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Everything posted by Jacob86

  1. You are equating "nature" with "the sum of reality" and "supernature" with "non-reality". In the context of a philosophical discussion on Theism, those terms are not used that way. Rather, "nature" refers to "physical reality" and "supernature" refers to "non-physical reality". It's really just another way of saying "physics" and "metaphysics". "Meta" & "Super" both meaning "above and beyond" -- not "divorced from" or "apart from", but "all-encompassing"
  2. For the record, I am speaking of the "Christian Version" of God - the Classical Christian God (of Aquinas, Edwards, etc..). The rest are irrational.
  3. If A is unlimited in some respect (say power) and B is limited in the same respect, then you have a distinction without both being limited/"bound" in the same respect. Yes, they must be separate, but only one must have boundaries and limits. One would be the standard (A) against which the other is contrasted (~A... or . Yes. The law of identity applied to action states that an entity can only act in accordance to its nature -- whatever that nature may be. If God created everything else, then one of the chief aspects of the nature of the physical world is that it is upheld by Him, and so to be effected by Him in any way is not contrary to its nature. If you leave "unlimited features" at that, then yes. However, if you identify the feature being discussed as well as the context, then no. Example: Unlimited Power [Feature] in the Context of Reality. Not "undefined", but "unlimited". God would not be capable of the arbitrary - He may do something without any good reason known to us, but He would not/could not do something without any good reason known to Himself. As a side note, you could say that God is "limited" by logic, but that would be to mis-use the concept of "limit". Being within the realm of logic (i.e. reality) is not a limit. It is not as though there are things outside of logic/reality which God is barred access to because of this "limitation". To say that God is incapable of contradictions/irrationality is to say that He can't step outside of reality (i.e. cease to be real).
  4. Agreed. "Impossible" means illogical/ self-contradictory. God is not "capable" of contradictions because to be "capable" of contradictions would be a sort of incapability-- a weakness. If by "impossible", you mean "contrary to what we are used to/ improbable/ counter-intuitive/ unique/ etc...", then your right that God can do those things.. but those things are not impossible/ illogical. Define "Laws of nature". Do you consider them synonymous with the Law of Identity/Laws of Logic? If no, please explain what differentiates them. If yes, please justify that.
  5. But do you accept a distinction between "analytic" and "synthetic"? And if you can't do that, can you at least make a distinction between a distinction and a dichotomy?
  6. I'm not sure what you mean by that... A universal law validated by perception? Where!? I wanna see it. We perceive water. Is it also an axiom?
  7. So existence requires non-existence to be contrasted with? Non-existence is necessary for existence? Evil is necessary for good? Death is necessary for life? ~A is necessary for A? "A is A". Even if there is no ~A. To say that ~A is required in order for there to be an A is dualistic, somewhat hegelian, and somewhat nihilistic.
  8. What makes you think that "Identity" means "boundaries in space and time, limitations"? Of course it means features which distinguish A from B. Where do you get the rest? How do those all = "undefined"? In fact, don't all of those adjectives contribute to a definition of "God"? He is omnipotent (A) as opposed to those things which are not omnipotent (~A), etc... Miracles don't violate the law of identity, they "violate" the laws of physics - which are descriptive. If God exists, and He created everything, then the IDENTITY/Nature of everything is that it is dependent upon Him, and therefore for Him to have influence over something dependent upon and created by Him would be very in line to the law of Identity.
  9. So which is it? You want to debate or you don't? A or ~A. Or would you rather simply be a knave - ridiculing and making assertions against a viewpoint and then throwing up your hands and saying "I don't want to talk about it" when your assertions are responded to? -If you want to debate, cool. Just be honest about it. -If you don't, then quit initiating debate (i.e. asserting that my views are not based in reality because they don't meet your un-named, arbitrary, and irrational epistemological criteria) -If you want to be a knave, then admit that you're being a knave so that I don't waste my time.
  10. I'd prefer to discuss that in the other thread so as not to get off topic here - but very generally, because of the logical necessity for everything to "boil down" to one thing. You could probably reference Aquinas on that point to get a very similar (if not identical) thorough explanation of my reasoning.
  11. Don't worry. I don't debate evasive people- they hate reality. My response to your post was more to demonstrate to the OP (and other readers) that your objections weren't based in reality -- not so much to debate you.
