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The Law of Identity and God

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How do you justify such a belief?

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.

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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. :)

Right. Your post about how a God no one ever saw or talked to is an almighty Egoist who is incapable of contradictions and created everything out of himself, is meant to demonstrate how out of touch with reality I am.

Edited by Nicky
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I don't understand. The claim for a theist would be the God is one out of many. Why would him being something distinct from everything else make him not God? Also, how do you justify the claim that God can't be defined? Wouldn't it be more accurate to say you simply don't know how he can be defined instead of the assertion that He can't be defined?

Identity means boundaries in space and time, limitations, some features which distinguish A from B. God however is unlimited, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient-in other words-undefined. Besides, one of his properties is a violation of identity law ( miracles) which means that God himself is not limited by identity. Definition, identity will strip him from his divine qualities and turn him to the object, one out of many-like a stone, star or nebula. If theists will ever accept such a God, I wonder what they will do with him?

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Right. Your post about how a God no one ever saw or talked to is an almighty Egoist who is incapable of contradictions and created everything out of himself, is meant to demonstrate how out of touch with reality I am.

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.

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Identity means boundaries in space and time, limitations, some features which distinguish A from B.

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?

God however is unlimited, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient-in other words-undefined.

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...

Besides, one of his properties is a violation of identity law ( miracles) which means that God himself is not limited by identity.

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.

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Jacob said:

"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? "

Multiplicity is self evidently axiomatic. To be something also requires that said being is not something else, where the something else is necessary . All singularities are irrational as far as I'm concerned precisely because multiplicity IS. Absolutely,boundedness is axiomatic and a consequence of identity.

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You cannot logically disprove the existence of God. At most you can show that some interpretations or attributes of "God" are selfcontradictory, for example the attribute of omnipotence.

But you don't have to logically disprove the existence of God, any more than you have to logically disprove the claim that you are an alien in disguise hell-bent on destroying Earth and we'd better shoot you first. As there is no objective evidence for the existence of God (not that nobody claims there is such objective evidence, but that their claims fail the test of objectivity and evidence), any claim that God exists is arbitrary. And an arbitrary claim is meaningless: it is in fact worse than wrong because it has no bearing on the facts of reality.

And for every arbitrary claim, there are any number of equal and opposite arbitrary claims, which further makes the point of how meaningless they are.

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Jacob said:

"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? "

Multiplicity is self evidently axiomatic. To be something also requires that said being is not something else, where the something else is necessary .

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.

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The primary method of using the Law of Identity to disprove the concept of God is to remember that the Laws of Logic are a direct corollary of Identity. The Laws of Logic demolish the concept of God easily. There are two definitions you can use for a God:

  • That God exists in the universe as part of that universe and has to obey the laws of nature just like us. If you accept this notion, then God is no longer a God by the definition of religion since he cannot create matter out of nothing, life out of non-life, or any other act of breaking reality to suit his whims. It obeys the same laws of nature that we do, which mean it is simply a more advanced version of us. That makes it an alien that, while possibly more powerful than us, is bound by science and some day we will be at the same level as that alien in technology (and we’ll hardly become a God at that time by any stretch of the imagination).

  • Or you can say that God exists apart from the universe, since he created it, and can make matter out of nothing, life from non-life, or can break reality at its whim. This is the traditional view of God that claims it can make the impossible happen by supernatural fiat. Instead of science, we get magic. Magic be definition is the claim that A =/= A since magic can contradict known facts. God breaks the laws of nature by using magic. If we accept this notion then you are ignoring the Laws of Logic, which means you ignoring the Law of Identity, since you are claiming contradictions do exist and there is someone somewhere that can make those contradictions happen on demand.

If you accept the Laws of Logic (A=A) you quickly realize that Gods don’t exists because magic (A=/=A) doesn’t exists. God is the ultimate contradiction simply because He cannot exist in the universe he supposedly created.

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Or you can say that God exists apart from the universe, since he created it, and can make matter out of nothing, life from non-life, or can break reality at its whim. This is the traditional view of God that claims it can make the impossible happen by supernatural fiat. Instead of science, we get magic. Magic be definition is the claim that A =/= A since magic can contradict known facts.

