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Al Farabi
December 7th, 2008, 08:15 PM
But can't Google's search results be manipulated sometimes? If Google were a true God, She could not be manipulated.
And the Bible, Koran and Torah are not manipulated? Googlists would argue that these books are some of the most mass manipulated works in existence. Yes, unfortunately Google's search results can sometimes be manipulated, but this is hardly anything new when it comes to religion.


This does not respond to the objection. The Bible, Koran, and Torah are not, the gods of their respective religions. They represent the ideas of the religions, and yes, can be manipulated, but the basic tenet still stands that part of the definition of a god is that they cannot be tampered with by humans. Google, as evidenced by it's change over the years, can be changed fundementally, and directly as a result of human action. It is not one's particular perception of Google that has changed over the years, it is Google itself.


Discuss.

tagnostic
December 7th, 2008, 08:22 PM
i would postulate that while Google can be manipulated by man(men et al) isn't this analgous to "God Answers Prayer"?, isn't prayer et al an attempt to manipulate 'God'?
like the religous writings of any faith, isn't the data to be interpreted by the user?
aren't the ideas inherent in the contained knowledge unchanged?

my bottom line is
knowledge like everything else
'it ain't what you got, it's how you use it.'

Al Farabi
December 7th, 2008, 08:57 PM
isn't prayer et al an attempt to manipulate 'God'?


There you have the essential question of the reformation. Lutheranism holds that your prayers (and indeed any work of man...anything you do) is ultimately uninteresting to God and useless in your salvation.

And his is precisely because, unlike Google, man has no power over God.

I could go and smash all of Google's servers, and all the backups, and all the records, and utterly destroy Google. You could burn down every church, and destroy every bible and completely erase the idea of God from society, but God would remain. This is the basis of Lutheranism, and why Martin Luther's writings have been considered one ofthe main bases for secular society.

So yes, prayer is an attemt to manipulate god, but it is a useless one, since you can't manipulate God.

like the religous writings of any faith, isn't the data to be interpreted by the user?
aren't the ideas inherent in the contained knowledge unchanged?

I agree that the data, in that it is interpreted by the reader, is analagous to scriptures. However, that is where the similarity stops. Day by day, as more web pages are added, the ideas contained in google's search results change. The idea's that are available to interprate (if you read the whole internet) change every second of every day. It is this mutablility of purpose that makes Google dissimilar from religious scripture.

The Bible contains God's Truth. Google contains Man's.

tagnostic
December 7th, 2008, 09:27 PM
There you have the essential question of the reformation. Lutheranism holds that your prayers (and indeed any work of man...anything you do) is ultimately uninteresting to God and useless in your salvation.

And his is precisely because, unlike Google, man has no power over God.

I could go and smash all of Google's servers, and all the backups, and all the records, and utterly destroy Google. You could burn down every church, and destroy every bible and completely erase the idea of God from society, but God would remain. This is the basis of Lutheranism, and why Martin Luther's writings have been considered one ofthe main bases for secular society.

So yes, prayer is an attemt to manipulate god, but it is a useless one, since you can't manipulate God.

therefor prayer, per se, is useless?


I agree that the data, in that it is interpreted by the reader, is analagous to scriptures. However, that is where the similarity stops. Day by day, as more web pages are added, the ideas contained in google's search results change. The idea's that are available to interprate (if you read the whole internet) change every second of every day. It is this mutablility of purpose that makes Google dissimilar from religious scripture.

isn't this analgous to the different 'interpretations' of the bible (and or other writings which are ascribed to "god") as times change? as knowledge of the physical world accumulated the interpretation of most religous writings had to adapt or wither as a belief system.
reality is a hard wall for hypothesis to hit.


The Bible contains God's Truth. Google contains Man's.

how would you confirm that, given that you have already stipulated that it (the bible) was written by men, interpreted by men and that men are fallible?
you being a man(human) are therefore fallible and ipso facto, your definition cannot trust your own judgement?
;)

Al Farabi
December 7th, 2008, 10:13 PM
therefor prayer, per se, is useless?

