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Argument From Free Will

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Argument From Free Will
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3178Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

momo666 wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:There is a common misunderstanding about the "creatio ex nihilo" phrase that I addressed elsewhere.

I actually read that some time ago. I've thought about it for a while but several problems remain.

1)We are not talking about ex-nihilo creation in that case. What the theist would do is what Lawrence Krauss does, merely re defining the word "nothing". God/gods creating anything "out of their substance" still represents a case of creation ex-materia.

2)I'm not sure I understand how this whole "out of his substance" thing would go. Isn't god supposed to be an immaterial mind ? How can he "take" from his mind and yet remain the same ?

3)Wouldn't that imply god is open to scientific inquiry ? If we after all are nothing more than a form of god's substance, then reason tells us we are in fact god at some fundamental level. Understanding the fundamental nature of our Universe should therefore tell us, at least in part, something about god

Lastly, and this is especially for Exogen. How can god not know everything there is to know about his substance (which is supposed to be an immaterial mind) ? How does it make sense to say this Universe is created out of himself yet he does not know for a fact everything there is to know about it ? Surely, if god is to know anything, he would have to know himself.

Anyhow, these are the main issues that have bugged me when it comes to this particular idea. .

One has to remember that theological arguments are sophistry - they are attempting to rationalize their belief in God, coming up with arguments to support that belief. It's rather like Ptolemy's cosmology: he kept coming up with "epicycles" - ever smaller circles - to correct the errors in his calculations of the planets, rather than accept that his idea of perfect circles was simply wrong.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:25 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3178Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:But if God were unbounded, and then bound himself in some way, this would go against his being Perfect - he'd be making himself Imperfect (less than Perfect). It would also suggest that he's not omnipotent if he has to do that to accomplish certain things. And if he's omniscient, why would he need to do anything since he'd know what the outcome would be? Not to mention that, if he is Perfect, he can't do anything since that entails change (if he's Perfect, he doesn't need to change, does he?).

See just how incoherent is a Perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, omni-benevolent God?

Kindest regards,

James

Obviously, I agree with you and find it wholly unpersuasive, but it's just words that are being used to play around. In that context, you can essentially perform any trick.

Yes, as I noted, it's all sophistry.

Sparhafoc wrote:But I don't see how it would be a contradiction of perfection to elect to put limitations on yourself and refuse to break a house rule you'd made for yourself.

Because you'd become less-than-Perfect.

It would go against omniscience, since it'd mean that God couldn't see a better solution than limiting himself; as well as omnipotence, since he should be able to do it another way if he's omnipotent.

Sparhafoc wrote:I grew up with wheelchair-bound people, and played various sports and games where being able-bodied was a clear, and essentially unfair advantage. For example, with ping-pong, having the mobility to move around the table with one set of appendages while using the other appendages to hold the bat and deflect the ball. While there were a couple of Paralympians who would beat me regardless of what I did (there is another advantage to being quite low to the table line), with other people I'd sit in a chair too. In fact, this put me at a disadvantage because of my lack of experience with moving around by chair, but not by such a degree as were I standing. But choosing to put such a restriction on myself doesn't mean I am less than able-bodied - I am merely electing to limit myself according to rules I have decided on.

After my eye operations, I spent a year at a rehabilitation institute where people retrained after accidents that had caused them to end up in wheelchairs, etc.

I also play(ed) table tennis with them, and others. One of those was the Irish (Wheelchair Association) ladies singles and doubles champion, Esther Stynes, who'd batter me off the table. She referred to me as a "walker". :lol: Another player there at the time was Seoul bronze medal paralympian, Tony Lavin(? - mis-remember his surname now :oops: ) I had better luck against him!

One of the rules when a "walker" played a wheelchair-bound player, was that the "walker" had to sit in a chair for half the game - at the time, the games still went up to 21 points - so, the "walker" was seated until one or other reached 10 points. Obviously, as you found out yourself, when seated, the "walker" was at a disadvantage, as how you hit the ball and keep it on the table is completely different from when you're standing/moving around. Having to be seated favoured the wheelchair-bound, standing favoured the "walker".

Sparhafoc wrote:Similarly, it wouldn't mean 'he' is not omnipotent. For example, 'he' could have done it a different way, but chose not to do it that way. Were I able to perform magic and conjure water out of thin air, using a tap every once in a while wouldn't mean I lack the power to perform magic, just that I chose not to for whatever perverse reason! :)

To me, none of these represent necessary paradoxes as all of them are circumvented by agency; the choice of doing something such as temporally limiting one's powers.

My point though was to look at why such characteristics would be posited in the first place; there's something wonderfully childish about it.

Yes, there's the contradiction between the Perfect Catholic (theologian) God, who couldn't (wouldn't have to) do anything, and the Protestant (personal) God, who interacts with his Creation.

Regardless, it's all incoherent.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:58 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2445Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Dragan Glas wrote:Because you'd become less-than-Perfect.


Yeah, that's the bit I mean. I am not sure how you're going from one idea to the next.

Electing to limit yourself temporarily doesn't actually mean you are less than perfect.


Dragan Glas wrote:It would go against omniscience, since it'd mean that God couldn't see a better solution than limiting himself;...


I addressed that and I can't follow the reasoning. Nothing says 'God couldn't see a better solution' only 'God elected to employ this one'.


