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Argument From Free Will

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Argument From Free Will
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psikhrangkurPosts: 125Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Dragan Glas wrote:Firstly, since God is supposed to be omniscient, he'd know that the shield would have to be as strong as the sword he'll create later.

Either way, in your rendition, Spahafoc, this shows that God can't be omniscient; in mine, the same contradiction occurs - either the shield foils the sword or the sword breaks the shield, hence, God is not omnipotent.

Again, the apologists' response that, "When we say God's omnipotent, we don't mean literally! (nervous laughter)" fails - miserably.

With regard to Exogen's point, that the theists will say "God can only do what is logically possible", fails as well, since if God can only do what's logically possible, he is bound by the laws of logic.

Whence these laws, if God is the Creator Of All Things?

Kindest regards,

James


I'd assume that, at this point, an apologist would make the argument that logic is God's nature, and maybe that his existence imposes logic on reality.
Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:18 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3190Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

psikhrangkur wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Firstly, since God is supposed to be omniscient, he'd know that the shield would have to be as strong as the sword he'll create later.

Either way, in your rendition, Spahafoc, this shows that God can't be omniscient; in mine, the same contradiction occurs - either the shield foils the sword or the sword breaks the shield, hence, God is not omnipotent.

Again, the apologists' response that, "When we say God's omnipotent, we don't mean literally! (nervous laughter)" fails - miserably.

With regard to Exogen's point, that the theists will say "God can only do what is logically possible", fails as well, since if God can only do what's logically possible, he is bound by the laws of logic.

Whence these laws, if God is the Creator Of All Things?

Kindest regards,

James

I'd assume that, at this point, an apologist would make the argument that logic is God's nature, and maybe that his existence imposes logic on reality.

Perhaps, but if the laws of logic are intrinsic to God's nature, there's still the problem of how he can do the things he does - being omnibenevolent, creating souls that an omniscient God knows are going to burn in Hell for all eternity, etc.

Also, the more fundamental question is: his existence is still contingent on logic - why/how can he exist in the first place?

In other words, is there an absolute need for a Creator? Is his existence itself logical?

Couldn't Nature simply exist within the bounds of its own laws without the need for a Creator?

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
Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:55 pm
ExogenPosts: 58Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Hello, Dragon Gias,

Dragan Glas wrote:The problem here is that one runs into the same difficulties as with the Holy Trinity - the triune nature of God, where God the Son is described as being of "one and the same essence" as God the Father.

It is simply incoherent.


I'm not defending the Trinity (which may involve other factors I have not considered thus far), but merely the idea that you can have an essence which is the core of identity for a temporal being, and also an atemporal one. The essence is, of course, the feature of something which necessarily defining of that entity, without which said entity could not exist, whereas other aspects of its being may come and go let's say, while the essence always remains stable. In other words, an essence is something which by definition never changes and serves as the 'core' or grounding unity to which any parts which are augmented in time depend. The features which are non-essential would be accidents. So if there is some essence God has which is both outside and time and inside of time, the only difference beyond the essence, which would be common between them, would be the accidents, and in one case he would have temporal accidents, and in the other atemporal accidents. There is no incoherence in saying that, as the essence both in time and outside of it never both is and is not at 'the same time' and the accidents which would account for the temporal expression of that essence, would differ respectively as well.


Dragan Glas wrote:
In case you haven't gathered it yet, I was brought up Roman Catholic, although I'm not a theist anymore, so my perspective on a deity is coloured by my religious upbringing. Hence, God is Perfect, and can't change because he doesn't need to do so in any regard, which has an effect on your later post.


It should be noted as an example, that Husserl, in his phenomenology, shows how time-consciousness depends on an unchanging stable structure or form of consciousness in order to temporalize experience, without which we would be unable to perceive time, as we could never keep track of change, instant by instant in the succession of time.




Dragan Glas wrote:
Even so, omniscience runs into its own contradictions when paired with omnibenevolence: can a all-good God create souls that a all-knowing God knows are going to burn in Hell for all eternity?


