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 What is god?

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Mar 07, 2002
 Comments:
Yea what? I mean lots of people assume that they know stuff about God - ie what he wants and how he acts. Mainly they just read this stuff from books. People will say "God is good" or "God will punish all the sinners". Why? Because I read it.

Just a thought but if there is a God isnt he capable of lying?

diaries

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Well people are bound to argue "God is almighty why would he lie?"..well why should he bother telling the truth either? He's almighty - its more likely that he wouldnt bother interacting with us at all..afterall he doesnt need to.

How do we know that people who have "spoken" with God have really spoken with him? Sure they might not be lying - they might honestly believe they have spoken with the almighty...why? because he told them so.

That seems pretty stupid to me...I wouldnt believe someone was the president of the USA just on their word alone.

And what about stuff like judgement day? Even if its the word of God what if he's a bit of a joker and he's actually gonna punish all the good people for being morons? You know, it could happen.

Of course being an athiest I dont even reckon God exists at all. Maybe there are highly intelligent beings out there but not any almighty ones. On that note how do we know that moses was talking to God and not to a highly intelligent but mortal and not almighty alien being? But whats the purpose for such an alien being to do such an action? Well it shaped our society didnt it? Maybe we do have "protectors" up there but whether they are immortal and almighty is unproven and unprovable.

Therefore why have blind faith in either side of the argument? You could do it on principle I guess - "Im religious therefore i have faith"...but why?

       
Tweet

Simple. (none / 0) (#1)
by tkatchev on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 12:21:21 PM PST
Just ask the gaping black hole in your heart.


--
Peace and much love...




yea (none / 0) (#23)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:52:59 PM PST
if theres a problem its nothing physical. Maybe mental. But I dont see why not believing in God is a problem at all. I feel ok. Why does God want us to believe in him so much anyway? seems a little suspicious to me.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Dood, you're a genius. (none / 0) (#39)
by hauntedattics on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 06:33:22 PM PST
At willfully misunderstanding important points, that is.



I believe you are understating things (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by elby on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 07:40:09 PM PST
Given this journal entry, it seems reasonable to suppose that potatoerror is in fact God Himself.

-lb


 
I believe that... (none / 0) (#2)
by innominate on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 12:38:32 PM PST
God = Infinity
Infinity = the potential of ALL potentialities

God, IMHO, is the real YOU that exists outside the physical universe; and if you question that, tell me where thought exists, (hint: not in that physical grey matter you call a brain either).
God IS. Like thought IS. You cannot assign a beingness to God, because God is not a being.
Also, God is not as the bible depicts, because any God that says 'you shall have no other Gods before me' has some real inferiority issues to work out.

If you have the testicular fortitude to post that here, then I bet you have asked yourself that many times. Atheism is a lonely existance, if you consider that you only have yourself to answer to, and if there isn't a God, then you really are alone in the universe. Wholly unlikely to me.
You might find some answers here:
http://www.freezone.org/


Umm (none / 0) (#14)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:29:16 PM PST
thanks for the help but...

I believe thoughts do exist in the brain as it is where they originate.

"Atheism is a lonely existance"
hahahahahaahaa


<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

origination (none / 0) (#67)
by innominate on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:44:37 AM PST
you're welcome. I don't agree with you, but that is what makes debate so much fun.
Do you believe that your soul exists?
If so, where would you say that soul is?


hmm (none / 0) (#74)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:12:20 AM PST
The souls a tricky one. Obviously we have some manifestation of conciousness...im feeling it now. But is this manifestation just a by product of a complex and self-containing system such as our brain? I know for sure that damage to the brain damages the level of conciousness so it implies that conciousness is a product of the brain. Obviously I will never know the answer to this.

I know that to some people, a soul is meant to be more than conciousness but I dont grasp what more there is than that. Maybe im inferior though lol.

Thanks for not hurling insults at me like lots of other people do! To tell you the truth im not trying to change anyones views - I just wanted another debate so I chose a contraversial topic :)
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Consciousness (none / 0) (#97)
by phenocryst on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 07:42:27 PM PST
Are you talking about 'consciousness' as some kind of high-order cognitive function (i.e. thinking, awareness, introspection), or the qualitative feeling of sensations and thought: the fact that they don't just happen in some machine, but are experienced by you? The description of the latter is inevitably idiomatic, intuitive, and really relying on you knowing what I mean already.


yea (none / 0) (#103)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 09:49:13 PM PST
Yea I think consciousness is all about being aware - aware that you exist. Just thinking "I" means you are conscious.

I have a theory for the cause of conciousness.

Take a process that can think - be it biological or mechanical. By thinking im talking about taking input from the environment and interpretting it and acting on these interpretations to reach set goals (survival is a basic one).

Now at this level you would say it is nothing more than a machine - it isnt aware of itself.

But what if that process then takes input about itself and interprets itself? Couldnt we then claim that the process knows about itself, recognises how its actions affect its own state, is asking questions about itself and therefore must be aware?

What would such a thing feel? If its aware of itself there must be some sort of feeling to this awareness - otherwise there would be no awareness at all right? This feeling must be conciousness in my opinion.
Actually visualising yourself in your universe - just as we all visualise ourselves in our universe by looking at a funny image that our eyes and brain generate for us. Why do we see this? Cant we function without being concious? No, because our brain is doing feedback and including ourselves in its thinking...even including its thinking in its thinking.

Thats why I think conciousness is possible in computers simply because it doesnt have to be constructed but naturally constructs itself from complexity. It would be complicated to do - hence why it hasnt been done yet - but possible.


<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

I see (none / 0) (#116)
by phenocryst on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 08:15:23 AM PST
I'm perpetually torn between thinking qualia, the 'feelings' of consciousness, are just feedback results of being an aware and self-aware thinker; and thinking that any functional specifications such as psychological/neurophysiological states of awareness and self-awareness, are possible without the accompanying qualia.

David Chalmers is excellent on this subject, although he is one of the standard bearers for the latter view. I suggest you read his paper Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness. It's non-technical, thoroughly interesting, and not too long.


 
Exactly (none / 0) (#3)
by budlite on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 12:38:40 PM PST
I think the writers of Stargate had the right idea. Having said that, I'm not completely atheist - more agnostic. But still.


oooohh ahhh (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 12:03:04 PM PST
I'm not completely atheist - more agnostic.

Agnostics are just pussy atheists.


 
Why doesn't this suprise me? (none / 0) (#4)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 12:47:25 PM PST
It comes as no surprise that an avowed Lunix zealot would also disbelieve in God. The same mental deficiency that led you to embrace that filthy communist trash has also impelled you to reject the notion of an Almighty Creator. You sicken me. I would not be surprised to learn that you sexually assault women and stomp on babies in your spare time. Please take your drivel elsewhere. We at Adequacy have better things to do than to sift through the tripe you insist on inflicting on us.

Oh yes... and I've been meaning to ask you -- does your name really mean that you are the result of some potato-mating program that went horribly awry? Seems that way...

Warmest regards,
AR


Very compelling (none / 0) (#5)
by innominate on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 12:53:16 PM PST
It seems that anonymity is your only refuge. If you were part of OUR Adequacy.org, you'd have a name oh anonymous one.
As for your comment, I think YOU should take your drivel elsewhere, unless you are brave enough to register and have a real presence here.


 
Fergawdsake (none / 0) (#6)
by budlite on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 01:06:47 PM PST
If you're going to associate yourself in some way with <A HREF="http://www.adequacy.org">Adequacy</A> then at least register.<P>

Then someone MIGHT just take your conformist pap seriously.


Whoopsy daisy (none / 0) (#7)
by budlite on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 01:08:24 PM PST
If you're going to associate yourself in some way with Adequacy then at least register.

Then someone MIGHT just take your conformist pap seriously.


 
Yea well (2.50 / 2) (#15)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:30:34 PM PST
When MR and MRS Reader gave birth to you they should have come up with a better name than Anonymous.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
I have no choice... (none / 0) (#32)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 05:08:37 PM PST
but to take refuge in the shelter of anonymity, for these lunix zealots have the alarming propensity to exact physical vengeance on all those who have the temerity to dispute their misguided doctrines. In fact, it has been rumored (though never substantiated) that many individuals in the upper echelons of Oussama Ben Laden's Al-Qaeda terrorist network have been drawn from Lorenzo Torevaldez' chief lieutenants. How else would you explain the horrific hygiene and hair issues afflicting individuals like RMS and ESR?