Dragan Glas wrote:... as well as omnipotence, since he should be able to do it another way if he's omnipotent.


But again, this requires a completely different idea to be brought in.

Where was it said that God couldn't do it another way, rather than just having chosen to do it this way?


Dragan Glas wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:I grew up with wheelchair-bound people, and played various sports and games where being able-bodied was a clear, and essentially unfair advantage. For example, with ping-pong, having the mobility to move around the table with one set of appendages while using the other appendages to hold the bat and deflect the ball. While there were a couple of Paralympians who would beat me regardless of what I did (there is another advantage to being quite low to the table line), with other people I'd sit in a chair too. In fact, this put me at a disadvantage because of my lack of experience with moving around by chair, but not by such a degree as were I standing. But choosing to put such a restriction on myself doesn't mean I am less than able-bodied - I am merely electing to limit myself according to rules I have decided on.

After my eye operations, I spent a year at a rehabilitation institute where people retrained after accidents that had caused them to end up in wheelchairs, etc.

I also play(ed) table tennis with them, and others. One of those was the Irish (Wheelchair Association) ladies singles and doubles champion, Esther Stynes, who'd batter me off the table. She referred to me as a "walker". :lol: Another player there at the time was Seoul bronze medal paralympian, Tony Lavin(? - mis-remember his surname now :oops: ) I had better luck against him!

One of the rules when a "walker" played a wheelchair-bound player, was that the "walker" had to sit in a chair for half the game - at the time, the games still went up to 21 points - so, the "walker" was seated until one or other reached 10 points. Obviously, as you found out yourself, when seated, the "walker" was at a disadvantage, as how you hit the ball and keep it on the table is completely different from when you're standing/moving around. Having to be seated favoured the wheelchair-bound, standing favoured the "walker".


How interesting a coincidence! Can't be that many people who've had this experience! :D

The difference in my case was that all my experiences were just friendly games with neighbours, so there were no rules - I was a teenager, they were adults, we played some table tennis.

Still, I elected to put myself at a disadvantage (comparative to my usual ability or freedom), but that doesn't then mean I am not able-bodied, right?

Similarly, just because I elected to sit in a chair, that doesn't mean I couldn't have chosen another way to do it, say by kneeling on a stool or some other trade-off to level the playing field.

As such, I don't see how it follows that God choosing to limit 'his' power temporarily or choosing a particular way thereby justifies any contention that 'his' power is limited or 'his' choice was restricted.

For me, your ideas introduce a new component: that the purported God couldn't have done anything other than this, that agency isn't a component of that God.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:19 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 119Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:I addressed that and I can't follow the reasoning. Nothing says 'God couldn't see a better solution' only 'God elected to employ this one'.


Personally, I can't help but wonder why an omnipotent, omniscient being would come up with plan A, come up with plan B, reach the conclusion that while both are feasible plan B is superior, and choose to enact plan A in spite of that.

It seems to me that, given this being's infallible nature, by virtue of taking a specific action, we should be assured that said action was the best possible action. I think this is true because, in my mind, to suggest otherwise is to suggest that flawless knowledge, coupled with flawless reasoning and absolute power, can in some situation translate to imperfect action, which is something I have difficulty wrapping my head around.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:14 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3178Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Because you'd become less-than-Perfect.

Yeah, that's the bit I mean. I am not sure how you're going from one idea to the next.

Electing to limit yourself temporarily doesn't actually mean you are less than perfect.

Your nature is Perfect - to be otherwise would be to go against your very nature.

Like a person who always tells the truth - to tell a "white lie" (the proverbial dilemma of the axe-man who knocks on your door looking for your neighbour - do you tell the truth or lie?) would be impossible.

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:It would go against omniscience, since it'd mean that God couldn't see a better solution than limiting himself;...

I addressed that and I can't follow the reasoning. Nothing says 'God couldn't see a better solution' only 'God elected to employ this one'.

If it's a less-than-Perfect one, then there's the contradiction.

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:... as well as omnipotence, since he should be able to do it another way if he's omnipotent.

But again, this requires a completely different idea to be brought in.

Where was it said that God couldn't do it another way, rather than just having chosen to do it this way?

Psikhrangkur has answered this with his own reply.

As I'm sure you're aware, in the IT sector, IT companies normally offer the best technical solution to a customer - for business reasons, the customer may prefer a less costly solution, which might then be implemented.

To say that a Perfect Being would choose a less perfect solution doesn't make sense - it would be anathema to such a Entity.

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:After my eye operations, I spent a year at a rehabilitation institute where people retrained after accidents that had caused them to end up in wheelchairs, etc.

I also play(ed) table tennis with them, and others. One of those was the Irish (Wheelchair Association) ladies singles and doubles champion, Esther Stynes, who'd batter me off the table. She referred to me as a "walker". :lol: Another player there at the time was Seoul bronze medal paralympian, Tony Lavin(? - mis-remember his surname now :oops: ) I had better luck against him!

One of the rules when a "walker" played a wheelchair-bound player, was that the "walker" had to sit in a chair for half the game - at the time, the games still went up to 21 points - so, the "walker" was seated until one or other reached 10 points. Obviously, as you found out yourself, when seated, the "walker" was at a disadvantage, as how you hit the ball and keep it on the table is completely different from when you're standing/moving around. Having to be seated favoured the wheelchair-bound, standing favoured the "walker".

