Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Jacob86

  1. Kantian Christianity ("Kantianity"), i.e., the anti-intellectual, faith-based, altruistic, humility mongering, Scriptural cherry-picking Christianity of the modern west is certainly not compatible with Objectivism...or reason...or life...or Capitalism...or Christ.


    But true Christianity is absolutely (and exclusively) compatible with reason and life and Capitalism and the good (i.e. rational) parts of Objectivism. 


    Similarly, only parts of Objectivism are compatible with true Christianity. The irrational parts of Objectivism (those parts which stem from defunct epistemological assumptions) are not and cannot be compatible with a rational worldview. They must be traced back to their corrupt epistemological origins, up-rooted, and replaced by reasoning on proper epistemological grounds. 


    How does one discern "true Christianity" from Kantianity and other counterfeits, you ask? Simple.
    1) Start by being an individual determined to figure out the truth for yourself - regardless of cultural/historical/popular mis-representations, etc...
    2) Then, discover and commit yourself to a rational epistemology (criteria by which to judge the true from the false). In doing this, make sure that you are able to explicitly state your epistemological laws, and that they do not contradict each other or themselves. 

    3) Understand that, just like with any other text or teaching, there are proper and improper ways to "interpret" the Bible and teachings of Jesus, etc.. There are contexts which must be understood, and philosophical hierarchies which must be obeyed. One could easily "derive" altruism or nihilism or any other irrational ideology from cherry-picking random lines or actions from characters (even heroes!) in Atlas Shrugged. Objectivists wouldn't tolerate such irrational "interpretation" with Rand's writing. Don't allow it with others either. A text or teaching must be read through the context and intent of the author. 

    4) Keep in mind the whole time that truth is truth whether you are immediately able to put it all together yet or not. When you reach an apparent contradiction, remember that contradictions do not exist. Rather than hastily denying what is incontrovertibly true, re-examine your assumptions and ask yourself if there is another way to understand the seemingly contradictory truths. If they are both true, you will find that they can be reconciled. 

    In other words, be objective. It takes a little work, but understanding and conforming oneself to reality is sort of the whole goal of Objectivism (of life!), isn't it? There should be no question that it would be well worth it. 

  2. Could explain a bit more about what you mean by "strict identity"?

    because Oism holds both that there is a metaphysical basis for kinds/similarity and that this grouping is a function of the conceptual faculty.

    The question is this though: do the similarities still exist even apart from the functioning of a conceptual faculty? Does the conceptual faculty CREATE or DISCOVER the similarity? If it creates the similarity, we have nominalism and subjectivism. If it discovers the similarity then we have some

    form of realism and objectivism.

    I say that this second (discovery of the similarities) is a form of realism because it insists that the similarities are real - that they are metaphysically real.

    The reason that I seem to use the term "universal" in both the Randian and in the "traditional" sense at the same time is because there is a sense in which I am. In line with the traditional sense, I hold that universals are real - independent of the subject's mind - metaphysical realities. In line with the "Randian" sense, I hold that (provided we are thinking accurately) we discover these universals and process them using concept formation - forming epistemological universals in our minds which accurately (to some degree or other) reflect the metaphysical universals in reality.

    As an examples, all cats have their "cat-like" similarities (whatever they may be). The genus of cat (along with all the differentia) is all real, metaphysically before any subject comes along to notice it. This doesn't mean that they have something labeled "cat" on or in them, but it does mean that their similarities - their "cat-ness" is a metaphysical reality. This reality is gradually discovered by subjects who process it and eventually form concepts which accurately (to some degree or other) correspond to the reality of "cat-ness".

    The implication is that "cat-ness" or "man-ness" or "blue-ness" etc... are all metaphysical realities - metaphysical objects. This much must be true. Are they objects up in heaven which communicate some of their essence to particular things down here? Likely not. But just because one (or a hundred) theories about the nature of these objects turns out to be wrong, this does not negate the fact that they must be objects none-the-less.

    The hangup that Objecitivists seem to have with this is that they can't conceive of a metaphysical object which is not a physical object because they believe that only physical reality exists. This is why most "Materialists" are also nominalists. Objectivists have enough sense to reject nominalism but seem unwilling to follow through with the implications of realism.

  3. Plasmatic, if I understand the above correctly, it is similar to what I have been saying regarding this issue.

    If universals have actual referents in the real world (to avoid subjectivism/nominalism) then some form of realism is true - we need not know the details about which form is true in order to know that some form is. Plato could have been wrong about the nature of the universals (an ideal cat in heaven) as well as how we come to know them (from a past life), without being wrong about the fact that they must exist in order for objective truth to be possible.

    I don't know why it is so difficult for intellectuals to distinguish between good and bad elements of one's philosophy. It seems that followers of philosophy in general are wholly incapable of hearing "realism" without seeing a giant "ideal cat" sitting on a giant "ideal chair" in heaven. It's kind of sad.