For salvation, yes. The reasons that you might pray (remorse, gratitude, care for another) are all still positive things though, and their expression (even in private) helps one become a better person, more in touch with themself. So no, prayer really isn't useless, it just doesn't change whether you will find salvation or not.


isn't this analgous to the different 'interpretations' of the bible (and or other writings which are ascribed to "god") as times change? as knowledge of the physical world accumulated the interpretation of most religous writings had to adapt or wither as a belief system.

All versions of the bible are essentially different translations of the same original text. The different translations exibit skew as the translation shows what the translator thought the spirit of the text was. This is particularly bad in the Bible because so much ambiguous language is used in the 'original' (I use quotes because I really am talking about the earliest known version, not the fist physical book).

The different results of Google are not different representations of the same original data set, they are similar representations of different data sets. Where the bible has differences of interpretation and a stable origin, Google has stable interpretation (because it is algorythmic) but a different data set each time.

how would you confirm that, given that you have already stipulated that it (the bible) was written by men, interpreted by men and that men are fallible?
you being a man(human) are therefore fallible and ipso facto, your definition cannot trust your own judgement?
;)

At some point, you have to have faith. The Scientific Laws of Nature were written by men, interpreted by men, and men are fallible. People could lie about having tested theories and confirmed them. You just can't assume that.

Besides, that argument destroys the very foundation of collective progress. If you apply "man is fallible" to everything, then the only information with any meaning at all is information you personally discover and confirm.

It always comes back to faith that you aren't being misled, really, whether concerning science or God.

tagnostic
December 8th, 2008, 01:15 AM
For salvation, yes. The reasons that you might pray (remorse, gratitude, care for another) are all still positive things though, and their expression (even in private) helps one become a better person, more in touch with themself. So no, prayer really isn't useless, it just doesn't change whether you will find salvation or not.

is that prayer?
or
self examination?


All versions of the bible are essentially different translations of the same original text. The different translations exibit skew as the translation shows what the translator thought the spirit of the text was. This is particularly bad in the Bible because so much ambiguous language is used in the 'original' (I use quotes because I really am talking about the earliest known version, not the fist physical book).

where/what is the 'original'?
or is there more than one??

The different results of Google are not different representations of the same original data set, they are similar representations of different data sets. Where the bible has differences of interpretation and a stable origin, Google has stable interpretation (because it is algorythmic) but a different data set each time.


but are they really?,
everyone has different desires in prayers, each inputs a different request, each gets a different interpretation as their mindset/desire and each is using the same data set (ie:the reality we deal with) as a start, (aside, "stable origin" hmmm{paranoiacs would wonder})

At some point, you have to have faith. The Scientific Laws of Nature were written by men, interpreted by men, and men are fallible.

if there are others I and alot of ufologist's would love to hear about it


People could lie about having tested theories and confirmed them. You just can't assume that.
Besides, that argument destroys the very foundation of collective progress. If you apply "man is fallible" to everything, then the only information with any meaning at all is information you personally discover and confirm.

It always comes back to faith that you aren't being misled, really, whether concerning science or God.

I have complete faith
it's just not in anything
humans can conceive
which would include a
deity.

Al Farabi
December 8th, 2008, 01:29 AM
is that prayer?
or
self examination?

Prayer requires self-examination, just like confession. It is about opening your heart, not asking for stuff.


where/what is the 'original'?
or is there more than one??

I actually don't know, but I know the oldest bibles are all in hebrew, and that's the language of the original.
And of course there is an original! There were no printing presses. They had to write one copy first, even if they wanted to write more.

but are they really?,
everyone has different desires in prayers, each inputs a different request, each gets a different interpretation as their mindset/desire and each is using the same data set (ie:the reality we deal with) as a start, (aside, "stable origin" hmmm{paranoiacs would wonder})[quote]

Exactly! No two 'prayers to google' (ie. Search requests) reference the same data set, since Google and the pages it references change constantly. The baseline fact of Google has no stability, where one of the properties of God is that He is outside of time, unchanging.

[quote=tagnostic;105431]if there are others I and alot of ufologist's would love to hear about it

There certainly are others! DO we understand everything about how the universe functions? Clearly there are Laws beyond our grasp.



I have complete faith
it's just not in anything
humans can conceive
which would include a
deity.

That's what God is. A word to describe the inconcievable that must be.

tagnostic
December 8th, 2008, 01:38 AM
I am obliged to ask at this point for your definition/description of
"God",
is it a them/him/it
attributes etc
anthropomorphic?
or
ideology only?

