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The Religion and Philosophy Thread

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Comments

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 4,710
    Grond0 said:

    I think very few people describing themselves as religious would agree with this. You're starting from the assumption that a creator is not transcendent and is bound by the same general rules as their creation. However, almost any definition of a religion incorporates a supernatural aspect to god, so that they are transcendent and are not bound by the rules of their creation. It's the inability to prove or disprove something that lies outside the rules governing the universe as we understand them that means the existence of god can't be subject to intellectual proofs.

    With the exception of humans actually creating gods in the first place. Personally, I found that very philosophical plot of PoE1 to be rather fascinating. Similarly, stories where a whole race combines and becomes a single divine entity has much entertainment value to it. Then there is the scenario where our own mechanical/AI creations outlives us and start worshipping us in a similar manner as gods.

    Of course, such things are clearly works of fiction. But even then they ask rather interesting philosophical question regardless.

    Grond0semiticgodmashedtaters
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,012
    edited December 2018
    @Grond0
    I think very few people describing themselves as religious would agree with this. You're starting from the assumption that a creator is not transcendent and is bound by the same general rules as their creation. However, almost any definition of a religion incorporates a supernatural aspect to god, so that they are transcendent and are not bound by the rules of their creation. It's the inability to prove or disprove something that lies outside the rules governing the universe as we understand them that means the existence of god can't be subject to intellectual proofs.


    I don't start with that assumption. As I said - you can imagine creator outside creation, but nature of causal relation itself between them forces us to put them in the same set. In other words - if we say that God created world, then both creator and world *must* exist within certain structure and models that particular creation. For an instance, if God created world, then - by necessity - God wasn't created by world because that is the nature of that relation, that it is not reciprocal.
    By saying "x created y" we presuppose that structure, and put both x and y as subjects of that relation.
    So I think that even if God isn't bound by rules of creations, he is bound by rules of particular relation he is in. If he was truly free, then he wouldn't be a creator, because it entails certain things.
    And if we assume that God is outside our language, then any sentence about God is meaningless. That means that there is no reason to assume anything about it.

    KamigoroshiGrammarsalad
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Grond0 said:

    ThacoBell said:

    @Kamigoroshi I think my point still applies. No one says to themselves, "Dang it, guess I should do the evil thing here." Regardless of what evil means to them. But people do often say, "Well, its the right thing, I should probably do it." Again, regardless of what they personally view as "good" the thought still applies to them.

    @FinneousPJ Well, how might one know that something isn't possible without direct evidence otherwise? THe question works both ways, and without an objective way to "know" either way, there really isn't an objective answer.

    Right, so what made you conclude it IS possible?
    The use of logic presumably - if something can't be disproven it's possible.
    Aye, that's my point: what you said is wrong.

    mlnevese
  • Grond0Grond0 Member, Moderator Posts: 4,865
    @Artona that's still the same argument, i.e. that a creator and creation must be bound by the same rules. That assumes that nothing can exist outside those rules and that's not an assumption that's normally shared by religions. I agree that it's not logical to allow for such an outside agency and trying to use logic brings you back to the circular argument "if God created the universe, then who created God". However, religions are not driven by logic, but by faith.

  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,012
    Grond0 said:

    @Artona that's still the same argument, i.e. that a creator and creation must be bound by the same rules. That assumes that nothing can exist outside those rules and that's not an assumption that's normally shared by religions. I agree that it's not logical to allow for such an outside agency and trying to use logic brings you back to the circular argument "if God created the universe, then who created God". However, religions are not driven by logic, but by faith.