  4. For those who were curious above, I just recently (this morning) discovered Scott Ryan's book and, out of curiousity, searched on here to see if anyone had addressed it. I've only read small excerpts of the Amazon preview thus far, but will likely purchase it in order to study it more in depth.

    He does seem to be saying much of what I would say in regard to epistemology (which is semi-exciting), but his form of "theism" (panentheism) and his inability to value those aspects of Rand's thought that are extremely and uniquely valuable is quite off-putting.

    I'm glad you all thought of me though :)

  5. I'm suggesting that the concept of God, even without identity, is likely a product of being sapient.

    Well, whether it's a product of "being sapient" or not is sort of irrelevant. The relevant question is this: Is it TRUE or not? And on what grounds?

    Atheists (obviously) say that it is not true, and they base that on certain grounds, some of which are "logical arguments against the existence of God" or instances in which they claim that the concept of God violates the Law of Identity.

    The purpose of this thread is to discuss those particular arguments/claims.

    Would you like to contribute to that?

  6. I would not accept an argument from logical necessity as it means I have to accept something as fact simply because no logical alternative currently exists. This might be a good exercise for scientific evaluation or even individual research but the purpose of that is to see if a proposition can be validated. Validating something does just that - validate it. Shrugging and saying I don’t know so it must be “x” because nothing else fits, including “x” evidently since you can’t validate it to begin with, is a pretty big intellectual slippery slope to me.

    The way that I am using it, "logical necessity" does not mean "no logical alternatives currently exist". Rather, it means "the only possible alternative is self-contradictory".

    When there are only two alternatives (A or ~A), if one of those is contradictory, then the other is necessarily true. That is what I mean by logical necessity.

    With that explanation, would you still reject an argument from logical necessity (the way that I mean it here)?

    The typical Atheist has a philosophy that says "miracles are logically impossible and therefore have never happened”

    Actually, I am saying that there is no proof that any miracle has ever happened and further miracles contradict known facts of the universe, ergo miracles are logically impossible and will never happen.

    This equates "what we've experienced" with "all that is logically possible".

    Lets be real here, the only miracles that get reported are bleeding eyes from statues, images on a grilled cheese, and the occasional claim of healing which has never been proven. If miracles did exist we would have direct evidence wich in today’s world would be on youTube and Good Morning America. It sort of like how UFO sightings always happen in rural trailer parks so there is no way to validate them. Besides, if miracles were real you would think God would do something useful like cure cancer or make bacon a health food.

    Remember, I'm not really making a positive argument for any particular mircales here or for miracles in general. I'm showing that the premise of "miracles being impossible" - which Atheists use as an argument against Theism - is an unsupported premise.. it is an assumption with no scientific or philosophical backing.

    If you'd like a picture illustration, I am not so much building my castle (proving my worldview) here as much as I am demolishing yours (showing that you don't have quite as much "reason" on your side as you think). OR, you could say that I am disarming the weapons (arguments) that you (Atheists in general) are attempting to use against my castle (Theism).

    If you wish to prove that miracles are IMPOSSIBLE, arguments like "I've never seen one" or "I want one like this" won't cut it. You must prove that miracles, as such, are impossible. Apart from that, you could justifiably say that they are highly unlikely, but you have no just backing for the assumption that they are impossible.

    As for my original post, yes that was the real issue. Everything else was just me piling it on to show how frustratingly unbelievable the whole concept really is. I claim that it is logically impossible for God to be infinite, omniscient, or omnipotent. Each contradicts basic axioms which mean God, as defined by his supporters, cannot exist. Unless you want to assert he can exist outside of existence, which is simply another contradiction if one wants to bother to go that far.

    I don't wish to assert that He exists outside of existence. I do hold that God is infinite, omniscient, and omnipotent. I do not see how these contradict the basic axioms. Could you elaborate?

  7. When considering the concepts of possible and impossible, why it is necessary to preface them with logically? To identify what is possible, one only need look out to reality and see possibility after possibility. Possibility is that which has, can or will happen. Impossible is the obverse of that, or that which has not, can not, or will not happen.

    Except the means which you propose above ("one only need look out to reality and see possibility after possibility") would *only* supply you with information concerning that which has/is happening. It can tell you nothing about what could/will happen.

    As an example: 2,000 years ago, based on what was seen, men considered it "impossible" that Man could fly to the moon. They were right, in a sense; they were right that at that time and in that context, it was impossible. However, that type of possibility/impossibility must be distinguished from the logical possibility/impossibility because apart from tat distinction, it could/should be said that we have "done the logically impossible and defied logic"... as some idiots are happy to proclaim.

    You could say that it was contextually impossible, but not logically impossible. A contextual impossiblity is something that is "impossible" but not contradictory. A logical impossibility is a contradiction.

    Personally, to avoid confusion, I actually prefer to reserve the terms "possible" and "impossible" to refer to "non-contradictory" and "contradictory".