Al Farabi
December 8th, 2008, 02:31 AM
God is not in anyway anthropomorphic. The names and pronouns are just a convention. God cannot be constricted by gender or by form because God has to trancend all boundaries. If He was in any form in particular, He would be restricted in that He was confined to that form.

Therefore God is Formless.

Ehyeh asher ehyeh. That translates literally to "I will be that I will be," It is the response God gives when asked for his name. It implies that God cannot be tied down to any particular set of attributes. In essence, don't try to say what God is, because what he is now, is not what he will be.

Therefore God cannot be tied down to any particular set of attributes.

God is trancendent even of attribution, and therefore is not omnipotent, but trancendent even of the concept of omnipotence.

Loki
December 8th, 2008, 02:41 AM
" If He was in any form in particular, He would be restricted in that He was confined to that form."

Yet you persist in using the male pronoun?

Why is that?

Al Farabi
December 8th, 2008, 03:17 AM
Convention mostly. It doesn't really matter since 'it' would be just as wrong.

Loki
December 8th, 2008, 03:36 AM
OK - I was just looking for an easy attack there :D

You say that god is not omnipotent yet hint towards omniscience. I do understand the difference but cannot reconcile them.

And I think the big question is :D

What do you really believe? You're not a Christian, not a Muslim - I'm hoping you have your own belief.

tagnostic
December 8th, 2008, 04:17 PM
What do you really believe? You're not a Christian, not a Muslim - I'm hoping you have your own belief.

i had a bee leaf
but the bee stung me
and the leaf fell from the tree

Loki
December 8th, 2008, 04:23 PM
i had a bee leaf
but the bee stung me
and the leaf fell from the tree

Did
You get
Any Honey
From all of that?

Ok -I can't do Tag verse :D

tagnostic
December 8th, 2008, 04:29 PM
how about a limerick?

there once was a mod
screen name Loki
whose response time
was a bit pokey
he'd smoke a bowl
while snug in his hole
then forget the thread and the jokey

(hey, try to rhyme loki):icon_eek:

Loki
December 8th, 2008, 04:37 PM
Rhyme?
Oh bugger, I knew I'd forget something :D

bouchie
December 8th, 2008, 05:16 PM
This is actually a very good thread. Though I disagree with you, Al Farabi, I must commend you on presenting good arguments and debating in a most civilized fashion, a rarity on this forum unfortunately. I'll do my best to return the courtesy.

And his is precisely because, unlike Google, man has no power over God. I maintain that God is a man-made concept, and therefore man does have power over God. My evidence for this is the personality change God under goes from the Old Testament to the New one. In the Old Testament, God is a vengeful, wrathful, jealous deity (destroys a city, blinds people, turns them into salt, things like that). Whereas, in the New Testament, he is a much more caring, forgiving deity. Ironically, he's taken on human form (Jesus) in the New Testament. Hmm...

I could go and smash all of Google's servers, and all the backups, and all the records, and utterly destroy Google. You could burn down every church, and destroy every bible and completely erase the idea of God from society, but God would remain. Umm...how would you know if there is a God when there is no idea of God in society? :icon_confused:

Google has stable interpretation (because it is algorythmic) but a different data set each time. You started by comparing Google to God, now you're comparing it to the Bible. We say Google is the closest thing to a god that humans can verify. We are not saying that Google is holy text. Two different concepts here.

Besides, that argument destroys the very foundation of collective progress. If you apply "man is fallible" to everything, then the only information with any meaning at all is information you personally discover and confirm. No - is man is fallible, then you have to assume the same thing about yourself, since you're included in 'man' (i.e. human). So, the information you personally discover can also be incorrect. But you don't take it on faith that it is right - you try to reduce the probability that it is wrong to reasonable margins. You don't have faith in knowledge - you make reasonable assumptions about it.

Exactly! No two 'prayers to google' (ie. Search requests) reference the same data set, since Google and the pages it references change constantly. The baseline fact of Google has no stability, where one of the properties of God is that He is outside of time, unchanging. I have trouble understanding the outside of time thing, especially when you consider that some of the old stories have God fighting against other deities, like Baal. I'm I wrong on that count?