That something contradicts "known facts" doesn't mean that it is a logical contradiction. It can mean that our knowledge so far was not complete: what seemed to us to be incontrovertible facts, were not. So it seemed to us for centuries that time was a universal variable, for everyone the same. Now we know that this is not true, see the twin paradox, which breaks a law that we thought to be an incontrovertible truth. A famous statement by Arthur C. Clarke is "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", the fact that something looks to us like magic doesn't mean that it is a contradiction, something impossible. A God who could use the most advanced technology you can imagine, could very well do things that would look like pure magic to us. A logical contradiction would be for example a triangle with 4 angles or a married bachelor, there is no way that these could exist, but the fact that a known law is shown to be violated in some cases is not a logical contradiction. You cannot disprove the existence of God by pure logic.

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That something contradicts "known facts" doesn't mean that it is a logical contradiction. It can mean that our knowledge so far was not complete: what seemed to us to be incontrovertible facts, were not. So it seemed to us for centuries that time was a universal variable, for everyone the same. Now we know that this is not true, see the twin paradox, which breaks a law that we thought to be an incontrovertible truth. A famous statement by Arthur C. Clarke is "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", the fact that something looks to us like magic doesn't mean that it is a contradiction, something impossible. A God who could use the most advanced technology you can imagine, could very well do things that would look like pure magic to us. A logical contradiction would be for example a triangle with 4 angles or a married bachelor, there is no way that these could exist, but the fact that a known law is shown to be violated in some cases is not a logical contradiction. You cannot disprove the existence of God by pure logic.

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.

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.

Plus, if God is simply a powerful being using technology that looks like “magic” and someday we will understand the science behind it, then we come to my first point in my original post – God is simply a more advanced race bound to this universe and following the same laws of logic we do. He is no longer a God but a normal race and this conversation is moot. We’ll leave the alien conspiracies for the History Channel.

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. 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, or the simple ID silliness that he has to exist to design us because an all knowing infinite floating abstraction that can cause contradictions on demand is probable but identifiable human life is not.

God simply cannot exist in the universe he supposedly created. That is a huge design flaw for someone supposedly omniscient.

Edited by Spiral Architect
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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.

If A is distinguished from B then A and B have to be separated, to have boundaries and limits. Laws of physics are laws of causality which is law of identity applied to action. A interacts with B in accordance to their nature. Unlimited features are features without identity and context. For example omnipotence doesn't mean very big potency, it means undefined potency. The same applies to all other divine attributes. If identity of things dependent on its creator, then it could be arbitrary changed by him and therefore it is not identity.

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A is A is not a rationalistic bromide

I'm not sure what you mean by that...

but an axiom validated by perception.

A universal law validated by perception? Where!? I wanna see it.

Multiplicity is the same. We perceive multiplicity, it IS.

We perceive water. Is it also an axiom?

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The primary method of using the Law of Identity to disprove the concept of God is to remember that the Laws of Logic are a direct corollary of Identity. The Laws of Logic demolish the concept of God easily. There are two definitions you can use for a God:

  • That God exists in the universe as part of that universe and has to obey the laws of nature just like us. If you accept this notion, then God is no longer a God by the definition of religion since he cannot create matter out of nothing, life out of non-life, or any other act of breaking reality to suit his whims. It obeys the same laws of nature that we do, which mean it is simply a more advanced version of us. That makes it an alien that, while possibly more powerful than us, is bound by science and some day we will be at the same level as that alien in technology (and we’ll hardly become a God at that time by any stretch of the imagination).

Agreed.

Or you can say that God exists apart from the universe, since he created it, and can make matter out of nothing, life from non-life, or can break reality [What does that mean??] at its whim. This is the traditional view of God that claims it can make the impossible happen by supernatural fiat.

"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.

God breaks the laws of nature by using magic.

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.

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If A is distinguished from B then A and B have to be separated, to have boundaries and limits.

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 B).

Laws of physics are laws of causality which is law of identity applied to action. A interacts with B in accordance to their nature.

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.

Unlimited features are features without identity and context.

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.