How interesting a coincidence! Can't be that many people who've had this experience! :D

The difference in my case was that all my experiences were just friendly games with neighbours, so there were no rules - I was a teenager, they were adults, we played some table tennis.

Small world, isn't it? :D

Sparhafoc wrote:Still, I elected to put myself at a disadvantage (comparative to my usual ability or freedom), but that doesn't then mean I am not able-bodied, right?

Similarly, just because I elected to sit in a chair, that doesn't mean I couldn't have chosen another way to do it, say by kneeling on a stool or some other trade-off to level the playing field.

As such, I don't see how it follows that God choosing to limit 'his' power temporarily or choosing a particular way thereby justifies any contention that 'his' power is limited or 'his' choice was restricted.

For me, your ideas introduce a new component: that the purported God couldn't have done anything other than this, that agency isn't a component of that God.

The difference is that we are not perfect - the purported Creator is.

And, yes, a Perfect Being can only be perfect, nothing less.

Thus, the purported Creator is the victim of determinism. :lol:

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:47 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2445Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

psikhrangkur wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:I addressed that and I can't follow the reasoning. Nothing says 'God couldn't see a better solution' only 'God elected to employ this one'.


Personally, I can't help but wonder why an omnipotent, omniscient being would come up with plan A, come up with plan B, reach the conclusion that while both are feasible plan B is superior, and choose to enact plan A in spite of that.

It seems to me that, given this being's infallible nature, by virtue of taking a specific action, we should be assured that said action was the best possible action.


Well, problems arise.

What if there are many equally best possible actions?

What if there is an action that is best for one thing but another that is best for another?

What if, for whatever reason, said being elects to choose a suboptimal action just for kicks?

All the proposed notions so far actually remove agency from the purported being and seem to turn it into an automaton that cannot elect to do one thing or another, but must do a certain thing.

I am not sure why that stands to reason.


psikhrangkur wrote:I think this is true because, in my mind, to suggest otherwise is to suggest that flawless knowledge, coupled with flawless reasoning and absolute power, can in some situation translate to imperfect action, which is something I have difficulty wrapping my head around.


Input agency. If God's characteristics obligate God to perform only in explicit ways, then it's indiscernible from a natural force.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:02 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 119Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:Well, problems arise.

What if there are many equally best possible actions?

What if there is an action that is best for one thing but another that is best for another?

What if, for whatever reason, said being elects to choose a suboptimal action just for kicks?

All the proposed notions so far actually remove agency from the purported being and seem to turn it into an automaton that cannot elect to do one thing or another, but must do a certain thing.

I am not sure why that stands to reason.


Input agency. If God's characteristics obligate God to perform only in explicit ways, then it's indiscernible from a natural force.


1. If there exist multiple options of equal value, and no single option which is clearly superior to these multiple options, then I don't see any reason why our supposed entity wouldn't be able to pick any of these given options. However, as previously stated, this would require that the options we're selecting from are of equal value and can all be considered the best possible course of action.

2. I would imagine that an omniscient being could still derive a best possible course of action. Considering this being should also be omnipotent, I don't think it a stretch to argue that such a limitation wouldn't exist for this entity.

3. No accounting for capriciousness, I suppose. In that case, however, I would insist that we stick with omnipotent, omniscient, etc instead of referring to this particular being as being perfect. I would insist as much because, in my opinion, to assert that it would purposefully take an imperfect course of action due to some quirk of personality is to propose a critical flaw in an otherwise perfect being. I would argue that this must be the case, because our otherwise perfect being is no longer operating in a perfect manner, and is instead purposrfully hamstringing itself for nonsensical reasons.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:37 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2445Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

psikhrangkur wrote:1. If there exist multiple options of equal value, and no single option which is clearly superior to these multiple options, then I don't see any reason why our supposed entity wouldn't be able to pick any of these given options. However, as previously stated, this would require that the options we're selecting from are of equal value and can all be considered the best possible course of action.


Ergo, it would be a flawed assumption to say there is only one possible option that's optimal. Further, one would need to be clear 'optimal for what'.


psikhrangkur wrote:2. I would imagine that an omniscient being could still derive a best possible course of action. Considering this being should also be omnipotent, I don't think it a stretch to argue that such a limitation wouldn't exist for this entity.


Again, one would then need to be clear 'best possible course of action' for what intended outcome?


psikhrangkur wrote:3. No accounting for capriciousness, I suppose. In that case, however, I would insist that we stick with omnipotent, omniscient, etc instead of referring to this particular being as being perfect. I would insist as much because, in my opinion, to assert that it would purposefully take an imperfect course of action due to some quirk of personality is to propose a critical flaw in an otherwise perfect being. I would argue that this must be the case, because our otherwise perfect being is no longer operating in a perfect manner, and is instead purposrfully hamstringing itself for nonsensical reasons.


Ok, let's say I am restricted to being perfectly honest.

I am asked to respond to a question, the answer to which if answered honestly (and directly) could then cause insult, offense, or hurt to someone. There are in fact many ways to answer this question, and while some of those ways may not strictly be the answer that was being aimed at by the questioner, I can still maintain perfect honesty by giving one of the other types of answer.