Also, search requests are sent to Google, which then searches the internet. Google doesn't change (as far as I know), but the internet is constantly expanding, like the universe.

here certainly are others! DO we understand everything about how the universe functions? Clearly there are Laws beyond our grasp. Nope - but that does not necessarily mean that we won't come closer in the future.

God is not in anyway anthropomorphic. The names and pronouns are just a convention. God cannot be constricted by gender or by form because God has to trancend all boundaries. If He was in any form in particular, He would be restricted in that He was confined to that form.

Therefore God is Formless. This begs the question. What you're saying is this:

Assume God is formless. To prove this, assume God has a form. If God has a form, He would be restricted. But if He were restricted, He could not be God, for God cannot be restricted. Therefore, He must be formless.

In essence, don't try to say what God is, because what he is now, is not what he will be. Cheap shot, but I have to ask: Are you saying God changes?

sudikics
December 8th, 2008, 05:20 PM
Google isn't God. Google is the closest thing to a scientifically verifiable deity. Google search is one of Google's products. Google search is sometimes corrupted. It happens. We never said Google was perfect.

rzm61
December 8th, 2008, 05:26 PM
We never said Google was perfect.

Fucking close to it though! :D

Tsar Phalanxia
December 8th, 2008, 08:20 PM
Google isn't God. Google is the closest thing to a scientifically verifiable deity. Google search is one of Google's products. Google search is sometimes corrupted. It happens. We never said Google was perfect.

FFS, we can bomb Google :D

Al Farabi
December 8th, 2008, 08:25 PM
This is actually a very good thread. Though I disagree with you, Al Farabi, I must commend you on presenting good arguments and debating in a most civilized fashion, a rarity on this forum unfortunately. I'll do my best to return the courtesy.

Well thank you!

I maintain that God is a man-made concept, and therefore man does have power over God.

Are the laws of thermodynamics not man made concepts? Does man therefore have power over them? Is the idea of a 'tree' not a man made concepr? Do we control threes? The fact that man concieved of and named something does not mean that it does not exist outside of man, not does it mean that man controls it.

My evidence for this is the personality change God under goes from the Old Testament to the New one. In the Old Testament, God is a vengeful, wrathful, jealous deity (destroys a city, blinds people, turns them into salt, things like that). Whereas, in the New Testament, he is a much more caring, forgiving deity. Ironically, he's taken on human form (Jesus) in the New Testament. Hmm...

That is not very strong evidence, as it can just as easily point to an evident personality change in God.

Umm...how would you know if there is a God when there is no idea of God in society? :icon_confused:

Historically, it is only very recently that the idea of gravity has existed in society. Did gravity exist before it was concieved of by man?

You started by comparing Google to God, now you're comparing it to the Bible. We say Google is the closest thing to a god that humans can verify. We are not saying that Google is holy text. Two different concepts here.

actually, I was arguing that because you are saying that Google is a god, and not a holy text, that I raise the issue. My issue is that while, yes, the scriptures of a text can be changed by man, all religions hold that their God himself cannot be changed by any human act, because He (or She, depending on your religion) is totally trancendent of man. One could change the basic properties of Google by switching a few lines of code around. That's why google cannot be considered a true God.

No - is man is fallible, then you have to assume the same thing about yourself, since you're included in 'man' (i.e. human). So, the information you personally discover can also be incorrect. But you don't take it on faith that it is right - you try to reduce the probability that it is wrong to reasonable margins. You don't have faith in knowledge - you make reasonable assumptions about it.

New Scientist reported yesterday that frogs learn the scent of danger before they even hatch, which may give tadpoles a head start in evading predators. Now, I personally hold New Scienntist to be quite a reliable source of information, but I am still taking faith that I am not being blatantly lied to. I am never going to go and test this information.

How much of what you know (especially about science) arises from a personal procedure, and how much from repeated, personal, experimentation?

I have trouble understanding the outside of time thing, especially when you consider that some of the old stories have God fighting against other deities, like Baal. I'm I wrong on that count?

Well I won't argue with you abotu that, but I have never heard about it. Whether or not God interacts with the universe has no bearing on the possibility of his existance outside of time. Let me give you an example.

Imagine a mouse in a maze which is such that the mouse can only go one direction through the maze. For the mouse, the only thing it can see is the maze directly around it, and it can only move in one direction, and it must complete the path from start to finish.

