Christian God, Impossible? FTW!

Discussions about the possibility of consciousness, free will, spirits, deities, religions and so on, and how these might interact with time travel, the Big Bang, many worlds and so on.

Are you Christian or Athiest?

Christian
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28%
Athiest
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50%
Agnostic
1
3%
Don't Care.
6
19%
 
Total votes : 32

Christian God, Impossible? FTW!

Postby Nick » Sat Aug 12, 2006 12:44 am

I recently came across the following website:

http://www.evilbible.com/Impossible.htm

This website explains why it is impossible for the Christian God to exist. I thought it would be interesting to argue these points.

The following "arguments" are not acceptable:

"God works in mysterious ways" / "We don't know God's reasons"
"God only exists if you have faith"
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Postby houserichichi » Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:29 am

Trying to apply philosophical arguments to religious debate is like f***ing for virginity. It's also like bombing for peace.

Someone censored this, then I uncensored it, but I put in astericks. Mind the language next time.

-Irockyou
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Postby Nick » Sat Aug 12, 2006 3:40 am

houserichichi wrote:Trying to apply philosophical arguments to religious debate is like [removed]. It's also like bombing for peace.


But isn't religion a philosophical concept?
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Postby bo198214 » Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:12 am

houserichichi wrote:is like [removed]

Is like what??? Is our board censored?

Hm, of course you can make a philosophical debate (or even mathematical!!!) about the existance of god. But religion is something historically grown, while philosophy is mainly created by thinking.
Thigle could probably this explain more thoroughly.

PS: The correct spelling is 'atheist'.
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Postby PWrong » Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:20 am

Trying to apply philosophical arguments to religious debate is like [removed].

Aw, who deleted that? Now we're all going to imagine it was something much worse than it really was.

Christians have endowed their God with all of the following attributes: He is eternal, all-powerful, and created everything. He created all the laws of nature and can change anything by an act of will. He is all-good, all-loving, and perfectly just. He is a personal God who experiences all of the emotions a human does. He is all-knowing. He sees everything past and future.

I'm sure some Christians claim that God has these properties. But there's also christians who would disagree with them. It might be possible to take any given set of beliefs about God, and prove that either they're inconsistent, or their God is nothing special at all. But disproving only a single example of a possible God doesn't prove much.

Here's some games to make sure your beliefs are self-consistent. Sometimes they're quite difficult, even for an atheist.
http://www.philosophersnet.com/games/whatisgod.htm
http://www.philosophersnet.com/games/god.htm
http://www.philosophersnet.com/games/check.htm
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Postby bo198214 » Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:35 am

*rofl* computing the plausibility of god *rofl*
Didnt know what droll things people indeed do. Thanks for those ones PWrong!
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Postby Nick » Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:15 am

PWrong wrote:
Christians have endowed their God with all of the following attributes: He is eternal, all-powerful, and created everything. He created all the laws of nature and can change anything by an act of will. He is all-good, all-loving, and perfectly just. He is a personal God who experiences all of the emotions a human does. He is all-knowing. He sees everything past and future.

I'm sure some Christians claim that God has these properties. But there's also christians who would disagree with them. It might be possible to take any given set of beliefs about God, and prove that either they're inconsistent, or their God is nothing special at all. But disproving only a single example of a possible God doesn't prove much.


The Bible says all of these qualities are true, so if you disagree, your saying you don't believe in the Bible.
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Postby houserichichi » Sat Aug 12, 2006 12:56 pm

houserichichi wrote:...is like f***ing for virginity.


is like making love? I guess I'll hold back on the '100% boobies' post I was going to create :wink:

The problem, as I see it, with arguing for or against certain attributes (or full blown existence) of the Christian god is that one has to take for granted what is written in a single source by a great many of authors that's been translated through a great many times and re-interpreted through countless generations. Why over one billion people believe in one common story over any other great book of myths is far and beyond my comprehension. There are such better stories out there...I much prefer some of the ancient Greek stuff, myself.
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Postby Nick » Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:46 am

houserichichi wrote:
houserichichi wrote:...is like f***ing for virginity.


is like making love? I guess I'll hold back on the '100% boobies' post I was going to create :wink:

The problem, as I see it, with arguing for or against certain attributes (or full blown existence) of the Christian god is that one has to take for granted what is written in a single source by a great many of authors that's been translated through a great many times and re-interpreted through countless generations. Why over one billion people believe in one common story over any other great book of myths is far and beyond my comprehension. There are such better stories out there...I much prefer some of the ancient Greek stuff, myself.


