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Yar-El
12-21-2008, 10:17 PM
Jewish and Christianity Question - Is God all knowing?

I have a revelation to present after someone with Christian or Jewish knowledge answers.

Fredi
12-21-2008, 10:20 PM
I would like to know this answer as well.

jrrtoken
12-21-2008, 10:22 PM
Could you elaborate? That question is sort of... vague. :confused:

Oh, and you might as well modify of the Jewish and Christianity subtitle, since there are a LOT of religions which are monotheistic, or perhaps you wanted to stay in the Abrahamic realm, then you might as well include Islam, too.

Thanks. :)

jonathan7
12-21-2008, 10:41 PM
God has to be all knowing, if as in the Christian conception he is outside of time, as he already know everything that will come to pass....

By extension this would be true for Judaism; and Islam.

Achilles
12-21-2008, 10:53 PM
God has to be all knowing, if as in the Christian conception he is outside of time, as he already know everything that will come to pass.......therefore there is no free will.

jonathan7
12-21-2008, 10:57 PM
...therefore there is no free will.

If you hold with a latin way of thinking which means if one thing is true, something contrary to it must be false (opposed to an eastern, 'holistic' way of thinking). Personally I'd hold that both God being all knowing, and people have freedom of choice are true. God gave us freedom to choose - but because he is outside of time he already know's what we will choose. Is that the same as pre-destination?

GarfieldJL
12-21-2008, 11:00 PM
While God may be all knowing, that doesn't mean the future is fixed, I imagine God has done a few things to influence things, but by and large we do have the freedom to choose.

It isn't predestination, it's just God exists outside time and is watching everything unfold on its own.

Edit: The problem with arguing this is that we're looking at a paradox.

Emperor Devon
12-21-2008, 11:16 PM
Wasn't there a thread on this a while ago? Oh well. If god is omnipotent he can make anything happen. If god is omniscient he knows everything that could happen. Ergo anything that does happen is decided by him. Free will is nonexistent.

Jewish and Christianity Question - Is God all knowing?

Somewhat off-topic, but why was this question deemed inherently jewish/christian?

TriggerGod
12-21-2008, 11:29 PM
If what the Christian view of God is true, then there is no true free will; everything has been decided for you years in advance.
What I believe is that there is a 'plane above earth' such as heaven where he resides with his children after they die. He watches down on us while we ruin/enrich our lives, and He may change events in the future when needed.

Somewhat off-topic, but why was this question deemed inherently jewish/christian?
Presumably because we're talking about the Christian/Jewish deity known as 'God.'

Achilles
12-21-2008, 11:39 PM
Presumably because we're talking about the Christian/Jewish deity known as 'God.'Islam?

Why discriminate amongst the abrahamic monotheisms? Or amongst any religion that has a (allegedly) omniscient figure in its pantheon?

The Doctor
12-21-2008, 11:44 PM
If god is omnipotent he can make anything happen. If god is omniscient he knows everything that could happen. Ergo anything that does happen is decided by him. Free will is nonexistent.

Just because he can make anything happen, Devon, doesn't mean he does.

And that is where my beliefs differ from those commonly heard today. As a former Christian, I do believe in God, as an omnipresent and possibly omnipotent being - I mean to say, a being far more powerful and intelligent than any human could ever hope to achieve. I believe that he has had a profound impact on the development of the human race by directly influencing events in our history; events that have been distorted somewhat through misunderstanding and misinterpretation. I know, though Roman historical documentation, that a man named Yeshua was in fact crucified for "crimes against the empire".

From there, I branch out of my raised-Christian beliefs. While, to me, Jesus was an incredibly compassionate, intelligent man with vastly progressive ideas and beliefs, he was nothing more. I do not believe that he was the incarnation of God, nor that he was divinely inspired to die to save humanity from their sins - though I have no idea what his own human motives may have been, if he even had any sort of plan. In my mind, Jesus was no different than Mahatma Gandhi, in that he was simply an intelligent, enlightened man who's ideals got him killed by people who weren't ready to hear them.

This leads me to my main point: while God may, at some point, have been an active force in the lives of mankind, I believe that at some point he realised exactly how detrimental to our existence his interference was, regardless of his intentions. He's since backed off considerably, though he now feels obligated to set us on the right path, speaking to some individuals in special circumstances; though the ill-formed (though basically well intentioned) religions spawned from his previous interferences have have simply swelled in number because of it, rather than people forming their own faith - solely because many people aren't interested enough in their faith to define it outside of the traditional values.

So, to answer the OP's question directly: yes, in my opinion, God could be described as "all knowing" to the extent that he has a higher awareness and understanding of the events of present day humanity, on both a small personal and larger global level. I would not, however, grant him the status of omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent in the literal sense.

Emperor Devon
12-21-2008, 11:59 PM
Just because he can make anything hawppen, Devon, doesn't mean he does.

But if god is omniscient he knows everything that could result from whatever decision he makes (or abstains from making). Since he's also omnipotent, he can make all decisions.

A decision doesn't have to have required direct effort on his part for it to have been one, so what we'd consider apathy is still a decision by his standards - he knows the consequences of all given courses of action, and chooses a particular one to go with.

Achilles
12-22-2008, 12:05 AM
I'm okay with whatever make-pretend rules we want to make up so long as we're honest when one of them drives a bus right over another. And if we're going to use "god is unknowable" as an excuse to make up a made-up rule that none of the other made-up rules really contradict each other, then we should just stick to that and stop pretending that we can both know and not know the unknowable at the same time.

The Doctor
12-22-2008, 12:15 AM
But if god is omniscient he knows everything that could result from whatever decision he makes (or abstains from making). Since he's also omnipotent, he can make all decisions.
As I stated above, I believe that God is neither omniscient nor omnipotent in the literal sense of either word. He may have more developed powers of foresight, but to say that he knows for sure what is going to happen, in my opinion, is a flawed statement. Therefore, he does not see all, nor can he make all decisions.

A decision doesn't have to have required direct effort on his part for it to have been one, so what we'd consider apathy is still a decision by his standards - he knows the consequences of all given courses of action, and chooses a particular one to go with.
Again, I do not believe that he knows, for sure, the consequences of every decision he could possible make - including the decision to do nothing.

Emperor Devon
12-22-2008, 12:34 AM
As I stated above, I believe that God is neither omniscient nor omnipotent in the literal sense of either word. {snip} he does not see all, nor can he make all decisions.

That isn't omniscient or omnipotent in any sense of the word. :p Anyways, looks like I misread your post - though it's inevitable you'll confuse people if you use words for anything other than their intended meaning. There is no possibility, as you mentioned above, of god being omniscient if he doesn't know everything.

tk102
12-22-2008, 12:41 AM
Omniscience, omnipotence*, or omnipresence.

Only the last makes any sense to me.


*As en ex LF admin, I thought you'd knew better :p -d3

Q
12-22-2008, 01:37 AM
How does one define the indefinable? Or divine its motives? Or even prove or disprove its very existence? One cannot. Period.

The book of Job (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_(book_of_Bible)) serves as the ultimate example of why discussions of this nature, by believers and nonbelievers alike, are an utterly pointless waste of time. I humbly ask that no one take this as an insult as it is not meant as one. The answer is the same, regardless of your beliefs or point of view on the matter.

While it is perfectly natural to ask these questions, IMO it is detrimental and even unhealthy from a psychological point of view to obsessively persue them because the answer is unattainable. Take it from someone who knows first-hand. If taken too far it will ultimately lead to insanity. The best course of action is to accept your limitations and move on. ;)

The Doctor
12-22-2008, 01:45 AM
Some would say that the book of Job had that "lesson" installed in it in hopes that people would take it to heart and in fact not discuss such an issue, as it would weaken the Church's power if people began to question such things so readily. Challenging your own religious beliefs is the best way to adapt and grow, to be perfectly honest. To try to define what you're told cannot be defined is unavoidably human, and shouldn't be quashed. Ever.

Achilles
12-22-2008, 01:50 AM
The best course of action is to accept your limitations and move on. ;)I think "move on to what?" is the question (and for some, the point) in this discussion.

Q
12-22-2008, 01:56 AM
Some would say that the book of Job had that "lesson" installed in it in hopes that people would take it to heart and in fact not discuss such an issue, as it would weaken the Church's power if people began to question such things so readily.
Then they are missing the point. To be frank, I couldn't care less about organized religion or its motives, as I believe that it is a failure on every level. It is ultimately irrevelvant, IMO.
I think "move on to what?" is the question (and for some, the point) in this discussion.
I honestly wish that I knew. Blissful ignorance, perhaps?

Rev7
12-22-2008, 02:10 AM
God has to be all knowing, if as in the Christian conception he is outside of time, as he already know everything that will come to pass....

By extension this would be true for Judaism; and Islam.
QFE

Achilles
12-22-2008, 02:13 AM
I honestly wish that I knew. Blissful ignorance, perhaps?I pretty much agree with every point that you made above (except the part about the book of job :)), but at the end of the day only some of us accept that we can't know (and by extension, that we don't). Where we should go from there is a very important question that needs to be answered. Ignoring it has gotten where we are now.

Q
12-22-2008, 02:33 AM
Actually, I believe that it is our insistence on continuing to seek it that has gotten us to where we are now. ;)

I believe that I know where the answer (or at least an answer within the limits of our perception) lies, but I'm afraid that, on the whole, humanity lacks both the mental capacity and the maturity to deal with the answer and that is why I believe that, at least at present, it is best left unsought.

Achilles
12-22-2008, 02:52 AM
Actually, I believe that it is our insistence on continuing to seek it that has gotten us to where we are now. ;)Now I think you're just arguing in circles. "Don't know the answer so move on but don't ask where to because that's dangerous also".

I think if irrational thinking could account for as much human progress as rational thinking, you might have a point.

I believe that I know where the answer (or at least an answer within the limits of our perception) lies, but I'm afraid that, on the whole, humanity lacks both the mental capacity and the maturity to deal with the answer and that is why I believe that, at least at present, it is best left unsought.And here I suspect that you're still arguing for the first point when I thought we had moved on to the second. So please allow me to try again: What does mankind do while leaving things "unsought"?

Your "leave everything alone" solution doesn't sound like much of a solution to me. In fact it sounds rather apathetic.

Samuel Dravis
12-22-2008, 03:02 AM
It's not a question of if events influence our decisions, it's a question of which. Any discussion on whether God predestined people is not going to ask: are we free in a libertarian-free-will sense (which is, to my knowledge, an unsupportable idea)? Instead, it's going to ask, "Just what constitutes a freely chosen action, anyway?"

We got this idea of choosing freely from somewhere, most likely our morality. We hold people responsible for some actions and not for others. However, when you look closely at actions that are in real life considered freely chosen, never in any case do they disregard physical law. So does that mean they're determined by laws of physics? Not exactly. I would say that it demonstrates that the laws of physics are simply not relevant to what is and what is not "freely chosen."

The idea that God got the ball rolling in the physical sense and therefore determined what people would do doesn't really hold up if we accept the idea above, since physical determinism isn't an issue anymore.

It might be said that what people consider freely willed actions are irrelevant to what actually are freely willed actions. Well! We're the ones using the words here. If we want to say we could be wrong about what a free-willed action is, then surely we must have some way to find out that it actually is or is not free. After all, for a doubt to exist there must be logical room for it. But given the parameters such a question would be asked under (a metaphysical/libertarian free will is unprovable and by corollary cannot be disproven either), I don't see that such a way is possible unless it is completely arbitrary - and something arbitrary is uninteresting to us here.

Because of this, I'm comfortable just going with what we know, which is how we in fact do use the idea of freedom in relation to our actions. I'd say that, regardless of whether or not you believe in an omniscient God, we're free to choose our actions in every meaningful sense.

Q
12-22-2008, 04:18 AM
Now I think you're just arguing in circles. "Don't know the answer so move on but don't ask where to because that's dangerous also".
Precisely. :D
I think if irrational thinking could account for as much human progress as rational thinking, you might have a point.
Irrationality is an inherent part of the human condition whether we like it or not, and in this case it is indespensible if we are to even approach an understanding of our existence because I believe that the ultimate answer is illogical. This is all just my opinion, of course, and nothing more, but I believe that it is the truth, nonetheless.
And here I suspect that you're still arguing for the first point when I thought we had moved on to the second. So please allow me to try again: What does mankind do while leaving things "unsought"?
We can attempt to improve ourselves to the point to where we can actually handle the answer and in the meantime resign ourselves to ignorance in this matter and learn to be content with it for the time being. I believe that it is our "purpose", in fact, our responsibility, if not to a god, then, at the very least, to ourselves to learn as much about the universe in which we live and, especially, every facet of our nature as is humanly possible before we can even attempt to deal with this issue with any reasonable expectation of success. We are as yet ill-equipped to do so at the present time, IMO. We must evolve.
Your "leave everything alone" solution doesn't sound like much of a solution to me. In fact it sounds rather apathetic.
"Apathy is death." :xp:
Perhaps it is, but for the moment it may be the only sane way to deal with this question until we are more capable.