The esteemed editors of the Most Controversial Site on the Internet saw it fit to allow readers to post anonymously. In choosing to take advantage of this singular opportunity, I am not at all weakening my affiliation with Adequacy, nor am I implying any reduction in my unshakeable commitment to Adequacy or the principles for which it stands.

As with your disbelief in God, your failure to grasp such fundamental concepts is tragically unsurprising. Indeed, I find it remarkable that you are actually literate enough to read (and misunderstand) my posts.

I would once again extend to you and your foul ilk an invitation to take your detritus to a place where it is more appreciated. That bastion of intelligence, that oasis of sanity and that staunch defender of all that is fair and good in the world would, no doubt, welcome you with open arms.


well at least im not a troll (none / 0) (#40)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 06:34:59 PM PST
yea thats all.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Pathetic (none / 0) (#48)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 08:03:23 PM PST
This may have been a valid arguing technique in Grade 2, but most rational adults no longer resort to ad hominem attacks in order to cover-up their own inadequacies and deficiencies. You are clearly unable to handle the subtle nuances of my arguments and so find yourself compelled to dismiss my statements as the products of a troll.

I deride you, you pansy. Why do you hate small children? Why must you spread your human-hating tripe here? Leave us alone!

Warmest regards,
AR


Dear AR (none / 0) (#49)
by DG on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 09:10:01 PM PST
seems to me you are new.. come back when you have an account on here, then you can throw your own tripe at fellow readers, other wise please stop posting claiming to know anything, oh by and by ad hominem is the bread and butter for most of the users here. oh yeah don't whine about my writing i'll ignore you.
2002, DG. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

On the contrary... (none / 0) (#57)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 03:26:24 AM PST
I am a long-time reader of Adequacy. You will find my comments dating back nearly to the creation of this remarkable site.

Please, please don't ignore my messages. I have no idea what I would do if you stopped reading what I had to say. My life would have no meaning any more. How would I justify my empty existence? How could I grapple with the emotional void that will, no doubt, form within me? My life is incomplete without you reading my comments.

Warmest regards,
AR


 
see - this is how you write posts (5.00 / 1) (#68)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:51:06 AM PST
<witty remark> <link replyee with linux zealots> <kiss adequacys ass> <insults> <more insults + a reference to slashdot>

Always the same - it gets tiring. Do you people have a random post generating program? You add in one sentence on topic like:

"***As with your disbelief in God***, your failure to grasp such fundamental concepts is tragically unsurprising. Indeed, I find it remarkable that you are actually literate enough to read (and misunderstand) my posts."

Notice that the 6 words in ***'s are the only on-topic discussion made amongst at least 150 words. The rest is all bullshit, insults and waste of time.

Go on post another and prove my point.


<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
Good question (none / 0) (#8)
by SpaceGhoti on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 01:27:11 PM PST
Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that the human race is the result of genetic manipulation by an alien race. While neither infallible nor omnipotent, they would meet the requirements of "God" in that they would be our creators. "Judgement Day" could be when they come back and decide whether or not their experiment was worth continuing.

Just an idle thought.


A troll's true colors.

no, they would not be creators. (none / 0) (#13)
by nathan on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:09:17 PM PST
They would be demiurges.

The creator is responsible for creation. You might as well say that we're gods to Dolly the sheep. We aren't - we just manipulated some stuff in a way that contributed to the development of life. That's not the same thing as creating space and time.

Wank wank wank wank wank. Like, what if there were space aliens and shit? Man, that'd be fucked up!

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Idle musings (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by SpaceGhoti on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:36:22 PM PST
You don't have to participate in a rational exchange of ideas if you don't want to. Nobody is forcing you. PotatoError brought up a question which spawned additional questions. You're welcome to wank all you want; we're having a pleasant, friendly conversation.

I believe the difference between a creator and a demiurge is small enough as to make no difference from the perspective of the created/manipulated. Be it God, an alien or whatever the reason why we exist, in our relatively primitive state we'll assign all sorts of qualities to our progenitor. Humanity has demonstrated time and again our willingness to elevate ordinary people and events to divine status.

Humans don't want to believe that the Universe is random. We're too fond of creating patterns where there are none. We're much happier thinking that bad things happen for a reason than we are thinking that our environment is utterly impersonal and uncaring. We're too insecure for it, and will continue to be so long as we resist attempts to do something about it.

It's a shame, really.


A troll's true colors.

creator vs. demiurge (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by nathan on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 04:33:39 PM PST
The difference between the Creator and a demiurge is, both morally and philosophically, of desperate importance.

A demiurge's creation takes place in the context of cosmic accident because, were there demiurges, their demiurge existence would be as accidental as everything else. A universe without a creator (as though such a thing were imaginable) would be a universe in which everything was contingent, mechanical, deterministic, and morally blank. A universe in which anything were arbitrary would be one in which everything would have to be. If there were no absolutes, because no Absolute, the universe would be an inconceivably chaotic hell. It's a good job such a thing could not exist.

The Creator of the universe is the entirety of telos[1] in His own being. The Creator of the universe is a non-contingent Absolute. The Creator of the universe is transcendent and immanent; in everything but not of it. Got it?

[1] If you haven't studied what telos means, and I don't mean by looking it up at webster.com, you have nothing to add to this thread. Why is it that people think they can discuss philosophy and theology when they know nothing about either?

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Of course he doesn't get it, Nathan (5.00 / 1) (#33)
by osm on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 05:10:43 PM PST
Spaghetti doesn't want to get it. The non-existence of a deity is in His best interests. It is the only way He can maintain absolute superiority over the rest of us.


The non-existence of God (none / 0) (#53)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 01:31:13 AM PST
I've stated before that I believe God exists. I just think She has a better sense of humor than people give Her credit for.

In other words, God is out there but you don't know God and you never will. Not until you die, perhaps not even then. You're not capable of understanding God or God's will, and neither am I.

It's deceptively simple, really. It merely requires us to cast aside our pre-conceived notions.


A troll's true colors.

 
Irrelevant. (none / 0) (#36)
by The Mad Scientist on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 06:02:41 PM PST
The difference between the Creator and a demiurge is, both morally and philosophically, of desperate importance.

Why?

A universe without a creator (as though such a thing were imaginable) would be a universe in which everything was contingent, mechanical, deterministic, and morally blank.

It isn't?[1]

A universe in which anything were arbitrary would be one in which everything would have to be. If there were no absolutes, because no Absolute, the universe would be an inconceivably chaotic hell.

When I checked last, the world was a chaotic hell and there weren't any true absolutes, only several artificial constructs labeled as ones, each claiming it is the Only True One.

It's a good job such a thing could not exist.

As far it exists.

The Creator of the universe is the entirety of telos in His own being. The Creator of the universe is a non-contingent Absolute. The Creator of the universe is transcendent and immanent; in everything but not of it. Got it?

Is it possible to prove/disprove this claim? Or does it need that self-help psychotherapy thing, I think it's called faith?

[1] deterministic within the boundaries of the Uncertainity Principle


Let's pin this down, OK? (none / 0) (#41)
by RobotSlave on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 06:41:13 PM PST
Are you arguing that the universe is deterministic? If you are, then why does someone who disagrees with you have to stop at the boundaries of the Uncertainty Principle? Or are you arguing that the Universe is a non-deterministic "chaotic hell?" I'm a little confused. Spell it out for me, would you?

I have a rather particular bone to pick with the philisophical hay that has been made from Heisenberg's observation, but I know it wouldn't interest you. Clearly, that's a matter for the Babbling Philosophers.

As for faith, you're stuck with it, you poor, terrified geek. You have nothing else to assure you that one added to one is, indeed, two. Or are you not familiar with Gödel's corollary? I wouldn't be surprised. He was, after all, something of a Babbling Philosopher himself.


© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

unfortunately (none / 0) (#72)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:02:56 AM PST
Godels work never did prove the universe wasnt deterministic - uncertain maybe but not undeterministic.
Neither does the Uncertainty Principle. I dont know why we had to stop there.
Remember Uncertainty doesnt mean Non-determinism.

Do you really have to have faith that what you cant see, does actually exist?

As you are on a computer at the moment I will use it as an example. If you close your eyes does your computer still exist? How do you know? Is that faith?
Close your eyes again - does a unicorn exist in front of you? How do you know? Is that faith?

You see how easy it is to accept the computer exists in front of you but not the unicorn even though you dont have proof for either? Thats because reality gave you information - that computers are not only possible but before you shut your eyes there was one there.

Thats why some things have no proof but dont require faith to believe in them.
Isnt the idea of faith supposed to be a certain blindness?
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Faith (none / 0) (#77)
by RobotSlave on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:39:55 AM PST
The first corollary to Gödel's incompleteness theorem requires one to take Arithmetic on faith. It can not be proven sound in its entirety, no matter where you start. It can not be apprehended by the senses. It must be taken on faith.

This, in turn, means that the rest of numerical mathematics is based on faith.


© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

 
Determinism (none / 0) (#78)
by RobotSlave on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:41:57 AM PST
Please state your belief. Is the universe deterministic, or not?


© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

yes it is (none / 0) (#79)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:46:07 AM PST
in my opinion
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

OK (none / 0) (#92)
by RobotSlave on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:13:36 PM PST
In that case, you have no free will.

Me, I wouldn't mind having no free will, as I'm not at all certain that I exist in the first place, but people who are convinced they exist tend to get a bit worked up over it.


© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

Interesting. (none / 0) (#93)
by dmg on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:03:03 PM PST
I once got into a heated debate with a co-worker over the existance of Australia. I said that he could not know that it existed, he argued that because he had read about it, seen it on maps, met Australians etc, that he could state that it existed. I disagreed.

Me, I wouldn't mind having no free will, as I'm not at all certain that I exist in the first place, but people who are convinced they exist tend to get a bit worked up over it.

Don't they just!

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Australia (none / 0) (#106)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 10:07:20 PM PST
It'd better be there, or I'm sitting in the middle of the Pacific ocean without a paddle (or even an outboard motor).


A troll's true colors.

 
oh geez (none / 0) (#94)
by nathan on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:11:26 PM PST
Robotslave, if I claim that there must be an existing entity to produce a text or utterance, are you going to get all postmodern on my ass and say that the very word 'exists' begs the question?

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

I thought you were a bit more sophisticated (none / 0) (#100)
by RobotSlave on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 08:58:00 PM PST
Though the concept of "existence" does indeed have its own problems, my doubt is rooted more in the questioning of the notion of self, of the "I" that Descartes conveniently squirreled away in the conjugation of his latin verbs.

Do "I" exist when the brain is unconcious, as happens every night in the hours of undreaming sleep? Is the notion of self separable from the notion of free will? In many dreams, there is experience, but no freedom of choice or action. Is that "me" in those dreams? What if I dream that I can fly, or am of the opposite gender, or otherwise experience a violation of "reality?" Is that "me?"

More disturbingly, what of the countless passing moments of the day in which "I" am distracted, or absorbed in something, paying absolutely no attention to my "self?" Is not the very fact that we can use the word "absorbed" in this manner telling?

If we go by this commonly accepted "proof" put forward by Descartes, then would we not be most fully ourselves in our most narcissistic moments?

I think the "self" I experience varies drasticly with mood, and frequently vanishes entirely.

The closest thing I have ever had to a "religious" experience is an astonishment at being alive, of being aware. Many would regard that as inalienable proof that the self exists, but I regard it as evidence of the fact that most of the time, "I" do not fully exist, if "I" exist at all. Why else would the experience be exceptional?

There are whole religions that center around the non-existence of self, or strive for it. Why do you find the concept so difficult?

I might be able to suggest an answer to that question. The non-existence of self might have profound consequences for the notion of an immortal soul, depending on your conception of such an entity. Even the intellectual unitarian hippie christians I've met have had trouble with views that challenge the existence of their "souls."

Interestingly, it is perfectly possible to believe in the soul, mortal or immortal, without believing in God. In fact, I suspect this is the position of many atheists, though they don't stop to think about it.

I choose a different road. I value human life without believing in souls, and my profound doubts about the existence of self don't affect that value. I like people, regardless of whether I or they are "all there."

Unwillingness to consider the non-existence of self could also be a consequence of the ideology of Individualism which pervades western culture, particularly in North America.

But enough of this. I haven't watched enough television this week, and I need to catch up. If I had time, I'd go back and rewrite this whole comment in the third person, just to make a point, but I don't want to cut any more time from my study of mass culture. I've been neglecting it.


© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

a serious answer (none / 0) (#129)
by nathan on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 06:40:22 AM PST
No one today can say with honesty that there exists a privileged "I" that comprehends every aspect of experience, in the manner of an animating spirit or some such dualistic doubletalk. Obviously, consciousness is a complicated phenomenon, entailing awareness, subconscious processes feeding information into the conscious mind, and a good many things that we can't begin to explain in satisfactory detail.

I'm unimpressed, however, by your deduction that no such phenomenon as consciousness exists. What is your alternative theory?

Best,
Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
Nature of Human Understanding Redux (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by derek3000 on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 07:42:29 AM PST
As you are on a computer at the moment I will use it as an example. If you close your eyes does your computer still exist? How do you know?
Is that faith?
Close your eyes again - does a unicorn exist in front of you? How do you know? Is that faith?


You can't know that it's going to be there, but you can expect it to. The same way with the sunrise.




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

 
"Uncertainty principle"? (none / 0) (#50)
by tkatchev on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 12:28:23 AM PST
Good job using terms you don't know the meaning of!


--
Peace and much love...




 
you're overexagerating (none / 0) (#38)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 06:32:50 PM PST
A universe without a creator would be less chaos than one with a creator. Nature has no ruler - its a balance of equilibrium between each species and their environments. In turn the environments have no ruler - they are controlled by our planets rotation, orbit and the Sun.
Our planet and the Sun are controlled by gravity and exist as single components in a far larger system. A system of order - order because it is controlled with rules.

This type of system needs no creator to explain it. Its perfectly logical and stable on its own.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

who is over-exagerrating? (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by derek3000 on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 07:44:54 AM PST
This type of system needs no creator to explain it. Its perfectly logical and stable on its own.




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

huh? (none / 0) (#104)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 09:53:26 PM PST
That we exist proves the universe has a high level of order in it.
In a chaotic universe something as complicated as a human would never have developed.

Logic and order go hand in hand. Logics enemy is chaos as there is no logic in chaos.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
Poor guy. (none / 0) (#54)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 02:14:59 AM PST
I think I hurt your feelings. I'm ever so sorry.

I'm sorry, but I'm afraid your "desperate importance" between a creator and a demiurge is deeply subjective. You fail to convince me, although this comes as no surprise to anyone. Nor do I expect to convince you of anything. You're content with your beliefs, as I'm content with mine. While I cannot persuade you that I have previously considered your beliefs and rejected them, I'm quite sure that your beliefs are not subject to change without radical surgery. So long as it makes you happy, I'm content to leave you that way.

A universe without a creator...would be a universe in which everything was contingent, mechanical, deterministic, and morally blank.

...And your point is? I know this frightens you to consider it, but the universe already operates this way. God doesn't oversee the fusion of every hydrogen atom in every star in the universe. God doesn't have to. The system is designed to be self-sustaining, along with everything else you see around you. It is already determined that the red giant star we call Betelgeuse will lose its remaining fuel and shrink to a brown dwarf. It is already determined that the moon will swing around the Earth with a rotational value such that one side will always face the Earth. It is already determined that when you stumble and drop that glass, it's going to succumb to the gravitational pull of the Earth and smash on the floor.

What is not determined is how you're going to react to dropping the glass. Will you rant and rave? Will you apologize to the owner of the glass? Will you cut yourself on a shard? You're part of the random element imposed by free will. You will have the impulse to get upset about it. Will you surrender to the impulse, or will you choose a different path? That is not pre-determined.

