The debate "There can't exist a being which can do anything" was started by
March 6, 2015, 3:50 pm.
35 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 24 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.
Blindness posted 1 argument, I_Voyager posted 21 arguments, Cody posted 3 arguments, frozen_emily posted 2 arguments, danielle posted 10 arguments to the agreers part.
PsychDave posted 12 arguments to the disagreers part.
Blindness, I_Voyager, Hjkp98, mdavis1309, Cody, frozen_emily, liamjosephcash, danielle, Tassja, Hollister_boy, Getmurked, misfitcarrot, ms_open_mind and 22 visitors agree.
braxton414, PsychDave, renatus8993, zlatanera, TmlxIss2cool, Raydiff3r, theRighteousBro, Kirito, ItsMateo, Ormazul, PathwayHomeFan and 13 visitors disagree.
If that was addressed to me, I have been thinking about it, and I can't fault your logic.
The one thing I think that separates our views of that you seem to see God's knowledge of the outcome of events as invasive (taking away or rendering moot an individual's free will) whereas I see it more as a parallel. God knows what is going to happen, but unless he intervenes it is/was our choice what to do. I tend to think of the Christian God like a behavioral scientists observing us. As we move through the maze, from the top view the outcome of every decision is visible, but without intervention it is up to us to navigate ourselves. If one does intervene in behavioral research, it renders the outcome useless since you have invalidated the experiment. There are times when that is preferable (if the subject is so lost they are at risk of starving to death) but for the most part the responsible thing to do is let the subject decide their own path to determine the outcome. I know the comparison to a rat in a maze isn't a flattering one and I doubt many religious leaders would embrace my analogy, but that is how I view the Christian God. A cosmic researcher who set up his experiment (the universe) defined his variables for sorting (good/evil), and defined the outcomes based on those variables (heaven /hell).
I was wondering if you thought anything more about my arguments? I'm no mathematician, but I think I was adequately describing the phenomenon in a consistent manner.
Hey that's fine. It's good to explore reality. If you want to get into some really interesting intelligent design theory which is more solid than most religious intelligent design, look up "pandeism" on youtube. Deism alone is the idea that there is a god/creator/deity, but we don't know anything about it at all. Pandeism is similar, except that the deity IS the universe, evolving into itself as god.
I think what's interesting is if you really explore all these topics, you'll find out they've all been discussed in pretty analytical detail for thousands of years. Some arguments used today were constructed in 400 BCE. And what's even more interesting is that all the roots of the sciences that we have today are just as old, and both evolved over a long and historical conversation.
okay I see that's what I confused about who was on what side, I guess the reason I dont believe in god is because I love science and biology and evolution etc, however I do sometimes think that the world is so perfect could there be some sort of intelligent design, but even then I dont believe in a 'god' as such, I would even consider aliens over god but then I suppose that brings up the question of how they were created...
It's okay Danielle. I've got plenty of weaknesses too. Life is about identifying them, and compensating for them by doing the opposite of what the weakness impels us to do. At least, that's the meaning I've given my life ;)
The basics of this has to do with the way religion justifies itself. I don't believe in god either. But it helps to know why you don't believe in god, because if you're wrong, it's a big thing to be wrong about. And if you're right, it's good to know why so when people challenge you, you can explain why.
One major Christian argument is that god has all knowledge. Another is that we have free will. Christians say free will is the ability to make a choice with your soul, and not because you have to. You and I both don't believe in god, so we believe in a world where we make choices for reasons. If a man puts a gun to your head, you'll make a choice because of that. If you're a Christian, you'll say that you'd make a free choice and so might even choose to die for god, where we'd say "our brain is making a decision based on logic".
I am arguing that "free will", in that way of thinking of it, means nothing but me is making the choice. So if only I am making the choice, and the choice isn't made yet, god cannot know of my choice, because it's not determined yet. I'm arguing that this disproves god.
Psychdave is refuting me. He is claiming that because I'm autonomous of god, then god can know of my choice, and I can still make it uninfluenced by god.