    I mean something else that circularity you mentioned. I'm talking about necessities of language and how we use it. In other words - accepting certain sentences entail some other, unless we risk claiming two opposit things being true.
    So, we say that there is certain relation and it has some qualities. This relation is "creating". Nature of this relation means that if x created y, then it is impossible for y to exist before x, or that if x created y, then statement "y create x" is always true. Then, if we assume statement "God created cosmos" as true, then we need to entail things that are nature of that relation. It doesn't matter if God exist outside rules, because our statements are governed by some rules.
    So, to hold statement "God created cosmos" true we need to assume things that would be true as well regardless of God's will or intent. If we deny that, then either God did not, in fact, create world, or "God" is not a word, but a sound, and it cannot serve any purpose in the sentence; we might as well say "asergerfgaw created dfgerg".
    After all, if rules of language don't apply to God, then we have no good basis to speak about him. You can say that God exist outside rules, or that God created world, but not both at the same time.
    Methinks. :)

    Grammarsalad
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,131

    Grond0 said:

    ThacoBell said:

    @Kamigoroshi I think my point still applies. No one says to themselves, "Dang it, guess I should do the evil thing here." Regardless of what evil means to them. But people do often say, "Well, its the right thing, I should probably do it." Again, regardless of what they personally view as "good" the thought still applies to them.

    @FinneousPJ Well, how might one know that something isn't possible without direct evidence otherwise? THe question works both ways, and without an objective way to "know" either way, there really isn't an objective answer.

    Right, so what made you conclude it IS possible?
    The use of logic presumably - if something can't be disproven it's possible.
    Aye, that's my point: what you said is wrong.
    You can't prove a negative. You must prove an affirmative. I know the Universe exists. I'm yet to see any proof of a deity. Until such proof comes out it's safe to affirm there is no god.

    Kamigoroshi
  • Grond0Grond0 Member, Moderator Posts: 4,865
    Artona said:

    Grond0 said:

    @Artona that's still the same argument, i.e. that a creator and creation must be bound by the same rules. That assumes that nothing can exist outside those rules and that's not an assumption that's normally shared by religions. I agree that it's not logical to allow for such an outside agency and trying to use logic brings you back to the circular argument "if God created the universe, then who created God". However, religions are not driven by logic, but by faith.

    I mean something else that circularity you mentioned. I'm talking about necessities of language and how we use it. In other words - accepting certain sentences entail some other, unless we risk claiming two opposit things being true.
    So, we say that there is certain relation and it has some qualities. This relation is "creating". Nature of this relation means that if x created y, then it is impossible for y to exist before x, or that if x created y, then statement "y create x" is always true. Then, if we assume statement "God created cosmos" as true, then we need to entail things that are nature of that relation. It doesn't matter if God exist outside rules, because our statements are governed by some rules.
    So, to hold statement "God created cosmos" true we need to assume things that would be true as well regardless of God's will or intent. If we deny that, then either God did not, in fact, create world, or "God" is not a word, but a sound, and it cannot serve any purpose in the sentence; we might as well say "asergerfgaw created dfgerg".
    After all, if rules of language don't apply to God, then we have no good basis to speak about him. You can say that God exist outside rules, or that God created world, but not both at the same time.
    Methinks. :)
    I don't see the argument I'm afraid. If you posit an all-powerful God that creates the universe then neither logic nor rules of language require you to imply anything further than that God created the universe. The rules that the universe operates by don't need to constrain the way God did the creation or God himself - that's the whole point of defining God as supernatural rather than subject to scientific understanding.

    mlnevese
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,012
    Grond0 said:

    Artona said:

    Grond0 said:

    @Artona that's still the same argument, i.e. that a creator and creation must be bound by the same rules. That assumes that nothing can exist outside those rules and that's not an assumption that's normally shared by religions. I agree that it's not logical to allow for such an outside agency and trying to use logic brings you back to the circular argument "if God created the universe, then who created God". However, religions are not driven by logic, but by faith.