I dunno why I am thinking of a scenario where God is being asked 'does my bum look big in this?' :lol:
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:54 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 119Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:Ergo, it would be a flawed assumption to say there is only one possible option that's optimal. Further, one would need to be clear 'optimal for what'.

Again, one would then need to be clear 'best possible course of action' for what intended outcome?


EDIT: I don't see how we can possibly reach a conclusion concerning whether or not there is a single optimal option in any given scenario because, unlike something which is omniscient, we aren't aware of every single possible consequence of any course of action. It might be possible that an omniscient being considers a scenario where two people are fighting, and reaches the conclusion that one of those people should die, because there exists in this person a colony of bacteria, which would perish should the person in question perish, but would otherwise develop into a highly contagious and highly lethal bacterial infection that winds up killing millions.

Likewise, our omniscient entity might decide that the best course of action be that this man lives only to have his face doused with boiling water, which winds up killing this particular colony of bacteria. /edit

I imagine that, in the case of a creator god, the goal would be the continued existence and wellbeing of its creation.

Sparhafoc wrote:Ok, let's say I am restricted to being perfectly honest.

I am asked to respond to a question, the answer to which if answered honestly (and directly) could then cause insult, offense, or hurt to someone. There are in fact many ways to answer this question, and while some of those ways may not strictly be the answer that was being aimed at by the questioner, I can still maintain perfect honesty by giving one of the other types of answer.


I would argue that failure to disclose pertinent information can be considered lying through omission, as it would have the same consequences as directly lying to them (setting up the party in question so that they fail should they act on the information you've provided).

I would argue that a 'perfectly honest' answer which is off topic can be considered a conscious attempt to hide the truth of the matter and, as such, a failure to disclose pertinent information.

Sparhafoc wrote: dunno why I am thinking of a scenario where God is being asked 'does my bum look big in this?' :lol:


To be fair, it only makes sense to have the most brilliant minds tackle the most difficult questions.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:43 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2445Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

psikhrangkur wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Ergo, it would be a flawed assumption to say there is only one possible option that's optimal. Further, one would need to be clear 'optimal for what'.

Again, one would then need to be clear 'best possible course of action' for what intended outcome?


EDIT: I don't see how we can possibly reach a conclusion concerning whether or not there is a single optimal option in any given scenario because, unlike something which is omniscient, we aren't aware of every single possible consequence of any course of action.



Absolutely, and it was one of the underlying assumptions I was challenging: that being perfect also means there's only one action complementary to it.


psikhrangkur wrote: It might be possible that an omniscient being considers a scenario where two people are fighting, and reaches the conclusion that one of those people should die, because there exists in this person a colony of bacteria, which would perish should the person in question perish, but would otherwise develop into a highly contagious and highly lethal bacterial infection that winds up killing millions.

Likewise, our omniscient entity might decide that the best course of action be that this man lives only to have his face doused with boiling water, which winds up killing this particular colony of bacteria. /edit


I think the typical formulation of this is going back to kill an evil-doer at conception.... but then what if that terrible evil-doer who would cause such harm would accidentally usher in an age of unparalleled peace and prosperity. And so on.

It's impossible to second guess a maximal being, and I would argue it's sophistry either way, whether to explain away paradoxes or to falsely contain that maximal quality from a less than maximal perspective.


psikhrangkur wrote:I imagine that, in the case of a creator god, the goal would be the continued existence and wellbeing of its creation.


It's an assumption that could be true in the case of such a creator, but again doesn't necessarily follow.


psikhrangkur wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Ok, let's say I am restricted to being perfectly honest.

I am asked to respond to a question, the answer to which if answered honestly (and directly) could then cause insult, offense, or hurt to someone. There are in fact many ways to answer this question, and while some of those ways may not strictly be the answer that was being aimed at by the questioner, I can still maintain perfect honesty by giving one of the other types of answer.


I would argue that failure to disclose pertinent information can be considered lying through omission, as it would have the same consequences as directly lying to them (setting up the party in question so that they fail should they act on the information you've provided).

I would argue that a 'perfectly honest' answer which is off topic can be considered a conscious attempt to hide the truth of the matter and, as such, a failure to disclose pertinent information.


I am not sure that it is lying by omission.

Appreciating you aren't restricted to being 'perfectly honest', if one of your dearest and most fragile in the self-esteem department friends asked you why he/she couldn't get a girlfriend - would you feel obliged to say 'because you're ugly, boring and unlovable'? Perhaps all are true, but would you feel it's a lie to omit these responses? Perhaps another answer would provide a more useful outcome, such as suggesting there's a plug for every socket, plenty of fish in the sea, and they've just got to get on with being happy with themselves? They're not platitudes - they can all equally be true from a particular perspective, and may be of more utility towards a desired outcome.

So why would a 'perfectly honest' ontology also come with the obligation to tell ALL possible truths, rather than selecting a single or several things which are true and which also produce a more desirable outcome?


psikhrangkur wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote: dunno why I am thinking of a scenario where God is being asked 'does my bum look big in this?' :lol:


To be fair, it only makes sense to have the most brilliant minds tackle the most difficult questions.


:lol:
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:09 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 119Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:It's an assumption that could be true in the case of such a creator, but again doesn't necessarily follow.


I would consider it a relatively safe assumption to make, considering the fact that any creator by definition took the time necessary to create.

Sparhafoc wrote:I am not sure that it is lying by omission.

