Post Any Evidence For God Here

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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:41 am

tzor wrote:
crispybits wrote:The best answer to "why should I love my younger brother" is "because you love your younger brother".


I thought we were talking about small children. Hell, your answer would stump a philosophy major. (And you just caused the Vulcan to go into recursive logic shock.)


I'd give the same answer to a small child, and explain to them that nobody should ever tell them how they feel about anything and only they can know that. Then I'd tell them that their younger brother loves them and that he will be one of their best friends for their whole life (yes, it's a lie - or at least a prediction I couldn't know the truth of - but it makes the kid aware of the bond that will hopefully develop as they grow up, and their own freedom to feel however they want and that's fine)

The kid probably couldn't explain the nuances and the psychology behind it, but it would be a hell of a lot better than telling them that they're going to hell if they don't (we only have very limited control over our own emotions so to tell a kid he'll be punished for thought crime would be wrong)

We tell lies to children all the time to gradually introduce concepts they can't fully understand yet, but it is perfectly possible to introduce them to morality bit by bit without ever introducing them to theology or metaphysics or trying to limit their freedom to grow in whatever way they need to.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby oss spy on Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:34 am

tzor wrote:
oss spy wrote:If God is omniscient, then there is no free will.


Not exactly. If God is omniscient and if God insists on Free Will, then it follows that God's actions are significantly constrained upon the world. And if you think that's bad enough; if you talk about the Universe which is, and God who also is, then you have to remove all question of time (a property of the space time universe) and even cause/effect from your argument.


Wow. You totally ignored my point and made a baseless claim at the same time. I'm sorry, but God knows the future. He knows what you're going to do. He knows what the future is.

You don't have free will.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby AAFitz on Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:42 am

oss spy wrote:
tzor wrote:
oss spy wrote:If God is omniscient, then there is no free will.


Not exactly. If God is omniscient and if God insists on Free Will, then it follows that God's actions are significantly constrained upon the world. And if you think that's bad enough; if you talk about the Universe which is, and God who also is, then you have to remove all question of time (a property of the space time universe) and even cause/effect from your argument.


Wow. You totally ignored my point and made a baseless claim at the same time. I'm sorry, but God knows the future. He knows what you're going to do. He knows what the future is.

You don't have free will.


Actually its you that are making a baseless claim on faulty logic. Knowing and causing are simply two different things entirely, and if one accepts that there is an omniscient, omnipotent being there is no reason to not assume you can be given free will, and that events can play out based on your own actions.

It simply means its beyond your limited capacity to understand logic at its basic core, and are defining it on your very limited understanding of it.

I agree, the whole thing seems implausible, but all of reality seems implausible when viewed mathematically, god or no god, but that doesnt validate your claim, especially as expressed in absolutely simple terms, bordering on childish.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby PLAYER57832 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:26 pm

crispybits wrote:Isn't everyone still on a learning quest? Well, everyone rational anyway. Anyone who knows they don't know everything is always looking to learn more, it's human nature.

Actually, no. Some people don't really question for a variety of reasons-- maybe they are afraid to question, having learned very early that its best to just listen and obey. OR, they may be one of those few individuals who truly does seem to speak from a point of truth... (the few I know like this are not folks you would recognize, but I am told Ghandi had this aspect, as did Billy Graham and Pope John Paul). Then there are people who plain become fanatics, and simply don't allow any kind of real criticism to enter their brain.

crispybits wrote:If your God ends up sticking a bible in front of me again in a way he knows I would be receptive to I'll probably look at it, but without denying the possibility of there being something there I missed, I've been down that road many times and found nothing. I would need something to give me reason to believe I missed something in there to convince me to go back and look again. Recently (as in since I turned away from christianity) I've seen nothing that either surprises me or reveals anything new from that philosophy.

What you referred to either, the definitely revealed truth without question is what I was discussing. Giving you a guide that you can take or leave, read or not... that is free will. Going into your heart and specifically finding a way to connect to you.. that is not. However, there are a lot of subtleties here. LIke I said before, it could be that there is something you are supposed to do or discover that you could not if you were more sure of your thinking.

crispybits wrote:You can teach kids right and wrong without ever needing to resort to theology lessons. Until they are old enough to understand what a god concept actually entails then they don't need that concept being put in their heads.

You are defining a specific kind of religion. My definition is broader. Religion is basically any set, firm guidelines and belief.. not just those including belief in God. You can teach the basics without God, but it is difficult.

Per that last sentence, though, no. Children need to be exposed to ideas before they can become able to understand. To go back to the math bit, it takes time for kids to learn.. but if you wait until they are "ready", then the time when they become ready is later. I involved all of "my" kids (my own and those I watched) in various math-type excercises from the time they were very young. ALL are doing far better than average. Similarly, while I made sure I was understood, I did not limit my language. If I really needed them to "obey", it was short and quick "No!", "STOP!", etc. But... I would refer to a dish, a bowl, etc. I would use a wrench, and adjustable ended wrench, a Crescent wrench and a monkey wrench..... And the kids
crispybits wrote:We don't teach kids about sex until they are old enough to actually understand the concepts involved, and we start them out slow, with fairy tales about storks and birds and bees and only later, when they have learned a lot more about the universe and everything in it, do we actually talk about penises and vaginas and all that the reality entails.

Now you are talking about something very different indeed, but I would argue that a lot of traditional American thinking on this is just plain wrong, too.

Kids need to learn about their own bodies very early. They need to learn that bodies have different kinds of feelings and that they are not bad, but that some actions and things are private. I never teach a child that his private areas are "bad" or anything of the sort, but they ARE very private. Haivng young boys and girls all potty training, for example, I walked a line between making sure that they all got to "go" when needed, but also respected each other. Sure, they would notice that boys and girls were different. It was just a fact, nothing big.. like one person has brown hair, another blonde. Boys look one way, girls another. As soon as the "emergency rush" bit was over, and they could "hold it" a tad, then I emphasized privacy more. But, it wasn't that this was "nasty" or anything, just private.