Does not this depend on causal determinism is true? I would think most theists, save for the Calvinists, would argue indeterminism is true, and that compatibilism is false.




Dragan Glas wrote:
Firstly, since God is supposed to be omniscient, he'd know that the shield would have to be as strong as the sword he'll create later.


The God which is 'in time' would have an epistemic horizon though (same as Laplace's super intelligence), so even if he was able to access information from his higher self outside of time let's say, he would still be bound by the parameters of time, limiting how much he can do in thought at a time. His atemporal self would know all that his temporal self-does.




Dragan Glas wrote:Either way, in your rendition, Spahafoc, this shows that God can't be omniscient; in mine, the same contradiction occurs - either the shield foils the sword or the sword breaks the shield, hence, God is not omnipotent.


Right, but I don't think the theist is concerned with this criticism, as even if on my prefered analogy, he creates a stone so heavy he cannot lift, or even if he cannot create such a stone, the theist counters that this is a strawman assuming God cannot do what is logically impossible. For example, we wouldn't try to peg the theist by accusing God of being impotent merely because he cannot create a two-sided square or triangle. That would be logically incoherent, and most atheists and theists alike would agree that shouldn't be expected to fall under the domain of God's power. The paradox of the stone, or your shield, is the same thing. All of them are examples of analogous situations where God can 'contradict' his omnipotence. I think this is where we have to be charitable to the theist. Not I'm not saying anyone is 'intentionally' straw manning anyone of course, but merely that the theist can respond that such a criticism is a strawman, a misrepresentation of their position.




Dragan Glas wrote:Again, the apologists' response that, "When we say God's omnipotent, we don't mean literally! (nervous laughter)" fails - miserably.


It depends on their response, for sure. All I'm saying is, I think when the theist responds that God cannot do what is logically impossible and that the logically impossible should not fall under omnipotence, they are only being reasonable. Some theists may claim otherwise, so all I'm saying here is, we need to categorize the theological differences accordingly.



Now, in response, you seem to say.




Dragan Glas wrote:
With regard to Exogen's point, that the theists will say "God can only do what is logically possible", fails as well, since if God can only do what's logically possible, he is bound by the laws of logic.

Whence these laws, if God is the Creator Of All Things?



Ah, yes. The idea that he created the laws of logic. The theist has to respond here that God is co-eternal with these laws, as the transcendental account of logic via God becomes incoherent, given that God would logically pre-exist the laws in that he would be more primary. running into the contradiction that God is some entity with an essential nature which would be logical. Now theists differ here. Some may argue that the laws of logic are part of God's being, like for instance, some form of divine conceptualism. Others, might take a more Platonic approach and argue similarly to the Jewish Kabalah that there is an 'ein sof' which is a level even above God, to which logic and other a priori forms have their domain to which God 'looks to' echoing Plato's Timaeus here.

Dragan Glas wrote:
"External now"?

I understand, and accept, the rest of what you're saying but am not sure if you meant "eternal now".


So in the East, there is this notion of the 'eternal now.' This idea some think is an experience without time, but that is not accurate, in that it is not complete. The idea is that this experience without time, which some who practice deep meditation can achieve with enough practice, is 'one and the same' eternal now as well one is awake in one's normal life, though one may not and most do not take notice of it. For us, it is 'always' now, always the present.
Last edited by Exogen on Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:20 pm
momo666Posts: 129Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:25 am Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Just a point of information.

I think we forget that theists tend to make another claim. That is, since god is the only thing necessary and all else is contingent, the Universe and us included were created ex-nihilo. How can that be ? How can god create a thing (us) from no thing without knowing everything there is to know about this thing and still be omniscient ?
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:27 pm
ExogenPosts: 58Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

momo666 wrote:Just a point of information.

I think we forget that theists tend to make another claim. That is, since god is the only thing necessary and all else is contingent, the Universe and us included were created ex-nihilo. How can that be ? How can god create a thing (us) from no thing without knowing everything there is to know about this thing and still be omniscient ?