You, standing outside the maze, can see all of the maze at once, from beginning to end, and can interact with any part of the maze, whenever you like.

the maze is time, you are God, and the mouse is a man.


Also, search requests are sent to Google, which then searches the internet. Google doesn't change (as far as I know), but the internet is constantly expanding, like the universe.

You're actually right...I should have been more specific. Google the database changes. Google the algorythm does not. Except when it is updated.


Nope - but that does not necessarily mean that we won't come closer in the future.

my defense of religion in a nutshell.


This begs the question. What you're saying is this:

Assume God is formless. To prove this, assume God has a form. If God has a form, He would be restricted. But if He were restricted, He could not be God, for God cannot be restricted. Therefore, He must be formless.

you're actually missing a step.

First, let us define God such that God is Omnipotent

Argumments:
1: God has a form
2: Being Omnipotent He posesses the power to overcome bonds or resrictions of any kind
3: To say God has form is to say God is restricted in one aspect (that being, of course, form)
4: Since the conclusions (2 and 3) are not logically reconcilable, the theory (1) must be false.




Cheap shot, but I have to ask: Are you saying God changes?

No I'm saying he can't be defined in human terms.

Al Farabi
December 8th, 2008, 08:44 PM
" If He was in any form in particular, He would be restricted in that He was confined to that form."

Yet you persist in using the male pronoun?

Why is that?

Convention. I realize that God is not logically male, or female, or even 'it.' Suggest a better method for describing in indescribable and I will switch to it. Until then, an arbitrary gender choice doens't seem that bad.

Loki
December 8th, 2008, 08:48 PM
Yeah - you answered that last night :D

Pass me that fatty!

bouchie
December 8th, 2008, 09:27 PM
Are the laws of thermodynamics not man made concepts? Does man therefore have power over them? Is the idea of a 'tree' not a man made concepr? Do we control threes? The fact that man concieved of and named something does not mean that it does not exist outside of man, not does it mean that man controls it. Good point. You got me there.

Let's try a different setup. Thermodynamics has been proven by experimentation and trees can be seen. These concepts therefore arise from experience, whereas the concept (or, to use Kant's word, idea) of God cannot be experienced simply because of what He is. So, this where your idea of faith comes in - we have no verifiable way of proving God's existence.

That is not very strong evidence, as it can just as easily point to an evident personality change in God. Well, yeah, that was what it was supposed to show. My question then is: does this not show that God has changed? This lends to my suggestion that man has power over God because it is man's creation (and not vice-versa).

Historically, it is only very recently that the idea of gravity has existed in society. Did gravity exist before it was concieved of by man? ''But what did people breathe before oxygen was discovered?" Should have seen that counter coming. Well done.

actually, I was arguing that because you are saying that Google is a god, and not a holy text, that I raise the issue. My issue is that while, yes, the scriptures of a text can be changed by man, all religions hold that their God himself cannot be changed by any human act, because He (or She, depending on your religion) is totally trancendent of man. Sorry to nit-pick, but you mean all monothestic religions right. I think the ancient Greeks prior to Socrates would disagree with you, otherwise.

New Scientist reported yesterday that frogs learn the scent of danger before they even hatch, which may give tadpoles a head start in evading predators. Now, I personally hold New Scienntist to be quite a reliable source of information, but I am still taking faith that I am not being blatantly lied to. I am never going to go and test this information. I think we're dealing with a semantic issue here: what you call 'faith', I call 'assumptions'. I'm assuming that New Scientist is right because of their accuracy in the past, other media reporting the same thing from other, independent, sources, etc. That is how you 'know' something is right, but, again, there is always an element of uncertainty.

How much of what you know (especially about science) arises from a personal procedure, and how much from repeated, personal, experimentation? Most of what I know from science comes from other sources - so, I'm assuming they got it right.

Well I won't argue with you abotu that, but I have never heard about it. Whether or not God interacts with the universe has no bearing on the possibility of his existance outside of time. Let me give you an example.

Imagine a mouse in a maze which is such that the mouse can only go one direction through the maze. For the mouse, the only thing it can see is the maze directly around it, and it can only move in one direction, and it must complete the path from start to finish. The example helps clarify things. My point with the other gods is this: doesn't the fact that there were other gods and (as far as I understand the mythology), YWH comes in later, show that God didn't always exist?