As for being morally blank, I'm afraid so. Remember the earthquakes that kill people? The volcanos? The floods? The accidents of sheer randomness that sometimes kill or wound people, and many times don't? These actions are morally blank. There is no maliciousness to them. There is nothing personal meant in them. They just happen. People sometimes get in the way. The universe just doesn't care. God may care, but as it says in Matthew 5:45, God rains on the just and the unjust. The mechanisms are in place. There is no right or wrong to this, it just is.

A universe in which anything were arbitrary would be one in which everything would have to be.

I'm not entirely sure if I understand what you mean by this, but I'll give it a shot. Everything is arbitrary. Winning the lottery is based on statistics. Getting a viable pregnancy is arbitrary. Being born to a rich family instead of a poor family is arbitrary. Let's put it another way: think of Life as a poker game. The Universe deals the cards more or less at random. You get to decide how to play them.

If there were no absolutes, because no Absolute, the universe would be an inconceivably chaotic hell.

Once again: ...and your point is? There are no absolutes. Morals are things we impose on ourselves. Other cultures have different morals and get along just fine with them. They perceive no particular lack in their lives for not conforming to your morals. They have difficulty perceiving the need or even the existence of your morals. The only absolutes we can point to are those we can observe. Gravity is an absolute. Magnetism is another. The rules were set in the first fraction of a second in which the Universe came into being, and we're living with the results. Life as we know it was made possible by those rules; all else is chaos. Here's a news flash for you: the fluttering of a butterfly in Mexico really does trigger a monsoon in India. They've got the numbers.

Your use of telos[1] assumes that you understand the system. It's clear to me that you haven't mastered the basics of understanding. God is out there. God is in the numbers. It doesn't automatically follow that you have the faintest idea of what that means. Why is it that people think they can discuss anything from a faulty assumption?

[1] I'm very impressed now. You used telos in a sentence. Your gold star is in the mail.


A troll's true colors.

Now we know where you got the name Spaghetti (none / 0) (#56)
by osm on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 03:18:50 AM PST
From an earlier rambling:

In other words, God is out there but you don't know God and you never will. Not until you die, perhaps not even then. You're not capable of understanding God or God's will, and neither am I.

This is inconsistent with the following:

...but the universe already operates this way. God doesn't oversee the fusion of every hydrogen atom in every star in the universe. God doesn't have to. The system is designed to be self-sustaining...

What is not determined... You're part of the random element imposed by free will.

As for being morally blank, I'm afraid so.... These actions are morally blank. There is no maliciousness to them. There is nothing personal meant in them. They just happen. People sometimes get in the way. The universe just doesn't care...

...think of Life as a poker game. The Universe deals the cards more or less at random.

There are no absolutes...

God is out there. God is in the numbers.

So, Spaghetti, if it is not possible to "know God" or its will, then please tell us which stinking orifice you pulled these comments from... I mean, it certainly appears you are espousing some understanding of how God is working and what its intentions are. Really, inquiring minds want to know.

Why is it that people think they can discuss anything from a faulty assumption?

I'd rather know why some people assume nobody will notice their faulty logic in a given discussion.

You Goddamn troll, Spaghetti.


no he did good (none / 0) (#66)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:43:47 AM PST
I thought he argued well.

The inconsistancy you mentioned isnt actually an inconsistancy at all. He made it clear that no human can ever expect to "know God". He then wrote some stuff, none of which implied that he knew God either.

As he said, Why believe a God controls the universe when the universe can easily control itself?

So if there is a God what is His job other than being the creator? Surely if this universe was created by an Almighty being, that almighty being didnt need to stick around after starting the cogs moving. Once the universe was in swing he has no purpose because the universe can control itself.



<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

uh no. (5.00 / 1) (#95)
by osm on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:12:26 PM PST
If you cannot know God's mind or motives or methods, then you cannot draw those sorts of conclusions about the nature of the universe. It's as simple as that.

For example:

Surely if this universe was created by an Almighty being, that almighty being didnt need to stick around after starting the cogs moving.

If you are incapable of understanding God, how can you draw that conclusion? Perhaps it did need to stick around, maybe not. You can't know.

Once the universe was in swing he has no purpose because the universe can control itself.

Once again, you (and Spaghetti) are drawing conclusions about the nature of God. You cannot know whether he had a purpose after creation and you cannot know that the universe can control itself.


Uh huh? (none / 0) (#96)
by phenocryst on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 07:32:03 PM PST
If you cannot know God's mind or motives or methods, then you cannot draw those sorts of conclusions about the nature of the universe.

True, but that doesn't mean there's a logical inconsistency in what Spaghetti is saying. He could be stating truths without them being justified knowledge.

Maybe you're taking some verificationist line, in which the impossibility of finding out anything about God makes talk about him meaningless. But saying something true ("You're not capable of understanding God or God's will, and neither am I") followed by something meaningless doesn't constitute an inconsistency. It just constitutes irrelevance. Which is what this whole discussion is.


Oh yes it does (none / 0) (#101)
by osm on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 08:58:16 PM PST
True, but that doesn't mean there's a logical inconsistency in what Spaghetti is saying.

It obviously does. But whatever. This is getting to be a fucking Kuro5hin style wank-fest.


 
true (none / 0) (#105)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 09:57:28 PM PST
true :)
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
Rambling (none / 0) (#107)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 10:24:57 PM PST
Mea culpa. I'll plead guilty on this one with extenuating circumstances.

The original statement stands. God is unknowable. The rest is conjecture. As I was responding to Nathan about specifics and absolutes, I allowed absolutes to creep into my argument. I was conjecturing, but using language that assumed I knew. Obviously, I gave a false impression and I'm willing to concede that.

What feeble defense I can summon to myself is that I'm far more willing to believe that God set the machinery in motion than to believe that God is micro-managing the whole system. What I should have done to cover my philosophical ass was insert a few phrases to point out that I'm drawing conclusions from incomplete data. "God doesn't need to micro-manage" as opposed to "God doesn't micro-manage."

I therefore submit that my earlier argument requires some minor critical thinking, operating from the assumption that it is all unknowable but that I'm willing to make some educated guesses. After all, conjecture is how this particular thread got started.


A troll's true colors.

Still unacceptable (none / 0) (#110)
by osm on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 03:31:24 AM PST
"God doesn't need to micro-manage" as opposed to "God doesn't micro-manage."

You have already admitted you cannot know that. What God does need and doesn't need to do is not knowable.

I agree with you, by the way, with a slight caveat: The mind/intent/ways/whatever of God are not completely understandable in terms of what we observe within the universe. I guess that suggests that "educated guesses" are meaningless when applied to things not of the universe, since the "educated" part comes from observing the world you are a part of.

So, I wonder what pieces of that entity show up around us. Maybe it's in the order in the universe. Like the way such complex ordered systems as conscious beings can come to exist in a universe that inherently increases in entropy. Maybe it's in self-awareness and imagination.

Maybe I shouldn't stay up until 5:17am.


 
free will (none / 0) (#65)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:41:49 AM PST
Your arguments there were good..nice read.

But im suprised that seeing as you recognise that the universe controls itself through laws of physics, that you dont also apply these laws to people.
Im talking about free will - I dont see how we can be excluded from the universe. If the action of every particle in this universe has a cause then as we make actions we must also have causes.

This is true, human actions do have causes - we arent random beings. Its these causes that control us not free will. Free will would be putting randomness into the system - something which would be out of place in this universe.

Its very easy for us as sentinent beings to believe we have free will. After all at the moment I feel that I could do any one of a hundred actions and I feel I have free will over the choice I will make. I could keep typing for example, or I could turn off the PC or I could throw the keyboard on the floor. My choice?

By the time your reading this I will have performed one of these actions - but was it really free will? I was always "destined" to perform one action - so did I really have a choice or did I just have the illusion that I had a choice?
There's no evidence to prove free will. No evidence to disprove it either though.
Its just that in a universe of determinism its difficult to understand how we, made up of particles like everything else, somehow become an exception.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

come on out and play (none / 0) (#69)
by innominate on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:54:49 AM PST
dude, get out of the physical universe, it's a lie anyway. I can prove it! Anything that changes is a lie, by definition. So show me ANYTHING in this physical universe that NEVER changes...
Oh, and free will means you can choose from the infinite possibilies you possess, being part of God and all.



www.freezone.org; you might find it here...