God may know everything there is to know about us, but that doesn't follow we are determined, as he might have created an indeterminist universe. So he might know everything there is to know about that universe, and in so knowing, he knows that what he created as 'a mind of its own' meaning that it 'can' choose X, but also Y, in a given circumstance, and if you rewind the timeline, assuming X was chosen, Y might be chosen the next time around.
Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:20 pm
momo666Posts: 129Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:25 am Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Exogen wrote:
momo666 wrote:Just a point of information.

I think we forget that theists tend to make another claim. That is, since god is the only thing necessary and all else is contingent, the Universe and us included were created ex-nihilo. How can that be ? How can god create a thing (us) from no thing without knowing everything there is to know about this thing and still be omniscient ?


God may know everything there is to know about us, but that doesn't follow we are determined, as he might have created an indeterminist universe. So he might know everything there is to know about that universe, and in so knowing, he knows that what he created as 'a mind of its own' meaning that it 'can' choose X, but also Y, in a given circumstance, and if you rewind the timeline, assuming X was chosen, Y might be chosen the next time around.


Right, but then you are saying god can create something which violates his omniscience. Why not then create something can that violate his omnipotence ?
You are literally saying he brought something into being that can perform an action which can not be foreseen by god.
Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:33 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3190Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

momo666 wrote:Just a point of information.

I think we forget that theists tend to make another claim. That is, since god is the only thing necessary and all else is contingent, the Universe and us included were created ex-nihilo. How can that be ? How can god create a thing (us) from no thing without knowing everything there is to know about this thing and still be omniscient ?

There is a common misunderstanding about the "creatio ex nihilo" phrase that I addressed elsewhere.

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
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:05 am
ExogenPosts: 58Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

momo666 wrote:
Right, but then you are saying god can create something which violates his omniscience. Why not then create something can that violate his omnipotence ?
You are literally saying he brought something into being that can perform an action which can not be foreseen by god.


It wouldn't violate his omniscience if God is outside of time, and looks upon the whole of the temporal universe from start to finish in a single gaze. Even though some events in this indeterministic universe (let's say) involve causal origination (the originating of new causal chains free from deterministic antecedents), God still knows what 'actually occurs' at any given point in time, even though these events are not determined, because he can observe the whole of the indeterministic temporal series.

The conflict between omniscience and free will only emerge if God is in the same time-frame we are, and therefore cannot predict an indeterministic future, due to the temporal horizon it would create, unlike Laplace's super intelligence which depends on being outside of a deterministic system.

Thus, if God exists outside of the temporal series, even if indeterministic, God would be able, from his atemporal perspective on the series, to 'both' know any given event, and indeterminism to also be true.

Dragon Gias makes a good point about the misunderstanding of creation ex-nihilo and God creating out of his substance, which is an evolution from the Platonic tradition, particular Plato's Timaeus and the demiurge.
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:41 am
momo666Posts: 129Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:25 am Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

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.

Exogen wrote:It wouldn't violate his omniscience if God is outside of time, and looks upon the whole of the temporal universe from start to finish in a single gaze. Even though some events in this indeterministic universe (let's say) involve causal origination (the originating of new causal chains free from deterministic antecedents), God still knows what 'actually occurs' at any given point in time, even though these events are not determined, because he can observe the whole of the indeterministic temporal series.



Doesn't that make things worse ? If this is the view god has, then when he created the Universe, he not only put in motion an event, he actually created all its temporal parts. So from his perspective, he created something like a block. And somewhere in that block I am eating an apple, even though I have not done that yet. That event is real, yet I have not performed it. God knows for a fact that is an actual state of affairs yet I am supposed to think I am free to not eat that apple ?
Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:50 am
ExogenPosts: 58Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

momo666 wrote:

Doesn't that make things worse ? If this is the view god has, then when he created the Universe, he not only put in motion an event, he actually created all its temporal parts. So from his perspective, he created something like a block. And somewhere in that block I am eating an apple, even though I have not done that yet. That event is real, yet I have not performed it. God knows for a fact that is an actual state of affairs yet I am supposed to think I am free to not eat that apple ?