For example omnipotence doesn't mean very big potency, it means undefined potency.

Not "undefined", but "unlimited".

The same applies to all other divine attributes. If identity of things dependent on its creator, then it could be arbitrary changed by him and therefore it is not identity.

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).

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The more you apply logic to the concept of "God" the more you realize that such a being is a non-entity that can not be understood, examined, or spoken of, whose "motivations" (if we can even call them that) are incapable of being understood. This "being" has no mind because it created mind, it has no desire because it created desire, it is not bound by law or time because it created those things. Even the words like "creation" that I am using are completely inadequate to describe the things an entity like this would do because langauge and the human mind are incapable of describing it. This being is a dangerous outsider to our reality who intervenes illogically by definition.

In order to understand this being do not read C. S. Lewis, instead read Wittgenstein and H. P. Lovecraft.

On the other hand if you keep removing the illogical aspects from him such as having him adhere to the laws of physics, being bound to reality, we arrive at a something more akin to pantheism, where "God" is an entity that is the universe, is the source of mind and matter, and shapes and forms in discernable patterns. This being has no real personality or desires that are not already expressed by the emergent minds that exist in it (us), so once again we lack the mythical figures in christianity.

This is entity is not a "higher" power, but the lowest one, the most fundemental one.

This is more like the "God" of spinoza.

I don't reallly think there is anything really wrong with this concept of "God" other than that it is purely speculative, and as Christian scholars pointed out, is deceptive in its use of a word that is normally used to describe a completely differenty idea.

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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?

What I meant Is that multiplicity, like identity ,is a conceptual existent that corresponds to mind independent reality. As before I'm endeavouring to bring you to the relationship of perception to conception ......We see a multiplicity of entities. We know that we cannot say anything without affirming there is multiplicity, it is implicit even if we deny it. Unlike water,which we also perceive but is not reaffirmed through denial etc... It is NOT simply a "we perceive it" thing but ALSO passes the conceptual axiom criteria.

Edited by Plasmatic
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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.

I believe I answered all of this in my second post. If not then I'll be happy to clarify it for you :)

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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).

See my above post.

What you are saying goes against the most common thesitic argument (That "God" can ignore a variety of paradoxes by being "outside of time" or being more fundemental than logic). If this isn't true then this being is not the God of Abraham.

Your vesrion of "God" ammounts to a really powerful ghost that created the world. This doesn't make any sense for a variety of reasons.

1. This is primacy of conciousness on a cosmological level instead of the usual solipsistic or kantian level.

2. Ghosts don't exist, especially ghosts that didn't have bodies in the first place.

Why would a conciousness exist without a body? Our conciousness comes from evolution, and discernable forces that make us desire what we desires and think how we think.

Rationality serves the function of allowing us to understand the universe. Why would "God' develope that function? Desires allow our DNA to replicate. Why would a being like that have any sort of system of desire without the underlying need to replicate its DNA?

A conciousness taken out of the context of evolution and biology doesn't make any sense at all.

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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 B).

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).

Nothing in existence is unlimited including existence itself. Unlimited means undefined. If God is unlimited, he transcends the boundaries of existence, 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, 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.

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Please define God.

This is a great point - We really need to know which God we are talking about here. My posts assume the Christian version of God, but it could be another. There has been over 3,700 supernatural beings worshiped in history and if I’m not mistaken over 2800 of them qualify as a deity. I like the classics simply because they are more interesting (go Thor!) but we are likely better off narrowing it down to the most popular religions today. Here is a list I had copied some time ago but it should still be close on estimations:

  1. Christianity: 2.1 billion followers
  2. Islam: 1.3 billion
  3. Hinduism: 900 million
  4. Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
  5. Buddhism: 376 million
  6. African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
  7. Sikhism: 23 million
  8. Juche: 19 million
  9. Spiritism: 15 million
  10. Judaism: 14 million
  11. Baha'i: 7 million
  12. Jainism: 4.2 million
  13. Shinto: 4 million
  14. Cao Dai: 4 million
  15. Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
  16. Tenrikyo: 2 million
  17. Neo-Paganism: 1 million
  18. Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
  19. Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
  20. Scientology: 500 thousand

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