  12. You assume that "benevolent" = "altruistic". Perhaps God is an Egoist and allows evil to exist as an instrumental means to satisfy a more ultimate purpose of enjoying and displaying Himself-- His benevolence being that He shares the good with whom He chooses... rather than Him having some sort of altruistic obligation to give good to everyone equally. "can an omnipotent being create a rock He, Himself cannot lift?" "Can an omnipotent being be incapable of something?" "Can an all-powerful being lack a power?" "Can A = ~A?" All you've done is throw together a meaningless combination of words (a convoluted contradiction), slapped a question mark at the end, and considered yourself profound. As C.S. Lewis once said (this is a rough paraphrase): A meaningless combination of words does not gain meaning because you slap the words "can God" in front of it. You either don't understand basic logic, or you don't understand the meaning of the terms you are using. Omnipotent/all-powerful means "able to do all THINGS". A contradiction is not a "thing" and contradicting one's self is not a power/ability-- it is a weakness. So, no, God is not "capable" of contradictions -- but that "incapability" is not a weakness, but a strength. Likewise, God is not capable of weakness, and that "incapability" is NOT a weakness. lol.
  13. I prefer ex nihilo, and by it, I mean "out of nothing else" - the "else" meaning "anything but God"... which is sort of what it always meant. The idea that "God created ex nihilo" means "God created out of nothing - including Himself, so that He wasn't even there" is such a stupid strawman that it doesn't even warrant discussion.
  14. And you seriously think that if you could sit Paul down and ask him, that he would say that he meant by this statements that "all things" included God, Himself, so that what Paul is communicating here is that "God is before Himself"? Seriously? It's much more likely that Paul meant "all things" to be "all things besides Himself". "He is before all [other] things, and in Him all [other] things hold together" vs. "He is before all things [including Himself], and in Him all things [including Himself] hold together". That type of "interpretation" - whether of the Bible or anything else - is either sloppy or purposefully evasive of the original intent.
  15. I believe the claim is that God (who EXISTS) created everything else in existence. There is nothing illogical or "Primacy of Consciousness" about a conscious EXISTENT creating another existent. Your "Primacy of Consciousness" argument would only work against a God who is "Pure Consciousness" and who does not EXIST. I doubt many serious Theists propose a "non-existent consciousness" as "God".
  16. There's a difference between "finite" and "specific". It is logically possible for something to be "infinite" in a certain respect. You are assuming that "infinite" means "without differentiation from anything else", but even the broadest understanding of an infinite thing would be differentiated from all other non-infinite things. I think you may be confusing epistemology (how we define something) with metaphysics (the way it is in itself).
  17. With the permission of the Moderators, I'd like to propose that this thread be used to discuss Negative Arguments AGAINST The Existence of God (particularly logical ones - since that is the title and the question of the OP) and NOT Positive Arguments FOR the Existence of God since that is dealt with in another thread. There are many variants of logical arguments against Theism out there, and I'd love to be able to address them somewhat individually if given the chance. However, if the Mods don't like this idea or see it as inappropriate for the forum/thread in any way, I defer to their judgement. By means of introduction and in order to make it clear that I don't represent official Objectivist views: I'm a Theist who values MUCH of Objectivist thought and who believes that Theism is much more rationally compatible with bulk of Objectivism than is Atheism (that Atheism is illogical and therefore logically incompatible with Objectivism or any rational worldview). A few logical arguments against Theism have been submitted above, but I'll wait just a while after posting this to respond, in order to give the Mods a chance to consider my proposal...
  18. And is that "facet of A" the same thing as A? Is there no difference at all between that facet (attribute) and the the thing it is attributed to? Is there no difference between saying "Tree" and saying "That tree is tall, with colorful leaves and fruit"? Tallness, colorful leaves, and fruit may all be attributes of the same tree, but they are not all the same attribute. Each of them is a separate "a" (object of consciousness) being referred to. Further, the tree having those attributes is a separate "a" (object of consciousness) from the attributes themselves. "The leaves are colorful" is different from "The tree has colorful leaves" or just "leaves". Or what about the following sentences which all contain the same four words: 1)"No, there are trees" 2)"There are no trees" 3)"Are there no trees?" They all contain the same four concepts but they all refer to different states of affairs. But can it be differentiated? Or are they synonymous? Are you speaking of perception apart from logic? Because perception apart from logic tells us nothing but incoherent percepts. Only the application of logic to percepts can tell us "that something exists". Again, you equate "that which is perceived" with "the totality of reality". Could you please state your justification for such an assumption? And ideally present it via perception..... Show me where you have perceived that only that which is perceived is reality.