  8. An interesting argument., you certainly have a knack for making me think outside the bun. That’s a good thing by the way :)

    The “IF” is relevant however for a particular reason. You used it again in the first couple of paragraphs to explain that IF God exists [then the following things would reasonably explain God’s identity and relationship to the universe]. What you are saying *might* sound reasonable at first look if one assumes God exists, but the issue here is that I do not assume God exists. I do not assume any of the 3000+ variants exist nor have I ever been given reason to think that any one of them is different enough from another to render it plausible. I never get to the IF since there is no proof of God. Religions like Christianity make claims that contradict what we know in very fundamental ways, making it untenable even as a thought exercise.

    Outside of that and back to the task at hand there is no evidence that God can do the things you claim. You cannot just arbitrarily claim that it is possible without any proof or even in direct contradiction of known facts by assigning God a deus ex machina. Without proof I can just as easily assert that it is Gods nature to sit grimly upon his mountain and ignore men outside of breathing the will to live in them and the strength to survive, and then set about teaching my nephews the riddle of steel. Despite sounding morally superior to the modern versions of this argument you’d still dismiss it even though it fits the claim. Proof? Nah… Crom can do it since it is in his nature.

    Now if I assume for the sake of argument that God could do things that contradict known knowledge there is no reason to just accept them without any proof of their use or any demonstration of them being possible. Further, if I do agree that all of those powers are in God’s nature and we did know for certain that they are in God’s nature, I would still claim it is proof that He does not exist since nothing in nature to date has demonstrated those abilities nor do we have any proof that He has done these things. This is, after all the basic argument for a “jump of faith”.

    Finally, if I were to accept some powers (another big IF) I still get stuck on issues such as God being infinite which is an axiomatic contradiction. God as infinite and unidentifiable being is the argument that an amorphous “blob” permeates the universe, yet still remains magically nowhere since we can’t see him, is an obvious logic gaff. A blob would be a step up since you can at least point to the blob and say “this”. There is accepting the plausible to think about it as an idea then there is something so unreasonable it defies logic.

    Remember, in the “A is A” thread you have gone to great detail to explain the necessity of validation and their crucial role in confirming everything (including axioms). Very well I might add and it has been a great discussion. I’m following that advice here. There is no valid identification of this superior being, there is no valid confirmation to the powers ascribed to this unknown superior being, and finally there is nothing in nature to even grant the perceptive evidence to build a validation method around this unattributed, unknown, yet somehow superior being that is superior despite no way to validate it’s value.

    The "theme" of this particular thread is logical arguments against the existence of God. As a Theist, therefore, I am simply focusing on the refutation of any possible logical arguments against the existence of God in this thread. I do have positive arguments for the existence of God (mostly expounded in the "Argument for the Existence of God" thread), but I have intentionally tried to keep positive arguments to a minimum in this thread in order to stay on topic. I am also very happy to discuss positive argument for God over email, etc.. with any individual who would like more clarifying discussion than what can be had on the forum.

    Now aside from simply staying on topic, I will add that there is a certain value in addressing the logical (philosophical) arguments against God's existence before moving to positive arguments or "proof". In "proving" my position, my personal expertise and preference lies in logical arguments rather than "evidential" ones. From the way you have discussed "proof" or the lack-thereof above, I assume that you are referring more to the lack of scientific/empirical evidence. Quickly, I would like to ask if you would accept an argument from logical necessity (as proof FOR His existence) - apart from empirical evidence - and if not, why not? Regarding empirical evidence, however, it is always good (and necessary) to clear the philosophical ground before moving on to more specified studies/ inquiries. This debate is a perfect example of that.

    The typical Atheist has a philosophy that says "miracles are logically impossible and therefore have never happened - which means all apparent "evidence" of miracles is to be dismissed as hoax, illusion, etc..." But when asked "On what do you base the assumption that miracles are impossible?", the Atheist answers "on the basis that none have ever happened". So, it is a circular argument: "Miracles can't happen because the submitted evidence for them must be discounted because they can't happen". This was addressed (much more eloquently) by C.S. Lewis in the book "Miracles".

    Before you can objectively analyze any potential evidence for miracles, you must first establish whether or not they are logically possible. If they are logically impossible, then no evidence need be consulted. If they are logically possible, then the potential evidence needs to be treated with the same objectivity as potential evidence for any other claim.

    So, the purpose in addressing and refuting the logical arguments against God (and miracles) is to clear a path to the consideration of positive arguments FOR them. The emphasis of my studies, though, does not deal much (right now) with the empirical arguments - though, with the right philosophical framework, there are good resources out there concerning the historicity and reliability of historical Biblical accounts.

    I think all of that should sufficiently deal with the majority of your post which seems to address the lack of positive evidence.

    You did mention a potential logical argument against God concerning the issue of Him being infinite, and I hate to leave you hanging, but I gotta go. I will do my best to respond to that particular issue soon. Thanks for the discussion!