You're actually right...I should have been more specific. Google the database changes. Google the algorythm does not. Except when it is updated. Okay, true, but we do stipulate that Google is the closest thing to a deity whose existence can be verified.

my defense of religion in a nutshell. Fair enough. At least you're doing a good job of it.

you're actually missing a step.

First, let us define God such that God is Omnipotent

Argumments:
1: God has a form
2: Being Omnipotent He posesses the power to overcome bonds or resrictions of any kind
3: To say God has form is to say God is restricted in one aspect (that being, of course, form)
4: Since the conclusions (2 and 3) are not logically reconcilable, the theory (1) must be false. Umm...2 and 3 are reconcilable. If you say God has the power to overcome bonds or restrictions of any kind, why can't He overcome the restriction of His form?

Al Farabi
December 8th, 2008, 11:19 PM
Let's try a different setup. Thermodynamics has been proven by experimentation and trees can be seen. These concepts therefore arise from experience, whereas the concept (or, to use Kant's word, idea) of God cannot be experienced simply because of what He is. So, this where your idea of faith comes in - we have no verifiable way of proving God's existence.

Grudgingly, I admit that this is true, insofar as it goes.

Well, yeah, that was what it was supposed to show. My question then is: does this not show that God has changed? This lends to my suggestion that man has power over God because it is man's creation (and not vice-versa).

No, it shows that our percepion of God has changed. If you look at the way the universe is depicted in Copernicus, and the way the universe is depicted now, you see two totally different interpretations. Just because our view of the universe has changed doesn't mean the universe has. Same with God: just because our view of Him has changed doesn't mean He has.

Sorry to nit-pick, but you mean all monothestic religions right. I think the ancient Greeks prior to Socrates would disagree with you, otherwise.

Okay I can accept that.

I think we're dealing with a semantic issue here: what you call 'faith', I call 'assumptions'. I'm assuming that New Scientist is right because of their accuracy in the past, other media reporting the same thing from other, independent, sources, etc. That is how you 'know' something is right, but, again, there is always an element of uncertainty.

Faith is the belief in the trustworthiness of an idea (wiki). You believe in the trustworthiness of the concepts presented in New Scientist. Therefore you have faith in the ideas presented in New Scientist. Taken as a set, you have faith in New Scientist.

Most of what I know from science comes from other sources - so, I'm assuming they got it right.

You make the choice to believe in the trustworthiness of the ideas, in other words.

The example helps clarify things. My point with the other gods is this: doesn't the fact that there were other gods and (as far as I understand the mythology), YWH comes in later, show that God didn't always exist?

If we have accepted that God is not bound by any particular description (based on the logic that will follow), then it is not unlogical to say that He could have been easily interpreted as more than one deity, each showing an aspect of him. Following from this is the conclusion that Christianity could be as wrong as all of the other religions in its representation of God. The abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) are simply - when well thought out - the most stable models. They are for theology what Quantum Physics is for science: Theoretical at best, but the best model we have to explain what we can logically deduce about God.


Okay, true, but we do stipulate that Google is the closest thing to a deity whose existence can be verified.

It is not important to my argument whether you think Google is a diety or not. I am simply refuting the idea that you (guys) have adequately rebutted the above objection.

Umm...2 and 3 are reconcilable. If you say God has the power to overcome bonds or restrictions of any kind, why can't He overcome the restriction of His form?

So they are reconcilable if God has no form? That is the conclusion I drew.

If he always is able to trancend form, he must not have a native form, because that would imply a form that he could not trancend, which is contrary to omnipotence.

tagnostic
December 9th, 2008, 12:21 AM
just fyi
we have not, do not stipulate that Google is a diety,
our premise is that Google is the Closest Verifiable Entity
that fits the criteria stipulated by most religions.

minor point of fact

Al Farabi
December 9th, 2008, 12:40 AM
I didn't think you did. I have, thiss whole time, been trying to simply point out that the original quote from the Arguments section of this website fails to adequately refute the issue raised, which is that Google can be manipulated, while a god cannot be.

tagnostic
December 9th, 2008, 12:53 AM
all good,
stipulating that 'God' is immutable
is it (he/them whatever) releveant?

using reductio ad absurdum
a difference that doesn't make a difference is not a difference

likewise a 'God' that just ''is'
is totally irrelevant therefore non-existant

Al Farabi
December 9th, 2008, 01:19 AM
I don't think I understand.