He created the block, but he didn't 'determine' the temporal parts. He caused the beginning, and all the events follow successively, though not deterministically in the series from the point onward.

You would, in fact, be free to eat the apple, as causal origination has been satisfied and there are not determinate causal antecedents which fix you to eat the apple.

Think of it this way. Suppose God is looking at the temporal block, the series. Each even follows in the series, but the causal linkage between events is not exact. Though it may be a fact that the universe goes in some eventuality, the linkage between events leading up to that eventuality is not deterministic, and therefore, there are other possible variations on the initial conditions at the beginning of the block in the series.
Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:34 am
SparhafocPosts: 2521Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

However, even granting the notion that our experience is exclusively temporal, it wouldn't mean that there couldn't be a singular essence which would be the essence of God, which can be both temporally expressed or atemporally expressed, given the fact that God is not us, and therefore wouldn't be subject to the same limitations, assuming our exclusivity as it pertains to the temporality of consciousness.


Agreed, but the point therein was arriving at such a divine characteristic rationally.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:25 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2521Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

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.

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.

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.

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.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:42 pm
ExogenPosts: 58Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:
Agreed, but the point therein was arriving at such a divine characteristic rationally.


Thanks for responding. If you would please include my name in the quote next time. I recognized the sentence as mine, but very well could have missed it, because I look for the names in the quotes. If you would be so kind, I would appreciate it.

In response, but can we not arrive at such a characteristic rationally? Maybe we can't and such things can only be taken on faith, but I don't see a reason why we couldn't, in theory, arrive at such an understanding based on reason.
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:43 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2521Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sorry, too many interruptions tonight and I didn't finish responding to this post...

Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:As such, it's irrelevant in my opinion that there are things within the temporal domain that we can't experience, rather we can only experience things within the temporal domain, so positing a characteristic of experience in the atemporal cannot be rationally based. It's a leap that is not inductive - cannot be. There is similarly no way to attain this deductively. So whence does it come?


Two things. First is that just because our consciousness is temporal, it does not follow that all consciousness is temporal.


Again, if one is going to talk about it rationally, then it would need to be. But let's put that aside if it's no longer important.

As I said somewhere earlier in this thread, the point really is not about what one can say - imagination doesn't actually tell us much about reality at all - but about what one can show to be valid.

I don't think there's any way to validate this 'could be'. As far as we know, there is only temporal consciousness. If atemporal means nothing happens because there's no time for it to happen in, then any meaning of consciousness that would could appeal to would not work. So we'd need to contrive a new idea of consciousness that we can't and don't actually know about beyond the stacking of words to make that concept, and then we could say 'so it's possible according to that'.

Of course, it doesn't actually mean it's possible, let alone plausible. The best it could really be called is 'fun' and if that's where it ended, I'd be wholly on board. But humans do have this odd fascination of believing they can divine or define ontological or metaphysical qualities purely from semantic play and syntax. It's a bit of a bugbear of mine - the ability to corral words into a syntactically correct significance doesn't lend the resulting sentence any actual validity aside from being syntactic.


Exogen wrote: Unless we identify the 'essential structure' of consciousness, we wouldn't have a reason to categorically limit consciousness to exclusively the temporal domain in principle.


Nor would we have any reason to posit other types of consciousness that aren't actually apparent, perceivable, or existent. We don't need to rule them out, but we need a better reason for seriously positing them than just because we can imagine it.


Exogen wrote: Second, I would argue along the lines of Husserl's phenomenology on the notion of a flow of time (A-theory of time) that all conscious experience presupposes an unchanging absolute structure which in itself being atemporal could account for atemporal experience if there be any.