Appreciating you aren't restricted to being 'perfectly honest', if one of your dearest and most fragile in the self-esteem department friends asked you why he/she couldn't get a girlfriend - would you feel obliged to say 'because you're ugly, boring and unlovable'? Perhaps all are true, but would you feel it's a lie to omit these responses? Perhaps another answer would provide a more useful outcome, such as suggesting there's a plug for every socket, plenty of fish in the sea, and they've just got to get on with being happy with themselves? They're not platitudes - they can all equally be true from a particular perspective, and may be of more utility towards a desired outcome.

So why would a 'perfectly honest' ontology also come with the obligation to tell ALL possible truths, rather than selecting a single or several things which are true and which also produce a more desirable outcome?


I would imagine that there is a more tactful way of explaining to my friend that they have personal issues that others find unattractive.

That said, I would consider these "true from a particular perspective" statements to be lies by omission, as these statements are being made in place of appropriate criticism that would act as useful information, information that could actually assist my friend with their love life by, for lack of better phrasing, getting to the heart of the matter.

Let's say that I have a friend that is blatantly racist. This friend is having difficulty finding someone that wants to date them regularly. It is clear to me, as an independent observer, that my friend's blatant racism makes their would-be lovers extremely uncomfortable. I could tell this friend that there are plenty of fish in the sea, and should they take this statement to heart, in all likelihood they won't consider changing their ways. They will have the same difficulties as before, because the problem has been ignored, and maybe my friend finds someone that doesn't mind their blatant racism. However, I could point out that people clearly find my friend's racism offputting, and suggest that if their behavior were to change, they might have better luck. Assuming they take this advice to heart, given that acting on this advice would properly address the issue, my friend would find themselves to be more successful in their future endeavors.
Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:38 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2445Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

psikhrangkur wrote:I would imagine that there is a more tactful way of explaining to my friend that they have personal issues that others find unattractive.


So then we have:

true but lacking in tact
true but tactful

So what would the maximal being elect to do?

That's what I was saying earlier. The abstraction you and James appealed to was one where the maximal being only had one maximal characteristic, and you're both seeking a single possible 'perfect' outcome.

Whereas, there are always multiple choices to be made that are equal on a number of paradigms, but which may offer different resolutions dependent on the intended outcome.


psikhrangkur wrote:That said, I would consider these "true from a particular perspective" statements to be lies by omission,...


Well, they're still either true or not true.

I am explicitly challenging the assumption that there is only one 'true' position and all else the maximal being fails to live up to its own characteristics.


psikhrangkur wrote:... as these statements are being made in place of appropriate criticism that would act as useful information, information that could actually assist my friend with their love life by, for lack of better phrasing, getting to the heart of the matter.


Or you could crush the last remaining vestiges of their confidence such that they never break the vicious cycle they're in. Selecting a more positive truth, no less true than the negative formulations, would seem to suggest a 'better' response towards a more desirable outcome, no?


psikhrangkur wrote:Let's say that I have a friend that is blatantly racist. This friend is having difficulty finding someone that wants to date them regularly. It is clear to me, as an independent observer, that my friend's blatant racism makes their would-be lovers extremely uncomfortable. I could tell this friend that there are plenty of fish in the sea, and should they take this statement to heart, in all likelihood they won't consider changing their ways. They will have the same difficulties as before, because the problem has been ignored, and maybe my friend finds someone that doesn't mind their blatant racism. However, I could point out that people clearly find my friend's racism offputting, and suggest that if their behavior were to change, they might have better luck. Assuming they take this advice to heart, given that acting on this advice would properly address the issue, my friend would find themselves to be more successful in their future endeavors.


That's really no different to what I proposed. You're still selecting a particular truth towards a desired outcome. There are other truths you could elect to offer, just as there are other outcomes you might desire and therefore offer truth towards.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:31 am
psikhrangkurPosts: 119Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:So then we have:

true but lacking in tact
true but tactful

So what would the maximal being elect to do?

That's what I was saying earlier. The abstraction you and James appealed to was one where the maximal being only had one maximal characteristic, and you're both seeking a single possible 'perfect' outcome.

Whereas, there are always multiple choices to be made that are equal on a number of paradigms, but which may offer different resolutions dependent on the intended outcome.


There are multiple choices of equal value insofar as we can see, yet it's entirely possible that an omniscient, omnipotent being can rule one or the other out based on factors we aren't even capable of considering.

However, even assuming that there are inevitably multiple options, that would still assume that any of these options meet the parameters set out previously (each one qualifying as a best possible course of action), and as such I don't see how the original point doesn't stand. Said perfect being doesn't have choices because it's reasonable to suggest that a perfect being would do something imperfect whilst preserving its perfection, but rather because multiple perfect choices exist.

Sparhafoc wrote:Well, they're still either true or not true.

I am explicitly challenging the assumption that there is only one 'true' position and all else the maximal being fails to live up to its own characteristics.


However, that is exactly what is happening in this scenario. You're contending that we're "perfectly honest" in this particular scenario, and we're failing to live up to this particular quality by failing to tackle the issue head on.

Sparhafoc wrote:Or you could crush the last remaining vestiges of their confidence such that they never break the vicious cycle they're in. Selecting a more positive truth, no less true than the negative formulations, would seem to suggest a 'better' response towards a more desirable outcome, no?