Could you rephrase?

tagnostic
December 9th, 2008, 08:08 AM
if the diety you postulate
chooses not to interact
in any noticable/quantifiable way
it's existance becomes moot

Tsar Phalanxia
December 9th, 2008, 09:09 AM
if the diety you postulate
chooses not to interact
in any noticable/quantifiable way
it's existance becomes moot

QED

:icon_cool:

bouchie
December 9th, 2008, 03:15 PM
Grudgingly, I admit that this is true, insofar as it goes. Gotta reread my Kant, I think he can help me out here.

No, it shows that our percepion of God has changed. If you look at the way the universe is depicted in Copernicus, and the way the universe is depicted now, you see two totally different interpretations. Just because our view of the universe has changed doesn't mean the universe has. Same with God: just because our view of Him has changed doesn't mean He has. Copernicus' universe and the universe we depict now is something that can be experiened. How we interpret that experience has changed over the course of several thousand years. With God, we don't experience Him, which leaves only interpretation. But how can we have an intepretation of God without an experience of Him?

Faith is the belief in the trustworthiness of an idea (wiki). You believe in the trustworthiness of the concepts presented in New Scientist. Therefore you have faith in the ideas presented in New Scientist. Taken as a set, you have faith in New Scientist. Alright, I'll concede your point as a generality and, also, I don't want to get into a semantic argument.

Personally, for the most part, I do not take anything on faith. Faith, to me, implies you have absolute certainty in someone or in something. I always leave a margin of uncertainty, because absolute certainty is impossible. And please don't make me go into meta-logic to prove that seemingly contradictory statement - it's too early in the morning for that.

You make the choice to believe in the trustworthiness of the ideas, in other words. I make the decision to accept their ideas as true, based on the probability of their accuracy, which is calculated by reputation, evidence supporting and contradicting the idea and so on.

You say faith - I say assumption. Deal?

If we have accepted that God is not bound by any particular description (based on the logic that will follow), then it is not unlogical to say that He could have been easily interpreted as more than one deity, each showing an aspect of him. Following from this is the conclusion that Christianity could be as wrong as all of the other religions in its representation of God. The abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) are simply - when well thought out - the most stable models. Though I appreciate the logic in this argument (it actually is quite sound), my original point was that the old myths show that there were other gods. Otherwise, why would the second commandment be "You shall have no god before me."

I'm just saying that the history of the idea of God is a bit convulted and I believe that it has evolved to keep up with the growing body of evidence to suggest that He is not there.

It is not important to my argument whether you think Google is a diety or not. I am simply refuting the idea that you (guys) have adequately rebutted the above objection. Wow, you're good - you overturned the cop out.

Alright - I'll concede your original argument. But let's go down a different road now. All religions have an interpretation of God. But you say that God is beyond those intepretations and beyond any other human concept of Him. Fair enough. But what does that mean? tag got us going in the right direction. However, I want to go further. God is immutable and does not interact with us. Therefore, like tag said, God's existence is moot.

Another way to look at it is this - God is everywhere. He created everything and He is a part of everything. That means His existence is tautological: God = reality. Therefore, all we experience is God. But a tautology is meaningless. I won't say God is meaningless, because, I don't think reality is meaningless.

Here's the punchline: if God's existence is a tautology, what's the point of religion? If God is reality, wouldn't science be the only real way to understanding God?

So they are reconcilable if God has no form? That is the conclusion I drew

If he always is able to trancend form, he must not have a native form, because that would imply a form that he could not trancend, which is contrary to omnipotence. I was going towards more your second point here. Fair enough.

But here's an argument that I never found a satisfying counter to: God must have some type of nature, even if it is one that we don't understand. Wouldn't God be restricted from doing certain things if He is bound by His nature? For example: can God lie?

Al Farabi
December 9th, 2008, 07:47 PM
QED

:icon_cool:

Not quite. Hold on a moment and I'll explain.

