Thursday, July 03, 2008

Round Four: God is logically impossible

This from Lore:

....God is logically impossible. Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence is impossible in our Universe.

If God has these traits, God cannot come here, nor create here, nor have any effect here, which would defeat the purpose of his existence.

Your God needs limits to exist. Which parts of the Bible are you prepared to discard to provide reasonable evidence for Gods existence?

I've asked Lore to explain what he means, and we'll go from there -- tomorrow (Friday).

13 comments:

Jonathan D. Strong said...

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."[c]
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

Raphael Alexander said...

I think God created a logical paradox by giving free will. Because to accept unconditionally is the condition to getting into heaven. But free will gives us the ability to choose not to believe. His own gift paradoxically would condemn us to hell.

Lore_Weaver said...

I haven't read my email yet, and I ran out of eggs for my typical breakfast, so I won't be my witty self for another couple hours!

In the meantime, I'll carefully re-re-craft my argument. If you want to have a hope, better start re-reading your St. Augustine!

"Can God create a rock so large even he cannot lift it?"

There, I gave you a headstart.

Also, Jonathan, Wall of Text doesn't convey meaning. TLDR

Lore_Weaver said...

You claim your God is Omnipotent. Omnipotence creates a logical contradiction.

Leading Premise: I'm not a wookie ~(LW is a wookie)

Premise: God is all powerful (God is all powerful)

Premise: all powerful beings cannot create a rock so large even he can't lift it.

Contradiction in lines 2 and 3. Therefore the leading premise must be true.

I suppose I'm a wookie. GRAAGUAGARGLEGAH

It's a bit silly... but the leading premise could be that Your Christian God Exists... or that Up is not Down... The problem is, everything is logically 100% true if your God exists, thus breaking all logic, and reintroducing Chaos.

Omniscience has a similar problem too. Also Omnipotence -> Omniscience. You can't be all powerful without having the ability to grant yourself all knowledge.

However, you can't be all powerful and be Omnivirtuous.

As soon as you put limits on what God can or cannot do, then your God isn't all the Bible says he is, is he?

That said, this argument can be debunked... but you better read up on your medieval philosophy and understand it at least as well as I have. (Chapter 5 of Augustine's Confessions might help; He did some of his best thinking when he struggled with Manicheism (sp? I don't feel like looking it up)

Strong Conservative said...

Lore, it conveys meaning to those who believe.

This is an endless argument that has been debated for millenia. Does God exist? The very fact that we are debating it is proof of His existence to some while proof that He doesn't to others.

Personally, I'm compelled to believe in "something" since I am in existence. Nothing cannot produce something.

RkBall said...

I've got some things to do, but I'm really looking forward to responding to Lore's post. I'm declaring today Lore Weaver day.

Lore_Weaver said...

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Lore, it conveys meaning to those who believe.

This is an endless argument that has been debated for millenia. Does God exist? The very fact that we are debating it is proof of His existence to some while proof that He doesn't to others.
=====

Belief is cool. Find all the comfort you privately can. In some ways, I'm jealous that you can find a fulfillment that I can never truly feel. However, what I've gained is a different sort of fulfillment. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

You're re-statement of the ontological argument not withstanding, of course :D

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Personally, I'm compelled to believe in "something" since I am in existence. Nothing cannot produce something.
===

That's right, Nothing cannot produce something. It never has. BEAJ is kindof right and wrong above, BTW, he claimed that Time could've existed before the Big Bang, but he needs to be reminded that that time is outside our Universe, as our time is a manifestation of that big bang. Kind of like pulling a sheet out of a hole in another sheet.

The concepts get tough, because our evolved brains can only conceive of brief time periods and three dimensions. It's tough for use to envision billions of years and 4 dimensions, much as it would be tough for a drawing to describe the land of up-and-down.


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I've got some things to do, but I'm really looking forward to responding to Lore's post. I'm declaring today Lore Weaver day.
===

w00t! That is all :D

Red Tory said...

Cutting and pasting gibberish from the Bible seems like a poor substitute for thinking. But it shouldn't be surprising considering the source.

RkBall said...

"but we preach Christ crucified: .... foolishness to Gentiles"

"gibberish from the Bible"

Close, very close. Hmmmm....

RkBall said...

OK, here's my sketch of an answer to fellow egg-lover Lore's provocative post.

"You claim your God is Omnipotent. Omnipotence creates a logical contradiction.

Premise: God is all powerful (God is all powerful)

Premise: all powerful beings cannot create a rock so large even he can't lift it."

Well, this isn't a new one. But the substance is that it contains a logical contradiction.

There are other "limitations" to God:

- God cannot create a round triangle
- God cannot create a square circle

Based on definitional rules; a triangle is by definition 3-sided, so if you create a round object, by definition you do not have a triangle

More significantly,

- God cannot contradict or act contrary to his nature; he really is "limited" in this sense

Specifically,

- He cannot lie

- He cannot sin or act unjustly or contrary to his holiness

So, does this demolish or even weaken Christian faith? Not really. It leads us to contemplate the perfections of God, and leads to a gusher of praise.

