The debate "God is imaginary" was started by
July 19, 2015, 3:30 pm.
66 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 72 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
It looks like most people are against to this statement.
I_Voyager posted 11 arguments, thelogos posted 1 argument to the agreers part.
Red posted 1 argument, thelogos posted 6 arguments, DerpedLocke posted 3 arguments, PsychDave posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.
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Sorry for posting two long comments in a row, but I feel the need to address I_Voyager's good point.
I believe you are sidestepping the actual definition of "free will". If I attempt to jump off a building and try to fly, is my failure an example of the Laws of Nature restricting my free will? No. But here's a better example. If I put a test subject in a hypothetical scenario in which he must choose to enter Door A, Door B, or Door C, is my control of the experiment or the subject's free will compromised? Of course not. Here is what Christians believe (I apologize for contextualizing this debate through one theological standpoint): When God created the universe, He gave his creations a "bracket", if you will, of possible choices and the outcomes based on said choices. Christian apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias gives this example in a couple of his lectures: One man bowed down to God and said, "Father, your will be done". Another man refused to bow before God. God said, "Okay, YOUR will be done". Therefore, Omniscience and Free Will are not mutually exclusive outcomes.
PsychDave, my point is that, most of the time, arguments are brought up that convey nothing new. For example, the "Skyhook vs. Crane" argument, or the "Christian's have been historically violent (crusades, Inquisition, etc.)". Not to say that there is never nothing new, of course. My point was that rhetoric often kills what would be a compelling intellectual spar in many cases. Of course we should continue the debate. Just bring something new up, debaters of both sides.
I am agnostic, meaning I don't know of if God exists or not, but I had to choose a side to comment.
Just because a question has been debated for millennia doesn't mean we should stop discussing it. The idea of God has been central to so much of history and society that it is still important that we talk about it today. We don't need to have a winner for a topic to be relevant.
Guys... this question has existed for MILLENNIA... Neither side has been utterly destroyed and accepted the other as true. I refuse to add to the pool of rhetoric and already-asked questions and already-given answers. Yeah, I believe that God exists. Deal with it, Smart One.
I missed the first question.
If I created the thing according to my design and to achieve my will, then I would have certainly acted on my predictive knowledge when creating it. Otherwise I would be ignoring my predictive knowledge and designing the thing to accomplish it's own goal free of my will. In this case it would resemble something other than that which I may predict it to be. Which would mean it's choices, deterministic or otherwise, would not be infringed upon by creating it. I may still be responsible for what it does due to having caused it, but in the second degree.
Or I could be ignorant of the thing when I create it and then learn everything about it as it acts. But that thing could not achieve my design without myself then assuming control of it and directing it to do so (unless it did so spontaneously, but that's not going to happen every time without a clockwork design and a clockwork design isn't free will). Which brings us back to the problem of omniscience and omnipotence and willing design conspiring against free will. For it to freely achieve my goal, I must allow myself a degree of ignorance in it's creation and not will it's decisions by design or control. I can accomplish it, I am the programmer, but not without obstructing free will or at some point relent omniscience, omnipotence or design goals.
I'm neither interested in nor comfortable with exploring my personal life with you. I don't trust you. I will leave it to say I didn't pursue her but was pursued, and didn't know her before hand or expect to engage in a relationship with her. But I won't go into any further details about my personal life; don't ask those questions. I don't trust you.
"If I made an AI which to think and to choose, the capacity it would have to act a certain way rightly and according my aim would probly make it proportionate to my predictive knowledge of its program."
Would you say it is possible to have a predictive knowledge of its program of the future and not act upon that predictive knowledge when creating it?
So did you or did you not choose to love her and pursue her? Yes or no, it's not that hard of a question I_Voyager.
