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Author Topic:   The Concept of God -- Need Logic Help
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15948
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 16 of 81 (566462)
06-24-2010 6:43 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Prince Thrash
06-24-2010 5:43 PM


Re: Interesting Responses
I think you misunderstood the general meaning of what I meant. But I can see how I was over-specific.

Replacing "hunger" with "gluttony" changes nothing. You have X, a motivating factor, leading to Y, action. I subbed in "hunger" as that motivating factor. It seems that we both agree on this issue -- that there is a motivating factor, and I say this because you subbed in one of your own.

Though you example of music is more cleverly difficult, but again, we can imagine a gambit of motivating factors leading one to music (boredom is a good one, but one of many, as you pointed out).

But you seem to be saying that my will isn't free if I have some sort of motivation. Apparently "free will" requires that my will should be completely arbitrary; unrelated not only to factors external to my mind (such as having an empty stomach) but also even unrelated to my own mental states, such as boredom.

Well, this just isn't what I'd mean by free will. Apart from anything else, I wouldn't want my will to be independent of my state of mind or my circumstances.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Prince Thrash, posted 06-24-2010 5:43 PM Prince Thrash has not yet responded

  
Prince Thrash
Junior Member (Idle past 2485 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 06-20-2010


Message 17 of 81 (566473)
06-24-2010 7:33 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by PaulK
06-24-2010 6:25 PM


Re: Interesting Responses
Paul,

I was quoting BlueJay about the place of the personality within the free will debates, not myself. Direct your comments to him, I was just quoting him to show an inconsistency between Dr. Adequate and BlueJay. I believe in personalities, I assure you.

I am unsure if Dr. Adequate meant what you said, but we'll let him clarify. Either way, your statement stands, and it's an interesting one. I am unaware of a thinker to have ever attributed the mind as being wholly free? Do you really believe that the mind is wholly free? And not just the "free will part", but rather, anything of the mind, whatsoever, is free? Would you commit to that statement?

We're going off into some odd areas now, but so be it. I didn't think a type of extreme Cartesian dualism would come into play. I say this, because this idea that anyone does anything without "external constraints" reminds me of a type of solipsist sort of view? That humans can operate in a sort of bubble, without influence/constraint? I'm sure you didn't mean this?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by PaulK, posted 06-24-2010 6:25 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by PaulK, posted 06-25-2010 2:22 AM Prince Thrash has not yet responded

    
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 18 of 81 (566504)
06-25-2010 2:05 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Prince Thrash
06-24-2010 5:43 PM


Re: Interesting Responses
Hi, Prince Thrash.

I think you've misunderstood a couple of my statements:

Prince Thrash writes:

...Bluejay believes that a motivating factor is a type of determinist agent.

I said attributing an action to a motivating factor is a deterministic argument: I did not say a motivating factor is a deterministic agent.

The observation that a certain behavior is a response to an external stimulus doesn’t give any information about how that stimulus is translated into that response, so it doesn’t tell us whether the response is compulsory or volitional.

For instance, we both think Dr Adequate’s hunger motivates him to eat.

You interpret this as an input-output, stimulus-response engine whereby the motivating factor compels the response to follow.

I (for the purposes of this debate) interpret it as a free-willed decision process whereby Dr Adequate evaluates the motivating factor(s) and selects what he deems to be an appropriate response.

Both viewpoints involve external stimuli, and responses to those stimuli.

Do you have any reason to reject the notion that Dr Adequate’s response is a decision based on evaluation of the motivating factor?

If you do, you haven’t shown it to us yet.

If you don't, then the argument you presented in your opening post is inconclusive.

-----

Prince Thrash writes:

As [Bluejay] said, even the presence of the "personality" is counter to free will.

And, I didn’t say that either. Again, I said attributing an action to a personality is a deterministic argument, not that a personality itself is a deterministic agent.