So, basically, none of us have the right Bible, so we're all (most likely) practicing the religion wrong, and we're all damned to hell, and God is just sitting by and watching? Sorry, but "It's their fault, they screwed it up" just isn't something I'd hear from a perfect God, but rather an indeferent (spelling?) one.
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Postby houserichichi » Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:19 am

Well keep in mind that all these scriptures stemmed from individual documents. That means that somewhere, sometime, there existed a single version of each "book" of the bible. I'm taking for granted that over two thousand years worth of story telling and all that great Christianity that we read about from the dark ages definitely didn't pass on the exact format of what was initially written. That in mind I'd say yes, each of us has a tainted version of the grand book. Also, what the hell is up with the books that the church decided weren't good enough to be included? I'm no biblical scholar but when does one story become too much fantasy for the bible? Isn't walking on water and growing women from rib cages a bit weird to anyone else?
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Postby papernuke » Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:31 am

Whats an agnostic?
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Postby houserichichi » Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:40 am

1. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
2. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.
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Postby moonlord » Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:53 am

If I believe in God?

Well, not in the biblical/christian meaning. There is no ghost that's everywhere, yet nowhere, watching us (Yeah, I know a God in 4D would be omni-... umm... would know everything but the idea sucks). The idea I personally dislike most is the believe and don't ask propaganda. Is it just a coincidence that the science developed perhaps exponentially after, say, 1850, AND by the same time the common belief in the church was in freefall? I believe all religions are created by individuals/organisations with power and (charisma?) the ability to convince the others, as a method of control. I'm currently reading "The Jesus Incident", by Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom, and the book is dealing with this problems, among others. Some aproximative quote: "Why move mountains to prove the people there is a God that helps you? Wait, and put every miracle, no matter how insignificant, on God's will/might. The people will move the mountains for you after a while."

On the other hand, rather than saying "the physical rules are as they are because that's how they are and they don't change because....", I prefer to say "the physical rules are chosen by God, and therefore God is the Universe, and he's taking care that these rules do not malfunction". Besides, why would somebody create a hell and a heaven for some proteins? Why exactly these proteins? It's just... illogical. "God works in misterious ways"...

On a third hand (lol) God exists if you have faith. If you don't, then God doesn't. In this situation God is a part of each individual's conscience. He's not almighty, he's not omni-... bah, he doesn't know everything, he's nothing but a fabrication.
"God does not play dice." -- Albert Einstein, early 1900's.
"Not only does God play dice, but... he sometimes throws them where we cannot see them." -- Stephen Hawking, late 1900's.
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Postby bo198214 » Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:34 am

For me the main thing about religion is, that they tell us, that there is something higher than ordinary life or even rationalist life (doing this or that because it maximize my desire function). There is need to tell this because it is not obvious.

So approaching this higher something in terms of the ordinary rationalist approach, for example by discussing it with philosophical/logical arguments, is simply contradictive. Dont know whether House meant this, but if so, I fully agree with him.

This higher something does not always have to be a god. For example the buddhists (as far as I know buddhism counts also as religion) arent interested in god, they are interested in enlightenment. The taoists are interested in the Tao.

To be short, I dont want to live in a rationalist's world (though I really like logical reasoning) and thatswhy I believe in something higher.
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Postby PWrong » Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:50 am

doing this or that because it maximize my desire function

Maybe the utility function is a higher power. If I had to worship something, utility would be high on my list.