I mean absolutely no disrespect whatsoever and I don't want to challenge your belief system, but are you sure that you're an atheist? If so, why should the question of existentialism even matter to you? Shouldn't the theories of the Big Bang and Evolution answer all of your questions? Of course they can't, any more than the Bible can. ;)

Please do not be offended by my statements, as it is not my desire nor my intent to insult you in any way.

True_Avery
12-22-2008, 05:54 AM
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able, and willing?Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

I tried to post more, but I couldn't post without writing out something that was politically incorrect enough to get me infracted.

tk102
12-22-2008, 05:54 AM
It's not a question of if events influence our decisions, it's a question of which. I don't think that's the question. The question is whether the actor made a decision at all. That is, does the volition to act come from within or from without? If it comes from within, then the actor is a prime mover and has free will (ie. will to act that arises independently). Even if outside conditions influence him, his choice is still his own.

The alternative is that there is no choice made whatsoever by the actor. He is an automaton even if he does not know it.
We got this idea of choosing freely from somewhere, most likely our morality.I don't see it as anything more than a boolean condition describing the deterministic or non-deterministic nature of the universe including us. Free will is typically a pre-requisite to morality, but the idea of freedom can be discussed completely independent of morality. We hold people responsible for some actions and not for others. However, when you look closely at actions that are in real life considered freely chosen, never in any case do they disregard physical law. So does that mean they're determined by laws of physics? Not exactly. I would say that it demonstrates that the laws of physics are simply not relevant to what is and what is not "freely chosen."After reading the last two paragraphs in your response, I see what you're getting at but this still sounds like you're putting the cart before the horse as its phrased. When discussing whether our action are predetermined or not, the laws of physics are most certainly relevant to the discussion. Is the core of our nature, the "I" that makes the choice, something that is subject to physical laws or not? If so, where does the experience of independent volition arise from? Or any experience for that matter? What is consciousness in materialistic terms? These are all questions that beg for physical explanations.

It might be said that what people consider freely willed actions are irrelevant to what actually are freely willed actions. In practice outside of a philosophical debate, you are correct.
If we want to say we could be wrong about what a free-willed action is, then surely we must have some way to find out that it actually is or is not free. After all, for a doubt to exist there must be logical room for it. But given the parameters such a question would be asked under (a metaphysical/libertarian free will is unprovable and by corollary cannot be disproven either), I don't see that such a way is possible unless it is completely arbitrary - and something arbitrary is uninteresting to us here. And this is completely true. We're inside the system and can't validate it or invalidate it from here. Perhaps someday we'll be able to create an artificial intelligence with a mind completely indistinguishable from our own. Even if that did happen and we were able to prove universal laws were dictating consciousness, we'd be in the same boat as we are today when it came to choosing A or B. We would need to have the ability to accurately predict every action that would be chosen -- only then could fully come to know our lack of freedom. That is, we would have to be omniscient ourselves to truly escape from the illusion of free will.

Because of this, I'm comfortable just going with what we know, which is how we in fact do use the idea of freedom in relation to our actions. I'd say that, regardless of whether or not you believe in an omniscient God, we're free to choose our actions in every meaningful sense.And I too come to this same conclusion because it is the only practical one that we can use in our lives with our finite knowledge. It doesn't mean free will is true, but it works.

Litofsky
12-22-2008, 08:25 AM
Because of this, I'm comfortable just going with what we know, which is how we in fact do use the idea of freedom in relation to our actions. I'd say that, regardless of whether or not you believe in an omniscient God, we're free to choose our actions in every meaningful sense.

I'd like to raise a point here, if I might. I believe that we're free to choose our actions, but, I believe that if there is a God, that God would not be omnipotent in any sense.

However, back to my point: would not free-will be to rid oneself of any prior experiences, knowledge, and act (during this situation) with no prior judgments, in order to be completely objective, and then act (after having rid oneself of all bias, would not then they be completely free from all decision-effecting elements)?

...on a side note, why wasn't Islam included in this question? I'm not an expert, but Islam is an Abrahamic religion, and I should imagine that the 'basics' are the same.

The Doctor
12-22-2008, 12:09 PM
Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent
Not entirely correct. Malevolence implies a desire to see wrongs come to fruition. If two kids are fighting over a toy, a parent can decide to let them work it out themselves, despite being perfectly able to stop them. That doesn't make the parents malevolent in any way. Allowing us to sort out our own affairs after the chaos his past interference caused seems more likely to me than any malice on God's part.

Jae Onasi
12-22-2008, 12:17 PM
Note that all comments below represent my opinion.

Regarding free will--let me give a more down to earth example. I can pretty much predict what my kids will do in a given situation when presented with certain choices. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop them from making the wrong choice (unless it's something obviously dangerous), because I know they'll learn from that choice and it may ultimately be beneficial to them in the long run. So while I may know what they're going to do, I have not forced them into either one choice or the other. They have had free will in those situations, and my fore-knowledge did not pre-determine their action.

So the Creator of the universe knows everything. Omniscience doesn't require action on His part unless He chooses to do so. That's the part that people get stuck on--if He knows everything, why is He making the choices He makes with regard to the world, not necessarily His knowledge of it.

I'm rather glad He's omniscient. If He'd made some kind of mistake in His physics calculations, imagine the comment, "Oops, forgot to carry the 2 there, and a quarter of the universe is now getting sucked into a gigantic black hole. Guess I really screwed up on that one."

tk102
12-22-2008, 12:25 PM
Regarding free will--let me give a more down to earth example. I can pretty much predict what my kids will do in a given situation when presented with certain choices. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop them from making the wrong choice (unless it's something obviously dangerous), because I know they'll learn from that choice and it may ultimately be beneficial to them in the long run. So while I may know what they're going to do, I have not forced them into either one choice or the other. They have had free will in those situations, and my fore-knowledge did not pre-determine their action.
If your foreknowledge was perfect in every regard you would know exactly how they would act and there would be no chance for them to make the wrong decision. They would act in a way absolutely predictable pattern. That doesn't mean your foreknowledge caused them to not have freedom, but it simply allowed you to see that this freedom is an illusion.

I'm rather glad He's omniscient. If He'd made some kind of mistake in His physics calculations, imagine the comment, "Oops, forgot to carry the 2 there, and a quarter of the universe is now getting sucked into a gigantic black hole. Guess I really screwed up on that one.":D Who knows, maybe he did for a near eternity before things worked.

JediMaster12
12-22-2008, 01:12 PM
Presumably because we're talking about the Christian/Jewish deity known as 'God.'
Just for clarity "Allah" in Arabic means "God" so if an Arab Christian refers to God they would say Allah.

As to the all knowing, I have no idea what to think considering that I have developed a sort of warped existence that doesn't comply with my parents' ideals of a "good Catholic girl."

Somehow though I am reminded of that Bible passage that says a day is but a thousand years and a thousand years is but a day under heaven. It makes me wonder if God is really on the same page given the omniscience. If he is omnicient, then wouldn't God be removed from us? I know that is contradictory to what Christians say about him being a part of your lives, etc., but there are some instance where he seems removed frm daily life.

Arcesious
12-22-2008, 06:42 PM
I used to beleive that perhaps God wasn't all knowing, but was all powerful. My idea was that he uses his power to conduct 'experiments' in pursuit of omniscience.

The thing about omniscience, is, if you already possess omniscience, you are all powerful. After all, "knowledge is power'. This is because If you're all knowing, you know how to be all-powerful or to make yourself all-powerful.


Basically, the idea is that you can't start off all powerful and become omniscient, but you can start off omniscient and become all powerful.

I'll bet that this idea will get disected quickly by some brilliant argumentor or via the use of occam's razor. :D

jrrtoken
12-22-2008, 10:08 PM
Being an agnostic theist, I have a less traditional opinion on God. I believe that he is not omnipotent, to an extent, but I do believe that he is is omniscient - to an extent, though.

Simply, I believe that life, the universe, and everything is a row of dominoes, i.e., all of nature's processes s, including evolution, gravity, and many other scientific principles, were all predetermined to work at the time of the Big Bang, as some sort of sadistic experiment set up by God. :xp: No, really, I believe that the only time that God had to show off his/her/its omnipotence was when pushing that first domino, the Big Bang. Once that first domino was pushed, a chain reaction began, creating all that is known today through trillions of years. To put it in layman's terms, our universe is God's guinea pig, and we are its droppings. :xp: Whether the experiment succeeded or failed is yet to be known, but we must also ask ourselves if the experiment is even completed.

I know all of this might sound a bit... eccentric, but that's probably due to my exhaustion at the moment, but it's also probably also due to my own eccentricity as well. :p

Jae Onasi
12-22-2008, 10:32 PM
The thing about omniscience, is, if you already possess omniscience, you are all powerful. After all, "knowledge is power'.

"Knowledge is power" is a trite phrase, although the sentiment behind it is generally meant to be an encouragement for education. The infinite knowledge of something does not necessarily translate to infinite power. I can tell you all sorts of things about the physics and meteorology of tornadoes, but I have zero power to do anything about them, except maybe to contact friends and relatives to get out of the path if it's heading their way, or take my family and me to the basement if it's heading my way.

Tommycat
12-23-2008, 12:54 AM
I liken free will and God's omniscience to this: Perhaps in allowing one evil you stop a greater evil. Perhaps even in that evil something beneficial comes. An example of that could be Hitler. Very few people would say that he was good(a very small group), however we got V2 rockets that eventually led to led to the space program. We got the jet turbine engine. We also got a greater appreciation for our fellow people around the world. From evil we also got modern triage techniques.

Keep in mind that there was also the idea of "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime." If God provides everything and we want for nothing, why advance? Why learn to build boats? Why learn to do anything if we have everything handed to us?

Achilles
12-23-2008, 01:46 AM
Precisely. :DAgain: I don't find this to be an acceptable answer. It might be the one that you are advocating and you're welcome to, however there are serious issues that deserve our attention and ignoring them won't cause them to go away on their own.

Irrationality is an inherent part of the human condition whether we like it or not, and in this case it is indespensible if we are to even approach an understanding of our existence because I believe that the ultimate answer is illogical. This is all just my opinion, of course, and nothing more, but I believe that it is the truth, nonetheless.There are lots of things that are "an inherent part of the human condition". That doesn't mean that we leave the bar lying on the ground and use "our inherent condition" as an excuse to do no better.

For instance, none of us are born "potty trained".

We can attempt to improve ourselves to the point to where we can actually handle the answer and in the meantime resign ourselves to ignorance in this matter and learn to be content with it for the time being.You're still not tell us what "be content" means. Does it mean that theists should put aside their belief and try to be the best moral people they can while trying to advance the human race? Well then they're humanists. And what kind of argument do you think they are going to find persuasive? How many fundies do you think are going to subscribe to this way of thinking once exposed to the argument?

I believe that it is our "purpose", in fact, our responsibility, if not to a god, then, at the very least, to ourselves to learn as much about the universe in which we live and, especially, every facet of our nature as is humanly possible before we can even attempt to deal with this issue with any reasonable expectation of success.I'd like to point out that it tends to be theists that block progress in this endeavor. Plan, meet the reality of the situation. Reality of situation, meet plan.

We are as yet ill-equipped to do so at the present time, IMO. We must evolve.Some of us are, yes.

"Apathy is death." :xp:
Perhaps it is, but for the moment it may be the only sane way to deal with this question until we are more capable.I seem to recall social conservatives making very similar arguments when it came to the civil rights movement :rolleyes:

Unfortunately, I still fail to see the merit in the argument that humankind's potential should have to "slow up" (borrowing from Dr. King here) so that some of us have time to "come around" (a proposition they've shown no sign of being willing to do).

I mean absolutely no disrespect whatsoever and I don't want to challenge your belief system, but are you sure that you're an atheist?I don't know. How does one test the degree to which they don't hold a belief about something? I understand all the words that you typed, however taken together as a sentence, they don't make sense.

If so, why should the question of existentialism even matter to you? Shouldn't the theories of the Big Bang and Evolution answer all of your questions? Of course they can't, any more than the Bible can.Relevence...to anything?

Please do not be offended by my statements, as it is not my desire nor my intent to insult you in any way.None taken. I'm sure at some point, your arguments will being to crystalize and I will be able to make more sense of exactly where you are coming from.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able, and willing?Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?I think this just about sums it up.