    I mean something else that circularity you mentioned. I'm talking about necessities of language and how we use it. In other words - accepting certain sentences entail some other, unless we risk claiming two opposit things being true.
    So, we say that there is certain relation and it has some qualities. This relation is "creating". Nature of this relation means that if x created y, then it is impossible for y to exist before x, or that if x created y, then statement "y create x" is always true. Then, if we assume statement "God created cosmos" as true, then we need to entail things that are nature of that relation. It doesn't matter if God exist outside rules, because our statements are governed by some rules.
    So, to hold statement "God created cosmos" true we need to assume things that would be true as well regardless of God's will or intent. If we deny that, then either God did not, in fact, create world, or "God" is not a word, but a sound, and it cannot serve any purpose in the sentence; we might as well say "asergerfgaw created dfgerg".
    After all, if rules of language don't apply to God, then we have no good basis to speak about him. You can say that God exist outside rules, or that God created world, but not both at the same time.
    Methinks. :)
    I don't see the argument I'm afraid. If you posit an all-powerful God that creates the universe then neither logic nor rules of language require you to imply anything further than that God created the universe. The rules that the universe operates by don't need to constrain the way God did the creation or God himself - that's the whole point of defining God as supernatural rather than subject to scientific understanding.
    Nature of implication forces you to operate within rules. If you do not do that, then you don't imply, and that is my point; you can't decide selectively when rules of language apply, and where they do not. The statement "God is all-powerful" means that, for an instance, there cannot be thing impossible for God to do. This is necessity, not because of anything we posit about God, but because of how language work. If we were to say that God is all-powerful, but he can create something impossible for him to do, and yet still be all-powerful, then would be saying that God isn't, in fact, all-powerful, but - for an instance - "all-powerful G". Then, by saying that "God is all-poewrful G" we would state something that would entail some consequences of higher-order for God.
    If God doesn't operate within rules, then any sentence with "God" is automatically gibberish, and basically puts God outside metaphysics anyway, because metaphysics is build with sentences.

    mlneveseGrammarsalad
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 769
    Grond0 said:

    Artona said:

    Grond0 said:

    @Artona that's still the same argument, i.e. that a creator and creation must be bound by the same rules. That assumes that nothing can exist outside those rules and that's not an assumption that's normally shared by religions. I agree that it's not logical to allow for such an outside agency and trying to use logic brings you back to the circular argument "if God created the universe, then who created God". However, religions are not driven by logic, but by faith.

    I mean something else that circularity you mentioned. I'm talking about necessities of language and how we use it. In other words - accepting certain sentences entail some other, unless we risk claiming two opposit things being true.
    So, we say that there is certain relation and it has some qualities. This relation is "creating". Nature of this relation means that if x created y, then it is impossible for y to exist before x, or that if x created y, then statement "y create x" is always true. Then, if we assume statement "God created cosmos" as true, then we need to entail things that are nature of that relation. It doesn't matter if God exist outside rules, because our statements are governed by some rules.
    So, to hold statement "God created cosmos" true we need to assume things that would be true as well regardless of God's will or intent. If we deny that, then either God did not, in fact, create world, or "God" is not a word, but a sound, and it cannot serve any purpose in the sentence; we might as well say "asergerfgaw created dfgerg".
    After all, if rules of language don't apply to God, then we have no good basis to speak about him. You can say that God exist outside rules, or that God created world, but not both at the same time.
    Methinks. :)
    I don't see the argument I'm afraid. If you posit an all-powerful God that creates the universe then neither logic nor rules of language require you to imply anything further than that God created the universe. The rules that the universe operates by don't need to constrain the way God did the creation or God himself - that's the whole point of defining God as supernatural rather than subject to scientific understanding.
    Think of it this way.

    The universe is made up of particles and interactions. For something to be "real", it has to be one of those. You can't interact with the universe without being a physical part of the physical universe.

    For God to have created the universe, he would have had to have physically interacted with it. Therefore, there must be some evidence of this.

    At present, science, while it does not have all the answers, does not require that either "a god or a wizard did it".

    mlnevese
  • Grond0Grond0 Member, Moderator Posts: 4,865
    I still don't get it ;). To me, if God is all-powerful that clearly implies he can do whatever he wants - so there's nothing impossible for him to do. I think if you believe there are still impossibilities that's because you are placing constraints on him associated with the physical universe - but he doesn't belong to that universe and is not subject to its rules.

    The same applies to the point about interaction. I agree that science tells us that you can't monitor things happening in the universe without being part of it, but if God is supernatural then he's not bound by the rules of science - there's thus no necessity for him to have left evidence of his creation.

    Personally I'm quite happy with the proposition that science does, or could eventually, have all the answers, i.e. I don't believe in the supernatural myself. However, if I did have faith in the existence of God that would be a belief that there are things not knowable or provable by science. It doesn't matter under that proposition how much knowledge and detail of the workings of the universe you have - the existence of God is something unconnected with the universe and therefore not subject to scientific proof which is limited by the rules of the universe.