But... (none / 0) (#73)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:06:56 AM PST
the physical universe isnt entirely physical anyway.

My argument is can people choose from all possibilities or do they simply have the illusion that they can choose? Afterall at the end of the day they will perform one of those possibilities...how can we prove that they could have picked a different one?
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

re but... (none / 0) (#80)
by innominate on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 07:30:10 AM PST
that's the thing. People are creating their own illusion. You can call this the 'Illusion of the Planet'. As a very good book called 'the Four Agreements' puts it, rather philosophically, we all agreed to this illusion. Our reality is a mirror of our true spiritual beings. Perception varies from person to person because of this.

I believe our dreams are more real than this physical universe.


 
#1 (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by phenocryst on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 07:58:41 PM PST
I'm sorry, but I'm afraid your "desperate importance" between a creator and a demiurge is deeply subjective.

There is an obvious distinction between something which happened to create us, and God. A race of aliens would have "created" us in the same sense in which my parents created me, or in which Conway created Life. However, they would also be intermediate parts of the causal chain.

Since it's possible that we wouldn't have existed, then that God created us is only a contingent fact about God. To specify him other properties are generally cited: that which has necessary existence, the uncaused causer, the greatest conceivable being, and so on.


Let's put it this way: (none / 0) (#108)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 10:34:45 PM PST
As a child, was there ever a point at which you were unable to distinguish between God and your parents? God can do anything and everything, right? Most children believe much the same thing of their parents up until a certain point.

I accept that the difference exists in fundament. However, from the perspective of the created the difference is extremely slight. That's why I claim that the difference is subjective.


A troll's true colors.

OK, ignore my criteria (none / 0) (#115)
by phenocryst on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 08:05:44 AM PST
Why are the opinions of children relevant?

I never thought my parents were necessary beings.


 
#2 (5.00 / 1) (#99)
by phenocryst on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 08:13:27 PM PST
the universe already operates this way

It is already determined

What is not determined is how you're going to react

I always thought the standard libertarian free willer's proofs that determinism and free will are incompatible, were quite pointless. But someone actually holds both determinism, and free will as causal origination.

You must mean not that the whole world is deterministic, only those parts which aren't affected by human action. But how much of it is like that?


Libertarian (none / 0) (#109)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 11:00:55 PM PST
I never claimed to be a libertarian. For the first time in my life I've acquired the label of "liberal," which is a source of endless amusement for me. I have some radically liberal ideas about social issues, but very conservative feelings about finances and world politics.

It was something on the order of ten years ago that I wrote down a thought that has stayed with me. "Reality is best defined as a matter of opinion." Reading James Gleick's Chaos: Making a New Science only served to spice up the idea. Add an olive. Shake well. Drink...but very carefully.

So you have a lovely mixture of determinism with free will. PotatoError thinks I ought to expand my opinions of determinism to include the possibility of free will, but I have my own reasons for believing otherwise. Some of them are downright mystical in nature, and I have no inclination to discuss them here.

Why do I believe free will negates determinism? One reason is because sentience achieves the exception to the rule: awareness of environment and abstraction allows humans to do what is otherwise unknown so far as we know. We are capable of comprehending and reacting to our world in unique ways, creating new patterns that disrupt the otherwise smooth flow of causality. We're capable of envisioning patterns that do not exist and imposing them on reality (such as how the Star Trek communicators inspired modern cell phones). When this happens, I believe that determinism branches off and takes a new course. It's like blocking the path of a slow brook: you might change its course, but you can't stop it completely.

Incidentally, I like your style. It's rare to find a member capable of disagreeing without resorting to personal attacks. Welcome.


A troll's true colors.

Yes, libertarian (none / 0) (#114)
by phenocryst on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 08:02:31 AM PST
I never claimed to be a libertarian. For the first time in my life I've acquired the label of "liberal," which is a source of endless amusement for me. I have some radically liberal ideas about social issues, but very conservative feelings about finances and world politics.

Whoops. I used the term 'libertarian' in its metaphysical sense. Not political at all. 'Libertarianism' about free will means belief that human agents are causal originators: that they can make decisions that are not wholey caused (either deterministically or indeterministically) by previous events. This makes them some kind of godlike causa sui.

"Reality is best defined as a matter of opinion."

Aside from pedantry about the difference between defining and describing, doesn't this suffer from the usual relativist fallacy of condemning itself?

Are your arguments for free will the following:

(1) Humans achieve things which no other things achieve, therefore they have free will to achieve those things.

(2) Humans are capable of imagining things which don't exist, and then bringing those things into existence.

(1)But plants are capable of photosynthesising, and no other things are (if there's some kind of non-plant organism which can photosynthesise, just count it as a plant for the purposes of the argument). So plants have free will. Photosynthesis isn't mechanistically caused by the chemical structure of the plants' cells and the light input. Actually, they will it to happen.

(2) Imagining is presumably some form of representation. Say I load up a CAD/CAM program, turn off my computer screen and click randomly. The computer now contains a representation of an object which doesn't exist. The representation only exists in the computer, not in my mind, since the screen was off. Then the computers sends it to one of those 3D model 'printers'. The computer has caused the object to come into existence, from its representation. Therefore the computer exercised free will.

I recommend you browse the Determinism and Freedom Philosophy Website, by the wonderful Ted Honderich.

Welcome.

If you compare our UIDs, you'll find I've been around here longer than you have. Welcome.


Now thats just silly ... (none / 0) (#122)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 09:48:27 PM PST
First off - argument for the plant having free will. 'Reaction to stimuli' ought not be lumped in with 'cognitive reasoning & acting on ideas'. It's not nearly the same, and one so obviously learned as yourself ought to know that.

Second off - your argument for the computer also falls flat. Cause and effect. In order for the computer in your scenario to 'create', it first required input from you. It did not, you'll note, press its own keys, direct to and click on any points on its own, nor initiate any process to make the computations neccessary. Unlike a computer, humans are all too capable of running without direct supervision, for better or worse. This response I'll admit, fits into your example fairly well I suppose ... if my buttons hadn't been pushed upon reading such weak hypothesis, I probably wouldn't have bothered to respond.

(No, I don't have an account ... after having read some of the tripe that passes here, I'm not sure it's worth my time ... but this once, at least, I couldn't resist.)

--Nathi


Just counter-examples (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by phenocryst on Sun Mar 10th, 2002 at 07:03:30 AM PST
'Reaction to stimuli' ought not be lumped in with 'cognitive reasoning & acting on ideas'.

Of course not. It was only a counter-example to the argument that since humans achieve unique alterations to the causal flux, they must have free will. You may claim that this argument was a straw man constructed from SpaceGhoti's words, but on consideration I think it was a fair summary of one of his points: that we create "new patterns that disrupt the otherwise smooth flow of causality". Now, to assume that the patterns we create "disrupt" causality is to beg the question. My point was merely to show that patterns uniquely caused by some source are not thereby the actions of free will.

As for the computer, again, it was only a counter-example to show that creation of an object from a representation does not show the existence of free will. As for whether the action of the human using the computer is freely willed or not, either way, it's going to be hard not to beg the question. Consider how silly Gilbert Ryle sounds in the Concept of Mind, when he talks about the usual visualisation of determinism, the movement of balls on a billiards table. His objection is that although the movement is deterministic after each shot, the game itself is not determined because the actions of the players are freely willed. He seems not to realise the point of the analogy, that the minds of the players are acting in the same deterministic way as the balls, but at a much greater level of complexity. As an objection against this, it's very weak.

Most of the time I never read the site, let alone post, which is probably why SpaceGhoti thought I was a new to it. I'm just a bit bored at the moment, and a discussion about free will I couldn't resist either.


 
Hey Killer. (none / 0) (#64)
by derek3000 on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:36:00 AM PST
You've started quite a thread here, haven't you? No one else mentioned telos, so I figured I would--what about imperfection? Or does this betray my superficial knowledge of it?