A personality is a syndrome that influences and/or results from the decisions a person makes. It may be a compulsory syndrome that dictates inexorably the person’s response in each situation; or it may serve as an advisor, to modulate the input(s) into a free-willed, decision-making process; or, it may not even be an influence at all, but just an external expression of the sum total of past decisions.

But, arguing that a syndrome influences one's decisions is not the same as arguing that the syndrome is solely responsible for those decisions.

-----

Prince Thrash writes:

I believe you've inferred that I'm trying to convince some specific group?

That was my original thought, yes. A logical argument is always an attempt to convince somebody of something.

But, regardless, your argument still needs to address real theistic positions; otherwise, it doesn’t accomplish anything. As it stands, your argument is just a statement of the fundamental concept of determinism, which doesn’t really grant it any power to draw meaningful conclusions.

-----

Prince Thrash writes:

Again, the "will" can be said to be phenomenally apparent... The *freedom* of that will, however, must be deduced/applied to that phenomenon, and is not evident within the phenomenon itself.

When you argue against religious beliefs, you don’t get to start with the premise that the religious belief is wrong: you have to demonstrate that the belief is wrong.

Religious people believe that God’s will is free will: if this belief is correct, then it fully resolves the problem you introduced in your opening post, and the contradiction that you’re seeing doesn’t actually exist.

So, you have to show that your argument still holds true, even if God really does have free will. Otherwise, your simple logical exercise is inconclusive.

Edited by Bluejay, : "Modulate" was the word I wanted.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Prince Thrash, posted 06-24-2010 5:43 PM Prince Thrash has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by PaulK, posted 06-25-2010 2:39 AM Blue Jay has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 12969
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 19 of 81 (566505)
06-25-2010 2:22 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Prince Thrash
06-24-2010 7:33 PM


Re: Interesting Responses
quote:

I was quoting BlueJay about the place of the personality within the free will debates, not myself. Direct your comments to him, I was just quoting him to show an inconsistency between Dr. Adequate and BlueJay. I believe in personalities, I assure you.

The question is not whether you believe that personalities exist. The question is whether they have a negative impact on free will. You agree with Bluejay on this. e.g.


To this I would say, since God has a personality, one of omnibenevolence without possibility of deviation, his free will is negated.

And before Bluejay made his claims:


I think the "God's will" argument is being used with too many free-will implications from the get-go. It is the Will itself which is the very vehicle of control; the method by which the entity is controlled by Good.

quote:

Either way, your statement stands, and it's an interesting one. I am unaware of a thinker to have ever attributed the mind as being wholly free? Do you really believe that the mind is wholly free? And not just the "free will part", but rather, anything of the mind, whatsoever, is free? Would you commit to that statement?

This seems to be a diversion, since I am simply discussing the concept of free will. And I have not even said that any human's will is entirely free. All of us have bodily needs, likely all of us have experienced coercion at some point in our lives.

quote:

We're going off into some odd areas now, but so be it. I didn't think a type of extreme Cartesian dualism would come into play.

If you want to introduce this idea then it is up to you. But even an extreme Cartesian Dualism will not save your arguments.

quote:

I say this, because this idea that anyone does anything without "external constraints" reminds me of a type of solipsist sort of view?

You think that somebody has suggested this ? How very odd.

quote:

I say this, because this idea that anyone does anything without "external constraints" reminds me of a type of solipsist sort of view? That humans can operate in a sort of bubble, without influence/constraint? I'm sure you didn't mean this?

Not only did I not mean it, I didn't say anything that could be reasonably interpreted as meaning it. The issue is that a decision dominated by external constraints is not considered a free will choice. That is all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Prince Thrash, posted 06-24-2010 7:33 PM Prince Thrash has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 12969
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 20 of 81 (566507)
06-25-2010 2:39 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Blue Jay
06-25-2010 2:05 AM


Re: Interesting Responses
Bluejay, I think that you need to explain your position more clearly.