I can pretty much predict what my kids will do in a given situation when presented with certain choices.You also don't claim to be the omnipotent creator of the universe. Apples and oranges? Or are you positing that you play by the same rules as god and/or that god plays by the same rules as you?

That doesn't mean I'm going to stop them from making the wrong choice (unless it's something obviously dangerous), because I know they'll learn from that choice and it may ultimately be beneficial to them in the long run. So when god, being omniscient, knows about the imminent rape of a woman? Or the killing of an innocent baby by his or her certifiably insane mother? Or when a pedophile stops to give a child a ride home?

If god is omniscient, then he knows about all of these things before (I'm guessing long before) they occur. So if he knows, then he's either a) unable to stop them (which calls into question his omnipotence) or b) unwilling to stop them (which calls into question his omnibenevolence).

We can absolutely say that it is all part of god's plan. There is no way for us to disprove this hypothesis. However there is no way to do so without breaking at least one of the eggs in his basket (omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence). I'll refer you back to Avery's post above.

So while I may know what they're going to do, I have not forced them into either one choice or the other. They have had free will in those situations, and my fore-knowledge did not pre-determine their action.I'm sure the last of my lingering questions will fall into place once we answer the question above re: you and god playing by the same rules.

I'm rather glad He's omniscient. If He'd made some kind of mistake in His physics calculations, imagine the comment, "Oops, forgot to carry the 2 there, and a quarter of the universe is now getting sucked into a gigantic black hole. Guess I really screwed up on that one."Yeah, we just get to deal with entropy and the big rip instead. We can debate this further in a few hundred million years when the slow, gradual increase in the sun's temperature has boiled away all of our oceans and life ceases to exist on Earth.

Q
12-23-2008, 08:14 AM
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able, and willing?Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
I believe that the ultimate answer is illogical.
Again: I don't find this to be an acceptable answer. It might be the one that you are advocating and you're welcome to, however there are serious issues that deserve our attention and ignoring them won't cause them to go away on their own.
It may be irrelevant in any case. With our technology advancing as fast as it is, we may find ourselves running head-on into the truth (or at least part of it) before our conscious minds are ready and equipped to deal with what our subconscious minds deal with on a daily basis.
There are lots of things that are "an inherent part of the human condition". That doesn't mean that we leave the bar lying on the ground and use "our inherent condition" as an excuse to do no better.

For instance, none of us are born "potty trained".
True, but confining one's thought process to logic and logic only makes the answer, which I believe to be illogical, unattainable.
Does it mean that theists should put aside their belief and try to be the best moral people they can while trying to advance the human race?
No, because as flawed as they are (and they are very flawed, IMO; such is the nature of man), I believe that the answer lies somewhere within their beliefs. If I am correct about this, then all the more's the pity because as far as I can tell from their behavior, the vast majority of them do not actually believe in anything other than using religion for their own personal gain.
How many fundies do you think are going to subscribe to this way of thinking once exposed to the argument?
About as many as those who believe that all answers can be attained through logic, and only logic. :p
I'd like to point out that it tends to be theists that block progress in this endeavor.
Well, here is where they're wrong. Their obstructionism is due to their fear that science challenges their belief system. I believe that this fear is unfounded, because though science is indeed being used by some in an attempt to disprove their beliefs it is ultimately, IMO, as fruitless an endeavor as any attempt to use science to prove them. This is what I meant in the Senate Chambers when I described such efforts as "counterproductive."
We are as yet ill-equipped to do so at the present time, IMO. We must evolve.
Some of us are, yes.
Most of us are. I wasn't trying to be melodramatic (though I understand that it may appear that way) when I stated that the answer is dangerous, and could very well be disastrous if I'm right.
I seem to recall social conservatives making very similar arguments when it came to the civil rights movement :rolleyes:

Unfortunately, I still fail to see the merit in the argument that humankind's potential should have to "slow up" (borrowing from Dr. King here) so that some of us have time to "come around" (a proposition they've shown no sign of being willing to do).
Where did I say that we need to slow up progress? I seem to recall saying the opposite. I just think that the answer will come on it's own without our wasting our efforts in actively trying to seek it; efforts that would be better used in improving ourselves by learning what's actually learnable.
I don't know. How does one test the degree to which they don't hold a belief about something? I understand all the words that you typed, however taken together as a sentence, they don't make sense.

Relevence...to anything?
None, other than satisfying my curiousity as to your motives. Thank you for your honesty. :)
I'm sure at some point, your arguments will being to crystalize and I will be able to make more sense of exactly where you are coming from.
I'm trying, but it may be beyond my capabilities to adequately explain anything as deeply personal and completely subjective as this matter is. I'm doing my best to do so without coming off looking like a kook. :D

Jae Onasi
12-23-2008, 02:58 PM
The OP asks if God is all-knowing. This presumes God exists. Please take any arguments for atheism to the atheism/theism thread. Thanks.

Where is it said God is omni-benevolent?

Adavardes
12-23-2008, 03:04 PM
A quick question, then I'll get out of your hair, as I am really not at all religious and have no opinion on this matter. Still, I think this needs saying, for clarification purposes.

Shouldn't the title of this thread be "Jewish, Christianity, and Islam Question - Is God all knowing?" Because, to the best of my knowledge, you all share the exact same God, just with different names, and you have different messiahs. I'm just curious as to why Islam was left out of the mix.

Jae Onasi
12-23-2008, 03:07 PM
I'll leave that up to the OP to address either here or with jonathan7 or me via PM. :)

Achilles
12-23-2008, 07:22 PM
It may be irrelevant in any case. With our technology advancing as fast as it is, we may find ourselves running head-on into the truth (or at least part of it) before our conscious minds are ready and equipped to deal with what our subconscious minds deal with on a daily basis.This ignores the fact that theists not only seek to prevent scientific/technological advances but even go so far as to undo them. I don't think we need to look any further than the ID movement in public schools or the islamic push for the re-establishment of the caliphate for evidence of this.

True, but confining one's thought process to logic and logic only makes the answer, which I believe to be illogical, unattainable.Confining one's thoughts to terms of what is or is not will cause someone to miss the third option? What would this third option be?

No, because as flawed as they are (and they are very flawed, IMO; such is the nature of man), I believe that the answer lies somewhere within their beliefs. If I am correct about this, then all the more's the pity because as far as I can tell from their behavior, the vast majority of them do not actually believe in anything other than using religion for their own personal gain.Without details, I can't make heads or tails of any of this.

It now appears that while we can't do something, and we also can't do anything, we shouldn't stop ourselves from doing nothing, because somewhere in there is the key.

About as many as those who believe that all answers can be attained through logic, and only logic. :pNitpick: rational thinking.

Yes, all the answers can be obtained by rational thinking. That's a challenge I feel comfortable making. Think about it for a second: even if irrational thinking did happen upon something useful (via a process like brainstorming), it's rational thought that distinguishes the useful ideas from the bad ones.

Well, here is where they're wrong. Their obstructionism is due to their fear that science challenges their belief system. I believe that this fear is unfounded, because though science is indeed being used by some in an attempt to disprove their beliefs it is ultimately, IMO, as fruitless an endeavor as any attempt to use science to prove them. This is what I meant in the Senate Chambers when I described such efforts as "counterproductive."This is all great, but none of it addresses my point. Whether you think it is wrong, or not, has nothing to do with my pointing out that's occurrence impedes your ideal scenario.

Most of us are. I wasn't trying to be melodramatic (though I understand that it may appear that way) when I stated that the answer is dangerous, and could very well be disastrous if I'm right.Again, without telling us what that means, it's impossible for me to comment (and follow your half of the conversation).

Where did I say that we need to slow up progress? I seem to recall saying the opposite. I just think that the answer will come on it's own without our wasting our efforts in actively trying to seek it; efforts that would be better used in improving ourselves by learning what's actually learnable.Err...in the section I quoted.

And as I keep trying to point out the conflict over the question itself prevents this from happening. The whole thing is very circular.

None, other than satisfying my curiousity as to your motives. Thank you for your honesty. :)Eh...no problem

I didn't actually say anything :confused:

I'm trying, but it may be beyond my capabilities to adequately explain anything as deeply personal and completely subjective as this matter is. I'm doing my best to do so without coming off looking like a kook. :DOk, well in that case, there probably isn't much more to say here. The final word is yours, sir.

Where is it said God is omni-benevolent?I will accept this as your answer. Thanks.

Jae Onasi
12-24-2008, 03:22 PM
This ignores the fact that theists not only seek to prevent scientific/technological advances but even go so far as to undo them. I don't think we need to look any further than the ID movement in public schools or the islamic push for the re-establishment of the caliphate for evidence of this.
Are you making a blanket statement about all theists, and if so, why, when you know that's fallacious?

Where is it said God is omni-benevolent?
I will accept this as your answer. Thanks.
The example with my kids was just to give someone a more concrete example that they can wrap their minds around, not to claim equivalence with God. You can deal with the esoteric concepts, but not everyone else has made it to that level intellectually because of youth. A 'real life' analogy can be useful in explaining a more difficult concept.

CS Lewis handles the issue of why God allows bad things to happen in his book "The Problem of Pain" for those interested.
And that was a legitimate question on omni-benevolence--where is it ever said in the Bible/Torah that God is omni-benevolent? It speaks of pure holiness, but that is not the same thing. The argument posted by True_Avery presumes omni-benevolence, but since God is not that, the argument falls apart at that point.

We need to steer this back to just omniscience, however.

Achilles
12-24-2008, 04:37 PM
Are you making a blanket statement about all theistsNo, but then again I don't need to for the statement to be true.

The example with my kids was just to give someone a more concrete example that they can wrap their minds around, not to claim equivalence with God.I hope you'll understand my confusion, as whenever I try to provide similar examples you tend to run right to the "human behavior is not the same as god's behavior" argument. You using that the opposite argument here might make it seem as though you are trying to have it both ways, depending on which side of the argument better suits your position at the time. As always, consistency would help to alleviate this confusion.

You can deal with the esoteric concepts, but not everyone else has made it to that level intellectually because of youth. A 'real life' analogy can be useful in explaining a more difficult concept.It's either apples and oranges or it's not.

CS Lewis handles the issue of why God allows bad things to happen in his book "The Problem of Pain" for those interested.Lewis, like all apologists, offers his stab at the problem, however his book, like all apologist writings, is nothing more than a guess.

By all means though, read the Lewis book, but then also read God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer (http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Problem-Answer-Important-Question-Why/dp/0061173975) by Bart Ehrman. Then, properly equiped with the arguments from both sides, determine which set of arguments are superior.

And that was a legitimate question on omni-benevolence--where is it ever said in the Bible/Torah that God is omni-benevolent? It speaks of pure holiness, but that is not the same thing. The argument posted by True_Avery presumes omni-benevolence, but since God is not that, the argument falls apart at that point.As I stated earlier, I will take that as your answer. All I wanted to know is which one of the eggs would break in your basket.

We need to steer this back to just omniscience, however.Sounds good.

Ray Jones
12-24-2008, 05:37 PM
I don't see how the existence of an omniscient being would contradict the concept of free will.

Just because you know all possible results for y = x + 1 doesn't mean x is definite in any way.

vanir
12-24-2008, 06:46 PM
In my quick glean of the topic Qliver seemed to have his finger on the pulse. Let's face it, much of the points in this discussion can best be satisfied by things like listening to talented song lyrics or signing yourself into a mental institution. If you ask me the Bible is a human story, where the mistake often made is the assumption it is a divine one. In the latter case it would hardly have genuine value to people now, would it?

The really, truly interesting part about the Bible amid scriptures in general is the truly human nature of that story. It is more than a mere series of mythology. It is a burning bush.

And back to my initial point here, perhaps Qliver's also. Allow me to define a burning bush, as done best, with song lyrics:

Overwhelmed as one would be
placed in my position
Such a heavy burden now...to be the One
Born to bear and bring to all the details of our ending
To write it down for all the world...to...see
But I forgot my pen
{poo'd} the bed again...typical
Strapped down to my bed
Feet cold, eyes red
I'm out of my head
Am I alive or am I dead?
Sunkist and sudafed, gyroscopes and infrared, won't help
I'm brain dead
Can't remember what they said
God damn, {poo'd} the bed


I think the interesting thing, at least one point to be made is the sheer attraction of insanity to youth. You see the young human is always looking for an easy way out, deep down he wants to beat his chest and she wants him to take her by force. Both want everything all at once. It is basic instinct. We're animals contemplating what it might be like to be something removed, deluding ourselves into thinking intellectual complication achieves this.
Perhaps the Bible was evolved by a series of (classically educated) scholars between 12BCE and 15CE and designed to be a piece of philosophical rope. A new political tact, instead of dictatorship, psychology. The overtones of strict psychology among Hebrew scripture and interpretation as a means of forming an effective sociology amid nomadic culture are not only clearly outlined but generally plainly recognised (sectarian departures such as Kaballah aside).