Copernicus' universe and the universe we depict now is something that can be experiened. How we interpret that experience has changed over the course of several thousand years. With God, we don't experience Him, which leaves only interpretation. But how can we have an intepretation of God without an experience of Him?

Actually, we don't experience the universe now any more than we did before. How do you experience the difference between a belt of stationary stars and vast space? How do you experience black holes, or protons, or Neptune? It is simply reinterpretation of the same thing, which we don't directly experience, based on contuinued reasoning and study.

Who says that Theology couldn't do the same? Why can't the Old Testement be to the New as Copernicus' Revolutions is to a modern astronomy text?



Personally, for the most part, I do not take anything on faith. Faith, to me, implies you have absolute certainty in someone or in something. I always leave a margin of uncertainty, because absolute certainty is impossible. And please don't make me go into meta-logic to prove that seemingly contradictory statement - it's too early in the morning for that.

I make the decision to accept their ideas as true, based on the probability of their accuracy, which is calculated by reputation, evidence supporting and contradicting the idea and so on.

You say faith - I say assumption. Deal?

fair enough. I won't argue with you.


my original point was that the old myths show that there were other gods. Otherwise, why would the second commandment be "You shall have no god before me."

Well that is a really good question! I'm inclined to say that God, in choosing the Jews as his Chosen People, wanted them to worship the most correct interpretation possible, which requires that He be a singular entity, hence the commandment. It just is a guide to make sure that they don't stray too far from the truth. Giving a starting point for theology, as it were.

file:///C:/Users/Gordon/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpgfile:///C:/Users/Gordon/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpgfile:///C:/Users/Gordon/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.jpg
I'm just saying that the history of the idea of God is a bit convulted and I believe that it has evolved to keep up with the growing body of evidence to suggest that He is not there.

Or growing understanding.


Alright - I'll concede your original argument.

Nice!

But let's go down a different road now. All religions have an interpretation of God. But you say that God is beyond those intepretations and beyond any other human concept of Him. Fair enough. But what does that mean? tag got us going in the right direction. However, I want to go further. God is immutable and does not interact with us. Therefore, like tag said, God's existence is moot.

The Big Bang is immutable and does not interact with us. Therefore, whether it happened or not is moot. However! We consider it nonetheless because in order to completely understand the universe, we must understand the Big Bang.

God's existence is not directly relevent to day to day life, but I don't think you have established that it isn't relevent to our understanding of the universe.


Another way to look at it is this - God is everywhere. He created everything and He is a part of everything. That means His existence is tautological: God = reality. Therefore, all we experience is God. But a tautology is meaningless. I won't say God is meaningless, because, I don't think reality is meaningless.

Here's the punchline: if God's existence is a tautology, what's the point of religion? If God is reality, wouldn't science be the only real way to understanding God?

In other words, science and God are not mutually exclusive. Religion is unnecessary, but the contemplation of God through logic and reason and the study of the observable universe is.


But here's an argument that I never found a satisfying counter to: God must have some type of nature, even if it is one that we don't understand. Wouldn't God be restricted from doing certain things if He is bound by His nature?

Nature simply means the essential property or set of properties that make something what it is and not anything else.

God has one essential property: Omnipotence

Therefore, God's nature is to be Omnipotent.

For example: can God lie?
Absolutely! If he chooses to, God can do anything.

Tsar Phalanxia
December 9th, 2008, 07:54 PM
God has one essential property: Omnipotence

Objection! What about pantheons of deities, like the Ancient Greeks and Romans? (I didn't fall into the Hindu trap)

How would you feel about the idea that there has to be at least two Gods, with one having the power to create anything, and the other having the power to move (do) anything, thus solving the mountain paradox?

Loki
December 9th, 2008, 07:56 PM
Originally Said by Loki...

No cock jokes! Thus not mine :D
I think you credited me for some other poster's good words.

At least I hope so. If not then I need the Betty Ford taxi to dry-out city :icon_eek:

Al Farabi
December 9th, 2008, 08:04 PM
As I said earlier, Polytheistic religions can be explained by saying that they are alternative, but logically weaker, interpretations.

And two deities doesn't actually solve the problem any better.

Can the creator God create something the Mover God cannot move? If so, then the mover god can't Move Anything. If not, then the creator god can't Create Anything. Occam's razor -> one God. Why add a variable?