Omnibenevolence would appear to add up to the "compulsory" form of personality (that is Prince Thrash's point) and he says that that negates God's free will. You appear to agree that God's free will would be negated if that were the case.

But if God's character does not compel him to always choose the (morally) best option is it not the case that God might make a decision that fell short of moral perfection ? But that would make God less than Omnibenevolent in the full sense of the word.

So how do you resolve this apparent conflict between Omnibenevolence and your idea of free will ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Blue Jay, posted 06-25-2010 2:05 AM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Prince Thrash, posted 06-25-2010 4:16 AM PaulK has responded
 Message 27 by Blue Jay, posted 06-26-2010 1:04 AM PaulK has responded

    
Prince Thrash
Junior Member (Idle past 2485 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 06-20-2010


Message 21 of 81 (566513)
06-25-2010 4:16 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by PaulK
06-25-2010 2:39 AM


Re: Interesting Responses
Remember, this is not a general question of the free will of humans. It is a question of the free will of God. The free will of humanity, who cannot be said to have any specific "omni" attribute, and the free will of God, should have entirely different types of discourse (at certain parts). I guess the question is, what is the key that makes them different? (haha, nice top-down stance...)

Look at Philosophy of Religion 101. People say "Why didn't God just make man incapable of doing evil?" It's a question that almost every Western child will come to once they are old enough to learn about the home team religions. And the response that most of us will take as logical is "Because, then Man would have no free will". This is a common argument in the Philosophy of Religion, or Western Theology, and I'm sure none of you are new to it.

Now, I insist that if you agree with the logic of the above argument, then when you turn the same logic to God himself, it is instantly revealed that God is not free, because we have defined God as having an essence of Good. Not just Good, but perfect, definitional, super-Good. If God can be all-Good and free, than Man, to, could have been made all-Good and free, which means God made quite the mistake not letting us be all-Good AND all-free, because that would have ended in the greatest Good.

If it takes a core of moral ambiguity to give Mankind freedom -- releasing him from some simple, good "essence" that would make him unfree -- then it is clear that the same can be said of God, who is not moral ambiguous like Man, but all-Good by definition. I am just reiterating really, but I believe thinking about my initial argument in these terms might make it more insidious to those who have pondered/studied the "Why did God let Man be evil?" question.

Paul: Sorry if I misinterpreted one of your responses as a touch Cartesian.

Edited by Prince Thrash, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by PaulK, posted 06-25-2010 2:39 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by PaulK, posted 06-25-2010 4:34 AM Prince Thrash has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 12969
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 22 of 81 (566515)
06-25-2010 4:34 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Prince Thrash
06-25-2010 4:16 AM


Re: Interesting Responses
quote:

Remember, this is not a general question of the free will of humans. It is a question of the free will of God. The free will of humanity, who cannot be said to have any specific "omni" attribute, and the free will of God, should have entirely different types of discourse (at certain parts). I guess the question is, what is the key that makes them different? (haha, nice top-down stance...)

The general concept of free will must be the same in each case. If it is claimed that specific circumstances make a difference it must be argued, not simply assumed. Certainly we can use human examples to illustrate the issues - and should do, since there are no adequately understood non-human examples.

quote:

Look at Philosophy of Religion 101. People say "Why didn't God just make man incapable of doing evil?" It's a question that almost every Western child will come to once they are old enough to learn about the home team religions. And the response that most of us will take as logical is "Because, then Man would have no free will". This is a common argument in the Philosophy of Religion, or Western Theology, and I'm sure none of you are new to it.