Jesus is the story of a social victim. The problem with secular Christianity is that it ignores extended investigation of scripture, so any value to this observation might well be lost.

Jae Onasi
12-24-2008, 10:46 PM
As I stated earlier, I will take that as your answer. All I wanted to know is which one of the eggs would break in your basket.There's no basket of eggs in the first place, because it's a false conclusion made on the false assumption that our conception of God's goodness is necessarily His, in addition to falsely equating omni-benevolence with ultimate holiness. God obviously does not want rape, murder, theft, and a host of other evils, because there are rules set down against these things in the Bible and the Torah. The fact that God allows someone to make the choice to do good or ill is neither a reflection on his omniscience nor his omnipotence. What we consider 'good' and what God considers 'good' may ultimately be different. A particular event at a specific point in our unique life may be bad, but in the overall scheme of the entirety of humanity it may allow for the best possible outcome while allowing humanity free will to ultimately accept or reject God. It also assumes that an omniscient God is required to act.

Apples and oranges comment--no, the example is not entirely equivalent, and as I said, I didn't intend it to be that, nor did I ever intend it to be any kind of argument. I just wanted to give a concrete, 'down here on earth' way to explain that yes, you can know what's going to happen, allow that person to make a free will choice anyway, and then deal with the decision accordingly, because it's not an easy concept. If the picture allows someone to get a better grasp on the rudiments of omniscience and free will, fine, then they can move on to the theoretical level from there. I'm only trying to teach the basics of a concept to some others using a real world example as a starting point, not make that a specific argument itself. It's really not that big of a deal. If you have a specific teaching point or example that you think would work better for pre-teens and 13 or 14 year olds to explain how omniscience works in with free will, please feel free to chime in and add them.

vanir
12-25-2008, 01:55 AM
If you have a specific teaching point or example that you think would work better for pre-teens and 13 or 14 year olds to explain how omniscience works in with free will, please feel free to chime in and add them.

How 'bout this :D "Son, you know watching football isn't knowingly gay..."
:xp:

Achilles
12-26-2008, 12:03 AM
There's no basket of eggs in the first place,Of course there is. Theists believe very specific things about their deities. Christians are no different. But of course, you are positing the opposite above, so...

because it's a false conclusion made on the false assumption that our conception of God's goodness is necessarily HisWell I see that as being a very big problem, and it should come as no surprise to you because I've pointed this out before.

God dictates that we should kill our disobedient children in the public square, yet somehow we've deemed that to be an immoral act. So either "our goodness" is better than his (in which case, why even bother to listen to what he has to say at all if we're only going to pick and choose which parts we adhere to), or his really is better than ours and our laws are seriously out of compliance with what he's told us to do.

Yet again, another one of those situations that we cannot have both ways.

...in addition to falsely equating omni-benevolence with ultimate holiness.There are far too many subjective terms used here for me to understand the underlying point. Would you mind trying again with objective terms?

God obviously does not want rape, murder, theft, and a host of other evils, because there are rules set down against these things in the Bible and the Torah.Err, except the parts where he instructs followers to do some of those things specifically. Unless of course we're going to use special pleading to say that this doesn't apply to chosen people (which of course begs the question why god plays favorites, but that's another issue entirely.

The fact that God allows someone to make the choice to do good or ill is neither a reflection on his omniscience nor his omnipotence.Sure it is for reasons that both Avery and I have already illustrated. Either he doesn't know, knows and can't do anything about it, or knows and doesn't care. Clearly it is unavoidable that his is alleged omniscience and/or omnipotence is called into question.

We could get even more fundamental than that and ask why there is evil in the first place. If god created everything then that includes evil doesn't it?

What we consider 'good' and what God considers 'good' may ultimately be different.No doubt. Which makes me wonder why we seek to punish people with our mortal laws when it may be that someone was acting within god's definition of good. Seems a bit conceeded of us to think that we know better than he does (assuming that he/she/it even exists).

A particular event at a specific point in our unique life may be bad, but in the overall scheme of the entirety of humanity it may allow for the best possible outcome while allowing humanity free will to ultimately accept or reject God.I think this completely ignores the specific examples I provided earlier, but I know you well enough to know that there isn't much to be gained in chasing you down on this point.

It also assumes that an omniscient God is required to act.No it doesn't. It simply asks why he doesn't if he's capable. If he's capable of preventing a mother of murdering her own children in his name, why doesn't he? Because mankind is better served by allowing this to happen? It sure would seem to cast a strange light on all the alleged miracles we hear about.

Apples and oranges comment--no, the example is not entirely equivalent, and as I said, I didn't intend it to be that, nor did I ever intend it to be any kind of argument. I just wanted to give a concrete, 'down here on earth' way to explain that yes, you can know what's going to happen, allow that person to make a free will choice anyway, and then deal with the decision accordingly, because it's not an easy concept.Ok, if the example isn't equivalent, then I don't know what purpose it serves. If you're admitting that the analogy is only useful in human terms, then I can't imagine how it would benefit a situation in which human terms don't apply. :confused:

Tommycat
12-27-2008, 01:56 AM
Of course there is. Theists believe very specific things about their deities. Christians are no different. But of course, you are positing the opposite above, so...
Falsely equating all thiests with fundamentalists.

Sure it is for reasons that both Avery and I have already illustrated. Either he doesn't know, knows and can't do anything about it, or knows and doesn't care. Clearly it is unavoidable that his is alleged omniscience and/or omnipotence is called into question.

No, those reasons are flawed. He can know and care, but choose not to act to allow people to learn from those evil acts. If you know the end result of trillions of possible outcomes, who knows what may have happened had something like WWII not happened. We have many things that were initially developed for WWII that have made our lives better today.

We could get even more fundamental than that and ask why there is evil in the first place. If god created everything then that includes evil doesn't it?

Evil exists precisely because there is free will.

No doubt. Which makes me wonder why we seek to punish people with our mortal laws when it may be that someone was acting within god's definition of good. Seems a bit conceeded of us to think that we know better than he does (assuming that he/she/it even exists).
Because it is in the bible
"Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow."

No it doesn't. It simply asks why he doesn't if he's capable. If he's capable of preventing a mother of murdering her own children in his name, why doesn't he? Because mankind is better served by allowing this to happen? It sure would seem to cast a strange light on all the alleged miracles we hear about.

Lao Tsu would say "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." We learn as much about how to act from how we feel about other people's actions. It makes sense to allow one evil to prevent other evils. It makes sense to allow evil as a teaching tool.

Darth Avlectus
12-27-2008, 04:49 AM
In general I believe principles of self-sustaining (and then some) is always a good thing to the ones who can and do and so does the rest of the world benefit.
Also I believe that greater good can come from evil and vice versa.
<snip> then you might as well include Islam, too.
Islam?
Why discriminate amongst the abrahamic monotheisms? Or amongst any religion that has a (allegedly) omniscient figure in its pantheon?
...on a side note, why wasn't Islam included in this question? I'm not an expert, but Islam is an Abrahamic religion, and I should imagine that the 'basics' are the same.
Probably because Yar-El simply didn't take Islam into consideration from her vantage point. Are you reading some kind of prejudice into it? No offense nor rudeness intended: Enough with the political correctness. Why not state some examples of islam since you bothered to bring it up?
God has to be all knowing, if as in the Christian conception he is outside of time, as he already know everything that will come to pass...By extension this would be true for Judaism; and Islam.
And on the creation of time? Or does it simply exist?

While it is comforting to believe and easy to say that, you don't know it for sure. If you believe it, then I guess it works. Whatever moats ya. :)
Strong example. Not taking anything away from it. It assumes, though, that all which is unknown/undefinable shall cease to be so with time.
There is no testable way to really support or invalidate that since what is unknown/undefinable is, well, unknown/undefinable.
What I'm saying is, that's faith. Faith cannot be debated.

I humbly hold that we do not know it, thus we cannot definitively make that statement. Frankly, whether or not such could be known by "the power that is", it makes no difference because reality is not going to suddenly jump up and change. However, it gladdens me to see you have come so far as that in your beliefs!
I'm okay with whatever make-pretend rules we want to make up so long as we're honest when one of them drives a bus right over another.
Which rarely ever happens. Though I suspect you already know, would you like me to explain why? :)
And if we're going to use "god is unknowable" as an excuse to make up a made-up rule that none of the other made-up rules really contradict each other, then we should just stick to that and stop pretending that we can both know and not know the unknowable at the same time.
True, it is foolish to try to claim you know (or know about) the unknowable.
Or to plot on such. It doesn't even come together long enough for it to fall apart!
<snip>Again, I do not believe that he knows, for sure, the consequences of every decision he could possible make - including the decision to do nothing.
What would it matter anyway if god did know?
Some would say that the book of Job had that "lesson" installed in it in hopes that people would take it to heart and in fact not discuss such an issue, as it would weaken the Church's power if people began to question such things so readily. Challenging your own religious beliefs is the best way to adapt and grow, to be perfectly honest. To try to define what you're told cannot be defined is unavoidably human, and shouldn't be quashed. Ever.
Great points. I'll have to look into the book of Job. I agree with that in both principle and in practice.
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Achilles and Qliveur, in a way you are both right in terms of persisting regarding: seeking to know and not seeking to know what is unknowable. It's WHEN that is the question. Sometimes appropriate, sometimes not.

"Perfection is not attainable; rather perfection is what you constantly strive for, vehemently and utterly" --paraphrase from unknown
I believe it came from one of these 3 books:
Musashi's book of five rings; S. Kaufman, Tuttle publishing
The Art Of War by Sun Tzu; above author and publisher
The Shaolin Way: secrets to modern survival by Steve DeMasco
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I'd like to raise a point here, if I might. I believe that we're free to choose our actions, but, I believe that if there is a God, that God would not be omnipotent in any sense.
However, back to my point: wouldn't free-will be to rid oneself of any prior experiences, knowledge, and act (during this situation) with no prior judgments, in order to be completely objective, and then act (after having rid oneself of all bias, would not then they be completely free from all decision-effecting elements)?
The question is about omniscience.
To a point total objectivity works (as does total subjectivity): while we unlearn and learn, this can only get you so far. We are individuals after all, each colored by our own experiences and unlike any other. Furthermore, since higher education/enlightenment is built upon a foundation of lower education/enlightenment, it would be a hinderance after a while.

Try detatching yourself from both, in which case I invite you to reading Musashi's book of five rings.
We could get even more fundamental than that and ask why there is evil in the first place. If god created everything then that includes evil doesn't it?
Yes it does. Why? Balance. I've stated before in posts here on LF: Conflict is the point to our existence. While it frankly sucks that evils have to exist, that does not chnge the fact that they exist, nor the necessity that we learn from our encounters with it.

No it doesn't. It simply asks why he doesn't if he's capable. If he's capable of preventing a mother of murdering her own children in his name, why doesn't he? Because mankind is better served by allowing this to happen? It sure would seem to cast a strange light on all the alleged miracles we hear about.
Why? How would it? Weird does not necessarily hold it invalid. Explain.
Sounds like you are skeptical and maybe don't believe in divine justice or afterlife. I will not tell you that you are right or wrong, however, I want you to go into greater detail and clarify.

Falsely equating all thiests with fundamentalists.
Indeed.

No, those reasons are flawed. He can know and care, but choose not to act to allow people to learn from those evil acts. If you know the end result of trillions of possible outcomes, who knows what may have happened had something like WWII not happened. We have many things that were initially developed for WWII that have made our lives better today.
Wrong has more tendency to jarr us into action, correction, thought, improvement, etc. than right. Hence we learn from our mistakes.
Evil exists precisely because there is free will.
THANK YOU. I think I like you. As well as your support for philosophy on self-sustaining.

Tommycat
12-27-2008, 06:59 AM
Wrong has more tendency to jarr us into action, correction, thought, improvement, etc. than right. Hence we learn from our mistakes.

THANK YOU. I think I like you. As well as your support for philosophy on self-sustaining.
Well I'm pretty sure I'm on Achilles iggy list, so I'm glad you noted it. Really the thought is pretty simple. He can perform millions of miracles constantly keeping us happy and healthy, or he can allow bad things to happen to make us want to work for ourselves and better our own lives.