To be short, I dont want to live in a rationalist's world (though I really like logical reasoning) and thatswhy I believe in something higher.

What do you mean by rationalist here? A lot of the early christians (starting with either St Augustine or Aquinas, I can't remember) believed that you could deduce God's existence from pure logic. They claimed that's how Aristotle and Plato knew there was a higher power (Aristotle and Plato never said such things, unless you misinterpret them the way a good christian should).

I'm currently reading "The Jesus Incident", by Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom, and the book is dealing with this problems, among others.

Sorry to change the subject, but Frank Herbert pwns. I haven't read the Jesus Incident, but I'd like to. I'm reading Chapterhouse: Dune for about the third time. I can't wait till August 22 :D
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Postby moonlord » Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:35 am

"The Jesus Incident" is the first book in the "Pandora" series. The second is called "The Lazarus Effect" and the third, "The Ascension Factor".

I've also read the first three books in the Dune series. Will soon read them all again. Chapterhouse: Dune is the 7th, and is written by Brian Herbert (Frank's son), right? I'm not sure about this...
Last edited by moonlord on Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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"Not only does God play dice, but... he sometimes throws them where we cannot see them." -- Stephen Hawking, late 1900's.
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Postby PWrong » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:34 am

I've also read the first three books in the Dune series. Will soon read them all again. Chapterhouse: Dune is the 7th,and is written by Brian Herbert (Frank's son), right? I'm not sure about this...

Nope, Chapterhouse is the 6th, and written by Frank himself. He was going to write a 7th one, but he died before he finished it. Since then, His son Brian Herbert has written 6 preludes to Dune (with Kevin J Anderson), and a book with some random short stories about Dune. They've finally finished Dune 7, and it's coming out on 22 August :D.
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Postby bo198214 » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:57 am

PWrong wrote:What do you mean by rationalist here?

A rationalist is someone who mainly lives through (uninspired) thoughts and reasoning.
Especially someone that is not touchable by beauty ('Why should I be touched by that? Give me reasons!'). He misses everything, to which he can not assign reason.

The next step towards 'higher' is humanism. I.e. still rational but with focus on ethics. Which can not be further explained by reasoning, but somehow it is regarded as good, not to kill, for example. So for example the principle of utilitarianism can rationally not further be justified, but the system itself can be rationally well described.

But altruism is still not that higher something referred to by religion. For me it has to do with deepness of inspiration (in opposite to mind games) and deepness of feeling (in opposite to the usual like and dislike). Deepness and highness ...

And mere worshipping is not even close to something higher. Maybe it can become something higher if you completely give up yourself and can then see into realms where you were closed to before. But it can also happen the opposite that you become fanatic and psychicly damaged.

A lot of the early christians (starting with either St Augustine or Aquinas, I can't remember) believed that you could deduce God's existence from pure logic.

Though it may depend what was understood by 'pure logic' in that time, as far as I know Goedel himself made a god existence proof. If we assume that god is something that has this and that properties than we can show that god exists. *lol* but what has this to do with a god of a religion?! Mind games!
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Postby PWrong » Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:17 pm

Wikipedia wrote:In philosophy and in its broadest sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" (Lacey, 286). In more technical terms it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive" (Bourke, 263).


So for example the principle of utilitarianism can rationally not further be justified, but the system itself can be rationally well described.

I agree with that. It would be nice to prove that utilitarianism the correct code of ethics, but essentially we just have to "have faith" in it.

Though it may depend what was understood by 'pure logic' in that time, as far as I know Goedel himself made a god existence proof.

The main form of logic at the time was Aristotlean logic. Aristotle was once at least as important to christians as the bible (Galileo was imprisoned essentially because he disagreed with Aristotle).