No, I've long regarded this argument as fallacious. Now certainly you can point out that this is inconsistent with maintaining that God has free will, but you cannot assume that any particular person will choose to stick with this questionable argument.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Prince Thrash, posted 06-25-2010 4:16 AM Prince Thrash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Prince Thrash, posted 06-25-2010 1:23 PM PaulK has responded

    
Prince Thrash
Junior Member (Idle past 2485 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 06-20-2010


Message 23 of 81 (566584)
06-25-2010 1:23 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by PaulK
06-25-2010 4:34 AM


Re: Interesting Responses
PaulK,

Can you refute the classic argument directly? Just curious how you'd go about it. Even if it's just a gut instinct of wrongness, let me know which premise or whatever doesn't sit well.

I guess you don't need to refute the argument directly, either, especially if you find it absurd, but just answer the question as a replacement, "Why wasn't Mankind made all-Good by God?" or say why the question isn't a worthy one.

Edited by Prince Thrash, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by PaulK, posted 06-25-2010 4:34 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by PaulK, posted 06-25-2010 1:51 PM Prince Thrash has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 12969
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 24 of 81 (566592)
06-25-2010 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Prince Thrash
06-25-2010 1:23 PM


Re: Interesting Responses
quote:

Can you refute the classic argument directly? Just curious how you'd go about it. Even if it's just a gut instinct of wrongness, let me know which premise or whatever doesn't sit well.

THere are three basic arguments I could use:

1) An omnipotent being can bring about any situation which is not logically impossible.

2) It is logically possible for any and all free-willed beings to never choose to do evil.

3) Therefore an omnipotent being can create a universe inhabited by free-willed beings who never choose to do evil.

Also - and if you feel uneasy about the first you need to consider this:

1) In Christianity, Omniscience is taken to include certain knowledge of the future.

2) This entails that the future is fixed and inevitable, including all our choices. (Where God fits into this is problematic for Christians, but I think we can ignore that issue for now. You could possibly use it to produce an argument that God must lack free will, though).

3) Therefore the entire history of the universe was set at the moment of creation. From that point on, everything that happens is inevitable.

4) An omniscient and omnipotent creator would have known that future in advance and must have deliberately chosen this universe - including every event that ever happens in it - rather than any other.
Thus, all our choices were dictated by God at the moment of creation.

5) Therefore God has dictated all of our choices in advance, free or not, good or evil.

6) Since our choices are dictated in advance anyway, it does no extra harm to our free will to dictate that we choose good instead of choosing evil.

And finally.

1) The argument assumes libertarian (non-deterministic) free will.

2) Libertarian free will is logically impossible.

3) Therefore the argument relies on a false assumption.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Prince Thrash, posted 06-25-2010 1:23 PM Prince Thrash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Prince Thrash, posted 06-25-2010 3:14 PM PaulK has not yet responded

    
Prince Thrash
Junior Member (Idle past 2485 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 06-20-2010


Message 25 of 81 (566629)
06-25-2010 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by PaulK
06-25-2010 1:51 PM


Re: Interesting Responses
Thanks for the rigor, Paul. How do I quote someone? Is it:

quote:
text

?

You said a lot and there's much to respond with, I'll need to quote you as I go.

haha, ok, my post confirmed to me that's how you quote someone. Will get back to you later.

Edited by Prince Thrash, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by PaulK, posted 06-25-2010 1:51 PM PaulK has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Blue Jay, posted 06-25-2010 10:00 PM Prince Thrash has not yet responded

    
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 26 of 81 (566689)
06-25-2010 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Prince Thrash
06-25-2010 3:14 PM


Aside: Message Formatting
Hi, Prince Thrash.

There is a "peek" button at the bottom of each message. If you click that, it will show you the codes that were used in that message.

Also, in the "reply to message" screen, there is a "peek mode" button at the top right of the "message you're replying to" window, and that will display the formattting, too.

So, if you ever want to know how somebody did something, you can just use those buttons to find out.

Edited by Bluejay, : Subtitle


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Prince Thrash, posted 06-25-2010 3:14 PM Prince Thrash has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 196 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 27 of 81 (566700)
06-26-2010 1:04 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by PaulK
06-25-2010 2:39 AM


Omnibenevolence
Hi, Paul.