  9. I really don't know truth be told. I was delayed in responding to this post as I was curious why Objectivists might not consider validation so I reread a few sources and think I have a decent theory. OPAR is very light on the subject and that book is a dominant source quoted on Objectivism these days. OPAR is brief and to the point on axioms being self-evident so I can see why people would skip past explicit validation, especially in light once you grab the essentials it pretty much falls into line easily. OPAR sticks to that then later discusses Causality being validated explicitly while mentioning off handed that it is like axioms in this respect, so unless I missed something that is it. I’m not exactly an expert on OPAR or that period and my contact with Objectivists (until recently) has been limited so I’m sure someone else could offer better insight into this.

    Just an aside, I didn’t really think of it since I read OPAR later than most. I accumulated most of my early reading or listening material before it was printed and by then the material was already spread out in the books or the lectures I had. By the time I read the book it was a simple review. Mostly I refer to other books or the Basic Principles of Objectivism lectures, although those original tapes were massacred from my days of driving truck so having the NBI lectures reprinted was wonderful.

    This is pure conjecture on my part but considering axioms are self-evident axioms, and OPAR leaves it largely at that, I’m sure this has led many people to consider validation redundant. They simply are. In the context of any of us today we basically do that since there is no separating the fact we acquire the art of thinking at a young age and use it as we encounter new ideas.

    As for “ultimate” means of validation, I’m not sure of what you mean exactly. The way I interpret it the directly observable would have to be the ultimate means of validation since you have to reduce something back to observable facts to ground your knowledge. Logic is the method but observable facts are the base.

    This is where I think the disconnect is. I'm saying that the method, itself, ALSO requires validation.

    So Objectivists say that perception (the directly observable) is the ultimate form of validation and that logic is the process or method used in this validation. Now, take that principle and treat it like any other proposition. Try to validate, by perception, the proposition that "logic is the proper method" for validation. OR, try to validate, by perception, that "perception is the ultimate means of validation".

    What I'm saying is that the basic Objectivist Epistemological law violates itself. The first test for any Epistemological law is that it meets it's own criteria (this is where both the empiricists and the rationalists failed).

    I would say that the other axioms can validate Identity or the Laws of Logic. The main reason is that the Laws of Logic are a direct corollary of Identity, and Identity is part of the triad of axioms that are the fundamental building blocks of knowledge. There is no separating them from each other. To see something is to see something.

    But the reasoning process you went through to formulate that observation (which I completely agree with) ASSUMES the validity of the Law of Identity up front. "To see something (A) is (=) to see something (A)". In this instance, you have not abstracted the law of identity from your perception -- you have applied the law of identity to your perception. There's a difference.

    There is no way to abstract the law of identity (or any other UNIVERSAL law) from perception... without already assuming it - which is what Objectivists do without admitting it.

    I would say however that most people today use logic to validate all three since it would be far easier than perception alone. Perception would have taken a long time to accumulate the knowledge through trial and error to properly identify attributes of objects, then move to causal relationships, and eventually identify the laws of logic proper. In fact, it took whatever time (tens of thousands of years) from when man built his first tool until the Greeks wrote down the Laws of Causality. So starting as a blank slate, like man had to at one time, and accumulating the means through perception and experience to form the ability to validate intellectuality would be painfully slow. The long period of ignorance and errors would likely account for the dominance of ancient primitive religions to explain the errors and gaps. But validating logic could be done even if it would have taken a herculean effort. There is simply no reason for anyone today to ignore the wealth of knowledge to try and do so. Considering that a (good) parent is going to help a child along while he grows up it might be impossible since the child will be front loaded with knowledge and the method of thinking to move quickly through the learning experience.

    Again, there is absolutely no need for trial and error when it comes to VALIDATING the laws of logic or correlaries thereof. Trial and error could and often are useful in the DISCOVERY of them, but to use trial and error in order to VALIDATE them is to assume that it is possible that they are not true: to assume that contradictions are possible-- which would crumble all objectivity.

  10. I'm going to preface the rest of this post and say that I think we're getting ready to go in circles and I might better understand if you elaberate on this more. It might help if I understood your possition since I'm simply repeating mine.

    I think that's a good idea... however I'm not sure which part you're wanting elaboration on. haha. So, I'm going to try and elaborate generally and if you'd like more specificity, please let me know. :)

    My position (and the position of MUCH of philosophical Theism throughout the centuries -- especially pre-Kant) is that God cannot (and would not want to!) make "A = ~A"... He cannot commit contradictions. If He has performed any miracles, they are not contradictions because contradictions are inherently impossible - not just "impossible for US as humans", but impossible in and of themselves.

    Miracles are instances of A behaving in an unordinary way - but not ultimately against its nature.

    There are certain things (Miracles) that God can do and we will never learn to do because those things are within the nature of God to do, but they are not within our nature to do. By referring to "two different natures" here, I am not referring to different realities/dimensions. I simply mean that God has a nature and Man has a nature, and so does every other existent. And each existent can only act in accordance to its nature.