Per the rest... sure. You have to wait. I tell a story of growing up on a farm, having helped to birth cows, inseminate them... and still found it as something of a shock when (at school) we got the "this is our bodies" (or whatever it was called) film. BUT... here is the thing. If you have not, LONG before you get to that point already instilled a sense of respect for other human beings, of consquences to actions, etc... then the biology lesson will do nothing more than give them yet another idea of "bad behavior". Its when that biology lesson is combined with a decent background that it becomes just a biology lesson and not an Earth-shattering entry into a world the child is not ready for yet.

crispybits wrote:But when it comes to religion it's somehow fully acceptable to jump straight to eternal heaven and hell and absolute power and all that.

I don't believe that is what I said at all. A very young child has no real understanding even of death, never mind heaven and hell. I said consequences have actions, think of other people, etc. IN my church, we begin some "rote" learning of the 10 commandments around 6-7, but that's like teaching a child to count, knowing that they don't really and truly "get" numbers for some time. Mostly, they "get" the idea "don't steal" and sometimes "don't take the Lord's name in vain". Ther rest is pretty fuzzy, if we even go over it at that point.

crispybits wrote:I saw a TV clip of a 5 year old in bible belt America not so long ago, talking with very advanced terms about how he had felt he needed "more" in his life and he was thankful that god's grace had saved him and he was going to heaven after he died. That kid is an extreme case, but by inserting those kinds of concepts before their intellect has reached maturity to be able to properly process and critically assess those concepts that's not education, it's brainwashing.

Yeah, and I find a lot of that repugnant as well.
crispybits wrote:I have seen many times (in real life or on TV) kids of religious people who can't yet properly address the concepts of justice or happiness or pain intellectually (as in they couldn't give you an adult definition of what they are or talk about different aspects of these concepts), but are already completely indoctrinated to the parent's own brand of religious ideology. Until you can process and understand things like justice, happiness and pain then you cannot realistically make a decision about theology based on proper critical thinking and free will. You say that God allowing us all a revelation in our hearts would be violating free will, but these parents are violating it far more effectively like this. They are feeding these kids these concepts before they can ever hope to rationalise them, and then cementing this brainwashing by years of performing rituals (church on Sunday for example).

Again, I believe you are thinking of Roman Catholicism.. and an old style distortion of the church, at that. My son goes to a Roman Catholic school, but he is not learning what you describe. He is learning that Christ died on the Cross, and rose on the 3rd day, yes, but again, its sort of "rote" at this point. His real understanding is that God represents love. He is given real examples of foregiveness and helpfullness in class. Kids are taught to respect each other, nad to do good things for each other, in part because that is what God wants. I don't consider that bad. If you consider it indoctrination.. so be it.

There are a lot of subtleties involved here. I cannot possibly get into proper child rearing in this thread, nor do I really want to , since I don't consider myself an expert. However, I get back to what I have said before. What you are describing is not representative of MY faith, nor that of many folks, including many here.
crispybits wrote:I consider myself very lucky. Both my parents are some sort of mostly christian theist, though they aren't the church going bible thumping variety. But they never used God as a stick or carrot to try and teach me right and wrong. They simply taught me right and wrong. Many times during my childhood I heard "because I said so" when I asked a question, and now I'm all grown up I know full well they could have explained it so easily by resorting to the god card, but they didn't. When I went out and found religion they were there to explain things and help me out, but they never forced whatever they believe (I'm still not exactly sure to this day) onto me. They let me work it out for myself.
Sounds a lot like my upbringing. God came up in few specific cases, but not often --- regarding what happens after we die, things like that.
crispybits wrote:This is another of the many reasons I find that religion fails. Are the religious so insecure in god's power and wisdom and love that they have to remove free will from their own children in this way? If they truly believed in what they were preaching then wouldn't they trust god to do what is necessary to reveal himself effectively to the adult that their kid becomes?
I sort of think you are instead describing why religion succeeds. Just because your parents did not harp on God with you doesn't mean they did not pass on their values and religion.
crispybits wrote:God doesn't need religion to connect to us. We don't need religion to connect to him. Seems to me it's pointless for doing what it's nominally designed for. It does seem very effective for doing a whole bunch of things it's not meant to be able to do, but then I contend in those ways it's actually doing exactly what it was really designed to do.

I already said that any particular religion can be both a hindrance or a help. However, the truth is that what you refer to.. relating directly to God actually IS religion. You may not like the organized religions you have found so far, the churches and bodies you have visited, but your very ideas are your religion.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby oss spy on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:32 pm

AAFitz wrote:
oss spy wrote:
tzor wrote:
oss spy wrote:If God is omniscient, then there is no free will.


Not exactly. If God is omniscient and if God insists on Free Will, then it follows that God's actions are significantly constrained upon the world. And if you think that's bad enough; if you talk about the Universe which is, and God who also is, then you have to remove all question of time (a property of the space time universe) and even cause/effect from your argument.


Wow. You totally ignored my point and made a baseless claim at the same time. I'm sorry, but God knows the future. He knows what you're going to do. He knows what the future is.

You don't have free will.


Actually its you that are making a baseless claim on faulty logic. Knowing and causing are simply two different things entirely, and if one accepts that there is an omniscient, omnipotent being there is no reason to not assume you can be given free will, and that events can play out based on your own actions.

It simply means its beyond your limited capacity to understand logic at its basic core, and are defining it on your very limited understanding of it.

I agree, the whole thing seems implausible, but all of reality seems implausible when viewed mathematically, god or no god, but that doesnt validate your claim, especially as expressed in absolutely simple terms, bordering on childish.


Premise:

God is omniscient
Omniscient means knowing everything
The future is included with everything
You are given X or Y

Conclusion:

God knows what you'll choose in the future


Premise

God knows what you'll choose in the future

Conclusion

You can't change what you'll choose in the future


Premise:

You can't change what you'll choose in the future

Conclusion:

You don't have free will

I don't think you quite understand the definition of "all knowing". All knowing means that you will know the outcome of every event - such as if you choose tea or coffee. From your perspective you have free will, but the omniscient being knows what you're going to choose. You don't actually have a choice; it's only an illusion. But hey - why don't you explain to me how it's free will if the outcome is already set in stone?
Last edited by oss spy on Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2012-04-05 19:05:58 - Eagle Orion: For the record, my supposed irrationality has kept me in the game well enough. Just in rather bizaare fashion.