For me personally, I would probably rely on another litmus test where if it seems nonsense, it quite possibly is. Of course, reality isn't obligated to make sense to me, but if it doesn't make absolute sense, then there is a problem. So that would then mean I am restricted from using any of my own abilities of reason to inquire into it as I am restricted to a false sense. I explained in that other shitpit of a thread about how I think utility has a very... well, useful... part to play in deciding what to spend my brain's short timespan considering.



Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Do you mean 'from a best reading'?

Honestly, I am not sure that it is the best reading. I think its more consistent to have a god who made the laws of the universe not actually be subject to any of those laws. That god must be able to have created universes differently - ones where what is logically possible is completely different than what is logically possible in this one - otherwise, god had no actual creative control over the formation of this universe and its necessary rules, and could only have been an initiator of a process outside of 'his' control.

If God could only make this and could never have made anything else, then I don't see in what way it is really a god.


I don't mean the best reading of a particular text but instead the best strategy among the many theists out there. I'm not saying God would be subject to the laws he creates, just as a computer programmer isn't subject to the laws of the program, but I think if we get more specific, the 'atemporal' expression of God wouldn't be subject to the laws of the temporal universe, though the temporal God may be subject to 'some' of those laws, if at very least temporality.


It just feels like a cop-out clause though, doesn't it? Why not a square circle too?



Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:
Please see above for my reasoning why not. For clarity, I am only actually arguing about how, under the premise of the foundation of knowledge being experience, that a simultaneously temporal and atemporal god could be posited. I would say not. I would say something else is needed there than experience.


But what about the example of numbers which could never be counted? We know there are such numbers, but we could never reach these through any successive addition, or any finite mathematical process, as there will always be numbers that are so large that counting them exceeds the all the time in the universe, given that the number line is infinite.


Well, they could be counted; it's just impractical because of unrelated restrictions. Those restrictions include our biological lifetime and the lifetime of the universe, but were those restrictions not in place, then presumably they could all be counted and the ones thereafter counted, and the ones thereafter... and so on. Infinite numbers with infinite counting.

But again, this to me doesn't actually work as an analogy. We know what numbers are, just as we know you can always add one more to the end to get a new number ad infinitum. We experience numbers and extrapolate the concept further. We don't need to count them all to know we can always add one more.

This doesn't seem relevant to me to talking about atemporal experience which is contrary to experience, which we cannot arrive at rationally.


Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:I like that idea in the abstract, I just don't know whether it's obtainable. Truth, for example, is a very difficult quality from my perspective. Is there a single absolute truth? Or is it just as possible that there are domains of nearly isolated truth which only infrequently interact with each other and therefore can avoid mutual obliteration? Can we, for example, expect to reconcile the quantum universe with special relativity? I hope so, but if we can't then that's possibly even more interesting than if we can.


I don't think there is a single absolute truth, but that doesn't make truth relative either. For instance, it could be that the truth is something that anyone perspective could never define, hence all statements will be incomplete, and the whole of the truth is transcendent. I think the theist would agree there, but they would think the buck would stop with God, whereas I would argue it could not. As for compartmentalized truth, I think not. I say that because the boundary between each domain would be some sort of categorical distinction, thereby one categoery would give rise to the other, given by the very fact that they are different i.e. where one thing ends, the other begins.


I think a clear definition would need to be made concerning the idea of 'relative' which only serves to oppose absolute in some senses of the word. Again, an idea I tossed out in the other pointless thread was that while all individual perspectives may be limited, the sum of them all could be defined as 'complete'. Again though, one would fall down the infinite hole trap.

But the latter part I find more interesting. Categorical distinctions are usually an artifact of our thinking rather than existing independently and actually causing any such compartmentalization in the real world (tm). For example, in evolution when does a not yet rabbit actually become a rabbit? For us, no matter how many fossils we found, we'd always have either 'a rabbit' or 'not a rabbit' - we could never point to an instant and say 'that's where the transformation occurs and it is both a rabbit and not a rabbit. It's actually anatomical horse-trading. In reality (tm) though, there is no rabbit and not-a-rabbit category; there's a population eternally in flux. That variation is always present, always occurring, and necessarily part of any relevant whole.