PaulK writes:

Omnibenevolence would appear to add up to the "compulsory" form of personality...

Omnibenevolence is a pattern in God’s behavior, an aspect of God’s personality.
A pattern in behavior only implies compulsion under a deterministic model.
Since religion rarely (if ever) uses deterministic models of God, there is no reason to assume that God’s always choosing good indicates that he is compelled to do so by some motivating factor or instinct

-----

PaulK writes:

But if God's character does not compel him to always choose the (morally) best option is it not the case that God might make a decision that fell short of moral perfection? But that would make God less than Omnibenevolent in the full sense of the word.

What is the full sense of the word "omnibenevolence"?
The sense in which it is taken to mean "compulsory benevolence" (Prince Thrash's Premise 4)?

My argument is that it need not be taken to mean this. I believe this is what you were arguing, too.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by PaulK, posted 06-25-2010 2:39 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by PaulK, posted 06-26-2010 4:11 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 12969
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 28 of 81 (566710)
06-26-2010 4:11 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Blue Jay
06-26-2010 1:04 AM


Re: Omnibenevolence
quote:

Omnibenevolence is a pattern in God’s behavior, an aspect of God’s personality.
A pattern in behavior only implies compulsion under a deterministic model.

A non-deterministic model would imply breaks in the pattern. If there are no breaks then it needs to be questioned.

quote:

What is the full sense of the word "omnibenevolence"?

It means that God ALWAYS acts for the best. Absolutely always, And all the explanations I have seen ground it in God's nature. You're the first person I've seen suggest that there is a random element in God's decision-making that might cause him to act otherwise. Are you sure that that is a common religious view ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Blue Jay, posted 06-26-2010 1:04 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 9589
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 29 of 81 (729614)
06-15-2014 4:03 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by PaulK
06-24-2010 6:25 PM


Re: Interesting Responses
PaulK writes:

If there isn't a personality - you - making choices, how can it even be called will ?

Unless you go with the "spiritual warfare" theory...which asserts (if I think it right) that in the beginning there was but one will...Gods. Lucifer was allowed to rebel, "freeing" his will from Gods will. Humans inherited the same offer...with the one provision that there were now 3 wills...Creator God, satans, and humans.

We could argue that God foreknew all of this--hence He is evil. Satan has the same argument...that its not his fault that he became who he is. Its Gods fault.

As humans, we can wave all of the unproven spiritual reality away and assert that it is in reality one will...our own. Our will is only truly free without hindrance from any other spiritual entity.

I pray---in part----because I believe that there is an ideal will that I myself cannot attain on my own intelligence or soul.

That is an essence of my personal belief.


“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—nothing more nor less.”

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by PaulK, posted 06-24-2010 6:25 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by PaulK, posted 06-16-2014 1:44 AM Phat has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 12969
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 30 of 81 (729623)
06-16-2014 1:44 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by Phat
06-15-2014 4:03 PM


Re: Interesting Responses
quote:

Unless you go with the "spiritual warfare" theory...which asserts (if I think it right) that in the beginning there was but one will...Gods. Lucifer was allowed to rebel, "freeing" his will from Gods will. Humans inherited the same offer...with the one provision that there were now 3 wills...Creator God, satans, and humans.

That has nothing to do with the point you quoted.

quote:

We could argue that God foreknew all of this--hence He is evil. Satan has the same argument...that its not his fault that he became who he is. Its Gods fault.

If God created Satan in such a way that Satan would inevitably rebel then God is certainly responsible. Free Will would make Satan also responsible, but can't absolve God.

quote:

As humans, we can wave all of the unproven spiritual reality away and assert that it is in reality one will...our own. Our will is only truly free without hindrance from any other spiritual entity.

Calling your beliefs reality doesn't make them so.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Phat, posted 06-15-2014 4:03 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Phat, posted 07-17-2014 8:11 PM PaulK has responded

    
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