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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby john9blue on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:40 pm

perhaps we are part of god, or god is a part of us, and our decisions are his decisions? who knows... sounds kinda pantheistic to me
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby tzor on Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:40 pm

oss spy wrote:Wow. You totally ignored my point and made a baseless claim at the same time. I'm sorry, but God knows the future. He knows what you're going to do. He knows what the future is.


Actually you have been ignoring a whole number of points, so I might as well bring them all up. At this point we are going so deep into metaphysics and I could just about assume any set of meta-conditions and come up with practically anything. So let's just take space-time, which at least we are somewhat familiar with.

The Universe IS. Period. Anything outside of space time sees the space time universe. They can observe all points in the space time universe whenever they feel like it. They are omniscient.

I can also take a book. I can read any word from any point in the book. As far as the book is concerned I am omniscient.

But I cannot change anything in the book; I can't adjust the book in any way. My omniscience of the book is meaningless to the book itself; even though I know the third word on the second sentence on page 34.

If I can adjust the book somehow (since all the words are connected) everything changes. I could later observe the changes, make predictions on those changes and make specific changes. Or I could not use my ability to know what effects the changes would be when I make those changes. Because I can know doesn't mean I must know before I act. The later preserves free will.

So how do we know this might be true? Does the Bible tell us, more or less, so? Well, the Father and the Son are one. Yet the question of when the end of the world is known to the Father alone. The unity of the Son and the Father is clear; but not everything that the Father knows is given a priori to the Son. The same may be inferred through the breath or spirit of God. So while the Father knows everything, His actions do not always carry the full extent of His knowledge; thus free will continues to exist.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby oss spy on Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:53 pm

tzor wrote:
oss spy wrote:Wow. You totally ignored my point and made a baseless claim at the same time. I'm sorry, but God knows the future. He knows what you're going to do. He knows what the future is.


Actually you have been ignoring a whole number of points, so I might as well bring them all up. At this point we are going so deep into metaphysics and I could just about assume any set of meta-conditions and come up with practically anything. So let's just take space-time, which at least we are somewhat familiar with.


Kinda like how you totally disregarded my previous post, eh?

The Universe IS. Period. Anything outside of space time sees the space time universe. They can observe all points in the space time universe whenever they feel like it. They are omniscient.

I can also take a book. I can read any word from any point in the book. As far as the book is concerned I am omniscient.

But I cannot change anything in the book; I can't adjust the book in any way. My omniscience of the book is meaningless to the book itself; even though I know the third word on the second sentence on page 34.


From the character's point of view, they have free will. However, you know in advance what's going to happen and therefore they don't actually have free will - only the illusion of it.

If I can adjust the book somehow (since all the words are connected) everything changes. I could later observe the changes, make predictions on those changes and make specific changes. Or I could not use my ability to know what effects the changes would be when I make those changes. Because I can know doesn't mean I must know before I act. The later preserves free will.


If you can know, but do not know, then you do not have omniscience. Remember that, in order to be omniscient, you have to know everything. If you do not know everything, then how can you say that you are omniscient?

So how do we know this might be true? Does the Bible tell us, more or less, so? Well, the Father and the Son are one. Yet the question of when the end of the world is known to the Father alone. The unity of the Son and the Father is clear; but not everything that the Father knows is given a priori to the Son. The same may be inferred through the breath or spirit of God. So while the Father knows everything, His actions do not always carry the full extent of His knowledge; thus free will continues to exist.


No. Allow me to quote my previous post:

Premise:

God is omniscient
Omniscient means knowing everything
The future is included with everything
You are given X or Y

Conclusion:

God knows what you'll choose in the future


Premise

God knows what you'll choose in the future

Conclusion

You can't change what you'll choose in the future


Premise:

You can't change what you'll choose in the future

Conclusion:

You don't have free will
2012-04-05 19:05:58 - Eagle Orion: For the record, my supposed irrationality has kept me in the game well enough. Just in rather bizaare fashion.

2012-04-05 19:06:28 - nathanmoore04: Look at your troop count...
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby Ray Rider on Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:01 am

oss spy wrote:Premise

God knows what you'll choose in the future

Conclusion

You can't change what you'll choose in the future

Your conclusion doesn't logically follow the premise.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby chang50 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:40 am

Ray Rider wrote:
oss spy wrote:Premise

God knows what you'll choose in the future

Conclusion

You can't change what you'll choose in the future

Your conclusion doesn't logically follow the premise.


Oss as an atheist I've seen this argument play out a few times and it's more complicated than that,it always is when we talk about an alleged deity that cannot be defined in anything approaching concrete terms. Alleged qualities like omniscience are literally beyond our comprehension.Recent developments in neuroscience provide a better basis for disbelief in free will than metaphysical debate,which is interesting but goes round in circles.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:24 am

Indeed - there are much stronger arguments for a lack of God than that one.

For example (and this is just a quick one as I'm back to work today so haven't got a lot of time - boo!) if I know that you're both rational and hungry and I have a bucket full of sand and a bucket full of doughnuts, I know if I offer you the choice you're going to pick the doughnuts. But I haven't removed your free will, you have the ability to pick the sand.

The theist argument will be that God knows, in far greater detail, the motivations and complex psychology and neuroscience involved in your decisions, and so he knows what you will pick without removing your free will. It is possible for you to be an entirely free agent in the context of outside control, and at the same time be entirely predictable to someone with enough information on how you go about making decisions. That doesn't mean you're totally free to make any choice, you are limited by the choices which are possible (you couldn't pick the bucket of fruit because it doesn't exist) but you are still technically able to choose the sand.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby BigBallinStalin on Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:06 am

I had some really great coffee the other night. Therefore, there is a God.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:31 pm

Cut a few bits out where we seem to either mostly agree or agree to disagree already...