As an aside, I hung out with two lesbians last night. They went to school with me. I had somewhat of an idea that they had those kinds of feelings, but it still is a shock. Anyway, I had a blast. They've developed a pretty thick skin, and therefore don't exactly care what people think of them. Wouldn't it be nice to really not care about what others think of you?

Well, take it easy.




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

 
I used the linux dictionary! (1.00 / 1) (#102)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 09:15:15 PM PST
Which includes a 1913 version of Webster's, amongst other things such as the ever informative, insightful and interesting (not to mention funny) Jargon file.

1 definition found

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (13 Mar 01) [foldoc]:

TELOS

1. The {LeLisp} Version 16 Object System. Also used in
{EuLisp}. The {object-oriented} {core} of {EuLisp}.
Incorporates ideas from {CLOS}, {ObjVLisp} and {OakLisp}.
Total merging of {type}s with {class}es and message-passing
with normal function {application}.

2. A {Pascal}-based {AI} language.

["Design Rationale for TELOS, a Pascal-based AI Language",
Travis et al, SIGPLAN Notices 12(8) (Aug 1977)].


I guess I can reprint it, since it's free. Still not clear what it has to do with God, though. Does he use Pascal?


Of course! (none / 0) (#117)
by budlite on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 01:23:20 PM PST
Still not clear what it has to do with God, though. Does he use Pascal?

It'd certainly explain a lot.


 
Whats the difference? (2.00 / 3) (#20)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:42:00 PM PST
God or Highly advance mortal beings.

Both can destroy and manipulate us at will. Both can perform miracles...blah blah..all that stuff in the bible could have been performed by a highly intelligent alien race to manipulate humanity for their purposes. You cant prove it otherwise...i could use the bible as evidence for existance of alien intelligence just the same way you use it for evidence of existance of God. Nothing in the bible proves an almighty being - it just describes a highly intelligent being.

At the end of the day whether God or Aliens created us it isnt going to make a difference to us.

And give up with the 70's sceptism that life doesnt exist outside earth. So much of the universe doesnt have any relevance to us - ie we cant see it...so have you ever wondered who its there for?



<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
Aliens (none / 0) (#58)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 03:50:16 AM PST
Why does it always have to be space aliens? Can't it be something else this time?<p>
I would go for faeries, but thats just me. Maybe a giant, superintelligent earthworm. Or a wise old tree. Anything but space aliens, that is getting far too tired to carry the load you have placed on it.


You don't like? (none / 0) (#59)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 04:03:21 AM PST
You would prefer, perhaps, the Invisible Pink Unicorns?


Argh (none / 0) (#111)
by tkatchev on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 04:07:57 AM PST
How about I just kill you immediately?


--
Peace and much love...




 
Please sir (none / 0) (#126)
by Ben Reid on Sun Mar 10th, 2002 at 03:16:40 AM PST
Tell me more about these Invisible Pink Unicorns. In my time talking to atheists/agnostics I have never come across this term and would so love to learn.

Thanks!


 
because... (none / 0) (#62)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:26:10 AM PST
I guess your just taking the piss. But aliens are feasible based on knowledge of our reality.

We live on a planet called Earth. On earth it is warm enough for water to form and cool enough so we dont all bake. For this reason life has started up. There's tons of it on this planet.
How many other planets are there in similar conditions? As we've already observed - our planet is nothing special (except sentimental value). There will be tons of planets like it out there with similar conditions. We must assume that life would also develop on these similar planets and on a few, intelligent life.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Well.... (none / 0) (#112)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 05:44:24 AM PST
If aliens are feasible based on knowledge of our reality, then so are fearies. Why can't faeries have created us?

Giant, superintelligent earthworms are feasible as well, maybe even a step closer than aliens because most people have actually seen and touched earthworms, although they were not likely giant or superintelligent.


 
Excellent work. (none / 0) (#9)
by elenchos on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 01:41:13 PM PST
You've made me not want to be an atheist any more.

Do me a favor: please don't write any anti-hacking posts. My belief system can't take it.


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


u were an athiest? [nt] (none / 0) (#17)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:33:34 PM PST

<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

More precisely. (none / 0) (#21)
by tkatchev on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:48:43 PM PST
He is a canonical liberalist.


--
Peace and much love...




What is a canonical liberalist? (5.00 / 1) (#27)
by elenchos on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 03:05:01 PM PST
And please don't just link me to that Liberalist FAQ you wrote -- the thing doesn't make a lick of sense.


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


Just look at yourself. (none / 0) (#51)
by tkatchev on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 12:32:03 AM PST
Besides, I think I've spelled it out as simply as I can. If you still don't understand, you need to work out your psychological issues first. There is probably quite a bit of mental dissonance generated by your "free thinking rationality".


--
Peace and much love...




Whom are you quoting? (none / 0) (#52)
by elenchos on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 12:47:58 AM PST
What is "free thinking rationality"?


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


I don't know. (none / 0) (#55)
by tkatchev on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 03:06:41 AM PST
Ask yourself; you seem quite fond of it.


--
Peace and much love...




See previous anti-tkatchev post about ambiguity. (none / 0) (#119)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 09:06:27 PM PST
(Basically tkatchev is full of shit, is ALWAYS ambiguous, and NEVER says anything)

he is an ambiguous troll


See previous anti-anonymous-reader post. (none / 0) (#124)
by tkatchev on Sun Mar 10th, 2002 at 12:31:16 AM PST
Basically, "Anonymous Reader" is full of shit.

He is a crapflooding troll.


--
Peace and much love...




 
wow (none / 0) (#30)
by DG on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 03:30:15 PM PST
you are on a roll with the made up names there tkatchev i salute you my friend.. now try again with the names. let me ask, where do you come up with this stuff? On that note.. i've read what liberalism is on many sites, from sites you would claim are liberlist and some that arn't and you are way off on what it is, i enjoy this site but i wish the authors would learn what they are writing about
2002, DG. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

 
Pay attention, PotatoError. (none / 0) (#26)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 03:03:53 PM PST
Elenchos is an atheist, was an athiest, and most likely always will be an atheist. Do they not have Ritalin on your malnourished island nation?

I don't know what's more baffling about the new kids running around this place: their near-unanimous hatred of elenchos, or their near-unanimous infatuation with RobotSlave.

I think RobotSlave is just a deviant sex account for elenchos. They're both smug, superior bastards, they're both in love with their own words, and they seem pretty much indistiguishable when you look at the crap they preach. Just ignore both of them.


Me? This is absurd. (none / 0) (#28)
by elenchos on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 03:14:00 PM PST
I demand that you point out just one single post anywhere at Adequacy.org that suggests that anyone dislikes me in the least. I happen to know I am the most loved editor here, next to serf.

There ought to be a law against posting such lies.


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


No good chance... (none / 0) (#35)
by The Mad Scientist on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 05:46:09 PM PST
I demand that you point out just one single post anywhere at Adequacy.org that suggests that anyone dislikes me in the least. I happen to know I am the most loved editor here, next to serf.

No reasonable chance that any such proof would survive more than few minutes until being "edited out".

There ought to be a law against posting such lies.

And a law against hacking. And... when we are in it, why not a law against rain?


Sure, that's easy to say. (none / 0) (#45)
by elenchos on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 07:07:53 PM PST
And it allows you to claim anything without having to ever prove it. However, it is a little difficult to explain away the many not-deleted posts that disagree with the editors here, as well as the many disagreements among us -- I suspect some of the others believe in God, for example.

But even if it were true, you are free to post your evidence elsewhere where we can't get to it -- Kuro5hin, for example.

IF you had any evidence, that is.


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


 
Atheism is blind faith (none / 0) (#10)
by osm on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 01:43:00 PM PST



Actually... (none / 0) (#11)
by budlite on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 01:54:42 PM PST
I don't think it is. It's merely the belief that there is no all-powerful being or anything else - there is no faith being put in anything, which is the whole point.


Guh (none / 0) (#22)
by tkatchev on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:51:13 PM PST
Correction -- it is the faith that holds that there is no all-powerful being.

I think your liberalist ideas are starting to short-circuit on themselves; watch for the flying sparks -- you might wind up in complete "free thought".