No. This "positive truth" only perpetuates the problem by failing to address it. Both of those outcomes you presented are identical, with one case where an attempt was made to actually fix the issue.

Sparhafoc wrote:That's really no different to what I proposed. You're still selecting a particular truth towards a desired outcome. There are other truths you could elect to offer, just as there are other outcomes you might desire and therefore offer truth towards.


However, those other truths I could elect to offer do not address my friend's problem, and as such are not perfectly honest responses to my friend's worries.
Last edited by psikhrangkur on Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:24 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3178Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

Sparhafoc wrote:
psikhrangkur wrote:I would imagine that there is a more tactful way of explaining to my friend that they have personal issues that others find unattractive.

So then we have:

true but lacking in tact
true but tactful

So what would the maximal being elect to do?

That's what I was saying earlier. The abstraction you and James appealed to was one where the maximal being only had one maximal characteristic, and you're both seeking a single possible 'perfect' outcome.

Whereas, there are always multiple choices to be made that are equal on a number of paradigms, but which may offer different resolutions dependent on the intended outcome.

As this is directed to both of us...

If there are multiple paths to a desired goal, one is bound to be better that the rest - for example, it's the shortest route to the desired goal.

Even if two paths are equally short, one may be qualitatively better than the other - for example, there's less suffering.

Regardless, assuming there are, at least, two paths to the same "destination" (goal), it's highly unlikely that they are perfectly equal in every single criterion - one is bound to be better - "perfect" - from the perspective of a Perfect Being.

Sparhafoc wrote:
psikhrangkur wrote:That said, I would consider these "true from a particular perspective" statements to be lies by omission,...
Well, they're still either true or not true.

I am explicitly challenging the assumption that there is only one 'true' position and all else the maximal being fails to live up to its own characteristics.[/quote
And I'd disagree with that for the above-stated reasons..

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:26 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2445Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

psikhrangkur wrote:There are multiple choices of equal value insofar as we can see, yet it's entirely possible that an omniscient, omnipotent being can rule one or the other out based on factors we aren't even capable of considering.


Granted, but then in exactly the same vein, the omniscient, omnipotent etc. being can also posit a vastly greater number of choices we aren't even capable of considering.

I don't want to claim all are equal, or that even many are equal - in fact, there only needs to be 2 that are equal in whatever quality being imagined here, but where the outcome would be different. In such a case, arguing that the maximal being could only chose 1 would be wrong and would incorrectly remove agency, thereby making this being more like a deterministic force.


psikhrangkur wrote:However, even assuming that there are inevitably multiple options, that would still assume that any of these options meet the parameters set out previously (each one qualifying as a best possible course of action), and as such I don't see how the original point doesn't stand.


Well, it stands on solipsism, which is what I meant. A superlative necessitates a single option. You can't have multiple superlative things, only one. However, if you take the fundamental notion of choice, then combine it with maximal characteristics, it doesn't seem to stand to reason to me to think deterministically here - it would seem instead that the restriction wouldn't be due to the perfect ontology, but on the desired outcome.


psikhrangkur wrote: Said perfect being doesn't have choices because it's reasonable to suggest that a perfect being would do something imperfect whilst preserving its perfection, but rather because multiple perfect choices exist.


Sorry, do you mean 'unreasonable' there?

Again, I think it's important to point out - and this isn't just to you, but is wider - that formulating this maximal being as something that actually cannot engage in any agency due to its nature obligating it to follow superlative choices irrespective of outcome seem to be alien to the god concept at its most fundamental level.



psikhrangkur wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Well, they're still either true or not true.

I am explicitly challenging the assumption that there is only one 'true' position and all else the maximal being fails to live up to its own characteristics.


However, that is exactly what is happening in this scenario. You're contending that we're "perfectly honest" in this particular scenario, and we're failing to live up to this particular quality by failing to tackle the issue head on.


I don't see it that way at all.

For me, you're adding in 'perfectly direct' as an undisclosed component. If both statements are 'true' but one is tactful and one is not tactful, how is the maximal being obligated to select the untactful one? It wasn't, insofar as I can see, actually obligated to be comprehensive in its replies, only to choose.


psikhrangkur wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Or you could crush the last remaining vestiges of their confidence such that they never break the vicious cycle they're in. Selecting a more positive truth, no less true than the negative formulations, would seem to suggest a 'better' response towards a more desirable outcome, no?


No. This "positive truth" only perpetuates the problem by failing to address it. Both of those outcomes you presented are identical, with one case where an attempt was made to actually fix the issue.


Again, to me there's a tone of absolutism here, and again i am not directing this solely at you. You are saying that only one could have 'fixed the issue' but again it's introducing something outside the initial ideas.

How do you know, for example, that both ideas couldn't have fixed the issue? If both could have fixed the issue, and both were absolutely true, then either one could have been uttered by a God while still maintaining all the maximal characteristics.

Bearing in mind that I have also said that a God's agency also means that optimal is towards an end, not a quantity in itself of the manner of choosing.


psikhrangkur wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:That's really no different to what I proposed. You're still selecting a particular truth towards a desired outcome. There are other truths you could elect to offer, just as there are other outcomes you might desire and therefore offer truth towards.


However, those other truths I could elect to offer do not address my friend's problem, and as such are not perfectly honest responses to my friend's worries.