PLAYER57832 wrote:
crispybits wrote:Isn't everyone still on a learning quest? Well, everyone rational anyway. Anyone who knows they don't know everything is always looking to learn more, it's human nature.

Actually, no. Some people don't really question for a variety of reasons-- maybe they are afraid to question, having learned very early that its best to just listen and obey. OR, they may be one of those few individuals who truly does seem to speak from a point of truth... (the few I know like this are not folks you would recognize, but I am told Ghandi had this aspect, as did Billy Graham and Pope John Paul). Then there are people who plain become fanatics, and simply don't allow any kind of real criticism to enter their brain.

You're right in that I would not necessarily describe what they have as objective truth. They have a cast-iron certainty and confidence in their own subjective truths about things for which the "truth" element of the belief cannot either be proven or falsified by objectivity. But that doesn't make their subjective truth into a real objective truth, it just makes them more resolute in their particular faith.

PLAYER57832 wrote:
crispybits wrote:If your God ends up sticking a bible in front of me again in a way he knows I would be receptive to I'll probably look at it, but without denying the possibility of there being something there I missed, I've been down that road many times and found nothing. I would need something to give me reason to believe I missed something in there to convince me to go back and look again. Recently (as in since I turned away from christianity) I've seen nothing that either surprises me or reveals anything new from that philosophy.

What you referred to either, the definitely revealed truth without question is what I was discussing. Giving you a guide that you can take or leave, read or not... that is free will. Going into your heart and specifically finding a way to connect to you.. that is not. However, there are a lot of subtleties here. LIke I said before, it could be that there is something you are supposed to do or discover that you could not if you were more sure of your thinking.

But I can say to someone "do this" or I can say to someone "if you want to do this, then that is the best way to do it." The second way doesn't impose anything on them, it simply gives them a way to be effective. The choice on whether to do it or not is still theirs. They retain their own free will on the matter. Also, don't confuse my willingness to be wrong or my continued search for a better answer with a lack of certainty, in a lot of my metaphysical beliefs I am strongly confident that I have the best answer I can have, I just also accept my own limitations and those of everyone else who has given me information of all sorts so I don't close the door on the possibility of conflicting information coming to light in the future.

PLAYER57832 wrote:
crispybits wrote:You can teach kids right and wrong without ever needing to resort to theology lessons. Until they are old enough to understand what a god concept actually entails then they don't need that concept being put in their heads.

You are defining a specific kind of religion. My definition is broader. Religion is basically any set, firm guidelines and belief.. not just those including belief in God. You can teach the basics without God, but it is difficult.

Per that last sentence, though, no. Children need to be exposed to ideas before they can become able to understand. To go back to the math bit, it takes time for kids to learn.. but if you wait until they are "ready", then the time when they become ready is later. I involved all of "my" kids (my own and those I watched) in various math-type excercises from the time they were very young. ALL are doing far better than average. Similarly, while I made sure I was understood, I did not limit my language. If I really needed them to "obey", it was short and quick "No!", "STOP!", etc. But... I would refer to a dish, a bowl, etc. I would use a wrench, and adjustable ended wrench, a Crescent wrench and a monkey wrench..... And the kids

Kids need to be exposed to ideas which form the basis for other concepts as part of a wittgensteins ladder before they are ready yes, but you wouldn't start teaching a kid about existentialism or quantum physics or neuropsychology before they have an understanding of the more basic concepts needed to make sense of the first step on the ladder for the more complicated concepts. Take calculus as a less extreme example, the basic explanations about what it is about and how it is done revolve around areas under curves and finding the gradient of a curve, and the most basic methods use exponentials, algebra, graphs, etc. You wouldn't even try to start teaching a kid who didn't know algebra, graphs and exponentials the theories of calculus, even at basic levels.

However simple it seems to someone with certainty in their own beliefs, a God concept is actually a very complicated thing. In christian terms you have all sorts of bits and pieces to him like why did he send jesus, why did he create us, how did he create a whole universe, how does he judge us, etc etc. Until the kid learns about the kinds of concepts that make these sorts of questions available to them then they don't have the cognitive tools to properly begin to understand the true nature of a christian God. To put a whole bunch of beliefs into their heads about God at that stage is prejudicing them when they do mature enough to truly analyse. And in a way I think it backfires on a lot of occasions, because the kid has this fairy tale image of God and then as they get older and they learn more about what scripture actually says it doesn't fit, causing a breaking of the whole faith they had (or a rejection of certain aspecs of reality - see Viceroy for a prime example). Either way it doesn't end up pretty. That's not to say that this is always what happens, but many of the more vocal atheists I know had fairly religious upbringings.

PLAYER57832 wrote:
crispybits wrote:This is another of the many reasons I find that religion fails. Are the religious so insecure in god's power and wisdom and love that they have to remove free will from their own children in this way? If they truly believed in what they were preaching then wouldn't they trust god to do what is necessary to reveal himself effectively to the adult that their kid becomes?
I sort of think you are instead describing why religion succeeds. Just because your parents did not harp on God with you doesn't mean they did not pass on their values and religion.
crispybits wrote:God doesn't need religion to connect to us. We don't need religion to connect to him. Seems to me it's pointless for doing what it's nominally designed for. It does seem very effective for doing a whole bunch of things it's not meant to be able to do, but then I contend in those ways it's actually doing exactly what it was really designed to do.
I already said that any particular religion can be both a hindrance or a help. However, the truth is that what you refer to.. relating directly to God actually IS religion. You may not like the organized religions you have found so far, the churches and bodies you have visited, but your very ideas are your religion.


I would argue that my very ideas are my faith. Maybe this is another one of those things where we're talking two different meanings on the same word. For me, religion is the human social construct designed to tell people what to believe (ironically the very thing you keep telling me God won't do). Faith is the personal belief system (that in the religious matches what they are told to believe by the religion). You can have faith without having a religion. You can have faith without even needing a God. Faith is whatever people use to fill the gaps in their objective knowledge with subjective belief. It could be the cookie monster for all the difference it makes to me, because I won't tell you you have to believe the same as me for the stuff in the gaps, and I won't tell you you're wrong for believing whatever you do believe (though I may well point out inconsistencies if someone tries to tell me what I should believe). Mr Random Christian's faith is perfectly safe as long as he keeps it to himself. His religion is in my face, manipulative, inconsistent, bullying, hateful, discriminatory and is designed not for salvation but for power and profit.

