours.

    2. God's knowledge about the universe was acquired via observation, rather than inherent. Because of this, it is possible to say that there are universes where God is not observing, and of which he does not know. This means he is not Omniscient and so not God, unless you weaken omniscience.

    3. At some point God merely believed things, and then witnessing them verified the propositions he believed, much like myself. Therefore, at some point in his timeline, he knew nothing.

Moreover, we can imagine God outside the universe looking in. He can see everything past, present, and future (indeed, to him, there is no past, present, or future.) This leads us to believe that the universe is something of a block, where the future is just as real as the past and the present, and we are just viewing frame after frame of a pre-made (by him) 4-D film. This seems to inevitably lead us back to determinism, because the future was already created (By God) one way, it cannot happen another way.

1. "God existed at T1" entails "If Jones did X at T2, God believed at T1 that Jones would do X at T2.

2. "God believes X" entails "; 'X' is true."

Rather " 'X' is true entails "God believes X."

I can't see how you object to those premises. Together, they express omniscience. If God believing X does not entail that X is true, then God does not inherently know that X is true, and so is not omniscient. It has to go in that order.

If you swap the antecedent and the consequent as you do, then God is not omniscient, merely experienced. He simply appears to have all knowledge like my mum did when I was 5. It would entail that God didn't know what the result of his decision to create the universe would be.

Just as "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,"; "Any sufficiently complete knowledge is indistinguishable from omniscience."

Well, if there is unkindness towards religion, it's merely a manifestation of the ancient adage that you reap what you sow.

Alf Ross:
The holy don't spare our feelings either. They talk about us as lost souls; Many condemn us to eternal hellish torment, and even pray for us. Stuff like that is hurtful - if it wasn't so unreasonably stupid.

Religion is simply an unfalsifiable theory on metaphysical things which can't ever be verified. No more or less likely than the literally infinite amount of theories which could be posed - and are indeed posed, by people whose affiliation with reality is limited to the psychiatric system.

As it does not rest on reasoned arguments and observable reality, religion rests on utility for those in power, and outright coercion. As it is of ever less utility - often being outright hostile and harmful to modern values such as gay rights - and have ever less power to coerce through book burning, ostracism, and violence in the civilized world, its reverence and relevance is in decline.

Having to compete fairly on the marketplace of ideas isn't an ideal situation for something which pose that a woman created some 6,000 years ago from a rib to be subservient to a man, and who ate an apple, means that women are sinful creatures who must fill a predetermined role in society, whether they want to or not. The "argument" offends the intellect, and the conclusion basic human decency.

Maybe if it reinvented itself to promote fighting climate change or something, the respect which have kept it afloat in lieu of any determinable truth value would return. Thankfully, its previous flexibility was largely based on layman ignorance about the authoritative texts, so the chance of it reinventing itself are about the same as Jesus returning to enter into a long delayed polygamous marriage with Peter and Paul.

Imperator_DK:
Well, if there is unkindness towards religion, it's merely a manifestation of the ancient adage that you reap what you sow.

Alf Ross:
The holy don't spare our feelings either. They talk about us as lost souls; Many condemn us to eternal hellish torment, and even pray for us. Stuff like that is hurtful - if it wasn't so unreasonably stupid.

Religion is simply an unfalsifiable theory on metaphysical things which can't ever be verified. No more or less likely than the literally infinite amount of theories which could be posed - and are indeed posed, by people whose affiliation with reality is limited to the psychiatric system.

As it does not rest on reasoned arguments and observable reality, religion rests on utility for those in power, and outright coercion. As it is of ever less utility - often being outright hostile and harmful to modern values such as gay rights - and have ever less power to coerce through book burning, ostracism, and violence in the civilized world.

Having to compete fairly on the marketplace of ideas isn't an ideal situation for something which pose that a woman created some 6,000 years ago from a rib to be subservient to a man, and who ate an apple, means that women are sinful creatures who must fill a predetermined role in society, whether they want to or not. The "argument" offends the intellect, and the conclusion basic human decency.

So out of curiosity, do you consider all philosophy or metaphysics to be a wastes of time or actively damaging to mankind?

Bentusi16:

So out of curiosity, do you consider all philosophy or metaphysics to be a wastes of time or actively damaging to mankind?