If I made an AI which was to think and choose, the capacity it would have to act a certain way rightly and according to my aim would probably be proportionate to my predictive knowledge of it's program. I might construct a self-modifying heuristic algorithm and with great effort explain the mathematical movements which will occur, assuming I am controlling the input to the heuristics as well and to an equal degree. After all, I would knowingly place it's experiences in a certain order and the computer language in another and I would know how those pieces move eachother to a point. If my purpose was to generate a thing which fulfilled my design in that way then I would have all those things ordered to my design and while it fulfull that we can see the program is on auto-pilot, like a mathematical equation which achieves victory in Mario with nothing but computational responses.
We could say then it achieves predictable results in so far as it does; but if it is smarter than me, or it thinks faster than me, it may exceed me. If it exceeds me I cannot predict it's growth or change and it is choosing things I could not have determined. Though these things may have still been predictable such as by the superior intelligence it creates next. There is only one possibility that could extend it's consciousness into the unpredictable and therefore the apparently free of will, and that's a quantum approach to computation. It may occur within neurons and it may not. It will definitely occur in computers shortly. But even this "free will" would be limited by it's scope on a computational level. And it would certainly exceed me. So long as the observation barrier was true then I would have a barrier of predictability hardwired into the facts of reality. But if I were a greater being unhinged from such things, even that qbit would fit according to my design and either produce love, or not produce love, as I knew it would or would not.
As for my love, choosing to give the chance of love to someone doesn't always result in falling in love. Sometimes after several months of trying to love someone, you fail and you move on. Sometimes it occurs over years. And sometimes you fall in love without expecting it and it lasts longer! It is as if there is some kind of developmental and reactionary process which causes it to have strong emotional influence over the self, or not, given certain kinds of stimulation and not dependent on choice per se.
Question, did you choose to extend that love and to pursue growing love to her in the first place?
A simple question to all that you have said, do you think it's possible to create something which thinks and leave a capacity for it choose? That the beginning brain is not started with the future of what it must be but is a blank slate for what it wants to be?
Love is a central Christian dogma; it's appropriate to bring it up. No justification required.
Why does love require free will? People fall in love against their will all the time. I can't choose not to be in love. Love just happened, and now is present. And when I want not to love someone it may still be there, and in fact takes time to fade away. In fact this happened to me when I was cheated on. I could not choose freely to not be in love. It took literally years for the remnants of those feelings to fade, and months for the active elements to dissipate.
You insist that a perfect being merely would succeed in creating an agent of free love. Between this and your rejection of god creating an illogical reality there seems to be contradiction with each other... For you say the love of god would necessitate free will, therefore god has created a logical reality. But there is no logic yet, you simply state logic is implied by the need for love to necessitate free will. I would argue that very need disproves god, because god can only knowingly create some humans who love him and other humans who don't. They fulfill those conditions; he knows they will; he designs them for that purpose.
Habeas Corpus. Produce the body. Show me the logic exists and don't just say it must exist, because it mustn't.
Your illustration would make sense if we were ment to shoot and kill people. You bring up the Bible and the Bible would be clear that God has made us for him to love him.
The thing about love in this sense is that God could have made humans to do exactly what he wanted and made them love him. but that would be false love for love in it's essence has to be a free choice.
Now if the computer programmer wanted this turret to think and love him he would have to make the turret to where it chooses freely. If he could not do that without programming it too force the machine to love him then he has failed and is not perfect like we have insinuated.
In essence the programmer could make the turret do exactly what he has programmed it to do but it could not love him for that requires free will.
In order for the programmer to program to turret to have true love for him then he would have to make the turret decide on It's own for in order for real love to exist it has to be freely chosen.
This is not illogical but shows that this programmer would have to follow logic!
If the programmer was to have an illogical reality he could program it to have real love for him. but just as a triangle has 3 side and if you take one side away it is no longer a triangle the same is with love and free will.
If you take the free will out of love then it can no longer logically be such.
(I bring love up to conversation because turrets have their purpose and we have ours so the programming would be different)
Well, in the latter case of materialism it'd be because I'd have no choice. Whether or not I trust a thing, I trust the thing. It'd be the fact of the matter. The fact of the matter repeats itself and stems from some pretty firm metaphysical self-fulfilling conditions. If I experienced a truly unpredictable world where mechanics couldn't happen I might have the impulse not to trust my reality. But reality really resembles what I expect it to look like while living in it.