    ThacoBellmlnevese
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,905
    mlnevese said:

    Grond0 said:

    ThacoBell said:

    @Kamigoroshi I think my point still applies. No one says to themselves, "Dang it, guess I should do the evil thing here." Regardless of what evil means to them. But people do often say, "Well, its the right thing, I should probably do it." Again, regardless of what they personally view as "good" the thought still applies to them.

    @FinneousPJ Well, how might one know that something isn't possible without direct evidence otherwise? THe question works both ways, and without an objective way to "know" either way, there really isn't an objective answer.

    Right, so what made you conclude it IS possible?
    The use of logic presumably - if something can't be disproven it's possible.
    Aye, that's my point: what you said is wrong.
    You can't prove a negative. You must prove an affirmative. I know the Universe exists. I'm yet to see any proof of a deity. Until such proof comes out it's safe to affirm there is no god.
    The contradiction is that the existence of God requires you to believe without proof, indeed, despite there being no proof (but also no proof to the contrary).

    Here's an analogy that I use to understand this contradiction.

    You're locked in a room from birth. You have things inside the room that you can touch and feel, so you know that the room exists.
    However, you don't know what is outside of the room. Someone says there's another room that is completely different from this one on the other side of the door.
    If you leave the room, you can never come back.
    It's impossible for you to communicate with anyone outside of the room, though some people say that they have been able to using untestable, non-repeatable methods.
    It's impossible to perform any experiments to determine if there's another room or not. Though many people try and swear they have proven answers, you can't find any consistency.
    So you can't know if the other room actually exists. All your feelings and experiences have been in this room and only this room.

    Is there another room or not? It could be. Or it could be that the door leads outside.
    Or it could be that there's nothing on the other side of the door and that nothing exists outside of this room.

    That's where faith comes in: it is impossible to prove either way what is or is not on the other side of the door. So if you think you have the answers about what is actually on the other side of the door, then you are believing in something that is impossible to prove.

    If you believe anything at all about what is on the other side of the door, then you are exercising faith in something, even if it's that there is nothing out there.

    In other words, it's as equally irrational to actively believe in God as it is to actively disbelieve in God.
    Therefore, the only rational answer is, "I don know."

    Grond0ThacoBellmlneveseBelgarathMTH
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,905
    @Artona
    I'm sorry, I can't really follow the logic of your argument. Can you use a syllogism and/or an analogy or some sort?

    FinneousPJ
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,012

    @Artona
    I'm sorry, I can't really follow the logic of your argument. Can you use a syllogism and/or an analogy or some sort?

    What I mean basically boils down to following observations: first of all, any metaphysics is set of sentences (regardless of their content). For something to be part of sentence, it has to obey rules of language. If we posit a being that we define as something not bound by rules of language, then we cannot refer to that being in sentence. Therefore, God cannot be part of any metaphysics. As a result, we cannot say that there is transcendent God that created Universe - because we posit that rules of language don't apply to God.

    Or in other words:
    A: If x created y, then x appeared earlier in time than y by necessity.
    B: God created Universe.
    C: God could make things that he could have created Universe, and appear later in time.
    D: God could not make things that he could have created Universe, and appear later in time.
    A and B lead to not-C and D.

    PS Merry Christmas, y'all ;)

    mashedtatersmlneveseGrammarsalad
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,905
    Thank you, but sorry, I don't follow the logic of the argument still.

    There are things out there that we haven't discovered yet that we don't have language for. Just because we don't have a name for them doesn't mean they don't exist.

    Besides, reality doesn't care that we do or don't have language. It just is, whether or not we exist.
    Rules of language don't apply to the universe, either, but it obviously exists.

    JLeemlneveseThacoBell
  • Grond0Grond0 Member, Moderator Posts: 4,865
    @Artona maybe it's just me, but I'm still confused. You appear to be suggesting that "rules of language" can determine what can or can't happen in the real world, but you must mean something different to what I would understand by rules of language (like grammar and spelling). The way something (such as the idea of God) is expressed can make it more or less easy to understand, but doesn't affect whether it is real or not.