Not sure why you read it that way, but then let's just say they're not and go back to the point.

There are multiple true explanations for something.
Some of those true explanations if uttered have undesirable outcomes.
Other true explanations have desirable outcomes.
Then, even a maximal being could elect to utter only the latter, not actually being obliged to utter the former and arrive at the undesirable outcome being constrained only by truth which is equally present in both.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:00 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2445Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Dragan Glas wrote:As this is directed to both of us...

If there are multiple paths to a desired goal, one is bound to be better that the rest - for example, it's the shortest route to the desired goal.


That's one of the points I've challenged.

I don't see how that follows. I see it asserted, I just don't see how that's something to take as granted or even clear. How is one 'bound to be better'? Better according to what criterion? The criterion stated was 'true' which both equally are.


Dragan Glas wrote:Even if two paths are equally short, one may be qualitatively better than the other - for example, there's less suffering.


One might be cooler than the other, or more poetic... but those qualities would be irrelevant in terms of the impact it has on the validity of the decision with respect to maintaining the stated ontology of true (short).

Perhaps it's the word 'better' I am mostly inquiring about. Better in what way? In a way consistent with the criterion being examined, or better from another criterion?


Dragan Glas wrote:Regardless, assuming there are, at least, two paths to the same "destination" (goal), it's highly unlikely that they are perfectly equal in every single criterion - one is bound to be better - "perfect" - from the perspective of a Perfect Being.


Please explain further as that's precisely what I am saying I can't see as standing to reason.

For a moment, just so I can check there is actually a way to realize my contention: let's just say that there are multiple perfect ways, would you then allow the God to select any of them and maintain its ontology?

Or are you saying that the God cannot actually choose and is bound always to a single perfect response because only one response can be perfect? I find this notional entity to be more like a calculator than any God entity I can imagine.


Dragan Glas wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:I am explicitly challenging the assumption that there is only one 'true' position and all else the maximal being fails to live up to its own characteristics.


And I'd disagree with that for the above-stated reasons..


Because there can only be one perfect answer?

I don't see perfect and unique as synonymous. I think if there is 'perfect' as a quality, then multiple iterations of that thing can also be perfect.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:12 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 119Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:


It occurs to me that I may have adopted a poor and confusing approach to this conversation, so in an attempt to re-establish my position, I'm going to try and work may way towards the conclusions I've stated. If after this, you still want me to respond to your post directly, I will. That said, I hope that this helps clear some things up.

1. While there isn't much I can do to describe perfection, I would argue that perfection is necessarily static(unchanging). Let's say we have object X, and there is a specific characteristic of X (which we will call A) that can be considered perfect. If A changes, then it no longer seems appropriate to describe either A or X as being perfect.

2. Real world objects are not static, and therefore, cannot be perfect.

3. Actions, once taken, are static. Ergo, the possibility exists that actions can be perfect.

4a. Let's say that we have a God. This God is a thinking being capable of action. I would argue that this being is not static, and therefore, not perfect.
4b. While God is not perfect in and of itself, it may possess qualities which can be perfect, as they are static (omniscience, omnipotence). Furthermore, said God could attempt to exemplify perfection in some shape or form through its actions. Its intentions, I feel, are irrelevant for the sake of argument.

5. I feel it inappropriate to describe God as being perfect by virtue of having qualities which can be considered perfect in and of themselves. This is because God may be more than these specific qualities, and other qualities may be imperfect.

6. If God can be considered perfect, it is only through its actions that we could consider it to be perfect.

In my mind, perfection wouldn't be something that describes God, but instead a quality that God seeks to exemplify as previously stated. Whether God seeks to create or destroy, it would also seek perfection in its methods as a means of attaining perfection for itself. In such a scenario, given that with absolute power and perfect knowledge it should be capable of deriving and executing the perfect course of action in service of a given goal, it must necessarily do so if it also seeks to be perfect.
Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:08 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2445Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

psikhrangkur wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:


It occurs to me that I may have adopted a poor and confusing approach to this conversation, so in an attempt to re-establish my position, I'm going to try and work may way towards the conclusions I've stated. If after this, you still want me to respond to your post directly, I will. That said, I hope that this helps clear some things up.


Good call. I just noticed I made some odd typos in some previous posts - presumably because of constantly being interrupted mid-post and forgetting what I'd written! :D


psikhrangkur wrote:1. While there isn't much I can do to describe perfection, I would argue that perfection is necessarily static(unchanging). Let's say we have object X, and there is a specific characteristic of X (which we will call A) that can be considered perfect. If A changes, then it no longer seems appropriate to describe either A or X as being perfect.


I can see what you mean, but I think there is a possibility with some characteristics that they are perfect towards a specific environment, and as such, could be expected to change with respect to that. But I am not sticking on that. It's rather the notion that perfect is being treated as synonymous with singular which I don't think stands to reason.

For my part, I prefer using the term 'maximal' as it seems to avoid some of the problems associated with the notion of perfection.


psikhrangkur wrote:2. Real world objects are not static, and therefore, cannot be perfect.


Can they not be static for some period of time and therefore potentially be perfect for some period of time? For example, let's say we built a computer and machine that could draw a perfect circle. By perfect here, I would mean that the line right down to the atomic level follows exactly the path without aberration. However, the paper is ultimately not eternal, and therefore the paper is not static, so the perfect circle would exist for a period of time before ceasing to be perfect.


psikhrangkur wrote:3. Actions, once taken, are static. Ergo, the possibility exists that actions can be perfect.