The christian may say that his faith endows him with a responsibility to evangelise the truth. And that's fine, as long as he sticks to the objective truth, we call those people scientists, historians, etc (obviously there's liars in those groups too but the disciplines are about discovering true information). When he starts trying to fill other people's gaps then he's attacking their faith, just as he would complain I would be attacking his if I tell him to shut the f*ck up. But he is the aggressor here, not the victim, and there is no moral high ground he can claim in that situation. And when he attacks kids in this way then this is a thousand times more despicable.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby PLAYER57832 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:20 pm

crispybits wrote:Cut a few bits out where we seem to either mostly agree or agree to disagree already...

PLAYER57832 wrote:
crispybits wrote:Isn't everyone still on a learning quest? Well, everyone rational anyway. Anyone who knows they don't know everything is always looking to learn more, it's human nature.

Actually, no. Some people don't really question for a variety of reasons-- maybe they are afraid to question, having learned very early that its best to just listen and obey. OR, they may be one of those few individuals who truly does seem to speak from a point of truth... (the few I know like this are not folks you would recognize, but I am told Ghandi had this aspect, as did Billy Graham and Pope John Paul). Then there are people who plain become fanatics, and simply don't allow any kind of real criticism to enter their brain.

You're right in that I would not necessarily describe what they have as objective truth. They have a cast-iron certainty and confidence in their own subjective truths about things for which the "truth" element of the belief cannot either be proven or falsified by objectivity. But that doesn't make their subjective truth into a real objective truth, it just makes them more resolute in their particular faith.
I never said they had objective truth. I was simply refuting the statement that it is human nature to always seek answers. Some people don't feel they need to seek further answers because they feel they already have them.
crispybits wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:
crispybits wrote:If your God ends up sticking a bible in front of me again in a way he knows I would be receptive to I'll probably look at it, but without denying the possibility of there being something there I missed, I've been down that road many times and found nothing. I would need something to give me reason to believe I missed something in there to convince me to go back and look again. Recently (as in since I turned away from christianity) I've seen nothing that either surprises me or reveals anything new from that philosophy.

What you referred to either, the definitely revealed truth without question is what I was discussing. Giving you a guide that you can take or leave, read or not... that is free will. Going into your heart and specifically finding a way to connect to you.. that is not. However, there are a lot of subtleties here. LIke I said before, it could be that there is something you are supposed to do or discover that you could not if you were more sure of your thinking.

But I can say to someone "do this" or I can say to someone "if you want to do this, then that is the best way to do it." The second way doesn't impose anything on them, it simply gives them a way to be effective. The choice on whether to do it or not is still theirs. They retain their own free will on the matter. Also, don't confuse my willingness to be wrong or my continued search for a better answer with a lack of certainty, in a lot of my metaphysical beliefs I am strongly confident that I have the best answer I can have, I just also accept my own limitations and those of everyone else who has given me information of all sorts so I don't close the door on the possibility of conflicting information coming to light in the future.

Actually what you should say is neither of those.. you should say that if you do x... y will happen, if you do A...B will happen. Only in relatively "trivial" matters or when it is a safety issue about which the child has no concept yet do you say "this... period".

I am sure you "get" that you don't negotiate with a 2 year old over whether it is a good idea to run out in the roadway. You explain, but you also watch them and/or make sure they are inside a fenced area, etc. Even older kids don't really and truly understand things like death.. though pain, they get.

As kids get older, it gets much trickier, but the goal and methods are still the same. You let kids experience enough to learn, but not so much that they are put in unreasonable danger. To some people, such as the Amish, keeping kids safe means heavily limiting their exposure to the outside world. I don't believe in that, mostly because I think that denies kids the chance to really and truly learn to live within the world that exists.

To take a relatively non-controversial example, I love to hike, used to hike a lot on my own. I would not let my 6 or 12 year old out alone simply because I know they lack the skills. BUT, if they express interest in, say learning to rock climb or spelunk, etc... I will, within the means available (finances, etc are limiting, sure) try to give them the opportunity to learn in a safe way.


crispybits wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:
crispybits wrote:You can teach kids right and wrong without ever needing to resort to theology lessons. Until they are old enough to understand what a god concept actually entails then they don't need that concept being put in their heads.

You are defining a specific kind of religion. My definition is broader. Religion is basically any set, firm guidelines and belief.. not just those including belief in God. You can teach the basics without God, but it is difficult.

Per that last sentence, though, no. Children need to be exposed to ideas before they can become able to understand. To go back to the math bit, it takes time for kids to learn.. but if you wait until they are "ready", then the time when they become ready is later. I involved all of "my" kids (my own and those I watched) in various math-type excercises from the time they were very young. ALL are doing far better than average. Similarly, while I made sure I was understood, I did not limit my language. If I really needed them to "obey", it was short and quick "No!", "STOP!", etc. But... I would refer to a dish, a bowl, etc. I would use a wrench, and adjustable ended wrench, a Crescent wrench and a monkey wrench..... And the kids

Kids need to be exposed to ideas which form the basis for other concepts as part of a wittgensteins ladder before they are ready yes, but you wouldn't start teaching a kid about existentialism or quantum physics or neuropsychology before they have an understanding of the more basic concepts needed to make sense of the first step on the ladder for the more complicated concepts. Take calculus as a less extreme example, the basic explanations about what it is about and how it is done revolve around areas under curves and finding the gradient of a curve, and the most basic methods use exponentials, algebra, graphs, etc. You wouldn't even try to start teaching a kid who didn't know algebra, graphs and exponentials the theories of calculus, even at basic levels.

However simple it seems to someone with certainty in their own beliefs, a God concept is actually a very complicated thing. In christian terms you have all sorts of bits and pieces to him like why did he send jesus, why did he create us, how did he create a whole universe, how does he judge us, etc etc. Until the kid learns about the kinds of concepts that make these sorts of questions available to them then they don't have the cognitive tools to properly begin to understand the true nature of a christian God.