    In your example you also appear to be using time to try and prove God can't exist, but time is just one aspect of the rules of our universe and there's no more reason to think that God would be bound by time than there is to think he would be bound by space.

    mashedtatersmlneveseThacoBell
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,012
    edited December 2018
    @mashedtaters @Grond0 - if there are at least two people who don't get me, then I must be either wrong, or unable to communicate myself properly. :(
    I'll try to rethink what I mean and either I'll admit I'm talking nonsense, or explain myself more cleary.

    Post edited by Artona on
    mashedtatersGrond0FinneousPJmlnevese
  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    @Artona I think you might be confusing the symbols of reality with reality itself. Limitations of language do not indicate limitations of reality.

    But, as I implied earlier, I regard one of the benefits of experiencing something transcendent (trying to find a word other than religion or god) is a freedom from symbols. Language and time are both very slippery for the rational mind.

    Unrelated, I'm not suggesting that anyone here is in this situation, but since I discovered this mechanism in my life, I thought I'd share it.

    I am not speaking to believers when I say this. I have the utmost respect for faith. But for athiests the idea of a bearded father projection in the sky is kind of easy to attack. Just be careful you don't throw out the baby with bathwater as they say.

    There are spaces inside that are nourished by emotions like awe, wonder, trust, gratitude, and humility. Religion is a great way to get your daily requirements there. For athiests, I would suggest you find an alternate way to grow those treasures. If you're like me, you might have excluded yourself from growth in those areas because of the absolutely logical refutation of a Christian God , which can only make sense to believers in the first place.

    mlneveseBelgarathMTHmashedtaters
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    mlnevese said:

    Grond0 said:

    ThacoBell said:

    @Kamigoroshi I think my point still applies. No one says to themselves, "Dang it, guess I should do the evil thing here." Regardless of what evil means to them. But people do often say, "Well, its the right thing, I should probably do it." Again, regardless of what they personally view as "good" the thought still applies to them.

    @FinneousPJ Well, how might one know that something isn't possible without direct evidence otherwise? THe question works both ways, and without an objective way to "know" either way, there really isn't an objective answer.

    Right, so what made you conclude it IS possible?
    The use of logic presumably - if something can't be disproven it's possible.
    Aye, that's my point: what you said is wrong.
    You can't prove a negative. You must prove an affirmative. I know the Universe exists. I'm yet to see any proof of a deity. Until such proof comes out it's safe to affirm there is no god.
    You can prove a negative (but not in every case). You must provide evidence for any proposition, including a negative. Therefore it is not justified to conclude "there is no god" without evidence. Furthermore there are god concepts which cannot be falsified (deism).

    JLeemlneveseArtonamashedtaters
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,012
    @JLee - where do I mistake symbols with reality?

  • GrammarsaladGrammarsalad Member Posts: 2,433
    edited December 2018
    Very interesting argument @Artona . This reminds me of Descartes' mind body problem. It's definitely not nonsense.

    Let's say we have a box. The box contains all existent things. That is, if something has the 'property' of existence, then it is in this box. This gets weird because if we suppose the box exists, then it contains itself. Plato thought that the box itself is in the box. Frege, too. Of course, this would be physically impossible, but it isn't mathematically impossible. Nicely, this tells us that we are not dealing merely with 'material things', but rather all existing things. As such, if God exists, then God is in this box, along with the material world, and (maybe) the box itself.

    Okay, so let's say that the box only contains God. Would we look in the box that contains only God and nothing else and say, 'why is there nothing in this box?' Would that make any sense? We could stop here, but let's go on.

    Now imagine a different box. This box contains all relations. Necessary, it contains all objects that are in relation with other objects. If x is to the left of y, then both x and y are in the box. That is, without y, then x is to the left of ___.* If we were to say that x is to the left of [insert meaningless noise] we would not be saying that x is to the left of y. This is similar to looking into a non empty box and asking why is it empty. (See the astrisk below. It is important to realize for completeness that the box of causal relations is in the box of relations).