One of those useful notions that perhaps doesn't get enough screen time is the concept of stochasticism, whereby perfectly predictable deterministic events produce random outcomes which can only be determined on a statistical basis. You can predict a range of outcomes, you can even predict a likely outcome, but you cannot predict an actual outcome. Forget probability, and conceive of that as the process rather than the analysis; the boundary between domains is usually stalwart, but with alarming regularity it is overcome; the thing that ended and the thing that began coexist rather than being mutually destructive, much like the 'first' rabbit.



Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:
Now that I agree with wholeheartedly. It is to be alive, and thus I am obliged to do it, regardless of whether I also take great pleasure from it. :)


"The unexamined life is not worth living."

Plato


A little dismissive of the trillions upon trillions of organisms who never had the opportunity or faculties to examine their lives, but still succeeded in producing copies of themselves of which some had the temerity (and faculties) to start asking those questions! :D

But I do think it vital that we give our children the tools and the impetus to live such a life.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Last edited by Sparhafoc on Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:20 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2521Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Exogen wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:
Agreed, but the point therein was arriving at such a divine characteristic rationally.


Thanks for responding. If you would please include my name in the quote next time. I recognized the sentence as mine, but very well could have missed it, because I look for the names in the quotes. If you would be so kind, I would appreciate it.


Sorry, I usually would just because the software does it anyway, but there have been an inordinate number of interruptions tonight and I have no idea what I'd been doing before for it to result in your name not being included. Really, I am too busy and stressed to be here anyway, but I need somewhere to escape to even for a moment.


Exogen wrote:In response, but can we not arrive at such a characteristic rationally? Maybe we can't and such things can only be taken on faith, but I don't see a reason why we couldn't, in theory, arrive at such an understanding based on reason.


I would want to make a distinction here because the 'rationalism' I was talking about before was in the inductive sense, where knowledge is based on experience alone. I think reason is a frequent bedfellow of rationalism in that sense, but can also permit other paths of knowledge. Pure reason may be eschewed by empiricists, for example, but they don't forgo the utility of reason as a process of sorting knowledge.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:28 pm
ExogenPosts: 58Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc wrote:

Sorry, I usually would just because the software does it anyway, but there have been an inordinate number of interruptions tonight and I have no idea what I'd been doing before for it to result in your name not being included. Really, I am too busy and stressed to be here anyway, but I need somewhere to escape to even for a moment.


No worries.


Sparhafoc wrote:I would want to make a distinction here because the 'rationalism' I was talking about before was in the inductive sense, where knowledge is based on experience alone. I think reason is a frequent bedfellow of rationalism in that sense, but can also permit other paths of knowledge. Pure reason may be eschewed by empiricists, for example, but they don't forgo the utility of reason as a process of sorting knowledge.


I understand the empiricist vs. rationalist trade-offs, and I'm not trying to privilege one over the other, as they are categorically dissimilar, and therefore it would be a categoery error to judge one by the other. I'm just saying that I see no reason to abandon the rationalist notion that God can in principle be deduced a priori, or even that a combination of rationalistic and empirical methods could not lead us to the apodictic certainty that God exists in principle. We need not have first-hand knowledge of God.
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:37 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2521Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Exogen wrote: I'm just saying that I see no reason to abandon the rationalist notion that God can in principle be deduced a priori, or even that a combination of rationalistic and empirical methods could not lead us to the apodictic certainty that God exists in principle. We need not have first-hand knowledge of God.


Again for clarity, I didn't argue against this being true of 'God' as a concept - that's simple; it's magic man in the sky. Made in our image.

Xenophanes wrote:The Ethiops say that their gods are flat-nosed and black,
While the Thracians say that theirs have blue eyes and red hair.
Yet if cattle or horses or lions had hands and could draw,
And could sculpt like men, then the horses would draw their gods
Like horses, and cattle like cattle; and each they would shape
Bodies of gods in the likeness, each kind, of their own.