In a sense you are correct, but only in a sense. See, while you don't start out teaching calculus, or even algebra... you DO teach them to count, then to add, etc. This is true in religion as well. Those questions to which you refer don't even occur to a young child. Teh most important message a child recieves is that he/she is loved... and that comes mostly from parents and caring people around. God is mentioned, but is rather an illusive idea.

crispybits wrote:To put a whole bunch of beliefs into their heads about God at that stage is prejudicing them when they do mature enough to truly analyse. And in a way I think it backfires on a lot of occasions, because the kid has this fairy tale image of God and then as they get older and they learn more about what scripture actually says it doesn't fit, causing a breaking of the whole faith they had (or a rejection of certain aspecs of reality - see Viceroy for a prime example). Either way it doesn't end up pretty. That's not to say that this is always what happens, but many of the more vocal atheists I know had fairly religious upbringings.

I agree that distorted religion often leads to rebellion. I don't agree that what you describe is what religious upbringing should be or should entail, though sure.. fallibly human being parents make those mistakes.
We all make errors. We just hope they are not big ones.

crispybits wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:
crispybits wrote:This is another of the many reasons I find that religion fails. Are the religious so insecure in god's power and wisdom and love that they have to remove free will from their own children in this way? If they truly believed in what they were preaching then wouldn't they trust god to do what is necessary to reveal himself effectively to the adult that their kid becomes?
I sort of think you are instead describing why religion succeeds. Just because your parents did not harp on God with you doesn't mean they did not pass on their values and religion.
crispybits wrote:God doesn't need religion to connect to us. We don't need religion to connect to him. Seems to me it's pointless for doing what it's nominally designed for. It does seem very effective for doing a whole bunch of things it's not meant to be able to do, but then I contend in those ways it's actually doing exactly what it was really designed to do.
I already said that any particular religion can be both a hindrance or a help. However, the truth is that what you refer to.. relating directly to God actually IS religion. You may not like the organized religions you have found so far, the churches and bodies you have visited, but your very ideas are your religion.


I would argue that my very ideas are my faith. Maybe this is another one of those things where we're talking two different meanings on the same word. For me, religion is the human social construct designed to tell people what to believe (ironically the very thing you keep telling me God won't do).
OK, have to stop you right there. I believe God does very much "tell us what to do". I do not believe he makes it so clear and concrete that there is no question, no room for doubt. He puts out answers, but we sort of have to ask the right questions. AND, we have to be willing to hear.

Also, because this is God we are talking about and all of humanity, he doesn't necessarily give every person the same answers. He made us different. He gave us that ability, gave us the tools that make us think and see things differently for a reason. I am not sure I can go so far as to say that there are multiple religions that are correct. I certainly hold that it could be true. I do think that just adhering to something called "Christianity" doesn't cut it. Though I have never experienced it myself, I know of people who are Christian in basically every way except that they don't know the name of Christ. (basically). That starts to get into some estoeric and tangled concepts that I am not up to discussing right now. (rather too esoteric and deep for the internet anyway). Anyway, I am not one of those that says that only those who appear in church on Sundays or who worship in a particular way set for by humans are saved. I think God is far greater than such limits and certainly is able to look into our hearts... but that is also a trap because since he looks into our hearts, he sees what we really are and not what we pretend.

Some people seem to find that idea so daunting that they prefer to cling to set and specific rules and guidelines, even if they are not 100% correct. (and a good many others just won't allow themselves to conceive that they could be wrong).

crispybits wrote:Faith is the personal belief system (that in the religious matches what they are told to believe by the religion). You can have faith without having a religion. You can have faith without even needing a God. Faith is whatever people use to fill the gaps in their objective knowledge with subjective belief. It could be the cookie monster for all the difference it makes to me, because I won't tell you you have to believe the same as me for the stuff in the gaps, and I won't tell you you're wrong for believing whatever you do believe (though I may well point out inconsistencies if someone tries to tell me what I should believe). Mr Random Christian's faith is perfectly safe as long as he keeps it to himself. His religion is in my face, manipulative, inconsistent, bullying, hateful, discriminatory and is designed not for salvation but for power and profit.
Well... are you saying that every Christian you have ever met meets each of those last definitions? Or are you angry because being a Christian doesn't suddenly make people perfect. Would be nice, but sometimes it actually accentuates their bad attributes. The hurt that happens in church is worse than other hurts becuase church is supposed to be a place of solace. But.. does that mean that the faith and ideas are wrong? Might as well disdain math because some times mathematicians make errors.
crispybits wrote:The christian may say that his faith endows him with a responsibility to evangelise the truth. And that's fine, as long as he sticks to the objective truth, we call those people scientists, historians, etc (obviously there's liars in those groups too but the disciplines are about discovering true information). When he starts trying to fill other people's gaps then he's attacking their faith, just as he would complain I would be attacking his if I tell him to shut the f*ck up. But he is the aggressor here, not the victim, and there is no moral high ground he can claim in that situation. And when he attacks kids in this way then this is a thousand times more despicable.


Evangelizing can have very different meanings. I don't consider what most "evangelists" do true evangelizing. Its more like preaching on the streetcorner for all to see. Remember, Christ told us to pray in private.

True evangelism is not about bombarding someone with ideas they disdain. It simply means being able to talk openly when asked. At least, that is what I have been taught. I have also been taught that we cannot take personal credit for any faith another person has, except our own children. We are, yes, tasked with raising our kids to know right from wrong, including faith. However, it doesn't have to be an oppressive faith.

When it comes to other adults, none of us has the right to judge. I can talk about what I think and believe, but who am I to say that anyone else's thinking is wrong... unless its hypocritic or just factually incorrect, etc.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby Metsfanmax on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:47 pm

crispybits wrote:Indeed - there are much stronger arguments for a lack of God than that one.

For example (and this is just a quick one as I'm back to work today so haven't got a lot of time - boo!) if I know that you're both rational and hungry and I have a bucket full of sand and a bucket full of doughnuts, I know if I offer you the choice you're going to pick the doughnuts. But I haven't removed your free will, you have the ability to pick the sand.