I am rebutting with mathematical logic. Unfortunately, math is an abstraction. But basically I'm saying: God made the natural universe, then from the universe came history, and the natural laws plus history conspire to make the present, and the present influences me to make a decision, but he interjects with miracles and my soul interjects with free will, but the end result is the same - a choice which becomes history again. So it's a feedback-loop of cause and effect, all of which god must know, and since he set it in motion, he made sinners to go to hell. So god is illogical and cannot exist as the Christians define him.
btw i didnt mean to be snappy boredom and lack of patience are my weakness so I guess you were right about boredom being a weakness
well I haven't read through it all thoroughly but my first instinct when I saw this topic was "is god real or not" basically yet I'm reading or sort if scanning but i dont see much to do with god. I'm seeing equations but cant work out what they mean? :)
Yeah, metaphors are sometimes a lot better for the people making them and not for the spectator. Why don't you point out some examples of what you don't understand? I can try to make it more clear, but I don't want to start explaining anything before I know what you don't understand. Otherwise I'll just start saying a bunch of stuff that might be irrelevant. Don't worry about the metaphorical parts, where we're just using those as examples of what happens when a god does something in relation to non-gods.
yeah I that's true I know what you mean, it's hard to distinguish between boredom and irritation
I'm not having ago at you, I was just saying that I was bored of this conversation probably because I dont understand what anyone's talking about somehow Star Trek and lord of the rings creeped in there and there's some sums I'm not sure what they mean :/
I guess I do get bored of stuff I think is crap all the time, or stuff which I repeatedly experience and find to be crap. But it's hard to tell if I get bored, or just pissed off.
I don't know what to say, I didn't design the app. Stop paying attention? Ask the app designer to add a "stop following this argument" button? Uninstall the app?
You're right about it being irrelevant to increase interest in what is untrue, although my interest lies in proving those things wrong, so more people are right in the world. And of course many human emotions are weaknesses.
don't tell me you never get bored of something!
I dont believe in god, therefore I think no. and I can't just increase my interest in something I'm not interested in, boredom is not a weakness Its a human emotion and I have been getting notifications for this same debate for days now and it's getting on my nerves now
Then increase your interest in this conversation by weighing in on the arguments being made. Boredom is a weakness you resolve by way of discipline and effort, and the fact of its prominence in society says something about the quality of minds the western world churns out with its method.
I have to say I am getting very bored of getting notifications for this particular debate!
In fact, here's a better logic. God creates the natural laws to propell forward II's at every given moment in time, to produce Nx, modified by Sy to output Dz.
Natural Events = NAt
Historical Past = Hu
Immediate Inputs = IIv
Miracle Inputs = Mw
Neurological Response = Nx
Souls Modification = Sy
Directional Output = Dz
God's knowledge = all true values.
God's Creation = NAt+Hu, where the values of t and u are always increasing over time, but in which there is a maximum number which includes all events from beginning to end. Every immediate input results from the equation somewhere. Crudely that might be described:
(NAt+Hu) = IIv
Under natural circumstances:
God may interject after IIv with Mw, and the soul might interject with Sy, to produce a different value for Dz. So,
(IIv+Mw)+(Nx+Sy) = Dz
Dz is always still a fixed outcome of a given equation, and god must know when every subset of events will produce D1 or D2, so he is always responsible for every case of D2.
Also, you should become more familiar with Middle Earth. Tolkein was an amazing writer. Listen to the unabridged audio book of Lord of the Rings read by Rob Ingles. I've read a lot of stuff, and I really love Tolkeins prose style. Ingles really brings it out, capturing every song-like moment, and they are so frequent. I'm not a skilled enough reader to catch all of what he does on my own. But it's a great world.
As for 40K, I'm obsessed with it. But objectively, it's not that great. It's better as a game in sharpening your tactical and strategic logic. Mythological, it's just got a lot going on so if you prefer quantity over quality it's great, but if you're looking for gold, it only really glitters sometimes.
