Post Any Evidence For God Here

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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.
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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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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby AAFitz on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:30 pm

crispybits wrote: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 :)


I dont think hes digging...seems more like hes throwing dirt on your dead argument.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:32 pm

Unless we are supernatural your argument fails

We are supernatural

Well nyerr your argument still fails because our supernatural souls are governed by natural laws

What did I miss?
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby Metsfanmax on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:35 pm

crispybits wrote: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.


There were two parts of that condition. The second part was "and our free will transcends the natural world." Since that is not the case (we're talking about free will within the context of the natural world), your observation is irrelevant.

You may be unfamiliar with the conjunction "and," so your mistake is forgiven.
Last edited by Metsfanmax on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby AAFitz on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:37 pm

crispybits wrote:Unless we are supernatural your argument fails

We are supernatural

Well nyerr your argument still fails because our supernatural souls are governed by natural laws

What did I miss?


Your own punchline from the looks of it.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:40 pm

Our souls transcend the natural world. Our free will is a function of our souls.

It's entirely internally consistent with the other christian premises, which are themselves entirely separate from natural principles.

To defeat the argument you ither have to show why our souls, our very being, is not the bit of us that makes choices, or that somehow the other premises are not internally consistent. I've seen neither so far.
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