    If God created water, then part of the nature of water is that it is dependent on God and part of the nature of God is that He is influential over water, and therefore He can cause water to act in such a way that a man could walk on top of it when and if He so chooses. Man did not create water and therefore Man cannot make water "walkable' by fiat (Man might find some technological way to do so in the future.. but it won't be by fiat like it is with God). Does that make sense?

    Similarly, WE could never be infinite, omnipotent, etc... because it is not within the nature of Man to be those things. But that does not mean that it could not be in the nature of God to be those things. Just like its not in the nature of an amoeba to build a space ship and fly to the moon -- this doesnt mean that it is impossible for ANYTHING to build a space ship and fly to the moon.

    That is a pretty big "if" you have hanging there.

    The "if" clause was probably more confusing than helpful. What I was trying to get across is that If God exists and He is the "Immovable Mover", there are certain other things which must be true about Him-- attributes which He must have in order to be that type of God, attributes which very few religions actually ascribe to God. In other words, if God did not have xyz attributes, it WOULD be an instance of "A = ~A". But that is really a side point, so I apologize for bringing it up.

    Nah, we should probably avoid things like the Virgin Pregnancy for this thread. Not that I wouldn’t mind discussing them, but they will likely get into areas outside of the God and Identity argument which is the point of the OP. I did (admittedly and rather flippantly) toss it out since I do find it an example of a gross contradiction. I have a feeling, however, that you have a different take on it and I hardly want to derail the thread on nuances in Scripture regarding certain parables. Needless to say I take them at face value and find massive contradictions as a result. I will add however that the story of Genesis and Original Sin is one that goes beyond a contradiction into one I find outrageous. As a Catholic I learned that I am a sinner for having the capacity to have the knowledge allowing me to have this debate with you, for example, which means it was evil to have grasped the Law of Identity to begin with. Talk about contradictions with baggage. Well that and the fact God wanted Eve to be an easy on the eyes garden gnome in his private garden. That just isn’t right.

    Haha! You're funny. I like you.

    Perhaps those conversations can be had over email or in another thread (though I can't imagine such a thread being appropriate on this forum..??)

  11. Well, that eliminates the notion of God-creator .

    Why is that??

    If I may pre-empt your answer (for the sake of saving us both time), its because to you "God-creator" means "creator of all existence -- including HIM if He exists".

    I don't know how many times I have to say that that is a straw man. Maybe this time it will stick though...

    God created ALL OTHER EXISTENTS. He EXISTS (and is therefore "part" of existence) and created ALL OTHER existents -- all existents which are not Himself.

    If that's unclear, please ask clarifying questions so I can try and make it more clear... if possible.

    Moreover if God is part of existence he has to have features and boundaries which distinguish him from other existents [OR, other existents have to have boundaries which distinguish them from Him], in other words he has to obey the law of identity and causality. . That eliminates omnipotence, omnipresence and other divine attributes.

    He absolutely must "obey" the laws of identity and causality!!... (which is just another way of saying "He must be Himself")

    Why do you think that "eliminates omnipotence, omnipresence and other divine attributes"?

    What is it about those attributes that creates/leads to a contradiction?

    What is it about them that adds up to "A = ~A at the same time and in the same relationship"?

  12. Jacob86 you tell us that what "God" is doing may seem illogical to us but is really logical ultimately if we were able to think on "his" level.

    Who ever said anything about thinking "on His level"? You don't need to think on some mystical "higher level" in order to see that what He does is logical - you simply need to better understand what logic IS and what it ISN'T... and then understand what God has done and what He hasn't.

    In other words, be able to distinguish between contradictions and anomalies, and be able to distinguish between legitimate philosophical theism and strawmen.

    This being seems unknowable [why do you think that?] yet you speak of "his" existence and even claim "he" is the Christian God. This entity's actions may not make any senseto us and can alter reality at any time for an unkowable reason [whether it is currently known to us or not]. If this being can not be understood how can you assign the personality, moral codes, and the mythos surrounding the Christian God to it? It doesn't seem to follow that just because some super intelligent entity presides over our reality that this entity has any interest in humanity or even created the universe in the linear sense that the bible makes it out to be.

    It actually follows very certainly, but that's a topic for a different thread (perhaps "Argument for the Existence of God" and I am currently writing on that subject (and a lot more) and will be happy to send you a copy the finished product when it's complete.

    Objectivists associate conciousness with an organic being. It has been observed by biologists that certain creatures have different cognitive abilities and that most species haven't even developed anything close to what the higher mammals have. It has been argues by many intellectuals that the source of conciousness is the evolutionary process. Essentially our genetics replicate and the developement of conciousness allowed for those genese to replicate more. Conciousness promotes success in the world so it there is more of it. Conciousness is directly related to reproduction and survival.

    "God", however is different than this somehow in that it seems to be just a conciousness that interacts with the universe in the same way a human mind acts on its body. However we have not seen any of sign that conciousness permeates the univeres. There are no gigantic nerve clusters or anything like that generating conciousness, nor transmiting its will throughout the universe.