I would predict him to say that no, they are neither of those things, but neither is Religion a particularly good example of either.

It may have been some of the first examples of both, but philosophy kept on advancing, spawned the sciences, advanced some more, spawned some more sciences. Etc.. etc...

All the while, Theology was working to justify the same contradictions. Even Aquinas couldn't make sense of parts of the bible, like how God is supposedly both composed of three parts and indivisible. And as we can see from the argument above, it's full of apparent contradictions and conceptual difficulties.

Bentusi16:
...
So out of curiosity, do you consider all philosophy or metaphysics to be a wastes of time or actively damaging to mankind?

If it cannot be empirically verified, then it is speculation. And must be treated as and accorded no more respect than speculation.

That doesn't mean it's always harmful, though religion - particularly Abrahamic religion - tends to be. Aside from the whole threats of eternal torture thing, If you're fighting gay rights because a fictitious entity described a book from the ancient middle east was opposed to them, then that's pretty harmful to gay people.

And not all "philosophy" is metaphysical without any basis in observable reality. For instance, an idea in political philosophy about about "minimal societal functionality" can be grounded in human physiology and psychology. Which make all humans vulnerable to certain things, roughly equally so (even the strongest human is easily killed in its sleep). These then lay out the challenges every human face, and which every society must therefore address to come into and stay in existence.

Also, philosophy isn't dogmatic, whereas religion is. Philosophy is a continuously evolving attempt to understand, whereas religion is a calcified attempt to control. It's answers never change, there is dogmatically no possibility in Christianity to choose to view Satan as the good guy.

Danny Ocean:

Bentusi16:

So out of curiosity, do you consider all philosophy or metaphysics to be a wastes of time or actively damaging to mankind?

I would predict him to say that no, they are neither of those things, but neither is Religion a particularly good example of either.

It may have been some of the first examples of both, but philosophy kept on advancing, spawned the sciences, advanced some more, spawned some more sciences. Etc.. etc...

All the while, Theology was working to justify the same contradictions. Even Aquinas couldn't make sense of parts of the bible, like how God is supposedly both composed of three parts and indivisible. And as we can see from the argument above, it's full of apparent contradictions and conceptual difficulties.

A good example or not, it's still an example, and you have to accept that it does exist within the realm of philosophy and metaphysics.

This part right here; As it does not rest on reasoned arguments and observable reality

This to me suggest someone who rejects anything not provable through the scientific method, or as it's known, scientism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism

Now, as I've pointed out before, I've got no dog in this fight as I am neither an atheist nor religious. But scientism really does nanny my goat.

Imperator_DK:

Bentusi16:
...
So out of curiosity, do you consider all philosophy or metaphysics to be a wastes of time or actively damaging to mankind?

If it cannot be empirically verified, then it is speculation. And must be treated as and accorded no more respect than speculation.

That doesn't mean it's always harmful, though religion - particularly Abrahamic religion - tends to be. Aside from the whole threats of eternal torture thing, If you're fighting gay rights because a fictitious entity described a book from the ancient middle east was opposed to them, then that's pretty harmful to gay people.

And not all "philosophy" is metaphysical without any basis in observable reality. For instance, an idea in political philosophy about about "minimal societal functionality" can be grounded in human physiology and psychology. Which make all humans vulnerable to certain things, roughly equally so (even the strongest human is easily killed in its sleep). These then lay out the challenges every human face, and which every society must therefore address to come into and stay in existence.

It's been pointed out several times that there are christian denominations crusading for gay marriage, so I'm not going to bother engaging you on that.

And ok, that's fair for the rest of it.

Bentusi16:
...
It's been pointed out several times that there are christian denominations crusading for gay marriage, so I'm not going to bother engaging you on that.
...

And thus those are not harmful... in that regard.

Still doesn't make them anything more than speculation though.

Bentusi16:

A good example or not, it's still an example, and you have to accept that it does exist within the realm of philosophy and metaphysics.

This part right here; As it does not rest on reasoned arguments and observable reality

This to me suggest someone who rejects anything not provable through the scientific method, or as it's known, scientism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism

Now, as I've pointed out before, I've got no dog in this fight as I am neither an atheist nor religious. But scientism really does nanny my goat.