--
Peace and much love...




faith? (none / 0) (#25)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 03:02:06 PM PST
An atheist has no faith in the existance of God.
An atheist also has no faith in the non-existance of God either.
There is no proof that God exists therefore believing that he does exist requires faith. Believing that he doesnt exist requires no faith.

Ive had loads of religious people telling me that knowing something exists and having faith that something exists are two totally different things. But then you come along saying that they're the same thing.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Uh-huh. (none / 0) (#42)
by hauntedattics on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 06:46:08 PM PST
There is no proof that God exists therefore believing that he does exist requires faith. Believing that he doesnt exist requires no faith.

Let's see that all-important proof that God doesn't exist, bucko. Otherwise, how is believing that He doesn't exist not faith?

Please read tkatchev's post again, by the way. I didn't see anything there about 'knowing' anything.




right (5.00 / 1) (#63)
by PotatoError on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:31:25 AM PST
Do you have faith that unicorns dont exist?
Is that faith? The same faith that you use to belive in God?

So whats so special about your faith in God? Because you are also using it to have faith that all sorts of weird stuff doesnt exist - 10 headed people, giant ants, cyclops, etc. This makes faith rather common..next time someone argues that I dont know what having faith in God is like can I argue that I do understand what faith is like because I dont belive in dragons?

Not believing in that sort of stuff without proof ISNT faith.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
Faith vs Belief (none / 0) (#43)
by Ben Reid on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 06:59:12 PM PST
The distinction between the two is important and lies at the heart of most atheist vs agnostic positions. If you consider faith to be putting trust in something you cannot prove -- I don't -- then by implication you need to put faith in everything. Every idea, feeling, concept, model, theory, the lot; whether the sun will rise tomorrow or whether there will be a tomorrow at all. You may think that the Mona Lisa is more beautiful than a squashed matchbox but you can't prove it. You may think your mother loves you but you can't prove it.

To prove something requires:

1) An infinite number of experiments
2) Perfect measuring instruments
3) A completely objective viewpoint

Clearly impossible.

I make the distinction that belief is based in the mind, faith is based in the "heart". Belief can be wrong and altered as new information is gained, faith remains either strong, or is destroyed.

To put faith in the idea that there is no all-powerful being -- to hold it true to your heart -- is astonishing; life becomes a worthless, meaningless position no? Can you really say that your heart has no desire for God? Such a position seems incredible to me but since I cannot know a persons heart, I cannot refute their position.

Now then, belief in the idea that there is no all-powerful being is at least a somewhat honest position; I would call this agnostic, not atheist belief, though arguing atheist/agnostic becomes more word games at the end of the day than meaningful discussion.

This belief may appear like a rational, well thought out decision. "I haven't seen/heard/touched God so logically he doesn't exist ... right?" But let me ask you this. Do you believe in love? A sense of justice? Laughter? Joy? You can't explain these rationally either.

Indeed, if you read Pascal's "Necessity of the Wager" with an open mind (try here) you would find that it is quite a rational decision to believe in God. The wager is not the basis for a meaningful relationship with God, but if you base your meaning in life on rationality alone then choosing to believe in God is still a logical position to take.

And finally, for those who have honestly tried to find God and failed, let me ask you this. Did you search for God with all your heart? If there was one "true cause", with the prize being eternal life, would you want to find out what it is no matter what the cost? What if it meant losing your pride, money, power or esteem amongst men? Do you want the truth like a drowning man wants air? Would you be happy with an eternal existence where the mantra is to unselfishly "love one another"?

Seek and ye will find. Ask and the door will be opened unto you.


The problem with Pascal's Wager (none / 0) (#84)
by jvance on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 08:12:35 AM PST
is that it isn't a two-sided bet.

What if you go all in on the wager, and place your bet with the Church of Christ (non-instrumental). But then it turns out that the Church of Christ (instrumental) had the lock on truth, and you BURN in HELL!

When there are thousands of established religions, and a substantial number of them claim the One True Path wherein those who stray risk eternal damnation, what can you do to guarantee your salvation? Nothing. You cannot be "born again" and then sit back and rake in Heaven's Reward. No, the best you can do is live a considered life. Deliberate over moral issues. Formulate for yourself an an ethical framework and then live by it. If there is no God, then you can look back at the end of your life and have no regrets. If there is a God, and your deliberations were true and sincere, then maybe you won't fall short in His eyes.

Who would your God look upon more favorably? Someone who cynically took Pascal's Wager, or someone who tried to live a virtuous life for its own sake?
--
Adequacy has turned into a cesspool consisting of ... blubbering, superstitious fools arguing with smug, pseudointellectual assholes. -AR

did you read the link? n/t (none / 0) (#85)
by nathan on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 08:26:30 AM PST

--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

I read the book (none / 0) (#88)
by jvance on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 09:20:49 AM PST
20 years ago. I just re-read the Necessity of the Wager from the link, and found some nuances that I didn't remember.

My point remains. a wager for Infinite reward, counterbalanced against several possibilities for Infinite punishment for choosing wrong, isn't much of a wager.

In order for the wager to be viable, the God you choose to believe in must be one who 1) rewards sincere striving and 2) exists.

I haven't read any Kierkegaard. I suppose I should follow your link next, much as I loathe reading long articles on-line (as opposed to on-paper.)
--
Adequacy has turned into a cesspool consisting of ... blubbering, superstitious fools arguing with smug, pseudointellectual assholes. -AR

what if we sweeten the deal? (none / 0) (#89)
by nathan on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 11:00:10 AM PST
How about this: you don't have to join any particular church or religious movement. What you have to do is to commit your life to striving after God.

Sounds good?

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Still bothers me (none / 0) (#91)
by jvance on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 12:48:27 PM PST
Belief, faith, whatever shouldn't be the subject of a wager. I'll follow along with living a reflective life.

Pascal's characterization of atheists struck me as a strawman. I have not met an atheist who came to his beliefs through fashion or laziness. I have met many soi-disant Christians who have. The bastard with the fish sticker who cut me off in traffic and waved the finger at me, for example. Proverbs 18:19, dude.

I have also met a few Christians who came to their beliefs through striving for knowledge and meaning, and I have the greatest respect for them.

I don't think I want to get into my personal beliefs here. You may consider them odd. Maybe a future diarrhea entry.






--
Adequacy has turned into a cesspool consisting of ... blubbering, superstitious fools arguing with smug, pseudointellectual assholes. -AR

Re: (none / 0) (#127)
by Ben Reid on Sun Mar 10th, 2002 at 03:34:42 AM PST
Belief, faith, whatever shouldn't be the subject of a wager

I agree (see my other reply to you on Pascal's wager).

I have not met an atheist who came to his beliefs through fashion or laziness.

Are you sure? I have met plenty of them. I have also met plenty of Christians who come to their beliefs through fashion or laziness. There are mindless sheep on both sides, no doubt about it. Not many people work hard for their beliefs, I think that is what Pascal was alluding to.

I have also met a few Christians who came to their beliefs through striving for knowledge and meaning, and I have the greatest respect for them.

I'm glad you recognise that. I must say I have met atheists/agnostics who have come to their beliefs through much searching and I too have great respect for them.


 
Re: (none / 0) (#113)
by Ben Reid on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 06:00:33 AM PST
Firstly, let me say that I think Pascal's wager is indeed a very poor reason to become a Christian and a poor basis to place your trust in God. It's more about playing your odds right than anything else. I was merely pointing out that it can be classified as a rational decision. At least as rational as not believing in Him at all.

I don't think God wants us to follow Him because we are afraid of the consequences, or because you greedily want the rewards of believing in Him, I think He wants us to follow Him because we love Him.

The goal of Christianity is NOT to get into heaven, the ultimate theme park. The goal of Christianity is to have an intimate relationship with our Creator. There is peace and forgiveness that comes with a relationship with God.

You cannot be "born again" and then sit back and rake in Heaven's Reward.

Agreed. You do not become born again and then kick back and continue with your life as it was, waiting for your "prize" as such. I would question whether anyone who does this has truly accepted the gift of salvation.