    A kind of relation is a casual relation. But I'm going to talk about a dependence relation, here. One way to define God logically, as a ground of being, is as some x, where for any y, can if y=/=x, then y depends on x for it's existence. As such, x and y are in the same set.

    I'm a bit lost once we get to this part. I outlined an argument from evil in the other thread that depends on these conceptions, but it was primarily about the first box/set.

    My understanding is that the argument challenges God's omnipotence, suggesting that God must adhere to (say) the rules of dependence or causation in order to create and maintain the world (?) The issue here seems to be that there are plenty of theologians that would accept this, and define God's omnipotence 'around' those rules (I.e. omnipotence allows one to do anything that is logically possible)

    *Now, what this really means is that there are boxes in boxes. ___is everything that x is to the left of. This box necessary contains y, because we have specified it, but it may contain other things. A fun and important thing about sets, which are the boxes I'm talking about.

    KamigoroshimlnevesemashedtatersArtona
  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    @Artona My impression came from how tied to semantics your approach seems to be. The paragraph that gave me the strongest impression of that was:
    "first of all, any metaphysics is set of sentences (regardless of their content). For something to be part of sentence, it has to obey rules of language. If we posit a being that we define as something not bound by rules of language, then we cannot refer to that being in sentence. Therefore, God cannot be part of any metaphysics. As a result, we cannot say that there is transcendent God that created Universe - because we posit that rules of language don't apply to God.


    We use words to communicate, but the words are only symbols, representations. The more abstract the object is, the more difficult it is to convey through language. Metaphysics is not a sentence or set of sentences. We use sentences to communicate our ideas about metaphysics, but there is a huge gulf between "about" and the reality itself.

    When you take a pure theoretical language like mathematics, these arguments are much more profitable.

    But, I also want to point out that I was only suggesting it as it came across to me.

    FinneousPJmashedtaters
  • GrammarsaladGrammarsalad Member Posts: 2,433
    JLee said:

    @Artona My impression came from how tied to semantics your approach seems to be. The paragraph that gave me the strongest impression of that was:

    "first of all, any metaphysics is set of sentences (regardless of their content). For something to be part of sentence, it has to obey rules of language. If we posit a being that we define as something not bound by rules of language, then we cannot refer to that being in sentence. Therefore, God cannot be part of any metaphysics. As a result, we cannot say that there is transcendent God that created Universe - because we posit that rules of language don't apply to God.


    We use words to communicate, but the words are only symbols, representations. The more abstract the object is, the more difficult it is to convey through language. Metaphysics is not a sentence or set of sentences. We use sentences to communicate our ideas about metaphysics, but there is a huge gulf between "about" and the reality itself.

    When you take a pure theoretical language like mathematics, these arguments are much more profitable.

    But, I also want to point out that I was only suggesting it as it came across to me.

    I think what Artona means there is that, if representations are to mirror 'reality', if statements are to be true or false, then really must mirror the structure of language. The key word here is, 'structure'. For example,if the statement, the cat is on the mat is to be intelligibly true or false, then there must be a reality that can 'agree' or 'disagree' with that statement that we can refer to (e.g. by looking at the mat and seeing if a cat is there).

    See e.g
    https://books.google.com/books/about/Tractatus_Logico_philosophicus.html?id=w-PWAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,141

    Very interesting argument @Artona . This reminds me of Descartes' mind body problem. It's definitely not nonsense.

    Let's say we have a box. The box contains all existent things. That is, if something has the 'property' of existence, then it is in this box. This gets weird because if we suppose the box exists, then it contains itself. Plato thought that the box itself is in the box. Frege, too. Of course, this would be physically impossible, but it isn't mathematically impossible. Nicely, this tells us that we are not dealing merely with 'material things', but rather all existing things. As such, if God exists, then God is in this box, along with the material world, and (maybe) the box itself.

    Okay, so let's say that the box only contains God. Would we look in the box that contains only God and nothing else and say, 'why is there nothing in this box?' Would that make any sense? We could stop here, but let's go on.