    I'm not sure what your argument is here. You seem to be describing a lot of stuff about consciousness --- but are you arguing that those things are essential to consciousness such that a being without a physical body could not have consciousness??

    3) You say that "God" is completely logical. I don't see why this would be the case either. A God that created the universe created all the rules. Basically this being was just setting up an arbitrary experiment, one of many alternate sets of rules playing out in interesting way. A great way for an eternal being to spend its time. However, you make it sound as though this entity alread had all the rules inside of it, and that the material universe is just these rules playing out. [this is correct as opposed to the "arbitrary" view described in the first part of this section]

    However if this is the case then I do not understand why this entity would be considered to have a personality with desires and ideas but rather just a force of nature (rather, the force of nature). Without the choice between an arbitrary universe and ours, I don't think that it can be said this being created anything at all because there were not choices involved. It is more like hair growing.

    How can it said that this being has any personality, ethics, or desires at all?

    The idea of "God" being completely logical seems to reduce to pantheism.

    You seem to be saying that if God is logical and does not act against His nature (i.e. creates what He does because of who He is rather than arbitrarily), then He can't possibly have a personality. Does that mean that the essence of personality is acting against your nature? Would you accuse Galt of having little to no personality because he was so logical and always acting according to his nature???

  13. Yes, i aware of it. The problem is that theists forever stuck in the matter-spirit dichotomy [no, we simply make a distinction between the two while holding that they are compatible & complementary] . Objectivism doesn't recognize such a thing. Only existence exists and it includes everything-physical and spiritual. As everything else spiritual existents also have identity. Nothing can transcend existence or create it. If there is God, he also should be part of it.

    I completely agree - as do the majority of serious philosophical theologians.

    The "theist" who holds that God transcends existence (i.e. doesn't exist) is largely a strawman.

  14. We do seem to have a way of heading to a particular point from opposite directions, don't we. I consider miracles to be "A is not A" in this way to reflect God is granted the power to do as he pleases in the universe including "making things act against their nature". That is how religion casts Him. "A behaving in an un-ordinary way" can happen but it's not because A is not A, it is because we have not Identifed all of the attributes involved. This is actually common which is why we have science. It is un-ordinary to us because we don't understand it... yet. We can however by learning. We can never learn however to make something "act against it's nature" or to make a contradiciton.

    Agreed! I highlighted the red to simply say that that is how most Post-Kantian religion and most anti-intellectual religion casts Him. There is much philosophical Theistic thought before Kant (and some after) that does not fit that paradigm.. and specifically rejects it.

    There is no point we can learn/evolve to the point we can will the universe into existence, become infinite and be everywhere at once, read everyone's thoughts, impregnate our own mother before we were even conceived so we could be our own Father, [HAHA!!] and... well I think that get's the point across. Religion says God can do these things and more.

    You're right: WE will not ever have those abilities because those abilities are not within our nature. But the fact that they are not within OUR nature does not mean that they are illogical coming from ANY nature. BUT, if God is to have those abilities, then there is a very specific type of nature that He must have which is compatible with those abilities. He must be Himself (A is A).

    Oh, and about the virgin birth: I love your depiction of it! Haha, but that's a little bit of a misunderstanding. To stay on topic I won't get into it unless you think that is a really important issue to discuss in this thread.

    The point of God, according to religion, is not that he can do things we don't understand yet, but he can do things we will never understand or be able to do ourselves.

    One of the primary goals of God in Christian Theism is that He would be KNOWN/ "understood" by His people. This may not ever happen exhaustively but one does not need exhaustive knowledge in order to have real and valuable knowledge.

  15. I understand, I think, unless I'm misunderstanding I answered your question. Or Branden did actually in that quote - You perceive an axiom but validate it later after you have fully formed the idea of Identity. I don't see an argument in the fact the axiom validates itself. It's supposed to.

    Well, first I need to preface by saying I can't speak for all Objectivists. While I've been a long time reader that studies ideas, Objectivist or otherwise, I've only recently gotten involved in online discussions in Objectivist circles. What I can tell you from my own reading and use of axioms is that axioms are perceptual but require the Laws of Logic to validate since non-contradictory identification is the method of validating. That is why Identity is listed at the top with Existence and Consciousness versus being a corollary of them.

    This does not seem to be the majority Objectivist view.

    Would you agree, then, that perception is not the only ultimate means of validation?

    My position is that some ideas can be validated by logical necessity (axioms, etc..) and some by direct observation (perception) and that the former cannot be validated by the latter.

  16. Your making a popular mistake. Meta means after and the word "metaphysics" is termed as such because the book Aristotle wrote on the subject we now call metaphysics was placed meta-after his book on physics by Andronicas of Rhodes.

    But the subject matter is in fact "superior" to the subject matter of physics as it is foundational to it. The etymology doesn't really matter that much.