4a. Let's say that we have a God. This God is a thinking being capable of action. I would argue that this being is not static, and therefore, not perfect.
4b. While God is not perfect in and of itself, it may possess qualities which can be perfect, as they are static (omniscience, omnipotence). Furthermore, said God could attempt to exemplify perfection in some shape or form through its actions. Its intentions, I feel, are irrelevant for the sake of argument.

5. I feel it inappropriate to describe God as being perfect by virtue of having qualities which can be considered perfect in and of themselves. This is because God may be more than these specific qualities, and other qualities may be imperfect.

6. If God can be considered perfect, it is only through its actions that we could consider it to be perfect.


So if I may summarize, the point you're making is that the notion of perfection couldn't be considered a characteristic of God, rather potentially a characteristic of God's actions?


psikhrangkur wrote:In my mind, perfection wouldn't be something that describes God, but instead a quality that God seeks to exemplify as previously stated. Whether God seeks to create or destroy, it would also seek perfection in its methods as a means of attaining perfection for itself. In such a scenario, given that with absolute power and perfect knowledge it should be capable of deriving and executing the perfect course of action in service of a given goal, it must necessarily do so if it also seeks to be perfect.


As such, you wouldn't see it being constrained by its nature to only acting perfectly and thus deterministically, rather it would be motivated to act perfectly because of its nature?
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:31 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 119Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:So if I may summarize, the point you're making is that the notion of perfection couldn't be considered a characteristic of God, rather potentially a characteristic of God's actions?

As such, you wouldn't see it being constrained by its nature to only acting perfectly and thus deterministically, rather it would be motivated to act perfectly because of its nature?


Just about, yeah.

Sparhafoc wrote:I can see what you mean, but I think there is a possibility with some characteristics that they are perfect towards a specific environment, and as such, could be expected to change with respect to that. But I am not sticking on that. It's rather the notion that perfect is being treated as synonymous with singular which I don't think stands to reason.

For my part, I prefer using the term 'maximal' as it seems to avoid some of the problems associated with the notion of perfection.


Perfection is a ridiculous concept, there's no avoiding problems with it.

I would argue that something would be perfect for a certain environment regardless of whether or not said environment exists or said environment changes. Coats are suited for cold weather, even during the summer.

Sparhafoc wrote:Can they not be static for some period of time and therefore potentially be perfect for some period of time? For example, let's say we built a computer and machine that could draw a perfect circle. By perfect here, I would mean that the line right down to the atomic level follows exactly the path without aberration. However, the paper is ultimately not eternal, and therefore the paper is not static, so the perfect circle would exist for a period of time before ceasing to be perfect.


I would argue that the circle in this example is an action, which I would consider static.
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:51 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3178Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:As this is directed to both of us...

If there are multiple paths to a desired goal, one is bound to be better that the rest - for example, it's the shortest route to the desired goal.

That's one of the points I've challenged.

I don't see how that follows. I see it asserted, I just don't see how that's something to take as granted or even clear. How is one 'bound to be better'? Better according to what criterion? The criterion stated was 'true' which both equally are.

The criterion would be "best", "optimal" - "perfect".

It's highly unlikely that a all-knowing Creator would be scratching his head as to which path to choose - the "right" path would be obvious to such a entity.

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Even if two paths are equally short, one may be qualitatively better than the other - for example, there's less suffering.

One might be cooler than the other, or more poetic... but those qualities would be irrelevant in terms of the impact it has on the validity of the decision with respect to maintaining the stated ontology of true (short).

Perhaps it's the word 'better' I am mostly inquiring about. Better in what way? In a way consistent with the criterion being examined, or better from another criterion?

"Best" in whatever criteria are relevant to the Creator.

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Regardless, assuming there are, at least, two paths to the same "destination" (goal), it's highly unlikely that they are perfectly equal in every single criterion - one is bound to be better - "perfect" - from the perspective of a Perfect Being.

Please explain further as that's precisely what I am saying I can't see as standing to reason.

For a moment, just so I can check there is actually a way to realize my contention: let's just say that there are multiple perfect ways, would you then allow the God to select any of them and maintain its ontology?

Or are you saying that the God cannot actually choose and is bound always to a single perfect response because only one response can be perfect? I find this notional entity to be more like a calculator than any God entity I can imagine.

Bearing in mind I'm speaking from the point of the philosophers' concept of God - the remote entity of Catholicism - not the personal one of Protestantism.

The "God of the philosophers" is Perfect, and can only act perfectly.

The idea that there might be multiple perfect paths does not make sense - the whole idea is that for a path to be described as perfect, it must be the only one that fits that description.

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:And I'd disagree with that for the above-stated reasons..

Because there can only be one perfect answer?

I don't see perfect and unique as synonymous. I think if there is 'perfect' as a quality, then multiple iterations of that thing can also be perfect.

According to whatever criteria are relevant, that would lead to only one path being "perfect".

As I said before, two paths may be equally short but only one will be less painful.

And even if they're both still equal on this criterion, then eventually - as you go down the list - they'll no longer be equal, and one will be "better" than the other.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:47 pm
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