  19. Apologies for the late reply And you honesty is appreciated. I apologize for the shortness in my first reply to you. I do expect people who claim to seriously chew on ideas to be able to seriously chew on an idea - regardless of how personally distasteful it may seem at first. Those who seriously chew on ideas should understand the importance and value of being as objective as possible with new ideas -- as you, thankfully, seem to be doing. For the most part. I would say that when it comes to knowledge (epistemology), logic is the most foundational way that anything is validated. I say "knowledge" rather than "human awareness" because in my system, epistemology deals more emphatically with objective knowledge and the criteria for objective knowledge, while psychology/cognitive science deals more with "human awareness" (consciousness). Yes, only I would say "knowledge" as opposed to "awareness". Knowledge meaning a consciously held idea that one holds to be objectively true based on certain objective reasoning. Awareness connoting simple passive consciousness. As long as I haven't misunderstood any of the above, this is a good summary. Before I began to interact with Objectivists regarding epistemology, I naively assumed that their epistemology would be similar enough to mine that any differences would be irrelevant -- since they had such exquisite metaphysics & ethics (for the most part). The chronological hierarchy emphasis struck me as extremely foreign and slightly irrelevant, but harmless - at first. However, I have come to discover some of the deeper and more important (dangerous) implications. So yes, I am aware of the epistemological values of Objectivists (NOW), and I do understand the difficulty with which Objectivists may receive my critiques. However, I've done my best to be surgical in my focus, and to avoid unnecessary offense wherever possible.
  20. That is correct. Perception cannot prove the universal validity of the laws of logic. Just because you click your heels together and say it does, does not make it so. No one has provided a sufficient reason from perception to believe that the laws of logic are universally true... so I don't know why you all cling so dogmatically to that idea-- and imply that I'm a lunatic for doubting it. I don't see how "existence and consciousness" would prove it either. But if you'd like to take a shot, be my guest. If by "them", you mean "perception, existence and consciousness", then no. The validity of the laws of logic is certainly necessary in "proving them" but in and of itself, logic does not "prove them". If by "prove itself", you mean that it is an irreducible primary, then yes, that is what I am saying. It is the foundation for our knowledge of existence and consiousness (for all knowledge, period). It is an EPISTEMOLOGICAL foundation. This does NOT mean that Identity creates existence/consciousness metaphysically. It simply means that if "Identity" is not true, then nothing else can be true (including the scentences: "existence exists" and "consciousness is conscious of something"). It's epistemologically foundational because if it is not true, then nothing else can be true. Kind of like existence is metaphysically foundational because apart from existence, nothing would exist. And consciousness is psychologically foundational because if you did not have consciousness you would not be conscious of anything. I don't see what the problem is. **Remember, I am speaking of "foundational" in respect to validity-- NOT chronology.
  21. You guys keep doing that. You "reduce" each individual word in a sentence but you seem to forget that those words are arranged in that sentence in a particular way in order to refer to a reality that is not identical to all those words combined randomly. In other words, a sentence refers to an object (a state of affairs) or an idea about reality. Reducing "A" is very different from reducing the object/idea that "A is A" refers to. "A is A" is a fourth concept that is not contained in any of the three "words" in that sentence alone- but to which those words in that specific order refers. It is that concept which you must reduce to perception-- according to your epistemology. And if you cannot (and you can't) then it is not valid-- according to your epistemology. Haha! Why would you think that "Logic alone" means logic apart from existence. Lol. We are talking about Epistemology- not Metaphysics. I am referring to logic apart from perception-- not logic apart from reality. Unless you would make perception synonymous with reality... then we have deeper problems. Really? And how do you know that this concept is properly formed? Remember, I don't mean each individual word in that proposition, but the whole concept to which all of the words combined in that specific way refer. And what is the proper formation for concepts? (Spare me the answer, we both know what you'll say...its a rhetorical question to get to the following point...) "The proper formation of concepts is xyz" How do you know that this concept was formed properly? Once again, remember that the "concept" in question is that concept that "the proper formation of concepts is xyz"
  22. It's not "primacy of consciousness", it's efficiency of consciousness. If you have a problem with me arguing that our consciousness is capable of grasping reality, then I suggest you take that up with Rand. I do not say that reality conforms to the "requirements of consciousness". I say that reality already is that way (non-contradictory) and we discover it via consciousness (kind of like we discover everything else that is already true in reality). My argument is not "we can't imagine a world where A is non-A and therefore it can't be true". My argument is "such a state of fairs is impossible and therefore we can't (and shouldn't) try to imagine it" My positive argument is as follows: If there is an idea which is necessary to anything being true, then that idea is necessarily true. The idea "A is A" is implicitly necessary for anything else to be true. Therefore, that "idea" is necessarily true. The only reason that SEEMS like Primacy of Consciousness to you is because in your mind, perception is our only connection to reality and what I have said does not require perception for validation. I would remind you though, that you have not perceived the idea that perception is our only connection to reality and therefore, according to your epistemology, you have no reason to believe it. PS- I'm curious as to why you consider my arguments for God to be Primacy of Consciousness.... I think I thoroughly and sufficiently answered that charge a few times and showed that it was based on a misconception of my position.. In your epistemology, it is. Would you care to argue or claim otherwise? Objectivist Epistemology is fundamentally flawed in that it only focuses on the lesser aspect of Epistemology (how we DISCOVER & BUILD ideas vs. how we VALIDATE ideas), and then mistakes the former for the latter. Objectivist Metaphysics is actually great-- apart from missing pieces due to the above epistemological error. Objectivist Ethics are superb-- apart from missing pieces due to the above metaphysical missing pieces. I am on an Objectivist forum discussing these things because I want to show Objectivists that their Epistemology undermines their Metaphysics & Ethics. I want to save the best of Objectivist Metaphysics & Ethics (and theres a LOT of it) from the worst in Objectivist Epistemology. Objectivism has a lot in common with my worldview and (like any other active philosophical thinker) I want to find common philosophical ground with others and go from there. And for the record, I despise, denounce, and repudiate any and all ideas that "faith is a valid means of knowledge" or that absurdity warrants belief, etc... So lets just burn that straw man down right now.