Yes, by acknowledging that religion is a kind of philosophy, I am acknowledging that it is a kind of philosophy.

I am one of those people that does not view the natural sciences as oppositional to philosophy, they are part of it.

I too rail against people who think that the scientific method is the answer to every question.

Although I am, basically, an empiricist. They are not the same thing.

So... what's your point exactly?

Imperator_DK:

Bentusi16:
...
It's been pointed out several times that there are christian denominations crusading for gay marriage, so I'm not going to bother engaging you on that.
...

And thus those are not harmful... in that regard.

Still doesn't make them anything more than speculation though.

Which is fair. And I don't disagree.

I don't necessarily agree that speculation in and of itself is harmful, but then you didn't really say that. Just in general, I don't feel speculation is harmful as a thing in and of itself.

Danny Ocean:

Bentusi16:

A good example or not, it's still an example, and you have to accept that it does exist within the realm of philosophy and metaphysics.

This part right here; As it does not rest on reasoned arguments and observable reality

This to me suggest someone who rejects anything not provable through the scientific method, or as it's known, scientism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism

Now, as I've pointed out before, I've got no dog in this fight as I am neither an atheist nor religious. But scientism really does nanny my goat.

Yes, by acknowledging that religion is a kind of philosophy, I am acknowledging that it is a kind of philosophy.

I am one of those people that does not view the natural sciences as oppositional to philosophy, they are part of it.

I too rail against people who think that the scientific method is the answer to every question.

Although I am, basically, an empiricist. They are not the same thing.

So... what's your point exactly?

Oh, nothing much in particular, except for an example on how people can differ in views and not be rude or arrogant in their declarations of truth.

It's something to do before work starts, and I'm pretty chillaxed today.

It'd also be a good place to end the thread in general.

Seanchaidh:

So you don't think God's omniscience extends to knowing what would happen if he created the Universe? This knowledge-gathering seems pretty passive for a being that supposedly created the universe-- and had a choice in the matter.

It seem the trick here that not even Danny Ocean can manage is thinking outside time dependant cause and effect. It's not God gets bored, god makes creation, then everything happens. God just is, always and forever. There isn't some future subjunctive question about what would happen if God created everything, God creates everything and it all happens eternally to God. That is just the state of things. God had a choice in everything that happens, and relinquished some of that to us in free will. That's the idea of free will. But god does know what we do because it is what we do.

Danny Ocean:
God is required to witness events before he can know them, therefore he is not timeless.

You just can't help getting this backwards. God is timesless, therefore He doesn't need to witness events before he can know them. He witnesses them eternally, therefore he knows them eternally, neither the witnessing nor the knowing is precedent to the other.

EvolutionKills:
I just don't see the point in being arrogant as an atheist. After all atheism, in its broadest sense, is lack of belief in gods. This is a good thing...

...if you're in the scientific world, where everything has to be based on good science rather than philosophy. However neither religion nor atheism is innately good or bad.

It's a good, intelligent stance to have; one that shows you are in tune with the nature of reality. Anything else above and beyond that basic premise is in addition to atheism, but not atheism. Skepticism, humanism, liberalism or conservatism, rationalism, feminism, environmentalism, etc.

Unless being more honest about the nature of reality give you a massive hard on, there's not much to be arrogant about. While conversely, the same is not always true.

While I see Atheism as embracing reason and the application of logic, science and the language of maths, I find a lot to be arrogant about if one believes it's the foundation of intelligent thinking, and that having this life philosophy attunes one to the "nature of reality" as if it's a higher plane of existence.

To go on to criticize the "average" Christian for merely holding private beliefs of omnipotent power as "arrogance unheard of in science", argued against with personal dogma about our perspective in the universe -- from an "average" perspective, it honestly sounds like there could be a superiority complex here.

tstorm823:

Danny Ocean:
God is required to witness events before he can know them, therefore he is not timeless.

You just can't help getting this backwards. God is timesless, therefore He doesn't need to witness events before he can know them. He witnesses them eternally, therefore he knows them eternally, neither the witnessing nor the knowing is precedent to the other.

And what of the rest of that post?

Either God's knowledge is contingent upon his witnessing the subject of his knowledge, or it is not. First, Pick one- forgetting time for the moment.