None the less it's argued that god designs the world. If god can design our will and how it manifests, then god also decides what will happen. For a design is a decision and an action. You seem to be appealing to the fallacy of special pleading. You don't want this to be the case so you're creating circular arguments to make compatible two incompatible ideas. It is as if the bible says "God made all things to be red" and I am telling you there is a blue sky, and you are pleading "Just because god made all things to be red doesn't mean there can't be blue."
I need you to demonstrate how an omniscient entity, knowingly creates something and it's action, to the T of his design, without choosing so for the sake of the design. You need to show me how a computer programmer could program all the parts to a gun turret, and when the gun turret fires and kills someone, it's the turret's fault because the programmer didn't decide that the gun would shoot. And you need to do it with a perfect programmer who made no mistakes and had perfect knowledge about that gun's process and designed it to do exactly what he wanted it to do. If you insert "the gun chose to shoot" you have to reconcile that with "the programmer designed the program which chooses, to choose to shoot given those specific parameters."
Otherwise we're not having a conversation. You're just unwilling to accept logic.
I still do not see a problem with even a situation like that. If the creator as such even does create a universe where He knows such. It is not God deciding what he wants us to do and is gonna make us do it no matter what but it is the creator deciding to choose a reality in which we choose A instead of B. He does not make us choose A or B but having foreknowledge and middle knowledge he knows what we will do and what we would do in any possible situation which none of what I have just explained takes away free will.
And if materialism is true and determinism is true upon which we have no free will then how could you trust the logic you are using to affirm that which what you have just said is true?
The problem isn't solely the problem of having omniscience of something relating to will, so much as having so and also being the creator. I can imagine two entities: a passive omniscient observer, and a participatory omniscient creator. The first entity has a knowledge of something occurring outside himself which he doesn't control. However it knows what will happen, the knowledge is something outside himself, which means free choice might still be able to exist as some fluid thing which was not determined, but by the virtue of happening, is known.
The creator however has additional parts like, he knows what will happen on this earth if it doesn't exist. He knows what could happen if there were other humans on another earth. He knows what forces and factors lead to Booth killing Lincoln. And he makes him to do that thing because it suits his design. He designs it by his knowledge. So the creation is made to fulfill the creator's knowledge. In this case, John Wilks Booth could not necessarily not shoot Lincoln. This is because god intended for Licoln to die in that way. Otherwise he would make a universe where Licoln lives because Booth doesn't shoot him. He could not create a universe where he does not know which will do it and John Wilks Booth decides to do it only because he chooses to and not for any other reasons.
The other possibility, which makes more sense, is that materialism occurs in predictable patterns and ultimately there is no free will. Though there may be a degree of quantum uncertainty that cannot be known, which means observational barriers may be a universal true. If we have "choice" it might be rooted there in an indeterminate quantum state, but not necessarily, and therefore we may necessarily have no free will. And even so that "free will" would be "as free as it could be". Otherwise what we may have is limited, conditional will in an uncreated world which is part of what's happening.
I don't understand how it seem logically incoherent for God to know what one does without protruding on the will of the human. Just because God has foreknowledge does not mean it takes our will away.
For example (the example will of course be imperfect and not capture the wholeness of the idea but it will capture what we are discussing at this moment), We know that John Wilks Booth killed Abraham Lincoln, so does that mean because I know he did that and it is unchangeable that John Wilks Booth did not have a choice? No. He had a choice, a free choice and just because someone knows a free choice someone is going to make does not make it any less free.
Also, I do not believe God would be able to do the logically incoherent. I don't think God can make a 3 sided triangle or create a married bachelor.
I can accept that you wouldn't accept those counter argument, surely. There are as many perspectives as people.