In the case of Star Trek, that is true, except in so far as non-linear entities are concerned. Q influences reality to save humanity from itself in order to show them the unlimited possibilities of reality, how that's the true exploration, and not just the charting of stars and wormholes (which relates to the "Science has moved beyond the study of physical objects). But since it's more directly relevant to your analogy, here's a better TNG reference:
I would argue that it is not removing their free will; it is proving the free will an untrue concept. It is proving the fact of determination and determinability, so it is making equal every choice with every other material resolution, where a choice is just a neurological event, no more free to do that thing than a star is to burn or the universe is to expand, and no more or less likely to go in any direction except the one it is and will be going. "Choice" just becomes a material subset word to explain the neurological reaction to stimulus. Given two possible direction.
Ix = input (x is the individual case of input)
Ny = Neurological Equation (y is the individual)
Dz = Directional Response (z is the specific direction)
If the time-traveller/AI goes back in time or calculates the present and looks at our "choices", the equation would be:
Let's say god creates the universe. Prior to the creation, he knows his own rules. He declares "D2 is the road to salvation.", "D1 is punishable with eternal hellfire." At the moment of creation he thinks about your part in it and concludes, knowledgeably, "Ix+Ny=D1."
In order for you to have free-will, there must be a soulful property outside of the mathematical equation which can interject and say "Despite Ix and Ny, the answer is D2".
But if god has already concluded that "Ix+Ny=D1", and the conclusion is D2, he must be wrong, or else your soul cannot modify the equation and his conclusion is true.
Logically, all this must conclude: there is no free will. There is "Ix+Ny=Dz".
Danielle, according to the Bible, we were made in God's image, not made to be gods. A photo is made in your image, but it doesn't capture everything about you. It looks like you, but it has none of your personality, your voice, or even your looks from another perspective. A statue is made in the image of the model, but no matter how perfect it is not a second model.
Voyager, I am not going to address all of those because I am not familiar enough with either the Middle Earth or Warhammer methos to be able to do them justice.
For the time traveler, if he travels back in time to observe you, but does not reveal himself to you, has he taken away your free will? You still have every but of autonomy you had and he has in no way influenced your free will. Despite that, he knows every decision you will make since to him it has already happened. Does the fact that to him it is predetermined take away your choice and if so, how?
A similar parallel could be made to the Q in Star Trek. They exist outside of space and time and see space as non-linear. To them, the future is as much an open book as the past. Does this mean that the entirety of the Star Trek universe is without any free will?
For your computer analogy, God can influence us, and has by giving commandments, miracles and Jesus. He has, however, said that he will not micromanage us. We have the autonomy to make our own decisions. If your theoretical computer does not actively influence people's decisions, it merely observes them, is it by virtue of observation, removing their free will?
I suggest going to the link I sent you and reading "Compatibilist responses to theological fatalism" in order to have within yourself all the historical responses that those with your same view (free will and predetermination are compatible with each other) have made so you can make a better claim. At this moment, I feel like you're just trying to make disconnected logical continuity without any good justification, though you feel strongly that you are justified. I think I've made a strong case for the continuity of events and choices. I don't feel you fully understand the premise of soulful free will. But I think, by the end of that reading you'll be more armed to confront my arguments then I will be to defend against yours.
In Warhammer 40K, all living souls resound in a realm called The Warp, which is like a tide of churning unreality. The emotions which reverberate from our souls form thought-entities, and as humanity conquers the galaxy and becomes so large, so too does his emotions form gods of bloodlust, pleasure, decay and magic. From that realm us, and other entities still can channel the warp into reality to the effect of magic, which includes the ability to foretell the future. Among the most gifted in the art of foretelling are an elf-like race called the Eldar. But even the greatest of them is seeing the "skeins of fate", innumerable possibilities which they can follow thousands of years into the future. Possible futures which coalesce into a certain future. But even the greatest of them can be wrong, because the future is not predetermined, it is a sea of possibility, and the gods themselves do not know sometimes which choice is going to be made, so from time to time those destined to evil do good, and those destined to good do evil.