Rather, I was talking expressly about complex ontological characteristics which are not attainable through any possible human experience. Those are the semantic play I was talking about. For there to be something soluble then there must be insoluble, we agree. But show me something combobulated, sheveled, or gruntled. Still, even though these concept 'don't exist' you can grasp the concept immediately even had you never imagine it before as an opposition to something you do know. If we are restricted to the temporal, it's easy to imagine the reverse significance... but this doesn't make it experienced or rationally arrived at.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:46 pm
ExogenPosts: 58Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Sparhafoc

The "magic man in the sky" wouldn't be the sorts of interpretations of God I have in mind. As I said before, I'm thinking of the philosophical notions of God, not the more common conceptions found in the masses.
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:05 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2521Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Exogen wrote:Sparhafoc

The "magic man in the sky" wouldn't be the sorts of interpretations of God I have in mind. As I said before, I'm thinking of the philosophical notions of God, not the more common conceptions found in the masses.



Sure, but even the philosophical notions are built on a tradition of thought. It's not like someone today could posit a divine entity's existence without it being at least framed by the beliefs of the last several thousand years.

I was talking about the origin of that thought, the initial instantiation of a god - projection of human agency onto the cosmos.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:26 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3190Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Argument From Free Will

Greetings,

Exogen wrote:Hello, Dragon Gias,

Dragan Glas wrote:The problem here is that one runs into the same difficulties as with the Holy Trinity - the triune nature of God, where God the Son is described as being of "one and the same essence" as God the Father.

It is simply incoherent.

I'm not defending the Trinity (which may involve other factors I have not considered thus far), but merely the idea that you can have an essence which is the core of identity for a temporal being, and also an atemporal one. The essence is, of course, the feature of something which necessarily defining of that entity, without which said entity could not exist, whereas other aspects of its being may come and go let's say, while the essence always remains stable. In other words, an essence is something which by definition never changes and serves as the 'core' or grounding unity to which any parts which are augmented in time depend. The features which are non-essential would be accidents. So if there is some essence God has which is both outside and time and inside of time, the only difference beyond the essence, which would be common between them, would be the accidents, and in one case he would have temporal accidents, and in the other atemporal accidents. There is no incoherence in saying that, as the essence both in time and outside of it never both is and is not at 'the same time' and the accidents which would account for the temporal expression of that essence, would differ respectively as well.

No, that doesn't work.

If a Creator is atemporal, it would have to be outside of Time itself - this is not coherent. There is nothing in physics to suggest that it's possible to be outside of Time.

All that one could say is that a Creator is outside of our time but still be within Time - as such, it would still be bound by Time, and thus, limited by something under which it had no control.

My point about the Trinity was that there being three "aspects" of the "one essence" was, like all theological arguments, sophistry.

Exogen wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:In case you haven't gathered it yet, I was brought up Roman Catholic, although I'm not a theist anymore, so my perspective on a deity is coloured by my religious upbringing. Hence, God is Perfect, and can't change because he doesn't need to do so in any regard, which has an effect on your later post.

It should be noted as an example, that Husserl, in his phenomenology, shows how time-consciousness depends on an unchanging stable structure or form of consciousness in order to temporalize experience, without which we would be unable to perceive time, as we could never keep track of change, instant by instant in the succession of time.

But in Alzheimers, our ability to keep track of time breaks down. Our memories are (like) "Pieces of Light" linked together - if the links break down, or our perspectives on life-events change, they may become re- or dis-organized.

Hence the question as to whether time actually exists or is it subjective. And, if time exists, is it actually a spatial dimension, rather than a dimension unto itself?

Exogen wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Even so, omniscience runs into its own contradictions when paired with omnibenevolence: can a all-good God create souls that a all-knowing God knows are going to burn in Hell for all eternity?

Does not this depend on causal determinism is true? I would think most theists, save for the Calvinists, would argue indeterminism is true, and that compatibilism is false.