No, when you accept that gift, your life changes in ways you cannot imagine out of pure gratitude, at least I know it did for me, basically, you try and eliminate anything that will stop you developing a meaningful relationship with God. This often involves going directly against the undercurrent of the world and your own sinful nature, which is tough, no doubt about it. You follow God no matter what the cost.

Please, if you truly want to search for God, don't base your opinion of God on what people on a weblog have to say or what Christians you may have met or read about behave like. Base it on what your heart tells you, base it on your reason but not reason alone.

From your other posts, it sounds like you have worked hard for your beliefs (unlike many atheists and Christians), that's a great attribute to have, don't ever lose that.


 
what the fuck is wrong with you? (none / 0) (#12)
by nathan on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:01:44 PM PST
People will say "God is good" or "God will punish all the sinners". Why? Because I read it.

Don't put words into my mouth.

I don't need a book to tell me of the grandeur of God. Man. Just go get drunk or something. Your question about God's interacting with humanity is totally stupid and shows a total lack of theological know-how. I don't see why I should bother talking to you if you aren't going to o any reading or thinking.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

haha (none / 0) (#16)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:32:45 PM PST
you loser :)
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

 
Please excuse Nathan (none / 0) (#19)
by JoePain on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:41:09 PM PST
(He's a Goddist, idiot)
And assumes you know this and have excepted Goddism as truth as well. He neither come out and really explain what led him to becoming a Goddist nor will he expain Goddistism. But if you wan't to know more about this type 'Goddist' into google.

Personally I think he needed to believe in something and decided to put all of his faith into goddistism because it was a safe idea at the time. He probably wanted to get past an existential crisis that was stunting his career/family growth.

He will trash anyone who discusses God using this Goddist point of view, but does not respect other people enough to give them his time and discuss Godistism with them. To bad he will not just behave as an adult and simply ignore posts that get to him. I find him an amusing little troll for this reason.


Your point? (none / 0) (#24)
by tkatchev on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 02:54:17 PM PST
Let me summarize: "Goddists are idiots because I am not a Goddist".

Correct? Did I miss any important philosophical issues in the precepts of your belief system?


--
Peace and much love...




I never said that (none / 0) (#29)
by JoePain on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 03:28:02 PM PST
I actually find Goddism interesting.

Your point?




goddism is okay (none / 0) (#37)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 06:15:48 PM PST
it's COMMUNISM you have to look out for


 
Please excuse yourself, prick. (none / 0) (#70)
by derek3000 on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:56:47 AM PST
Nathan doesn't need me to defend him. He's quite capable. But I suggest that you shouldn't rush to judge someone so quickly. You've been here all of one week.

I've never known Nathan to be adverse to having an intelligent conversation about all matters of faith.

But you don't have to take my word for it. Why don't you keep believing that all religous people are idiots and sheep. It would be too hard for you to comprehend the other possibility.




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

LMAO (none / 0) (#118)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 09:01:07 PM PST
I never said that EITHER

... prick HAHAHAHHAHAHA

JoePain

btw.. cant nathan defend his behavior himself?


Exaclty what are you laughing about? (none / 0) (#130)
by derek3000 on Mon Mar 11th, 2002 at 09:43:34 AM PST
Maybe it's your confusion over excepted/accepted:

And assumes you know this and have excepted Goddism as truth as well.

As I said before, nathan can defend himself. Maybe I just feel like picking a fight today. This is a war of intellectual giants that I'm fairly certain I can win, which would be a great boost to my self-esteem.




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

Damn... (none / 0) (#131)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Mar 13th, 2002 at 05:29:12 PM PST
I did say that.. though it is not what i meant and am terribly sorry for/to those who cannot understand the role context plays in writing.


 
Very true (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by Ben Reid on Sun Mar 10th, 2002 at 03:09:05 AM PST
Why don't you keep believing that all religous people are idiots and sheep. It would be too hard for you to comprehend the other possibility.

Well said. While there are non-religious and religious people who mindlessly follow a propaganda machine, there are intelligent [1] people who have chosen to follow God and intelligent people who have decided to reject/deny Him. Atheists/agnostics like to think of their position as being the only intellectually honest position and thus cannot accept that one can be intelligent and religious [2].

[1] Yes I am aware that intelligence is impossible to define. In this respect I'm using intelligence as meaning, "to give reasonable, well researched and well thought out opinions and ideas."

[2] Yes I am implying religious in the Christian sense here. Sorry if this offends anybody.


 
If God is almighty... (none / 0) (#34)
by The Mad Scientist on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 05:30:20 PM PST
...can he create so big stone he couldn't lift it?


Contradiction (none / 0) (#44)
by Ben Reid on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 07:07:18 PM PST
You are supposing that there is a number greater than infinity.

Can God make a circle square? Can God make a pink orange? No.

These are logical contradictions, simply word games, just like a number that is greater than itself.


umm (none / 0) (#47)
by PotatoError on Thu Mar 7th, 2002 at 08:01:54 PM PST
being almighty I would expect god to be able to make a circlar square. Sounds stupid to us but isnt the point that god is almighty beyond our simple understandings? Therefore such trivials as making a pink orange or a number greater than infinity would be simple for God.

The contradiction mentioned here was "can god make a stone so heavy that he cant lift it".

This piece of logic actually proves that nothing in our universe can be almighty - that everything has its bounds and limits.

Then again isnt God supposed to exist beyond logic? Isnt he the creator of logic? couldnt he simply change logic so that he could perform such a feat.

Not that im all of a sudden believing in God - im just saying that these type of contradictions dont prove that he isnt almighty.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Its even easier than that (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by dmg on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 04:05:39 AM PST
Being omnipotent, God can do whatever he likes. So he makes a big stone. Like, a really heavy one, and then he uses his omnipotence to make himself temporarily non-omnipotent.

In this temporarily induced non-omnipotent state, he is unable to lift the heavy stone.

Whether God would bother with such hoop-jumping in order to prove a point to an adequacy.org reader is open to debate.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Unlikely (none / 0) (#86)
by Right Hand Man on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 09:11:24 AM PST
Whether God would bother with such hoop-jumping in order to prove a point to an adequacy.org reader is open to debate.

A quick read of His book indicates that He would most likely fill the man's home up with frogs, or visit some other plague upon him to prove His existence.

Or maybe He would cause the man to be bitten by a rattlesnake, then miraculously recover without medical attention. He'd do it three or four times to drive the point home. That is probably how He would go about it, if He bothered at all.


-------------------------
"Keep your bible open and your powder dry."

 
doesn't omnipotent mean all-knowing ;-) (none / 0) (#120)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 09:13:30 PM PST



No, it doesn't. (none / 0) (#123)
by SpaceGhoti on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 09:50:38 PM PST
To be omnipotent is to be all-powerful. To be omniscient is all-knowing. They are not necessarily inclusive.


A troll's true colors.

 
you appear to be a Platonist. (none / 0) (#87)
by nathan on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 09:17:28 AM PST
Have you had that checked by a physician?

Seriously, you don't really believe in Forms, do you?

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Please forgive Nathan.... (none / 0) (#121)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Mar 9th, 2002 at 09:14:31 PM PST
that respect thing is showing up again...


 
Of course he could. (none / 0) (#61)
by because it isnt on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 05:02:11 AM PST
God is a logical impossibility, so he'd fit in nicely with other logical impossibilities.
adequacy.org -- because it isn't

Sounds like... (none / 0) (#71)
by derek3000 on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:02:09 AM PST
your God is Logic.


----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

Not really (none / 0) (#75)
by because it isnt on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:18:30 AM PST
Logic is just one my excuses that I use to keep irrationally believing in the lack of any God(s).
adequacy.org -- because it isn't

at least you realize it (n/t) (none / 0) (#81)
by derek3000 on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 07:35:29 AM PST



----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

 
which is better (none / 0) (#76)
by innominate on Fri Mar 8th, 2002 at 06:20:28 AM PST
being in control of your own life, making your own choices; or leaving it up to fate/chance/coincidence?
BTW, I see a lot of talk about agnosticism. I am gnostic; not agnostic. I seek knowledge. Christians would call me a heretic, and if this were the dark ages, burn me at the stake. So be it. I also believe in reincarnation, but that is a diary for another day.


 

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