In Ancient Greek mythology, the Fates are weaving the destiny of all men. Every death is appointed, every action accounted for, and Zeus alone knows all. No human knows his fate, save for Achilles because the gods have come to him to tell him he may either live a long and forgotten life, or die young, a hero, remembered forever. He has choice, for the gods have interrupted the thread of fate and told him of two futures which he may select from. The oracles too can foretell the future, in the case of Oedipus they tell him he is doomed to sleep with his mother. He spends his whole life trying to avoid this fate, but achieves it by trying to avoid it, because the facts of his life are predetermined by the gods, and no humans in any of Greek mythology can escape that fact. It is the same with Islam, where Allah accounts for all things, and we are but slaves. He has made us blind if we do not believe, and the believers are thus a different race, Muslims, because they see the righteousness of the path. Since all is per-ordained, those who believed and stopped believing were never indeed believers, just liars, and as with us Allah increased the poison in their hearts.
I think we are having the same problem with each other then, because I cannot see how it would follow that there could both be predetermination and free will. Even in the case of the time traveler, time is a fixed event and all those choices which would be made are the only choices which would be made. In any event, what if the time traveler did alter history? Which is as close as he'll come to creating history. Another sci-fi conundrum. If humans making a choice is a predictable event, it can be calculated. If you have an AI of enough sophistication, it could model the world of men and predict every choice. If he is wrong, and some choice is made he could not predict, despite a flawless accounting of all nature, we could say humans make choices free of any determinism. But if the AI always successfully predicts the actions of humans, then all that can happen are those subset actions, and those "choices" are indistinguishable from natural events. And if the AI then sends out a bunch of signals over the internet or whatever which modifies the actions of all humans in order to achieve a desired outcome, and that outcome includes the punishment of some people for a crime that they've committed, then we can rightly blame the AI for having deliberately made those men commit those crimes.
Eru Ilúvatar is the deity creator of Middle Earth. He begins in a vast hall. He is singing a song, and grows weary of singing it alone. He creates the Valinor, and imparts upon them each some knowledge of the whole song, but not any of them know the whole song. Each one by one sing their song, so that they might learn from each other. But one Valinor, Melkor, or Morgoth, seeks to learn as much about the song as he can in order to modify the song and create his own. He steals the power of the Light in order to produce the song of the shadow, but as he rises into disharmonic tones Eru Ilúvatar always turns the song around upon him, because Eru Ilúvatar knows the whole song and as hard as Melkor tries to do otherwise, even his disharmonic tones are part of the song which Eru Ilúvatar, the opera of light and shadow.
if we are made in god's image and we can't do everything then neither can god. although I dont believe in god SCIENCE ALL THE WAY!!!
Why do you add without predetermination? Why would it be incompatible that your soul let's you make decisions, but God knows what those decisions will be? That is the part of your argument that I think is where we are failing to connect. I don't see how God knowing what you will decide in any given situation takes away your ability to make the decision.
A parallel could be made to someone traveling back in time, but not altering history. The time traveler knows what people will decide as well as everything that will happen because, to them, it has already happened. But by not influencing history, they are still allowing people to make their decisions as they choose to, rather than forcing a different choice on them. Until relative time catches up to the point when the time traveler left into the past, everything is predetermined from their perspective. That does not take away choices from everyone else, it simply means that the time traveler has access to information that others do not and is respecting their right to determine their own choices without outside interference.
Also, I wrote additional stuff, but it appears not to be posted so... Here's to re-writing stuff...
What you're talking about is the materialist and psychological condition of choice, as it's analyzed, not as it's presented theologically. If we both agree we live in a material universe of forces in motion, then we have a limited conditional will that responds to inputs with a neurological method to produce an appropriate output. But if the Christian god exists, then I have a soul, and that soul is an essence that exists prior to natural law. It is the source of my free-will, and theological free will is the ability to make a choice without being bound to natural law, determinism of any kind, threat of pain, torture, etc... So that I can make the choice to suffer and die righteously, or live in vain pleasure as a sinner, without predeterminism.
Here is a Standford essay on the subject:
Just to wet your appetite:
"Fatalism is the thesis that human acts occur by necessity and hence are unfree. Theological fatalism is the thesis that infallible foreknowledge of a human act makes the act necessary and hence unfree. If there is a being who knows the entire future infallibly, then no human act is free."