The only way he could do it s by adjusting the laws of logic to make coherent those two properties. Yet in this universe, logic appears to tell us two different things "My will is free of determination until I make a choice" doesn't follow "God predetermines all things with knowledge of it." If god adjusted the laws of logic to make these things relate, then a mechanism would exist which provides a logical connection. He could do it. He could make it arguable that 2+2=5. If we cannot argue that 2+2=5, then he mustn't have adjusted logic to include that argument. Ditto for my claim.
The counter argument that your past opponent has given you is an arugument I would not even agree with myself.
And I find it hard to understand how one could see the Omniscience of God and human free will are incoherent with each other. I see it that if God is Omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent then this God could very well give humans free will to do what they choose to do.
This is just one example in long series' of debates I've had on this forum and elsewhere over god. Regardless of the arguments brought up by the theological there are always incompatibilities with or unexplored aspects of reality which force, repeatedly, a fall back maneuver to one of three positions: a rejection of reality, a rejection of logic, or a rejection of evidence. If this fails then the debater either flees with one last flawed argument they'll never respond to, or they conclude there's no changing their or our minds despite that they're the ones rejecting logic and truth. It's never questioned that the bible itself might not be a divinely inspired text instead of, as it seems, just a book written by men to codify their experiences with a political revolutionary whose mythological components were just extensions of the historically recent revolts of Simon of Perea.
Which is ultimately the flaw with religion. It doesn't challenge itself. It sets up certain paradigms which circularly lead back to accepting the faith. The religious seldom move, back up their views emotionally and retreat when assailed too strongly. The method of the religious is strategy. Not an appeal to truth. Nor do the strongly religious use meritorious conversational methods... They instead try to lasso people into territories which verify their views. They say "Are you X? and when you say "Well, I'm specifically Y." they'll ignore it and say "But you're X, right?" in order to construct some flimsy argument relating intellectual principles with objectivity.
I'm not sure I concur. I've heard a lot of the arguments for specific gods and the only one which ever hit me as plausible was the stance "pandeism is possible". Many theological arguments rationalizing their belief in the real world seem dependent on mixing and matching things without really exploring them. These strategic maneuvers seldom resemble a "coherent" argument, and when they conflict against coherent counter arguments the theological seem to have to fall back on a select few philisophical perspectives which enable these views. These are usually a rejection of evidence, a rejection of reality and a rejection of logic. I make these claims not out of the vacuum of disbelief, but out of the continuous debates I've engaged in these past couple years.
Take for instance the problems of theological fatalism, where god's omniscience is demonstrably incompatible with the concept of free will. In one case the counter argument I was given to redeem god's inability to influence free will despite his omniscience was because he was a slave to his own nature, invalidating the principle that he was omnipotent. He was impotent before himself like a whirlpool which is great in power yet powerless before it's own motion. In another case it was argued that our actions are unknowable. An adjustment to omniscience to fit with this was that omniscience is to know all that there is to know. If a quantity is unknowable then god would not know it. This too defeats gods omnipotence since suddenly god is impotent to know these things, when in fact knowledge must be an external quality that he created and therefore governs. He would know all things about his creation. Otherwise he could not create it. Which makes this theory incompatible with the argument "A complex creation requires an intelligent creator who knows about it's creation." A third argument was to state that this wouldn't be illogical because god creates logic. This isn't a horrible argument, except that logic is essentially that which works out and is consistent with itself; non-contradictory values and/or values which occur are logical. If god were to change the state of things so a hithertoo illogical statement became logical, then it would work out if explored. Suddenly one would have a reason why 2+2=5. Yet there is no logical mechanism available to resolve the problem of theological fatalism, though there could and would have been if god was sure to set these values as logically compatible.
If by imaginary one means a social or mental construct of a being which does not exist in the actual world then I would I have to disagree and say God does exist and is not imaginary. The arguments for the existence God are more coherent than the arguments against the existence of God. The belief in God better explains for the way things are versus the non belief in God.
Difficult to distinguish between the two, since the spirit seems to be where the imagination resides.
spiritual being for believers. imaginary for unbeliever.
It can certainly be argued that the gods of religions are imaginary.