    Now imagine a different box. This box contains all relations. Necessary, it contains all objects that are in relation with other objects. If x is to the left of y, then both x and y are in the box. That is, without y, then x is to the left of ___.* If we were to say that x is to the left of [insert meaningless noise] we would not be saying that x is to the left of y. This is similar to looking into a non empty box and asking why is it empty. (See the astrisk below. It is important to realize for completeness that the box of causal relations is in the box of relations).

    A kind of relation is a casual relation. But I'm going to talk about a dependence relation, here. One way to define God logically, as a ground of being, is as some x, where for any y, can if y=/=x, then y depends on x for it's existence. As such, x and y are in the same set.

    I'm a bit lost once we get to this part. I outlined an argument from evil in the other thread that depends on these conceptions, but it was primarily about the first box/set.

    My understanding is that the argument challenges God's omnipotence, suggesting that God must adhere to (say) the rules of dependence or causation in order to create and maintain the world (?) The issue here seems to be that there are plenty of theologians that would accept this, and define God's omnipotence 'around' those rules (I.e. omnipotence allows one to do anything that is logically possible)

    *Now, what this really means is that there are boxes in boxes. ___is everything that x is to the left of. This box necessary contains y, because we have specified it, but it may contain other things. A fun and important thing about sets, which are the boxes I'm talking about.

    What if the box had to be infinite to contain everything? There can be no walls that could contain everything, because there is no 'everything'. No boundaries, no beginning and no ending. There is no containing infinity because 'everything' would have to finite to be contained.

    Grond0ThacoBellmlnevese
  • Grond0Grond0 Member, Moderator Posts: 4,865

    Very interesting argument @Artona . This reminds me of Descartes' mind body problem. It's definitely not nonsense.

    Let's say we have a box. The box contains all existent things. That is, if something has the 'property' of existence, then it is in this box. This gets weird because if we suppose the box exists, then it contains itself. Plato thought that the box itself is in the box. Frege, too. Of course, this would be physically impossible, but it isn't mathematically impossible. Nicely, this tells us that we are not dealing merely with 'material things', but rather all existing things. As such, if God exists, then God is in this box, along with the material world, and (maybe) the box itself.

    Okay, so let's say that the box only contains God. Would we look in the box that contains only God and nothing else and say, 'why is there nothing in this box?' Would that make any sense? We could stop here, but let's go on.

    Now imagine a different box. This box contains all relations. Necessary, it contains all objects that are in relation with other objects. If x is to the left of y, then both x and y are in the box. That is, without y, then x is to the left of ___.* If we were to say that x is to the left of [insert meaningless noise] we would not be saying that x is to the left of y. This is similar to looking into a non empty box and asking why is it empty. (See the astrisk below. It is important to realize for completeness that the box of causal relations is in the box of relations).

    A kind of relation is a casual relation. But I'm going to talk about a dependence relation, here. One way to define God logically, as a ground of being, is as some x, where for any y, can if y=/=x, then y depends on x for it's existence. As such, x and y are in the same set.

    I'm a bit lost once we get to this part. I outlined an argument from evil in the other thread that depends on these conceptions, but it was primarily about the first box/set.

    My understanding is that the argument challenges God's omnipotence, suggesting that God must adhere to (say) the rules of dependence or causation in order to create and maintain the world (?) The issue here seems to be that there are plenty of theologians that would accept this, and define God's omnipotence 'around' those rules (I.e. omnipotence allows one to do anything that is logically possible)

    *Now, what this really means is that there are boxes in boxes. ___is everything that x is to the left of. This box necessary contains y, because we have specified it, but it may contain other things. A fun and important thing about sets, which are the boxes I'm talking about.

    There's still the same issue that the above argument starts from the assumption that God must share the same properties as the physical universe. I agree that plenty of theologians have made this sort of argument in the past (such as Thomas Aquinas), though I think it gets rarer over time. I suspect that's the result of this type of argument seeming far weaker than it once did, so that what were once taken as arguments for the existence of God are now commonly used as arguments against that. For instance one of Aquinas' arguments was that everything must have a cause. He assumed that there could not be an infinitely long chain of causation and therefore at the root of it there must be something that was not caused by anything else - which he termed God. As science goes further back along the chain of causation, however, there is increasing doubt both over the requirement of cause and effect in the first place and that God must be at the root of a chain if that does exist.