  23. Jacob's metaphysics: We know that God exists, because he is the logically necessary Prime Mover- Existent who is conscious- who created all other existents. We know that the laws of logic are universally true because the contrary is impossible. Where does this come from? Although we can perceive an A, and our perception of that A is self-evident, we cannot say that any (and all) A is A without the prior implication of the laws of logic. The laws of logic are corrolaries of "Identity" and epistemologically, the other two axioms rest on the axiom of identity because they are functions of that law--- they are propositions which could not be true if the law of identity were not true. Isn't this sort of how all induction works? lol. You don't abstract every attribute you perceive and apply it to all existents universally. There's a strict system that regulates justified extentions of attributes vs unjustified ones. I think one of the problems might be that Objectivists just haven't thought through this system very carefully yet Regardless, I think we would both agree that you need a justification to extend any given perceived attribute and you haven't supplied a reason (from perception) that one ought to extend identity to all existents. I've listed a reason from...reason.. lol... and I think you are assuming the same reason, but not wanting to admit it because it isn't perceived. Thank God for other existents and our ability to use logic! Stay tuned ;D
  24. Kind of a side point, but wouldn't the Objectivist not want to say "SOME" at the beginning of 4? What about the abstractions that arent of percepts? (Since "some" implies that others are not of percepts). Regarding 3, I'd say that concepts are formed via abstraction, but not that they are abstractions. That would seem to imply that a any given concept in my head is the same as the abstraction I performed in creating that concept, which would seem to imply that the concept is the same as the particular perceptual content abstracted and not applicable or referring to anything else. This kind of gets back into the issues of universals, nominalism, realism, etc.. which I think I'd rather focus on in the other thread-- but I suppose they are inevitably linked. That's the premise that I'm challenging. NOT that "the tie to perception validates a concept or proposition", but that tying a concept/proposition to perception is the only way to validate it. Then why isn't "A is A" a "floating abstraction"? ...unless the underlying reality to which it is referring is a relationship.. like it's relationship to itself (A is A), or to it's opposite (A is not ~A). You see, you are assuming that the only "underlying reality" to which something can refer is that sum of data given by your perceptual grid. Once again, I would argue that there is much reason to believe that there is (and must be) more to reality than what is provided by a perceptual grid, and that your perceptual grid alone can tell you nothing about whether it exhausts reality or not. To go back to what you said here, would you claim that the laws of logic do not refer to an underlying reality? If not, then they are not valid. If they are valid, then they refer to an underlying reality (since that is what it means for an idea to be valid). And now let us show that logic alone can find a contradiction between reality and at least one type of proposition... Proposition: "A is ~A". This is a proposition that is false (contradicts reality). And by logic alone, we can "find" that it contradicts reality. The LNC says that "A is not ~A" and (assuming that we both agree that the LNC reflects reality) therefore the proposition contradicts reality. You're forgetting once again the difference between forming concepts and criteria to determine if concepts/prop.s are valid or not. Regarding what you've said about the "causal" relationship, you could say that perception is an instrumental cause in conceiving, but it is not by any means a sufficient or primary cause (remember, conceptualizing is volitional and not automatic). There is no reason to think that perception as an instrumental cause would have a logical (rather than merely chronological) priority over conceiving.
  25. Sorry, 2046. I think there was a misunderstanding. The scentence you said did not contradict Rand was a small side-response to dream-weaver to clarify a small part of what I said in a previous post. I don't say that Rand disagrees with that part. The rest of what I posted to you was to make clear where our disagreements are. While, the issues are related, I didn't mean to imply that that was my argument. My reasoning for those things is spelled out in my past few posts to DreamWeaver and Eiuol.
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