If a person is perfectly rational and picking the doughnuts is the rational choice (debatable given the unclear health benefits of baked goods which are high in sugar and fat), then they have no free will. They are making the choice that rationality dictates that they make. They don't have the ability to pick the sand; if they do, then your original assumption was wrong.

The theist argument will be that God knows, in far greater detail, the motivations and complex psychology and neuroscience involved in your decisions, and so he knows what you will pick without removing your free will. It is possible for you to be an entirely free agent in the context of outside control, and at the same time be entirely predictable to someone with enough information on how you go about making decisions. That doesn't mean you're totally free to make any choice, you are limited by the choices which are possible (you couldn't pick the bucket of fruit because it doesn't exist) but you are still technically able to choose the sand.


If your decision is deterministic in the sense that someone could predict it with 100% confidence given enough information before hand, then strictly speaking, you aren't actually making a choice. That is the essence of oss spy's argument. The problem is not with the logic (the thing Ray Rider quoted is valid -- if what you will choose is predetermined, then how can you "change" it? You can only do whatever was predetermined, if indeed it can be predetermined) but with whether that is sufficient to make any general claims about the nature of God or man.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:38 pm

OK lets try a different analogy. You put 10 people in a room for a day with a bunch of wholly unpredictable choices to make, say there's 10 different hats and 10 different sandwiches and 10 different drinks and 10 different books (all of the same quality), and you just leave them to it and film the room. Each of those people has the free will to choose whichever hat, drink, sandwich and book they want to pass the time with, or they can sit and ignore any or all of the items, or they could try and take 2 sandwiches, or whatever. There is no control being exerted on them, and all of their choices are entirely their own.

Now imagine you have a time machine, so you can watch the film after it's over, and then travel back to any time during the day and say "Jo will pick up the green hat and the ham sandwich now". You knowing the action from having already experienced it in the film doesn't violate Jo's free will when he chooses them if you stay outside the room and do not influence Jo in any way.

God is like the person outside the room with the time machine. He can jump in and out at any point, having already seen the whole film, and say "this will happen next." A completely external agent with no influence knowing something doesn't remove the freedom from the choices made, it's just an external agent with special knowledge. The only way it changes anything is if God is inside the universe and dictating (or at least influencing) these choices somehow.

That said I don't agree with that premise that God is omniscient (mainly because I don't think he's self-aware, but that's my own screwed up opinion :lol: ), I just also don't think it breaks any logical rules about free will in this way if it is true.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby Metsfanmax on Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:48 pm

crispybits wrote:OK lets try a different analogy. You put 10 people in a room for a day with a bunch of wholly unpredictable choices to make, say there's 10 different hats and 10 different sandwiches and 10 different drinks and 10 different books (all of the same quality), and you just leave them to it and film the room. Each of those people has the free will to choose whichever hat, drink, sandwich and book they want to pass the time with, or they can sit and ignore any or all of the items, or they could try and take 2 sandwiches, or whatever. There is no control being exerted on them, and all of their choices are entirely their own.

Now imagine you have a time machine, so you can watch the film after it's over, and then travel back to any time during the day and say "Jo will pick up the green hat and the ham sandwich now". You knowing the action from having already experienced it in the film doesn't violate Jo's free will when he chooses them if you stay outside the room and do not influence Jo in any way.


If Jo is guaranteed to pick the same hat and sandwich when you go back in time, in what way can Jo be said to actually be making a choice? The only way to deny determinism is to imply that there is some element of randomness involved; that if you repeated this experiment enough times, Jo would eventually make a different choice. If that does not happen, then how can one argue that Jo has free will? Jo is then essentially a slave to her own past experiences and biology, guaranteed to make a certain decision given certain environmental stimuli.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby oss spy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:10 pm

Ray Rider wrote:
oss spy wrote:Premise

God knows what you'll choose in the future

Conclusion

You can't change what you'll choose in the future

Your conclusion doesn't logically follow the premise.


It actually does. You may think that you're changing your mind, but God already knows in advance that you're going to change it. Thus, you aren't really changing the future because God knows that it will happen.

If God knows exactly what you're going to do, then how are you changing the future? I'll dish out another example.

Let's say that you can't decide between tea and coffee. You like both of them but for different reasons; coffee keeps you awake and tea tastes great. Right now you're craving tea's taste but are tired and not ready to go to sleep. What do you do? At first, you go for the coffee because you have work to do and want to do it right. However, there's no point in working while you're unhappy and alert so you decide to go for the tea. Then again, you don't want to have to do it later and decide that coffee is the best decision. But, if you choose the coffee, you'll be drinking the last of it and will have to make a new pot - you have work to do and don't want any more distractions. Thus, you go for the tea because there's plenty left.

In this scenario, you changed your mind a total of four times. From your perspective, the future was shrouded in fog. You knew that there was something to choose. You think that you chose your own path because you can't see in the distance. However, God is not limited by this fog. He knows what lies beyond your limited field of vision. He knows already that you're going to choose tea and that you're going to spend the next fifteen minutes trying to decide what you want. While you're stuck figuring out what to do, God already knows what the end result is going to be. You think you have free will because you don't know what will happen, but God knows exactly what you will choose and therefore you don't actually have free will - you can't change the future because someone knows what it will be.

Think of it like a game of Clue: the players don't know who is the killer. From their point of view, it could be anyone. However, once you take a look inside the pouch containing the cards, all of the possibilities collapse to zero except for the one person who did it. Knowing removes all probability. God knows everything, and therefore the probability of any other event collapses to zero. There's not a 50% chance of choosing tea or coffee. God knows, with 100% certainty, that you're going to choose the tea.

There is no free will if God is omniscient.
2012-04-05 19:05:58 - Eagle Orion: For the record, my supposed irrationality has kept me in the game well enough. Just in rather bizaare fashion.

2012-04-05 19:06:28 - nathanmoore04: Look at your troop count...
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:03 pm

This is kinda just a different flavour of the argument we had about causality and time 40 pages ago, it boils down to whether you put God inside or outside of natural laws.