Work at your tasks in due season, and in his own time God will give you your reward

I also liken it to God allowing my sister Mary(there has to be some level of irony there) to die. At the time I hated God for allowing it to happen. But I cannot deny that a good portion of who I am today is because of that tragic situation. Perhaps it is because I actively tried to disprove God(trust me I used to be much tougher on the believers than Achilles is) that I find my connection to Him stronger.

Achilles
12-27-2008, 02:19 PM
Probably because Yar-El simply didn't take Islam into consideration from her vantage point. Are you reading some kind of prejudice into it? No offense nor rudeness intended: Enough with the political correctness. Why not state some examples of islam since you bothered to bring it up?I'm not sure what this means. "Examples of islam" with regards to what? We're simply pointing out that Y-E's list is incomplete. And "political correctness" has nothing to do with it.

Which rarely ever happens. Though I suspect you already know, would you like me to explain why? :)I'm sorry; what "rarely ever happens"? Theism (christianity specifically) contradicting itself? It happens so often that it's difficult to believe that anyone can take it seriously. But yes, I would be more than happy to hear whatever you have to say on the matter.

True, it is foolish to try to claim you know (or know about) the unknowable.
Or to plot on such. I completely agree, hence my bewilderment with regards to theism. Or at least the practice of holding both the idea that god is knowable and unknowable at the same time.


-------
Achilles and Qliveur, in a way you are both right in terms of persisting regarding: seeking to know and not seeking to know what is unknowable. It's WHEN that is the question. Sometimes appropriate, sometimes not.I think this is still missing the point.

Mankind either moves forward, moves backward, or does nothing. I'm arguing for the first option at the expense of the other two. Qliveur seems to be arguing for option 1 & 3 at the same time at the expense of allowing option 2 to happen while we figure it out.

Yes it does. Why? Balance. I've stated before in posts here on LF: Conflict is the point to our existence. While it frankly sucks that evils have to exist, that does not chnge the fact that they exist, nor the necessity that we learn from our encounters with it.Please help me understand why we should conflate evil with conflict? There are lots of ways to encounter conflict that have nothing to do with evil. Need an example? Ask you significant other where you should go for dinner. If the two of you don't agree on the first try, then you have conflict.

And if god did create evil, then who are we to question it or work against it. It seems that we're only willing to adhere to god's plan in the same half measures that we're willing to accept its existence (i.e. when it's convenient).

Why? How would it? Weird does not necessarily hold it invalid. Explain.I have a hard time accepting that god would miraculously heal someone's "broken" leg but fail to divert a category 5 hurricane. It's incredibly inconsistent.

Sounds like you are skeptical and maybe don't believe in divine justice or afterlife.Bingo.

I will not tell you that you are right or wrong, however, I want you to go into greater detail and clarify.Feel free to ask any question you wish.

EnderWiggin
12-27-2008, 03:43 PM
Probably because Yar-El simply didn't take Islam into consideration from her vantage point.

Which was the point, I believe.
While it is comforting to believe and easy to say that, you don't know it for sure. If you believe it, then I guess it works.
We don't know for sure about God? Oh. Thanks for pointing that out to me, because I didn't realize.

Which rarely ever happens. Though I suspect you already know, would you like me to explain why? :)


Even I disagree with this. Christianity steps on its own toes very often. Have you noticed that there are quite a few Christian sects? Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists?


Please help me understand why we should conflate evil with conflict? There are lots of ways to encounter conflict that have nothing to do with evil. Need an example? Ask you significant other where you should go for dinner. If the two of you don't agree on the first try, then you have conflict.
.

Good point. :)

_EW_

Darth Avlectus
12-28-2008, 04:51 AM
I'm not sure what this means. "Examples of islam" with regards to what? To subject at hand: Is God all knowing or not? It was thought of enough to be brought up, so, if you bring it up I would think you'd have an example to share. Is that asking too much? (shrugs)
We're simply pointing out that Y-E's list is incomplete. And "political correctness" has nothing to do with it.
Because that's what is easiest to do. It's politically correct to not "offend anybody" by omission. Buuuut, if that was not your (or anybody's) intent, then disregard that part. MY bad.
Which was the point, I believe.
Aw-that's really nice.
I'm sorry; what "rarely ever happens"?
I meant the part where you said that as long as we're honest about when one thing drives a bus over another. I was speaking with regards to admitting mistakes. In short, sadly, the noble thing to do is punished. All too often punished, I'm afraid.
1) While admitting a wrong/mistake is actually a strength or at least victory in the sense of enlightenment, this can be (and often is) exploited. Either by those who have something to gain from doing it or by those who play the blame game for any reason/no reason whatsoever.
2) While being frank & honest about yourself when screwing up is commendable (you'd have my praises BTW), often times it is overlooked because others concentrate SO heavily upon the wrong/mistake that it seems to make your nobility seem to be worth nothing. (Wouldn't you agree?)
3) As Allronix all too readily pointed out to me, though it is good to strive towards such enlightenment, it often does not get you fed. I could imagine where corruption is the norm it may even set you back some. In these cases I'd say seek it still, BUT, not openly so that adversity can bite you for it.
I completely agree, hence my bewilderment with regards to theism. Or at least the practice of holding both the idea that god is knowable and unknowable at the same time. Fine and well.
I was once there myself. Not saying you'll ever follow me. Who knows, you might at long last prove atheism is the ultimate truth... Not holding my breath though.

In some ways I find the notion remised that one doesn't know (said unknown) but knows that God knows (the unknown).
However, that doesn't mean necessarily I discredit the notion, nor the concept of whatever be the "power that is", either.

I think this is still missing the point.
Mankind either moves forward, moves backward, or does nothing. I'm arguing for the first option at the expense of the other two. Qliveur seems to be arguing for option 1 & 3 at the same time at the expense of allowing option 2 to happen while we figure it out.
Qliveur may very well be, or maybe he's not.
I wasn't going to debate that. Just saying with regards to "shifting gears", sometimes pursuit is needed to glean enlightenment, other times taking a step back is needed because you have other matters pressing. You both overall have a valid point worth consideration. I was just speaking very generally.

Please help me understand why we should conflate evil with conflict? There are lots of ways to encounter conflict that have nothing to do with evil. Need an example? Ask you significant other where you should go for dinner. If the two of you don't agree on the first try, then you have conflict.
Good point. Conflict arises regardless. I guess I was just saying it in a context of evil regarding what we can learn from defeating it similarly to being the better for resolving conflict.
While dinner dates could escalate into something serious like divorce, most of the time it is a difference of opinion. Like they say above, letting one evil happen to prevent another greater evil might be a good teaching tool... *with discretion* I might also add.

And if god did create evil, then who are we to question it or work against it. It seems that we're only willing to adhere to god's plan in the same half measures that we're willing to accept its existence (i.e. when it's convenient).
Seems like that? Only when it's convenient? Explain please.
Sounds like you're arguing for moral relativism. So I should just let my neighbor's 10 year old jerk kid microwave small pets because god said so??? Then I guess I ought to let my garbage pile up in tons 20 feet high in my back yard for years because it's what god wants. No, wait, how about I set someone's house on fire because god told me to? While we're at it, monkeys smoke crack because they're crack-monkeys. Why? That's the bottom line, because stone-cold god said so. Who am I to question that???

I have a hard time accepting that god would miraculously heal someone's "broken" leg but fail to divert a category 5 hurricane. It's incredibly inconsistent.
I can see how that might make one blow off the notion of miracles or god.
I think we're really just a speck of dust in an infinitely large existence and the great spirit is busy. Not that the great spirit wouldn't care.

Truth might be stranger than fiction though, since fiction often candy coats stuff with happy endings. Frankly, I do think many have a tendency to give too much credit to divine intervention or the mysticism of karma. However, that is not for me to decide.
Do you not believe miracles are true? Why/not?

I think certain things about "harmonization" regarding far east philosophy & science need to be looked into. Are there some effects produced my our brains that are unknown. Wouldn't surprise me. There's lots we still don't know about our own anatomy--probably half the reason some forms of cancer are not well understood. Sorry I have no answer to cancer either. Wish I did.

Feel free to ask any question you wish.
Since the unknowable to us is, well, not knowable, I can see why you'd roll your eyes at someone claiming to know god and know that god knows the unknown. Frankly, I just kind of shrug it off. Just 'cuz life is a one time playthrough and perhaps "there is no such thing as a second chance" --Mace Windu, I still fail to see why that would mean we don't have freedom of choice. It's an illusion? You don't know that any more than J7 knows that god knows the unknowable. Whatever the case beliefs don't totally change reality.

I'm not trying to indoctrinate you at all, just want to know what it is you believe (or not) and why (or why not).

Do you believe we have freedom of choice or merely the illusion of it and why/not?

What is it about the idea of some superior entity you don't/can't accept? Why/not? I've had my doubts so I'm seeing if there's any similarities between us.

About an afterlife?


We don't know for sure about God? Oh. Thanks for pointing that out to me, because I didn't realize.
---
Even I disagree with this. Christianity steps on its own toes very often. Have you noticed that there are quite a few Christian sects? Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists?
_EW_
My,my,my. Some people really do know everything, then?
Good, 'cuz I certainly don't.:xp:
---
You? I don't know you, maybe it's time we had a chat and got to know one another? I do find your biting sarcasm to be somewhat amusing, whereas it might offend most others. Other times droll, depending on my mood.

That I have, but I wasn't talking about christianity. (Refer to above).

Well I'm pretty sure I'm on Achilles iggy list, so I'm glad you noted it. Really the thought is pretty simple. He can perform millions of miracles constantly keeping us happy and healthy, or he can allow bad things to happen to make us want to work for ourselves and better our own lives.

I also liken it to God allowing my sister Mary(there has to be some level of irony there) to die. At the time I hated God for allowing it to happen. But I cannot deny that a good portion of who I am today is because of that tragic situation. Perhaps it is because I actively tried to disprove God(trust me I used to be much tougher on the believers than Achilles is) that I find my connection to Him stronger.

I don't really know about god being a person-like individual entity. So I would not expect the power that is/the great spirit/god to act in such a way.
Which is part of why I play SW, it has the force... an unassuming binding entity.

I am influenced by my Native American heritage, my jewish heritage, and stuff I'm reading about Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino beliefs. I am spiritual more than religious.

vanir
12-28-2008, 07:52 AM
I meant the part where you said that as long as we're honest about when one thing drives a bus over another. I was speaking with regards to admitting mistakes. In short, sadly, the noble thing to do is punished. All too often punished, I'm afraid.
1) While admitting a wrong/mistake is actually a strength or at least victory in the sense of enlightenment, this can be (and often is) exploited. Either by those who have something to gain from doing it or by those who play the blame game for any reason/no reason whatsoever.
2) While being frank & honest about yourself when screwing up is commendable (you'd have my praises BTW), often times it is overlooked because others concentrate SO heavily upon the wrong/mistake that it seems to make your nobility seem to be worth nothing. (Wouldn't you agree?)
3) As Allronix all too readily pointed out to me, though it is good to strive towards such enlightenment, it often does not get you fed. I could imagine where corruption is the norm it may even set you back some. In these cases I'd say seek it still, BUT, not openly so that adversity can bite you for it.

Goodness gracious me, don't become cynical. You were told about this. It's war. So win. Should you lose then become one of those whom I shall fight to my dying breath. Win, mate. Be my friend.

I'm not trying to indoctrinate you at all, just want to know what it is you believe (or not) and why (or why not).


I feel I can speak on behalf of everyone when I say it is irrelevent and I require no reason.
Do you believe we have freedom of choice or merely the illusion of it and why/not?


Whilst belief is irrelevent the observation is situational.
What is it about the idea of some superior entity you don't/can't accept? Why/not? I've had my doubts so I'm seeing if there's any similarities between us.

By requesting a rationalisation of faith you disqualify the destination by the road you choose.
About an afterlife?


Find out when you get there. Should you need to know why? So that you may buy your way? We are only interested in those who come naturally. It is 100% about whom you are and 0% about knowledge and convenience.

Achilles
12-28-2008, 11:56 AM
To subject at hand: Is God all knowing or not? It was thought of enough to be brought up, so, if you bring it up I would think you'd have an example to share. Is that asking too much? (shrugs)As I and others (in the "examples" you quoted) have pointed out, it's the exact same god. So again, I'm not sure what you mean by "examples".

Because that's what is easiest to do.I'm still not following. It's the exact same god, so I don't see how "easiest" comes into consideration.

It's politically correct to not "offend anybody" by omission. Buuuut, if that was not your (or anybody's) intent, then disregard that part. MY bad.Apology accepted.

(hint: there are modes of "correctness" that have nothing to do with politics)

I meant the part where you said that as long as we're honest about when one thing drives a bus over another. I was speaking with regards to admitting mistakes. In short, sadly, the noble thing to do is punished. All too often punished, I'm afraid. Oh ok. Since that's clearly off topic, we can drop that part of the discussion now.