Furthermore, the terms omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent are not biblical terms (although they certainly express biblical sentiments).

So, to be very technical, yes, the claims for God's omnipotence must be carefully defined. Perhaps it could be qualified to say something like he is omnipotent in all logically-possible and morally permissible ways.

(Logic really does loom as important, doesn't it? I was trying to make the point yesterday that logic, as in boolean logic, ought not to exist in a purely material world. It is also interesting to note that John characterizes Jesus as the Logos/Word/Reason, which is getting pretty close to the idea of logic.)

"As soon as you put limits on what God can or cannot do, then your God isn't all the Bible says he is, is he?"

Not really. He is everything the Bible says he is, and more. The Bible characterizes God as The Almighty and JEsus said, "With God all things are possible". But other Bible verses needs to be used to interpret a particular Bible verse, the context needs to be taken in to account, etc. It's what the Apostle Paul referred to as "rightly dividing the word of truth".

The Bible itself puts limits on God -- he cannot lie, he cannot deny himself, etc. But these limits are seen in the light of his moral perfections. As the embodiment of the Law, he may be Almighty, but he is not going to act in a way that violates the Law which is the essence of his being. So, I suppose it might be said that "with God, all [lawful] things are possible." It's certainly implied. God cannot deny himself.

"If God has these traits, God cannot come here, nor create here, nor have any effect here, which would defeat the purpose of his existence."

I really didn't get this point. A painter can paint a picture, and express himself, but it doesn't mean he becomes the canvas or ink, and he can destroy the painting, or if it is damaged, choose to fix it, and it does not alter or diminish his being in any way.

Anyway, a final point: when we get into the Attributes of God discussion, we have to realize that a lot of this discussion is rooted in Greek conceptions and categories, etc. which don't always jive (IMO) with Hebraic or NT understandings of God.

And a final final point and I am out of here: In the Anglican Prayer Book's 39 articles the first article of faith states that God is a) all-powerful, b) all-good, and c) all-wise. Each of these three attributes balances and potentially moderates the other two.

Lore_Weaver said...

An all-good being cannot be all-powerful. As you've introduced something he cannot do, which is evil.

An all-powerful being must be all-wise, as he could grant himself complete knowledge and the ability to hold it.

An all-wise being cannot be all-powerful, as he wouldn't have the omniscience or omnipotence to change his future mind.

If any one premise is illogical, the conclusion is thusly illogical, or unsound.

Thus, your God is illogical. I'm not saying there can't be a God, say a 4th dimensional being, but this being, should he exist, cannot be omniscient, omnipotent, omnivirtuous, and exist in our reality.

Also, if God cannot act unjustly, then why are there birth defects?

If God cannot act unjustly, why did he design us with only one hole for breathing, eating and drinking?

RkBall said...

"cannot be omniscient, omnipotent, omnivirtuous, and exist in our reality."

Still don't get the "our reality" bit, unless you are referring to logical impossibilities.

"Also, if God cannot act unjustly, then why are there birth defects?"

This opens a huge new topic -- theodicy; the justice of God, and the problem of evil. In short, because reality is more complex than just material universe + God. There is also evil. According to Christian belief, God created man perfect and in innocence, but with the potential to disobey God, i.e., free will. (You might also conclude, from this, that God is a "risk-taker".) Man succumbed, and the consequences were catastrophic. So, the world, as good as it still is, is fallen and marred -- like a painting. It has been redeemed in Christ and will eventually be completely restored. Birth defects were not part of God's original intent.

"If God cannot act unjustly, why did he design us with only one hole for breathing, eating and drinking?"

And talking.

You'll have to ask Him. I can only speculate that God is into efficiency of design. He did give us some redundancy in breathing, for which I am grateful.

Lore_Weaver said...

"You'll have to ask Him. I can only speculate that God is into efficiency of design. He did give us some redundancy in breathing, for which I am grateful."

He gave Dolphins a better breathing apparatus then he gave us! (if you presume he exists). Why would God give Whales and Dolphins preferential treatment of superior breathing and eating holes?

Or the fact that GOD is the only designer that thinks it's a good idea to put a sewage system through an entertainment complex. reeeeetarrrrded

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As for Birth Defects, your omnivirtuous God allows this to happen to devout Christian families, like he lets floods indiscriminately kill believers and non-believers alike. You may argue that God's love persists past life, but God then must think nothing of the feelings of the people left behind.

If GOD did his job well, we wouldn't have to ask why. We'd believe because it was obvious. Doubt alone, and the ability to doubt casts a shadow on any peice of evidence you could offer, thus debunking any of the evidence you've presented.

I doubt, therefore it's plausible to not be applicable.

You're whole argument is specious because anything you can say in support of God, I can poke a shadow of doubt in. No evidence holds up. You haven't provided anything that I haven't been able to shoot down.

I also recognize that you've done likewise. Thus the debate will go on.

In the end, people should believe in whatever gives them comfort. People should not push their beliefs on others (including their children) and should not denigrate those who disbelieve.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"