I don't think so. The fact that the Abrahamic Creator knows everything that's going to happen - the Eternal NOW - would suggest that, no matter what "choices" we make, the consequences are known to the Creator. Our "choices" would be dependent on (the nature of) our "souls" - and how the Creator made them - hence, our choices are "determined".

Exogen wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Firstly, since God is supposed to be omniscient, he'd know that the shield would have to be as strong as the sword he'll create later.

The God which is 'in time' would have an epistemic horizon though (same as Laplace's super intelligence), so even if he was able to access information from his higher self outside of time let's say, he would still be bound by the parameters of time, limiting how much he can do in thought at a time. His atemporal self would know all that his temporal self-does.

I'm sorry but this atemporal/temporal idea is running into the brick wall of my Catholic grounding in theology/philosophy. ;)

It's incoherent.

Exogen wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Either way, in your rendition, Spahafoc, this shows that God can't be omniscient; in mine, the same contradiction occurs - either the shield foils the sword or the sword breaks the shield, hence, God is not omnipotent.

Right, but I don't think the theist is concerned with this criticism, as even if on my prefered analogy, he creates a stone so heavy he cannot lift, or even if he cannot create such a stone, the theist counters that this is a strawman assuming God cannot do what is logically impossible. For example, we wouldn't try to peg the theist by accusing God of being impotent merely because he cannot create a two-sided square or triangle. That would be logically incoherent, and most atheists and theists alike would agree that shouldn't be expected to fall under the domain of God's power. The paradox of the stone, or your shield, is the same thing. All of them are examples of analogous situations where God can 'contradict' his omnipotence. I think this is where we have to be charitable to the theist. Not I'm not saying anyone is 'intentionally' straw manning anyone of course, but merely that the theist can respond that such a criticism is a strawman, a misrepresentation of their position.

Granted - but then we have the laws of logic problem: the Creator is bound by laws not of his making.

Exogen wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Again, the apologists' response that, "When we say God's omnipotent, we don't mean literally! (nervous laughter)" fails - miserably.

It depends on their response, for sure. All I'm saying is, I think when the theist responds that God cannot do what is logically impossible and that the logically impossible should not fall under omnipotence, they are only being reasonable. Some theists may claim otherwise, so all I'm saying here is, we need to categorize the theological differences accordingly.

Now, in response, you seem to say.

Dragan Glas wrote:With regard to Exogen's point, that the theists will say "God can only do what is logically possible", fails as well, since if God can only do what's logically possible, he is bound by the laws of logic.

Whence these laws, if God is the Creator Of All Things?

Ah, yes. The idea that he created the laws of logic. The theist has to respond here that God is co-eternal with these laws, as the transcendental account of logic via God becomes incoherent, given that God would logically pre-exist the laws in that he would be more primary. running into the contradiction that God is some entity with an essential nature which would be logical. Now theists differ here. Some may argue that the laws of logic are part of God's being, like for instance, some form of divine conceptualism. Others, might take a more Platonic approach and argue similarly to the Jewish Kabalah that there is an 'ein sof' which is a level even above God, to which logic and other a priori forms have their domain to which God 'looks to' echoing Plato's Timaeus here.

But that would not be acceptable to Abrahamists, who cleave to a single Creator - the idea that there's a "higher power", as it were.

This was the very thing that the early Christian Church sought to eradicate from Plato's cosmogony, as I explained regarding creatio ex nihilo..

Even if we have the laws of logic as "co-eternal" with a Creator, we've still taken a step back to Plato, from the perspective of the Christian version of a Creator.

Exogen wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:"External now"?

I understand, and accept, the rest of what you're saying but am not sure if you meant "eternal now".

So in the East, there is this notion of the 'eternal now.' This idea some think is an experience without time, but that is not accurate, in that it is not complete. The idea is that this experience without time, which some who practice deep meditation can achieve with enough practice, is 'one and the same' eternal now as well one is awake in one's normal life, though one may not and most do not take notice of it. For us, it is 'always' now, always the present.

So, this should have been "eternal now", not "external now" - am I correct?

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 2:18 pm
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