    Edit: How do you justify the concept of "non-physical" existents ? Entities are causal primaries every existent is entity dependent. There are no disembodied forces.

    I quite frankly can't figure out how anyone could justify the idea that there is only physical existents (granted, I know you concede the non-physical stuff that goes on in our brains-- but even that you seem to reduce to chemical reactions of some sort).

    My justification has to do with the fact that the ability of objectivity demands an aspect of the mind that is non-physical and is capable of informing the physical - a topic discussed in other threads. I could list other justifications, but they are more along the lines of arguments for the existence of God, the necessity of spirit, etc...

  17. Really? You're asking how "something out of nothing" is a contradiction?

    I bet no one in the Universe could ever answer that to your satisfaction, so you might as well stop asking.

    I take it you changed your mind about wanting to debate?

    It's not "something out of nothing". You're dropping the context of the conversation. It's "something out of nothing but God".

  18. He's still wrong :)


    Sure I can. Making matter out of nothing is a basic contradiction.

    How so?

    Even the "big bang" theory doesn't try to do that since it is about expansion and energy transfer. God is about creationsim which means God just magically appeared one day then made the universe appear one day.

    Correction: God never "appeared" one day. He always existed - and chose to create the universe "one day".

    Out of nothing. Or was it something? And if so did you use technology to do this?

    Out of nothing (but Himself). There couldn't have been anything (technology or otherwise) for Him to use in order to create everything else.

    Which means he is not a God but a superior alien that one day we will advance to. Either way, magic simply doesn't exist - Except in a young girl's heart :P

    Nice. Haha.

    He is either an all powerful being that can do miracles (A is not A) or it is a being bound to the same universe as us which means he is no longer defined as a God by any religious definition of the word.

    I think this may be where we are talking past each other. You consider miracles to be an instance of "A is not A". I consider them to be an instance of A behaving in an un-ordinary way, but not a contradictory way.

    Perhaps we should focus the discussion on that point...

  19. I find this definition to be inherently unworkable.

    If all of space and time is inside of God, where is God, and how does he cause anything to occur, if he is outside of time?

    "Where is God?" is sort of a misguided question (unless you want to say "He's everywhere" - but even that can be misleading). He doesn't have a body and therefore He does not have a location.

    Ultimately He has one single eternal (timeless) decree which encompasses everything that He wishes to occur inside of time.

    I won't bother asking how you assert such a being exists - we've been down that rabbit hole before,

    And I prefer to leave that to it's appropriate thread and maintain the original intent of this thread which is logical arguments against the existence of God.

    and you have yet to acknowledge that your requirement for his existence is not only arbitrary but that it also arbitrarily ignores other possible solutions to the demand arbitrarily created.

    And you have yet to acknowledge that your entire epistemology is arbitrary by its own arbitrary standards, and that it enables you to have a very arbitrary application of important epistemological terms: like the term "arbitrary".

  20. I more than underatand - I waited to the weekend when I had time to dedicate to a proper response.

    Now that I get the crux of your argument, unless there is a subtle point I’m missing, I think you have no disagreement with Objectivism on confirming the Law of Identity. Objectivism does explain the process of going from perception to logical identification. It is based in the fact it is an axiom. Here is a quote from the original NBI Lecture Series on Objectivism, which spent more time on the subject:

    “A baby, as we have said, is implicitly aware of the Law of Identity with his first sensory awareness of reality. But he cannot identify it consciously, and he cannot formulate it into a conceptual statement until much later. It is only when man grasps the Law of Identity that he gain control over his conceptual knowledge. By means of this axiom, he can retrace his knowledge. He can check the validity of any concepts, abstractions, and inferences he has drawn so far, check them by retracing them back to their base in perceptual reality, in his direct, immediate perceptions. He can bring his knowledge, his mental files, into non-contradictory order; and then go forward, in pursuit of new knowledge, as a fully conscious adult and thinker, no armed with a standard by which he can test the validity of all his conclusions and inferences.”

    Later on the Law of Identity is described as “delayed immediate perception” – Immediate in that you directly perceive something but delayed since it needs conceptual formulation before it can enter your conscious awareness and “move from implicit to explicit”. I don’t care for the term but it was the first lecture so I get the necessity of the phrase to get the point across to the listeners. So Identity is first perceived and a man accumulates knowledge of what he perceives but when he fully grasps the Law of Identity he can logically validate backwards the knowledge he has accumulated. From there he is grounded and can move forward.

    This is why Identity is an axiom and ranked with the three basic axioms. It is self-evident and also the base of all proof, including itself. The lecture goes on to point out this process happens with all axioms, which is why they are the base of knowledge. They are directly perceivable but are confirmed later when man uses the Law of Identity to change them from implicit to explicit. That is why Rand had Galt say in the speech, “An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it.” Axioms prove themselves first by direct perception and then later by being identified as the base of all proof. The first happens immediate and the later happens when we fully grasp the Law of Identity and choose to use it.