Godel's proof is just the ontological argument expressed in maths. The argument was first made by Anselm of Canterbury. Descartes used the same argument, and then tried to prove that this god was in fact the christian God of the bible. (Basically, he proved that God is not a deciever, which implies that the bible is accurate.)
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Postby bo198214 » Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:47 pm

PWrong wrote:Godel's proof is just the ontological argument expressed in maths. The argument was first made by Anselm of Canterbury. Descartes used the same argument, and then tried to prove that this god was in fact the christian God of the bible. (Basically, he proved that God is not a deciever, which implies that the bible is accurate.)


Oh, can you give then a reference to his proof, or present it here?
On the other hand, would you rely on this proof? I would guess not, and that shows how inapplicable logic reasoning is to religious questions.
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Postby PWrong » Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:29 pm

He used the Ontological argument and the Trademark argument. It seems to me that the logic of the trademark argument is obviously flawed, but the ontological argument is all you need (that's flawed too, but it's not as obvious). Since God is a perfect being (by definition), he must be benevolent. A benevolent God wouldn't decieve us, therefore we can trust our senses, and the bible. Btw, the beginning of the proof was "I think therefore I am".

On the other hand, would you rely on this proof? I would guess not, and that shows how inapplicable logic reasoning is to religious questions.

Descartes' logic was flawed. That doesn't mean logic can't apply to religion.
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Postby bo198214 » Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:45 pm

Hm, I wondered more about Goedels mathematical proof. I would assume that it is valid, if he applies the rigorousness of his other mathematical works.
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Postby papernuke » Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:53 am

houserichichi wrote:Someone censored this, then I uncensored it, but I put in astericks. Mind the language next time.

-Irockyou



Whats the astericks?
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Postby PWrong » Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:13 am

Hm, I wondered more about Goedels mathematical proof. I would assume that it is valid, if he applies the rigorousness of his other mathematical works.

It's not valid. It suffers from the same flaws as the original ontological argument. I can't remember what the flaw is though.
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Postby bo198214 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:04 am

Icon wrote:Whats the astericks?


The asterisk (correct spelling) is the *
and the plural is asterisks.

@PWrong
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Postby PWrong » Tue Aug 15, 2006 4:16 am

@PWrong
Sad

What's that for?
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Postby bo198214 » Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:55 am

That Goedels mathematical proof is not correct, thats for. I was so excited to see a mathematical proof of god...
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Postby houserichichi » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:21 pm

I blogged about this once.

Axiom 1: Any property strictly implied by a positive property is positive.

Axiom 2: If a property is positive then its negation is not positive

Theorem 1: If a property is positive then it is consistent

Definition 1: x is God-like if and only if x has as essential properties those and only those which are positive

Axiom 3: The property of being God-like is positive

Theorem 2: The property of being God-like is consistent

Definition 2: Phi is an essence of x if and only if for every property psi, x has psi necessarily if and only if phi entails psi.

Axiom 4: If a property is positive then it is necessarily positive

Theorem 3: If something is God-like then the property of being God-like is an essence of that thing.

Definition 3: x necessarily exists if and only if every essence of x is necessarily exemplified

Axiom 5: Necessary existence is positive

Theorem 4: Necessarily, the property of being God-like is exemplified

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Postby bo198214 » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:32 pm

Yes, thats interesting! (Notification: first I couldnt see your picture, but then I could :? )

So and where is now the flaw? I mean its an usual mix of language and meta language, it confuses me a bit.
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Postby PWrong » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:09 pm

I think the problem is that "positive" isn't defined very well.

Wikipedia wrote:Gödel defines a positive property rather vaguely: "Positive means positive in the moral aesthetic sense (independently of the accidental structure of the world)... It may also mean pure attribution as opposed to privation (or containing privation)."


I guess there could be any number of valid definitions for "positive". The definition would be a list of all possible positive properties. Then for every such list, there must be a God who is perfect according to that list. Which is a bit odd. Furthermore, it would seem that since every entity has a list of properties, we can say that for every entity x, there exists a definition of "positive" such that x is God. :D

Another problem is that it proves that God exists in the same way that the number 6 exists. It also doesn't imply that God created the universe (unless creating the universe is a positive property. But then, creating a different universe would also be a positive property?)
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