It's an old conversation which has been going on for millenia. Are we free or contained within an equation? Is a choice freely made, or conditional?
My knowing the outcome of a choice does not take away the choice. A choice is a decision between two or more options. Unpredictability is not part of the definition. If I ask you if you would rather receive a dollar or be shot in the knee, you are obviously going to take the dollar. It is still a choice. Could you provide a link to support your definition that foreknowledge negates a choice?
How not? How is a choice which is per-determined still a choice? By it's definition, a choice is an undetermined event. Matter does not choose to move. It moves. I can have foreknowledge of its motion if I study a body of matter hard enough. My knowledge foretells reality, where it can. If you can foretell my choice, it is not a choice, but a predetermined event, and I have no choice but to do that one thing.
Why does your choice require God to not know the outcome? If I know that you intend to commit a crime, that foreknowledge does not mean that I have taken that choice from you.
The former is fine. The latter however, I ask you, how not? If I have a choice, I can make any of the choices in a set of possibilities. The given choice is not certain, I may chose any of those paths, but which I will choose is not certain until I make the choice. That is what a choice is. An uncertainty which becomes true in the moment and moves onto the past. But a knowledge IS certain. How can there be a certain knowledge possessed by the creator a priori of creation and so-too of my action and where-by I still experience an uncertain, undefined posteriori choice?I
ask this of you in this exact manner. The language here is specific; I want not a vague quantum condition or musing about the possibilities of any gods or goddesses we may fancy to give any qualia, but for these questions to be answered in the context of god the father's self-description. If god knew all prior to creation, he knew every possible choice I could make - and the specific choice I would make - given that he knew every event and choice which would conspire to that point in my time, and knowing all of this, every event, every possibility, every certain chance, every possible world in every brane of the whole sea of strings in which the multiverse thrums, and still made this world with the fact of my eternal damnation, made this world this way and not some other way whereby I could learn the lessons correctly and act accordingly. This is not a god who lacked a knowledge, and so by doing so created a universe in which I could learn lessons from the uncertainty of my own decisions and judge me accordingly. This is not a god of whom ignorance of my choice can warrant his benevolent teaching and guidance.
This god knows, and has this knowledge prior to creation, therefore he has knowingly condemned every sinner to hell, and I challenge you to demonstrate otherwise in a way which is logically consistent with the constraints of the description of the Christian god, without just saying "maybe he knows and doesn't know" or "maybe he covers his eyes". He is one complete entity, and we are one objective reality, and if he's given us free will, he mustn't be able to interfere in our choice, which means he cannot design reality to a specific standard, which means he cannot know the standard, which means he lacks a knowledge and is not omnipotent. Disseminate the threads of logic, don't just disregard them at a shrug or with a claim to fallacy where there is none.
You seem to find the idea that a good God could give us the ability to do bad things inconceivable. We have free will to decide if we will do good things or bad. God, being omniscient, knows what we will do, but that knowledge doesn't take away our choice.
If we're talking about ANY god, you're probably right. And I'm fine with deism and pandeism and their like, theologies which speculate at a deity that hasn't revealed itself to us for whatever reason. That god might have any qualia, any motivations, any limitations or strengths. I cannot dispel an undefined entity, nor can I even define it, so I'm willing to even accept it as possibly plausible.
But the Christian god IS defined, as a wholely good, omnipotent, caring and transcendent creator. He isn't limited to or definable by my imagination; either his prophets revelations are true, or false. If true, and god is good, and omnipotent, he can't create a random number generator which is random to him.
I can, even though a computer's random number generator is never random. It APPEARS random because I have a tool which can compute faster than I can think or calculate. But I could build a faster computer which could predict the random algorithm of a slower computer before the slower computer outputs the random number. If I want a REAL random number generator, I have to rely on some kind of extra data, like picking up atmospheric noise and selecting random events there-in. Even then, the fact of it being random is only because I cannot completely perceive those events. I am impotent (don't tell my girlfriend) to determine the event. Big G, judeo-Christian-Islamic god loves me, and made me a sinner, and he knew I'd be born and act when he made the universe, because he has declared himself to be all knowing and all powerful. He is transcendent and looks upon the universe from the outside (according to Christian theology), therefore, he is malicious, since malice is willing harm on people. He willed a universe into being in which some beings would inevitably burn in hell.