    So, does that help you out at all?

    I agree with all of the above, but I am driving to be a bit more specific about one particular point - a point which Objectivists seem to disagree with me on.

    I can say along with the Objectivist that Identity is perceived in reality before it is conceptualized - that it is implicit before explicit, etc...

    However, what is perceived is only one instance/"application" of identity; the particular identity of that particular thing being perceived.

    One does not and cannot perceive the identity of any and all existents. In other words, one does not and cannot perceive that it is an axiom.

    Does that make sense?

    I want to get at the ground for why we consider it an axiom... and because an axiom applies universally, the ground for believing that something is an axiom cannot be found in non-universal perception.

    The Objectivist says : "We know it's an axiom because we perceive it"

    I am saying : "We know it's an axiom because it 'defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it' "

    The Objectivist seems to be saying that Galt is giving a description of an axiom. I am saying that Galt is giving the definition of an axiom which includes its method of validation.

  21. Sorry, can you be more specific? Can you please summarize the definition of the Classical Christian God (of Aquinas, Edwards, etc..)

    The self-existent (not owing any part or aspect of its existence to anything else outside of it), omnipotent (having the power to do all things/ without any weakness), omniscient (knowing all things) , omnipresent (having no spatial limitations, but all of space and time being inside of Him), immutable (unchangeable in His essence, not ultimately affected by anything other than Himself) Being which created all other existents and upholds all other existents by His will and the word of His power.

    I can't say that that is a perfect or exhaustive definition, but it should be a good one to work off of for this discussion.

  22. Clark's comment is about identifiable phenomena. It refers to something that does not contradict the laws of logic and is exactly a consequence of following it. If a primitive savage sees a lighter and thinks it is magic because he doesn’t understand it that is the fault of him not understanding the identifiable facts involved. He will call it “Magic” because he does not identify it and more importantly is making no attempt to do so. He is substituting magic for the responsibility of thinking about why the lighter does what it does. The lighter is beyond his knowledge and while the knowledge may be beyond his level of thinking that doesn’t change the fact he could learn about it if he tried. To do so he would need to abandon the concept of magic and use the laws of logic.

    OR, he might equate his level of knowledge with the laws of logic and declare lighters to be impossible and irrational. ;)

    God in any form does not use advanced technology that we fail to understand and subsequently substitute magic as a band aid to thinking. Technology follows the laws of logic (A=A) while God by definition uses some mysterious power that allows the laws of logic to be contradicted. He can make things act against there nature, or even make something out of nothing. God makes A =/= A happen. That is a huge difference. There is no point that any species could advance to make A=/=A. It is the equivalent of saying math will advance to the point it will be able to divide by zero.

    God could not and would not want to violate the laws of logic. Everything God does (including creating the physical universe and having control over it) is within the realm of logic. You assume that it's not because it is "beyond your level of thinking" about those things. If you want to argue that God doing X is illogical, then you must identify the nature of the X being discussed and demonstrate how God doing it is an instance of A = ~A.

    So yes, God is disproved by logic. By the definition of the followers that invented him he contradicts axioms, logic, and the laws of nature.

    Again, within the context of a serious philosophical discussion on Theism, I don't know of many (if any) Theists who have claimed that God contradicts the axioms or logic.

    The laws of nature, however, are not synonymous with the laws of logic. If you want to claim that they are, then please explain your reasoning.

    There is also the identity contradiction in the idea that God lacks measurements, the contradiction of existence since He exists everywhere at once or nowhere at all depending on who you ask, is miraculously conscious of all consciousnesses at once Orwellian style,

    Now THESE seem more like actual logical arguments against the existence of God. Perhaps you could pick one (or a few) and elaborate on them.

  23. Nothing in existence is unlimited including existence itself.

    What is existence limited by?

    Unlimited means undefined.

    No, Unlimited means no metaphysical limits.

    Undefined means no epistemological distinctions.

    If God is unlimited, he transcends the boundaries of existence, [Who said that!?] or in other words doesn't exists. But if God exists, he has to exist withins the limits of existence, to obey the law of identity and causality, [Agreed!] won't be able to perform any miracles, to create or destroy Universe, to change the course of stars or human destiny-in other words he is not god.

    I don't know what you mean by "limits of existence", but to say that God must obey the law of identity, to remain in existence, etc... is just to say that God must be God. Why do you think He would have a problem with that? lol. Do you think that God really wants to not be God?

    Concerning the rest, you went from the category of logical necessity (the blue) to the category of im/probability (the striked out section) as if there wasn't a difference. It is obviously illogical to say that God (or anything) violates the law of identity or is "beyond existence". It is not illogical to say that God could do any of the rest of what you listed.

    What is it about the nature of those things you listed that makes it illogical (impossible) for God to interact with them the way you described?

    And remember, there is a difference between the Logical/Possible/Nature of a thing and the Usual/Probable/Way we're used to seeing a thing.

    Not a dichotomy! but a difference.

  • Create New...