Fine and well.
I was once there myself. Not saying you'll ever follow me. Who knows, you might at long last prove atheism is the ultimate truth... Not holding my breath though.That's not how atheism works. It's not a positive claim that can be "proven".

In some ways I find the notion remised that one doesn't know (said unknown) but knows that God knows (the unknown).
However, that doesn't mean necessarily I discredit the notion, nor the concept of whatever be the "power that is", either.It isn't a question of whether "god" know (or can know). The subject is our knowing.

We say that the nature of god is unknowable when it's convenient (i.e. when we come across a question that makes us uncomfortable or puts our faith in a compromising position), however as quickly as we are able, we revert right back to the mindset that it is a) knowable and b) we know a lot about "god" (he's a man, he's our father, he's in heaven, he loves us, he is all-powerful, he is all-knowing, he created our universe, he did it in 7 days, it goes on and on and on).

Good point. Conflict arises regardless. I guess I was just saying it in a context of evil regarding what we can learn from defeating it similarly to being the better for resolving conflict.And that may be, but the question still exists as to why the whole shell game is necessary in the first place. If you accept that god made us, then you also have to accept that he made us as we are and you also have to accept that he could have made us differently. I won't push the point too much further simply because doing so will cause us to start repeating ourselves, but I think if you examine the argument outside the context of having to defend it, you might find that it doesn't make much sense.

For example: ask yourself if it's possible to have free will without evil.


While dinner dates could escalate into something serious like divorce, most of the time it is a difference of opinion. Like they say above, letting one evil happen to prevent another greater evil might be a good teaching tool... *with discretion* I might also add.It doesn't have to escalate to anything. It's still conflict. It doesn't even need to be with another person. Your alarm clock going off when you just want to sleep for another 10 minutes is also conflict. Trying to decide whether to have the chocolate ice cream or the vanilla is also conflict. No evil necessary.

Seems like that? Only when it's convenient? Explain please.If we really believe that god has a plan and that when things happen, they happen in accordance with god's plan, then theists shouldn't wear seat belts. We shouldn't seek justice when a crime is committed. If it is truly in god's hands, then we should do the absolute least amount possible to determine the course of our own lives.

However it seems that we hold both ideas in our head at the same time and only bring out one or the other when they best serve our belief system. Why did little Jimmy die? Part of god's plan. Why exercise and follow a good diet? Because god helps though that help themselves. There is either a plan that is carried out dispite our free will or there is not. Either conclusion presents problems for the arguments for god.

Sounds like you're arguing for moral relativism.Nope, not at all. I save that for moderate and liberal theists. It's not a position I will argue for because it doesn't hold water.

So I should just let my neighbor's 10 year old jerk kid microwave small pets because god said so???If you believe in revelation, then you must.

(hint: this is why I don't believe in revelation)

Then I guess I ought to let my garbage pile up in tons 20 feet high in my back yard for years because it's what god wants.Sure. Why not.

No, wait, how about I set someone's house on fire because god told me to?Did god tell you to? If he didn't then you're just trying to play the system. If he did, well...

While we're at it, monkeys smoke crack because they're crack-monkeys. Why? That's the bottom line, because stone-cold god said so. Who am I to question that???Precisely.

(hint: this is why I don't believe in determinism)

I can see how that might make one blow off the notion of miracles or god.
I think we're really just a speck of dust in an infinitely large existence and the great spirit is busy. Not that the great spirit wouldn't care.And that's fine, however that's also inconsistent with the other things we say about god. And if this were the case, why would god occationally intervene in the ways we tell ourselves that he does? And what does it say about "his" alleged omnipotence if we're going to argue that he's not capable of doing it all at once? See what I mean about problems?

Do you not believe miracles are true? Why/not?No, because there is insufficient evidence to support them. Miracles, by their very nature, must be taken on faith.

Do you believe we have freedom of choice or merely the illusion of it and why/not?I believe that all we have is freedom of choice. This freedom is naturally culled to an extent by enculturation, but within the boundaries of whatever set of social rules we are raised with or choose to (not) adhere to, there is only free will.

What is it about the idea of some superior entity you don't/can't accept? Why/not?I don't accept things without evidence. If there were any evidence for a "superior entity" then my position would change.

About an afterlife?Do I believe that one exists? No.

Astor
12-28-2008, 12:31 PM
If we really believe that god has a plan and that when things happen, they happen in accordance with god's plan, then theists shouldn't wear seat belts. We shouldn't seek justice when a crime is committed. If it is truly in god's hands, then we should do the absolute least amount possible to determine the course of our own lives.

Although I agree with you, Achilles, one could argue that these things are all part of god's 'master-plan' (assuming one existed).

Achilles
12-28-2008, 01:14 PM
Although I agree with you, Achilles, one could argue that these things are all part of god's 'master-plan' (assuming one existed).Yes, this is correct. One could take the argument as far as one wished to do so. I would like to think that at some point one might be inclined to think "okay, now that's just going too far!".

Is the thief god's way of telling you that he doesn't want you to have that stereo, or is your calling the police god's way of telling the thief that he wants him to spend the rest of his life in jail? Per your point, it could be both, but it seems awfully convoluted for some deity that can't be bothered to keep little girls from becoming sexual slaves in third world countries.

vanir
12-29-2008, 12:19 AM
Perhaps you would like to define precisely what you think God(s) is (are), Achilles?

Achilles
12-29-2008, 01:01 AM
Perhaps you would like to define precisely what you think God(s) is (are), Achilles?I would be a poor candidate for this, as I am skeptical to their existence. I would be more than happy to discuss what I know about various mythologies, but those are beliefs that I know about, not beliefs that I hold.

Darth Avlectus
12-29-2008, 02:16 AM
As I and others (in the "examples" you quoted) have pointed out, it's the exact same god. So again, I'm not sure what you mean by "examples". I'm still not following. It's the exact same god, so I don't see how "easiest" comes into consideration.

Pointing out, said religion was not mentioned, is easy to do instead of bring in examples from that religion. Then disregard it unless you have something from mohammed/the Qur'An. I wanted something analogous from islam. No dice. So this is over.


Apology accepted. (hint: there are modes of "correctness" that have nothing to do with politics)
Good to see and, that fact hadn't escaped my mind.
That's not how atheism works. It's not a positive claim that can be "proven".
Neither can theism in the mostly cold hard way you appear to seek. You might be interested to know that the best scientists largely are ones of faith. And not because they believe. Because they were the best scientists.
It isn't a question of whether "god" know (or can know). The subject is our knowing.
Isn't it? I mean, the thread is about whether or not god is all knowing... So here it absolutely is a question.
(for the record out of the thread: Exactly. Just take care not to move oneself to the center of the universe in so realizing. However, I think you already realize this!)
We say that the nature of god is unknowable when it's convenient (i.e. when we come across a question that makes us uncomfortable or puts our faith in a compromising position)
That, many people do. I personally try to avoid it. Why? Because at days end faith is just that, faith. Challenging one's own beliefs (or lack thereof) is not a bad thing!!!

Maybe the reason I came back to theism is because, all the while, I had a strong continuity of justice. Like, maybe I hope that there is some kind of justice in existence. It is not individual, but it is there without exception and merciless. I have "eyes" while "justice is blind". Maybe it's all I have for hope, and it serves to embody the undercurrent I feel against perpetrations of wrong. Undercurrents I did not, myself, make up. Or I had done something so wrong the guilt wouldn't go away on its own. Maybe simply making amends to undo the damage wasn't enough. Being sorry wasn't enough.

, however as quickly as we are able, we revert right back to the mindset that it is a) knowable and b) we know a lot about "god" <snip> Yes, an annoying yo-yo effect. Insulting. So I try my damnedest to avoid it.

<snip>why the whole shell game is necessary in the first place. If you accept that god made us, then you also have to accept that he made us as we are and you also have to accept that he could have made us differently. I already do, thanks. Everyday. The shell game is necessary because it happens anyway whether you like it or not.
While existence is overall grey, it alternates between good and evil. Refusing to decide between them is still a choice. Eventually though, good or evil will inevitably become your choice unwittingly through refusal to decide. In this case, you have allowed fate to decide for you and wasted what you're given--the ability to recognize and decide. You're little more than an object.

The argument of god's knowledge outside having to defend it doesn't make much difference either, in that case. Thusly we arrive at the best answer we can possibly muster: Is god all knowing? We don't know. Not for sure anyway.

For example: ask yourself if it's possible to have free will without evil. I have many, many times. I do. I've arrived at my answers. What about you?

I actually came to the conclusion that evil is because of both freewill and knowledge. Here is the conflict with good because so can it be. If we choose wrong, then it's a mistake! That happens.
It doesn't have to escalate to anything. It's still conflict. <SNIP> No evil necessary. I guess I thought of evil and conflict together because there are muggers, vandals, murderers, rapists, robbers, and others like that who so commonly plague our existence.
True, there are evils without conflict. "It can be said that the greatest of tragedies often are built on the unsaid."--Kreia ......My bad.

If we really believe that god has a plan and that when things happen, they happen in accordance with god's plan, then theists shouldn't wear seat belts. We shouldn't seek justice when a crime is committed. If it is truly in god's hands, then we should do the absolute least amount possible to determine the course of our own lives.
I think that's taking things to a bit of extremes. I can't nail where exactly, but, it sounds like you are drawing a moral equivalence between acting in faith and acting unthinkingly in fanaticism. I won't deny arguments for god have their holes.
Sometimes, when one cannot honestly bear to go any farther they use god as a reasoning which is understandable. Where that crosses into ridiculous is where it becomes a cop out to excuse doing nothing. Such is folly.
On the other side, where a man has done as much as he honestly can and not used it to cop out, desisting (or perhaps "leaving it to god") is the only thing that can reasonably be done. Or else it's plotting the unknown.
Nope, not at all. I save that for moderate and liberal theists. It's not a position I will argue for because it doesn't hold water. Very well!
If you believe in revelation, then you must.
(hint: this is why I don't believe in revelation)

So I'm not altogether sure about revelation...Why MUST I allow it if I believe? Again, falsely equivocating somewhere.
Sure. Why not.
Whatever floats your boat. That's pretty disgusting, yo. I'm not neat freak--far from it. At some point I draw the line, still.
Did god tell you to? If he didn't then you're just trying to play the system. If he did, well...
Good, you caught it. This is where I am illustrating the difference between fanaticism and faith. Simply because one believes, does not mean one *has to* take it so literally.

And that's fine, however that's also inconsistent with the other things we say about god. And if this were the case, why would god occationally intervene in the ways we tell ourselves that he does? And what does it say about "his" alleged omnipotence if we're going to argue that he's not capable of doing it all at once? See what I mean about problems?

We? Whose we? Just because people hold the same beliefs does *NOT* mean we absolutely, necessarily, without a shadow of a doubt HAVE TO practice them the same exact way.

I believe that all we have is freedom of choice. This freedom is naturally culled to an extent by enculturation, but within the boundaries of whatever set of social rules we are raised with or choose to (not) adhere to, there is only free will. Agree, freewill is all we have. If free will is not exercised, it means nothing.
I don't accept things without evidence. If there were any evidence for a "superior entity" then my position would change. Fine and well. I said the same thing. We only know so much. That's that. All logic is truth, but not all truth is logical.

Goodness gracious me, don't become cynical. You were told about this. It's war. So win. Should you lose then become one of those whom I shall fight to my dying breath. Win, mate. Be my friend.
I'm already quite cynical--been so for years. However, it helps me to keep track of the evil so that I may win.

I'm committed to light and thus master it when I honor it. Should I fall and forget myself, remind me. Strike me down if you feel you must. If my loving brother cannot and would rather perish, though I've falled and I forgotten myself, again remind me. For fate is unkind to those who have truly fallen.
--"This was Vaapad's test"--Mace Windu
For those who can bear to strike a fallen one down: If I shall fall too far to be retrieved, strike me down, for I am already dead and the body has yet to die. Lest ye perish my friend. I would never want that, for I protect you. Protect yourself if I can no longer. "He who hunts monsters had best take care not to, himself, become one."--unknown

I feel I can speak on behalf of everyone when I say it is irrelevent and I require no reason. I was speaking preemptively to any atheist, to put hostilities to rest before they arise. However, Thank you!
Whilst belief is irrelevent the observation is situational. OF course. As the saying goes: I'm walking the fine line.
By requesting a rationalisation of faith you disqualify the destination by the road you choose.
---
Find out when you get there. Should you need to know why? So that you may buy your way? We are only interested in those who come naturally. It is 100% about whom you are and 0% about knowledge and convenience.
You got it!
---
and Ditto!