Any creator may or may not do that, for any reason, and not break itself in some logic loop. Any creator might have any limitations. This universe might be the only one it could create. Suffering might happen because it doesn't care, or even know about us. Who knows. Maybe the universe IS god evolving into consciousness, and we're just a reflection of that systematic evolution, and so these temporary lives are only subjectively important because we have a desire to live, but we always rejoin the greater birthing consciousness and grant to it our unit of conscious experience. But the Christian god is defined and dissectable. I can dissect any defined god-concept.
I love when people apply circular logic and say "Because this straw man I am creating is fragile, you can't be right!" Your logic falls apart because you are assuming can do something means must do something. If God gave us free will, but knows what we will decide, that doesn't take the decision away from us. How does us making a decision limit God?
Beyond that, we can already write programs that create outcomes we did not input. Random number generators, predictive algorithms, etc. How do you figure you know enough to say that a theoretical deity wouldn't know how to do the same?
If there is a God who is capable of calling an entire universe into existence, I doubt they are limited by your imagination.
If god is entirely righteous, and cannot fail, and is transcendant and omnipotent, how can he create a whole world from beginning to end (since he observes time from outside time) filled with beings whom he punishes given certain choices, without firstly not knowing thise choices, and so lacking in something and sacrificing the fact of hos own omnipotence?
Either we have free will and god has limitations and cannot know why or when we will sin, or god made sinners to sin and burn and he is wicked. Either way, we disprove any biblical or quaranic claims of what god is, and are forced to say either the deity exists outside those faiths and is of a whollely different theology, or there is no deity and existence is just the fact of existence.
So you have asked God about it? You know what God is made of? Define the righteousness that God is made up of. Is it a particle, a field? Give us something to work with other than platitudes.
so if god cannot fail surely he is failing to fail so therefore failing???? everyone has some failure plus can we say god is a good argument due to the controversial matters of god being real or not???
Not God. It is not possible. Can you choose to be a Gorilla. No. Well God is Righteous and cannot choose to be unrighteous. God is made up of Righteousness.
Failure is am outcome, not an action. Why would God not be able to choose to fail? Anyone is able to intentionally fail.
God cannot fail. it is impossible. He does not have the choice to.
name one person who can do everything? noone! exactly! noone can do everything. no one is perfect!
Failing isn't an action, it is a result. And what exactly is your basis for saying God can't fail? If there is a being who is all powerful, what makes you think they would lack the ability to decide to fail? If you can decide to throw a test, what makes you think God couldn't. Can't and chooses not to are different things.
God can't do everything. He can't fail. Therefore, he can't do everything.
I'm not saying there is a creator deity as I have yet to see any proof of one. My response was based on the question why would a deity who can create a universe out of nothing and populate that universe with stars, planets, and every other manner of matter be bound by rules about what kind of matter to fill it with? In this universe, everything being composed entirely of lobster is absurd, but so is the idea of simply willing a universe into existence. If a being exists that can will a universe into existence, I doubt they have restrictions on what they can fill said universe with. Where would these restrictions come from? They have already demonstrated that they can create boulders, so if they chose to create nothing but boulder, what would stop them?
I don't know, I think this is probably true. If there was a deity then, like reality, it would obey its specific rules. But there doesn't seem likely to be a deity. Even so, the deity probably has limitations related to its nature. Maybe the deity can lift a boulder too heavy for it to lift by some quantum complication. But that doesn't mean it could create a universe which is entirely composed of lobsters and nothing else.
I don't know that there is an omnipotent being, but if there is they wouldn't be bound by your imagination. If the deity created a boulder that was infinitely large, it would occupy every point in space, therefore lifting it up is impossible because there is no up to lift it into. The fact that you can't conceptualize something doesn't make it impossible. The vast majority of people can't grasp how gravity works, but that doesn't mean they float into space.
If it can exist it can't create a boulder which it cannot lift thus creating a paradox therefore such being can't exist.