    As I was saying before, arguing for the existence of God as a physical reality akin to the universe doesn't make sense to me. If the answer to who made the universe is God, that immediately begs the question of who made God - and you're no further forward. That would have been far less obvious to someone like Aquinas in the thirteenth century, when so much less was known about the physical universe and mechanisms we now understand were perceived as 'the hand of God'.

    I don't think there are any good grounds nowadays for believing you can demonstrate the existence of God through examining the physical structures of the universe. Even if you were somehow able to show that there was an intelligence that had created the universe I wouldn't accept that would be God in the modern sense (though it could certainly be a god). Rather you would be just demonstrating the existence of something previously hypothesized by science fiction, e.g. the alien child from another dimension who casually brought our universe into existence "just to see what would happen" ;).

    mashedtatersThacoBellmlnevese
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,905
    @Grond0
    (To add to your post:)
    Besides, if God does exist, by most definitions he would have to have power to create the universe, which would essentially make him immune to the laws governing the universe (at least before its creation).
    Kind of how a kid isn’t bound by the properties of legos: a child can move, legos can’t, a child can assemble legos, legos can’t.

    ThacoBellmlnevese
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,141

    @Grond0
    (To add to your post:)
    Besides, if God does exist, by most definitions he would have to have power to create the universe, which would essentially make him immune to the laws governing the universe (at least before its creation).
    Kind of how a kid isn’t bound by the properties of legos: a child can move, legos can’t, a child can assemble legos, legos can’t.

    The trouble with an omniscient and omnipotent God is that everything that happens is attributable to Him. Evil outcome? God. Good outcome? God. I was taught that God gave us free will so that we would choose Him. However, if we dont choose Him, we're cast into a pit of fire for all eternity. If, however, he is omniscient, he already knew what every single person would choose. In that case, he's creating people for the furnace. Sounds like a great plan to me...

    mashedtatersFinneousPJmlneveseGrond0
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,905
    Balrog99 said:

    @Grond0
    (To add to your post:)
    Besides, if God does exist, by most definitions he would have to have power to create the universe, which would essentially make him immune to the laws governing the universe (at least before its creation).
    Kind of how a kid isn’t bound by the properties of legos: a child can move, legos can’t, a child can assemble legos, legos can’t.

    The trouble with an omniscient and omnipotent God is that everything that happens is attributable to Him. Evil outcome? God. Good outcome? God. I was taught that God gave us free will so that we would choose Him. However, if we dont choose Him, we're cast into a pit of fire for all eternity. If, however, he is omniscient, he already knew what every single person would choose. In that case, he's creating people for the furnace. Sounds like a great plan to me...
    I know, it definitely seems like one of those attributes has to go, as together they seem self contradictory.
    But what if omnipotent didn’t mean immune to law? I mean, obviously he would have power over matter and certain physical laws. But what if there laws of morality or just plain cause/effect that even he must obey?
    Perhaps one of those is the law of free will.

    I don’t know. I’m struggling with my faith, I’m just tossing out arguments I’ve heard. I will say that if I do believe in God, I don’t believe he controls everything and all outcomes, even if he is omnipotent.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,905
    I also think that people tend to incorrectly
    or unjustly attribute things they can’t comprehend to the mythical or divine as an explanation when none other are available.
    I’ve seen this in Christian circles a lot, especially when people get what they don’t believe they deserve. “This is a trial from god,” or “I’m so blessed!”
    But I see it in secular circles as well, in the form of karma, or energy, or aura, or “the universe.”
    So the conundrum you’re describing strikes me as a human phenomenon, rather than an argument for or against God’s existence.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    edited December 2018
    Well, if you're going to assert something exists outside of the physical universe, I would first like an argument why that is even possible before considering it.

    EDIT: And no, "it hasn't been demonstrated to be impossible" is not a valid argument.

    mlnevese
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,905

    Well, if you're going to assert something exists outside of the physical universe, I would first like an argument why that is even possible before considering it.

    Make an argument that it’s impossible.

    ThacoBellmlnevese
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