Achilles
12-29-2008, 03:14 AM
Pointing out, said religion was not mentioned, is easy to do instead of bring in examples from that religion. Then disregard it unless you have something from mohammed/the Qur'An. I wanted something analogous from islam. No dice. So this is over.It. Is. The. Same. God.

Is that sufficiently analogous?

Good to see and, that fact hadn't escaped my mind.Then I'm not sure you're why you're choosing a line of argument that would make it appear as though you had.

Neither can theism in the mostly cold hard way you appear to seek. You might be interested to know that the best scientists largely are ones of faith. And not because they believe. Because they were the best scientists.Please feel free to cite this at any time. Please be sure to also let us know how you are determining which scientists are "best". Thanks in advance.

(if you're interested in seeing my source which shows that 97% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences are non-religious, just let me know)

Also, none of this has anything to do with my point.

Isn't it? I mean, the thread is about whether or not god is all knowing... So here it absolutely is a question.It's only relevant if you change the context. Within the context we were discussing, no, it isn't.

(for the record out of the thread: Exactly. Just take care not to move oneself to the center of the universe in so realizing. However, I think you already realize this!)If frogs lived on the moon, would spaghetti still taste the same?

That, many people do. I personally try to avoid it. Why? Because at days end faith is just that, faith. Challenging one's own beliefs (or lack thereof) is not a bad thing!!!Help me understand how one challenges their own beliefs and maintains their faith at the same time? One of these things invites critical thinking and the other is the antithesis of critical thinking.

Yes, an annoying yo-yo effect. Insulting. So I try my damnedest to avoid it.Okay.

I already do, thanks. Everyday. The shell game is necessary because it happens anyway whether you like it or not.No it isn't. That may or may not be the case for theists, but I don't think you can presume to speak for everyone.

While existence is overall grey, it alternates between good and evil.Interesting. And if you don't believe in "good and evil"?

Refusing to decide between them is still a choice.As is acknowledging that neither exist.

Eventually though, good or evil will inevitably become your choice unwittingly through refusal to decide.False dichotomy. There are other options as well.

In this case, you have allowed fate to decide for you and wasted what you're given--the ability to recognize and decide. You're little more than an object.Sounds great. Thanks.

The argument of god's knowledge outside having to defend it doesn't make much difference either, in that case. Thusly we arrive at the best answer we can possibly muster: Is god all knowing? We don't know. Not for sure anyway.I'm okay with this answer.

I have many, many times. I do. I've arrived at my answers. What about you?

I actually came to the conclusion that evil is because of both freewill and knowledge. Here is the conflict with good because so can it be. If we choose wrong, then it's a mistake! That happens.:confused:

I guess I thought of evil and conflict together because there are muggers, vandals, murderers, rapists, robbers, and others like that who so commonly plague our existence.
True, there are evils without conflict. "It can be said that the greatest of tragedies often are built on the unsaid."--Kreia ......My bad. Glad I could help.

<snipped>

I think that's taking things to a bit of extremes. I can't nail where exactly, but, it sounds like you are drawing a moral equivalence between acting in faith and acting unthinkingly in fanaticism. I won't deny arguments for god have their holes.
Sometimes, when one cannot honestly bear to go any farther they use god as a reasoning which is understandable. Where that crosses into ridiculous is where it becomes a cop out to excuse doing nothing. Such is folly.
On the other side, where a man has done as much as he honestly can and not used it to cop out, desisting (or perhaps "leaving it to god") is the only thing that can reasonably be done. Or else it's plotting the unknown.Assuming that this is related to what we were discussing, where does this diatribe leave us?

I'm not sure anything you said here addressed the point that I was making.

So I'm not altogether sure about revelation...Why MUST I allow it if I believe? Again, falsely equivocating somewhere.Because what is the objective standard for determining "legitimate" revelation vs "bat **** crazy"? Seems to me the only means to verify is to drop a dime to the big man and ask if he really is sending smoke signals to the neighbors again. If you can't do that, then it would seem that we're accepting or writing off revelation arbitrarily. And that hardly seems wise.

As for the "false equivocating", when you figure out where, let me know and we'll pick up where we left off.

Whatever floats your boat. That's pretty disgusting, yo. I'm not neat freak--far from it. At some point I draw the line, still.It's your example so take it as far as you'd like to.

Good, you caught it. This is where I am illustrating the difference between fanaticism and faith. Simply because one believes, does not mean one *has to* take it so literally.Whew. I thought you might be testing me, you silly!

On the contrary, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of believing and not taking it literally. If god decided that his only contact with us was going to be a book and the only path to eternal salvation was doing exactly what he said, you'd better freakin' believe that I would be doing every single thing that book told me to do. I wouldn't question any of it. Eternity is a long time to be second guessing something like that.

Fundies scare the bejeezus outta me, but at least I can respect where they are coming from.

We? Whose we? Just because people hold the same beliefs does *NOT* mean we absolutely, necessarily, without a shadow of a doubt HAVE TO practice them the same exact way. Just because I think I can milk this part just a little bit more: How many bibles are there? One, right?

We can discuss varying interpretations if you'd like, but then I'm going to point you right back to a few posts ago where you accused me of arguing for moral relativism.

Fine and well. I said the same thing. We only know so much. That's that. All logic is truth, but not all truth is logical.I don't know what this means.

Darth Avlectus
12-29-2008, 08:38 AM
It. Is. The. Same. God.
Is that sufficiently analogous?
-----
Then I'm not sure you're why you're choosing a line of argument that would make it appear as though you had.
It looks like it'll have to do. :)
-----
I was giving you a hard time if you were giving Yar-El a hard time. Further
Because it was bothered only to mention the omission, nothing else. That's like pointing out the sky is blue. That's also how P.C. begins to take hold. O' heavens forbid *anything* be omitted; that person *must* be biased.
HOWEVER, Since it was NOT intended to be political correctness, fine then. I'll let it be. IT.IS.OVER. :D Is that sufficient?

Please feel free to cite this at any time. Please be sure to also let us know how you are determining which scientists are "best". Thanks in advance.I'm determining it by those who have had the most effect in influence on our lives through their work. Not to discredit anyone who is an atheist.
Whether or not they actually held to any orthodoxy, I cannot say for certain. What I am saying for certain is that they were not Atheists.
Sir Isaac Newton
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_newton
Albert Einstein
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_einstein
Nikola Tesla
"TESLA Man out of time" Margaret Cheney, Copyright 1981;1993 Barnes and Noble books, ISBN 0-88029-419-1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla
Also, none of this has anything to do with my point.
Merely something by the wayside as a point of interest. I thought it might imply something at least about faith as opposed to not. I guess I was wrong. :)

Then again you'll probably say that progress for good or bad is progress nonetheless and use something I said earlier to that effect to remind me of that. Very well. ;)

And that's fine, however that's also inconsistent with the other things we say about god. And if this were the case, why would god occationally intervene in the ways we tell ourselves that he does? And what does it say about "his" alleged omnipotence if we're going to argue that he's not capable of doing it all at once? See what I mean about problems?
Certainly I do see what you mean. As a non denominational Christian (at least I'm pretty sure I am) I don't personally say anything to that effect about god because I simply don't speak for god.

It's only relevant if you change the context.
Within the context we were discussing, no, it isn't.
Goodness gracious, land-sakes-alive! I was trying to keep within the thread and stay on topic. So sue me. Again, it was falling apart long before that. :) If it's NOT about what god knows, and about what we know instead: Personally, all I know is that this planet/galaxy/universe was not man's making. There are ways things tend to work and not work. You have your beliefs based on these--regardless what one may/not have believed about god, as do I, and as does everyone else. Maybe reality just always existed. Whatever the case, it is of little consequence since: it is what it is. Has been long before us, and will continue that way long after we're gone.

If frogs lived on the moon, would spaghetti still taste the same?
Now you're just being bizarre. :dozey: Your point?

Help me understand how one challenges their own beliefs and maintains their faith at the same time? One of these things invites critical thinking and the other is the antithesis of critical thinking.
Adapting to change since little is held constant. Sticking to the unchanging fundamentals/constant as a base. Building/rebuilding on the same foundation you keep. Foundation is not all encompassing. Plus, I didn't make reality...so whatever be the power that is... I try to do right by it. I donate. I help those in need. Teach the young to sustain themselves. Things like these having some kind of demand... which never changes. I guess it's subjective in which case I have demonized myself to a section of would be fellow christians. Did I say I followed to the tee? No. It steps on its toes again. Thus there are as many religions as there are people.

Say you don't think people should be mugged and you start looking out for your people (friends, family, neighbors). You might not be able to stop all incidents but you are able to have some effect. You can one day tear yourself apart on what you didn't accomplish or failed to prevent, but you also realize it might be that much worse without you and your actions. I stuck by what was right in the sense of protecting your people. Is that senseless? I think not...

Interesting. And if you don't believe in "good and evil"?
Polarities exist in some general manner even if you don't see it that way.
Seeing it differently or denying their existence only colors it differently, doesn't make it go away. I guess it's how one learned to look at it. Unless you've found something to say otherwise?
False dichotomy. There are other options as well.
Being what?

:confused:
No it isn't possible--to any extent I can see. Evil comes of freewill? Good comes of freewill too. Take that for what you will. It's not possible to have it without either one. Sure there are instances where there are good or better/bad or worse. Occasionally there is neutral. So there.

Assuming that this is related to what we were discussing, where does this diatribe leave us?

I'm not sure anything you said here addressed the point that I was making.

You were implying something to the effect of: At some point following something becomes ridiculous or self defeating. I guess I was implying back: when it ceases to be reasonable, or it contradicts. I think I get what you were getting at. Let me know if I missed it, won't you please? :detective:

Because what is the objective standard for determining "legitimate" revelation vs "bat **** crazy"? Seems to me the only means to verify is to drop a dime to the big man and ask if he really is sending smoke signals to the neighbors again. If you can't do that, then it would seem that we're accepting or writing off revelation arbitrarily. And that hardly seems wise.
As for the "false equivocating", when you figure out where, let me know and we'll pick up where we left off.


Subjective I guess. So at some point it's either accepting what is irrational or betraying what has been written by man about god. Man did write the bible and not god. By its stance, following in general isn't good enough. It has to be literal. Funny thing is, this isn't the way most people picture god--most picture god as a bit more reasonable. Maybe it isn't so false after all.
Did I miss something?

It's your example so take it as far as you'd like to.
Who are we to question that? Human, nothing more nothing less.
Funny thing I figure is if god said that, then it would contradict the whole thing about cleanliness. Maybe filth was created so we could learn to be clean. I don't know. Just because another writes that is must be, that doesn't necessarily mean jack. We must be dirty? Yeah I'd say to one degree or another. We must be clean? Ok, we cleanp, but the dirtiness returns. So we clean again. Funciton of time?... (shrugs)


Whew. I thought you might be testing me, you silly!
:lol: Glad you have a sense of humor.
On the contrary, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of believing and not taking it literally. I don't, but if what you say is true, then maybe none of us here actually believe?
If god decided that his only contact with us was going to be a book and the only path to eternal salvation was doing exactly what he said, you'd better freakin' believe that I would be doing every single thing that book told me to do. I wouldn't question any of it. Eternity is a long time to be second guessing something like that.
Glad to know we're on the same page. (???) I guess belief with any reservation is not belief... which makes skepticism a sin, don't it?
Fundies scare the bejeezus outta me, but at least I can respect where they are coming from.

Just because I think I can milk this part just a little bit more: How many bibles are there? One, right?

We can discuss varying interpretations if you'd like, but then I'm going to point you right back to a few posts ago where you accused me of arguing for moral relativism. I was actually only seeing this whole time how far developed you were in your ideas. Thank you for indulging me.


I don't know what this means.
Another way of saying we only know so much. So far as god knowing...

Achilles
12-29-2008, 01:11 PM
I was giving you a hard time if you were giving Yar-El a hard time.Oh. So where the others and I had a legitimate point, you simply sought to harass? I got it now.

Further Because it was bothered only to mention the omission, nothing else.What else needs to be mentioned when pointing out an omission? This is like telling someone that they forgot to compliment your pants after helpfully pointing out that your shoe is untied. Or accusing them of trying to be sexist.

That's like pointing out the sky is blue.Not even close.

That's also how P.C. begins to take hold. O' heavens forbid *anything* be omitted; that person *must* be biased.Political correctness has nothing to do with pointing out that Yar-El made a mistake.

HOWEVER, Since it was NOT intended to be political correctness, fine then. I'll let it be. IT.IS.OVER. :D Is that sufficient? If you're going to drop it, then drop it. Don't continue to argue your point.