But lets try again anyway. Remember we're trying to dissect christian theology, so we have to accept certain assumptions and then test their internal consistency.

- Supernatural agents (God, angels, demons, souls, etc) exist and by virtue of their supernatural nature they are not bound by natural laws and principles.
- God is omniscient

What you're trying to do, again, is to impose natural laws onto supernatural entities. Our bodies could be said to be deterministic (Heisenbergs uncertainty doesn't work at those levels), but our souls cannot. They are supernatural, not necessarily bound by any natural laws or principles. Logically that premise is the flaw in your argument.

IF christian theology is correct, then the supernatural entities can conceivably violate any principle of nature, because they don't HAVE to be bound by any of them. So a soul isnt either deterministic or indeterministic or both or neither. It's adeterministic. It can also react to both natural and supernatural stimuli, and those supernatural stimuli don't HAVE to be bound by determinism either.

The apparent contradiction is the result of saying "this supernatural thing cannot do that to this other supernatural thing, because it violates natural principles", but that argument assumes that natural principles apply to supernatural entities. Without those boundaries in place, supernatural entities have the possibility to do anything you like, including things that would be naturally and logically impossible.

It's anti-intuitive when you think that we are just natural minds constrained by thinking in natural ways, but it is internally consistent and if you accept it's internal premises it's completely plausible. And this is why I said there are better arguments against the existence of the christian God.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby Metsfanmax on Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:13 pm

crispybits wrote:This is kinda just a different flavour of the argument we had about causality and time 40 pages ago, it boils down to whether you put God inside or outside of natural laws.

But lets try again anyway. Remember we're trying to dissect christian theology, so we have to accept certain assumptions and then test their internal consistency.

- Supernatural agents (God, angels, demons, souls, etc) exist and by virtue of their supernatural nature they are not bound by natural laws and principles.
- God is omniscient

What you're trying to do, again, is to impose natural laws onto supernatural entities. Our bodies could be said to be deterministic (Heisenbergs uncertainty doesn't work at those levels), but our souls cannot. They are supernatural, not necessarily bound by any natural laws or principles. Logically that premise is the flaw in your argument.

IF christian theology is correct, then the supernatural entities can conceivably violate any principle of nature, because they don't HAVE to be bound by any of them. So a soul isnt either deterministic or indeterministic or both or neither. It's adeterministic. It can also react to both natural and supernatural stimuli, and those supernatural stimuli don't HAVE to be bound by determinism either.

The apparent contradiction is the result of saying "this supernatural thing cannot do that to this other supernatural thing, because it violates natural principles", but that argument assumes that natural principles apply to supernatural entities. Without those boundaries in place, supernatural entities have the possibility to do anything you like, including things that would be naturally and logically impossible.

It's anti-intuitive when you think that we are just natural minds constrained by thinking in natural ways, but it is internally consistent and if you accept it's internal premises it's completely plausible. And this is why I said there are better arguments against the existence of the christian God.


None of those things respond to oss spy's argument. Regardless of whether or not the natural world is completely deterministic, or whether or not the supernatural realm is deterministic, if God somehow does know what is going to happen to you in the future, then that necessarily implies that your actions are predetermined and therefore that you have no choice. Again, the problem is not whether predetermined knowledge negates choice (it does), but whether omniscience requires predetermined knowledge (which perhaps is an argument of semantics).
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:44 pm

Except God isn't necessarily bound by time. He doesn't know anything before we do or after we do, he just knows everything. Trying to pin any natural principle whatsoever onto a supernatural being is a flawed argument. We perceive time as linear, but that doesn't mean it is linear, or that we can apply linear concepts of time to things that exist outside of our temporal dimension. It's like claiming that bananas are justice because hammer egg cricket 275. Or more precisely "fnweo fnow wfdud wehuiwe vb jhfd dbadw ddbdwed udui". Semantically and mentally we simply don't have the tools to describe the objective reality of it, so we can only look at the supernatural premises we do have and judge them by their internal consistency, not by their natural feasibility.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby Metsfanmax on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

crispybits wrote:Except God isn't necessarily bound by time. He doesn't know anything before we do or after we do, he just knows everything. Trying to pin any natural principle whatsoever onto a supernatural being is a flawed argument. We perceive time as linear, but that doesn't mean it is linear, or that we can apply linear concepts of time to things that exist outside of our temporal dimension. It's like claiming that bananas are justice because hammer egg cricket 275. Or more precisely "fnweo fnow wfdud wehuiwe vb jhfd dbadw ddbdwed udui". Semantically and mentally we simply don't have the tools to describe the objective reality of it, so we can only look at the supernatural premises we do have and judge them by their internal consistency, not by their natural feasibility.


The natural principles aren't applied to God here, they're applied to us. The statement "God knows what we will choose in the future" is a direct statement about the future actions of us natural beings that are bound by time. We're not talking about what God can or cannot do here; we're just talking about the fact that, if God knows everything, that means he knows what will happen in our futures in what we perceive as time. This means that there is something defined to happen at some point in the time dimension (regardless of whether it is "linear") and we can't change it (nobody can) since it is known by a being that knows everything. So unless we too are supernatural and our free will transcends the natural world, then what you're saying doesn't matter for this argument.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:16 pm

In the christian assumptions we have souls. We are supernatural entities.

Check and mate.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby Metsfanmax on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:25 pm

crispybits wrote:In the christian assumptions we have souls. We are supernatural entities.

Check and mate.


That argument is irrelevant because human actions in the natural world are still governed by the natural rules of that world. Even if there are reasons for your actions that transcend the deterministic nature of the physical universe, we are talking about the presence of those actions in a world that is itself deterministic and has a definite time dimension.

I... can't believe we're having this debate.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:27 pm

I can't believe you keep coming back. You said "So unless we too are supernatural and our free will transcends the natural world, then what you're saying doesn't matter for this argument." I reminded you that in the premises of the argument we have souls, and now you're wriggling around saying something about our supernatural souls being governed by natural laws.

Keep digging :)
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