Second, let's clarify what "Eternal" means. Would you agree that it means, 'present at every point in time'?

tstorm823:

Seanchaidh:

So you don't think God's omniscience extends to knowing what would happen if he created the Universe? This knowledge-gathering seems pretty passive for a being that supposedly created the universe-- and had a choice in the matter.

It seem the trick here that not even Danny Ocean can manage is thinking outside time dependant cause and effect. It's not God gets bored, god makes creation, then everything happens. God just is, always and forever. There isn't some future subjunctive question about what would happen if God created everything, God creates everything and it all happens eternally to God. That is just the state of things. God had a choice in everything that happens, and relinquished some of that to us in free will. That's the idea of free will. But god does know what we do because it is what we do.

A simple "no, I don't" would have sufficed.

Though it is interesting that you say "God just is, always and forever." Sounds like he doesn't do anything.

Seanchaidh:

A simple "no, I don't" would have sufficed.

Though it is interesting that you say "God just is, always and forever." Sounds like he doesn't do anything.

In a certain sense, God doesn't "do" anything (exception being the whole Jesus bit).

Danny Ocean:

Either God's knowledge is contingent upon his witnessing the subject of his knowledge, or it is not. First, Pick one- forgetting time for the moment.

Second, let's clarify what "Eternal" means. Would you agree that it means, 'present at every point in time'?

I'll go with yes on the contingency and maybe on the definition of eternal. Eternal is without beginning or end, outside of time. Being present at all points in time is more consequence of that than anything.

tstorm823:

I'll go with yes on the contingency and maybe on the definition of eternal. Eternal is without beginning or end, outside of time. Being present at all points in time is more consequence of that than anything.

Yeah but who knows what the hell "Eternal" means. :P

OK, so you take "Omniscient" to mean:

1. God has knowledge of all events he has witnessed.

And you also assert that:

2. God has witnessed all events in our Universe.

N'est pas?

Danny Ocean:

Yeah but who knows what the hell "Eternal" means. :P

OK, so you take "Omniscient" to mean:

1. God has knowledge of all events he has witnessed.

And you also assert that:

2. God has witnessed all events in our Universe.

N'est pas?

I mean, you went to the trouble of italicizing the part you just sort of added in there, but unless you're trying to pull "then He doesn't know OTHER universes" I don't see a big issue. And also there is a vast amount of knowledge within God's grasp that aren't witnessed events exactly, so I'm sure there's a more nuanced way to say that without precluding things like natural laws that people don't know about, but whatever.

So I'll reserve the right to contend the "in our universe" part, but otherwise looks good.

AgedGrunt:

EvolutionKills:
I just don't see the point in being arrogant as an atheist. After all atheism, in its broadest sense, is lack of belief in gods. This is a good thing...

...if you're in the scientific world, where everything has to be based on good science rather than philosophy. However neither religion nor atheism is innately good or bad.

It's a good, intelligent stance to have; one that shows you are in tune with the nature of reality. Anything else above and beyond that basic premise is in addition to atheism, but not atheism. Skepticism, humanism, liberalism or conservatism, rationalism, feminism, environmentalism, etc.

Unless being more honest about the nature of reality give you a massive hard on, there's not much to be arrogant about. While conversely, the same is not always true.

While I see Atheism as embracing reason and the application of logic, science and the language of maths, I find a lot to be arrogant about if one believes it's the foundation of intelligent thinking, and that having this life philosophy attunes one to the "nature of reality" as if it's a higher plane of existence.

To go on to criticize the "average" Christian for merely holding private beliefs of omnipotent power as "arrogance unheard of in science", argued against with personal dogma about our perspective in the universe -- from an "average" perspective, it honestly sounds like there could be a superiority complex here.

Please, do NOT equate hard earned knowledge of the state of our universe and the nature of reality, with 'personal dogma'. I do not believe that the universe was created with myself in mind, because given everything we know about our universe, there is nothing to suggest that it is. If and when new information presents itself, it will be evaluated, and my position will adjust accordingly. This is NOT personal dogma, and your misuse of that term in an effort to marginalize my opinion is disingenuous. If my confidence in my beliefs (born of the substantial backing of evidence) comes off as arrogant, that sounds like a problem with your perspective.

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