I'm determining it by those who have had the most effect in influence on our lives through their work. Not to discredit anyone who is an atheist.
Whether or not they actually held to any orthodoxy, I cannot say for certain. What I am saying for certain is that they were not Atheists. This list contains three people. Were there more?

Also, I think it's safe to argue that Einstein was a deist.

Certainly I do see what you mean. As a non denominational Christian (at least I'm pretty sure I am) I don't personally say anything to that effect about god because I simply don't speak for god. You don't hold any beliefs about god? That he's a he? That he lives in heaven? That he judges your actions? That he's all powerful and/or all knowing?

If you hold any beliefs about god whatsoever then your comment above is false.

Personally, all I know is that this planet/galaxy/universe was not man's making. There are ways things tend to work and not work. You have your beliefs based on these--regardless what one may/not have believed about god, as do I, and as does everyone else. Maybe reality just always existed. Whatever the case, it is of little consequence since: it is what it is. Has been long before us, and will continue that way long after we're gone. Okay but what does this have to do with mankind pretending to know what it alleges to be unknowable?

Adapting to change since little is held constant. Sticking to the unchanging fundamentals/constant as a base. Building/rebuilding on the same foundation you keep. Foundation is not all encompassing.The contradictory concepts make it difficult to respond here. I will ask how one determines what the "unchanging fundamentals" are without critical analysis. This leaves us right back at my original question.

Say you don't think people should be mugged and you start looking out for your people (friends, family, neighbors). You might not be able to stop all incidents but you are able to have some effect. You can one day tear yourself apart on what you didn't accomplish or failed to prevent, but you also realize it might be that much worse without you and your actions. I stuck by what was right in the sense of protecting your people. Is that senseless? I think not...Unless you believe in determinism. In which case, god (or whatever you want to call it) intended for those people to be mugged and your actions could have only resulted in failure.

Polarities exist in some general manner even if you don't see it that way.I don't think you get to decide that.

Seeing it differently or denying their existence only colors it differently, doesn't make it go away. I guess it's how one learned to look at it. Unless you've found something to say otherwise?Only that "good" and "evil" are human constructs that don't exist in nature. Tying my worldview to artifical constructs doesn't seem incredibly appealing to me, especially since it tends to lead to the "polarity thinking" you reference above.

Being what?All manner of things. Not the least of which is the entire spectrum in between the two extremes that you've presented. The artificial construct sags under it's own weight.

Subjective I guess. So at some point it's either accepting what is irrational or betraying what has been written by man about god. Man did write the bible and not god. By its stance, following in general isn't good enough. It has to be literal. Funny thing is, this isn't the way most people picture god--most picture god as a bit more reasonable. Maybe it isn't so false after all.
Did I miss something?You seem to be contradicting yourself again. And trying to keep track of your which side of the argument you are on from one part of the post to the next is starting to make my brain hurt.

I don't, but if what you say is true, then maybe none of us here actually believe?Yes, to an outside observer, it might very much appear as though a vast majority of believers are inconsistent in their faith. Again with the margin of respect for the scary fundamentalists.

I guess belief with any reservation is not belief... which makes skepticism a sin, don't it?Indeed it would be (it was Augustine that said as much, wasn't it? I really can't remember right now). Of course, this also assumes that you believe in "sin" as well.

vanir
12-29-2008, 04:33 PM
If frogs lived on the moon, would spaghetti still taste the same?
I should think if this eventuated the taste of spaghetti would be questionable.

*slowly backs away from thread*

Darth Avlectus
12-31-2008, 04:21 AM
I think we have generally concluded the thread's opening question of whether or not god is all knowing. Yar-El, feel free to interject. Beyond this is subject matter whose thesis is mostly explorative and may not be entirely relevant. I will do my best to say my final piece.

Achillies, thanks. I've had a wonderful time picking your brain (Sorry for the headache!) and there's lots worth seriously considering that you have said. I hold no grudges.


I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of believing and not taking it literally.
Clichee as this sounds, (just about) anything is possible if you try. It's hard if not impossible to see it otherwise when you relegate to a binary like world of 0's & 1's. If that's the only way to see, then...well...(shrugs):giveup:

Maybe it helps that, without fact, one takes things with a grain of salt...if not a 10 lb. bag of salt. Which I do. But I guess that doesn't matter because I'm going to hell since it isn't the fundamentalist's way that all theists *must* be. :giveup:

Fundies scare the bejeezus outta me, but at least I can respect where they are coming from. Really? Yes, to an outside observer, it might very much appear as though a vast majority of believers are inconsistent in their faith. Again with the margin of respect for the scary fundamentalists.I guess that's why you take a position you believe above them because of their absolutist lunacy. Fine and well.


Because what is the objective standard for determining "legitimate" revelation vs "bat **** crazy"?
Objective thinking, perhaps.

Seems to me the only means to verify is to drop a dime to the big man and ask if he really is sending smoke signals to the neighbors again. If you can't do that, then it would seem that we're accepting or writing off revelation arbitrarily. And that hardly seems wise. Yet, fundamentalists presume to "know and not know when convenient" which in itself is arbitrary... Which you put yourself above but still respect. So it's a tossup. Whichever side wins, I lose, so I guess this is over. I don't get your respect in any case. :giveup:

You don't hold any beliefs about god?
That god simply is, I do.
If you hold any beliefs about god whatsoever then your comment above is false.
Okay, you got me. Then I 'mostly' don't presume things about it after it exists. Exceptions: Vengeful? That god/whatever exists and that existence as a whole is still a mystery that I guess I hove no choice but to attribute to god? Probably. I don't presume to know anything *else* about god. So I guess in the absolute sense my statement would be is false. Label, color, judge, characiture that however you will. You're the one here basically saying like the fundamentalists that either we theists absolutely take it all literal if they believe, or else we absolutely do not believe. Which is decidedly droll when you know nothing about me. OR anyone else here. However, this is pointless to argue. None are theists if we're not fundamentalists.

That he's a he?
Not necessarily. Have I? Sure. Every time I have recently, I get a knock in my mind that this might not necessarily be so. Could be a she or an it or something totally beyond me. So I don't presume about this. Not to say one couldn't be more specific but then that begins to speak for god and shape and limit god. But never mind, it doesn't fit the mold...:giveup:

That he lives in heaven?
Not necessarily. Could be something totally beyond my perception.
I've had many problems with all the talk of afterlife which is part of why I asked you. For many of the same reasons I had trouble with believing in these concepts, and eventually theism.

Why did I go back? I broke myself across all the hairsplitting that envelops atheism. Such a sterile way seemed to take all the life out of living to me. Plus I noticed that I was not all that different from the fundies which was another part behind my reasoning for going atheist in the first place. If you can stand by it day in and day out, good for you. I guess I'm just an atheist with blinders on... :dozey:

That he judges your actions?
At some point. By "his" creation if not personally--I guess the former for me since I don't relegate it to a person like being.

If god created unchanging fundamental rules with an otherwise ever-changing reality, then god must also have created a way to also realize it. Hence objective thinking which was born of our sentience. Predating the bible as did belief in god. Key term: Our actions. Judgement is merciless and harsh? So much the better, it's not swayed. Yet this is water under the bridge.

That he's all powerful and/or all knowing?
Maybe. Maybe not. I don't really know enough to prove/disprove that, either way. Another moot point I guess.
------------
Okay but what does this have to do with mankind pretending to know what it alleges to be unknowable?
You said it's about what we know, and not what god knows. I told you what I know. You told me what you know and the fundamentalists know. Everyone else has told what they know.

I don't pretend to actually 'know god'. I don't do the "know god, then not know god", for convenience. There are those who do, I won't deny that much. I try to separate myself from that.

But I guess that's another null grenade since it makes me a non fundamentalist which in turn makes me a nonbeliever. Whoops.

This leaves us right back at my original question.>>>>>>>
Help me understand how one challenges their own beliefs and maintains their faith at the same time? One of these things invites critical thinking and the other is the antithesis of critical thinking.

The unchanging fundamentals truths withstand. Then I guess it becomes situational ethics form there. That is not Relativism as it holds some things constant; everything else is one variable as a function of another. Which I guess goes into your equation, matrix-esque philosophy. You place yourself higher than fundamentalists, the fundies have their place...it's all good. :shades2:


I will ask how one determines what the "unchanging fundamentals" are without critical analysis.

It absolutely requires a level of critical analysis. The fundies said that it doesn't? That's not the rest of us. But never mind that: It's not fundamentalist.

Aside from it doing the obvious, theft creates mistrust. Try to murder a child, its parents defend it viciously. Other things like this too.

Honestly, where fundamentalists probably got their reasoning was from a hodgepodge of both critical thinking and tossing dimes to the great one. So they by virtue have already shattered many of their own beliefs.

You can, again, tell me that if I think down this road and not the one the fundamentalists have set out for me, that I am not a true believer. We all know where that will go. Toss this whatever way that you will. My beliefs are what they are, maybe not in the fundamentalist category--but they are. Moving on since this doesn't seem to matter either...
-------------
Unless you believe in determinism.

Which I don't. So I *must not* be a true believer. Next...

------------
Only that "good" and "evil" are human constructs that don't exist in nature.
You point out that in nature there is no good and evil. That is probably because animals are primarily instinctual, thus see as such. It doesn't explain freewill which you believe is all that we have. So you've relegated behavior to instinct and baser actions/instinct. You appear to be fine with this so discussion of it is over. :giveup:
Tying my worldview to artifical constructs doesn't seem incredibly appealing to me, especially since it tends to lead to the "polarity thinking" you reference above. My appologies. In that case, I would bet that you make damned sure your inactions (where you could clearly do something but don't on account of your worldview) do not fall under negligence. Then again, your lawyer would argue it isn't negligence if you don't see it that way (Unless I'm mistaken about general laws of intent?), so no problem for you. You by your own views have done nothing wrong while everybody else scoffs at you. Whatever floats your boat.


You seem to be contradicting yourself again. And trying to keep track of your which side of the argument you are on from one part of the post to the next is starting to make my brain hurt.

I'm trying to keep with you. I Don't mean you any pain.
As is it equally tiresome that you believe freewill is all we have, yet
It doesn't mean free will is true, but it works. Regarding the unknown. And how either I absolutely don't believe, or I absolutely believe because belief is all in line with all the fundamentalists according to you.

It was educational nonetheless. At least for me. :hattip:

So I guess this is over as well.

vanir
12-31-2008, 05:17 AM
*puts up hand*

I thought the thread had evolved into a comparison of debating skills rather than any serious examination of the subject material. Neither relative source references nor scientific process were used.

It would appear to me at least, the thread should've been titled, "are humans all knowing" and the conclusion seems yes, and incorrect. You see anyone can prove people aren't omniscient, but how does this prove that a god would not be? Is one not, by literal and precise definition supernatural?

Then the arguments mooted would appear to be muted.

Necessarily the thread should have defined:
what is a deity precisely?
what is omniscience precisely?
what are celebrated Christian and Jewish views toward the question?

Then the process of testable assertions and passive observations could commence, although the conclusion is foregone. As a supernatural power any deity may contradict the laws of physics. As the stated religions are monotheistic there is only one such descriptor, amongst which all others reside. By definition it exists outside the physical universe of our knowing, although is directly responsible for its existence. It is therefore, inherently omniscient.

Most of the questions in the thread have been levelled at said descriptor's omnipotence within the physical universe, which wasn't the subject of the thread and indeed may be brought into question philosophically, due to the nature of free will and complex evolutionary diversity (ie. chaos theory). However, it is my contention that by description an omniscient subject is defined, when examining Christian/Jewish monotheism.

I should think further, this is simply a matter of record. Were you to ask a Jewish rabbi or Christian priest, I would say he'd ask you to rephrase your question to be, "How can God be all-knowing?"

Achilles
12-31-2008, 05:25 AM
I think we have generally concluded the thread's opening question of whether or not god is all knowing.Have we? And what did we conclude?

I concluded long ago that god was not omniscient after reading the book of genesis (chapter 3 specifically).

Achillies, thanks. I've had a wonderful time picking your brain (Sorry for the headache!) and there's lots worth seriously considering that you have said. I hold no grudges. Glad to hear I could help.

Clichee as this sounds, (just about) anything is possible if you try. It's hard if not impossible to see it otherwise when you relegate to a binary like world of 0's & 1's. If that's the only way to see, then...well...(shrugs):giveup:

Maybe it helps that, without fact, one takes things with a grain of salt...if not a 10 lb. bag of salt. Which I do. But I guess that doesn't matter because I'm going to hell since it isn't the fundamentalist's way that all theists *must* be. :giveup:We either believe things for good reasons or we do not. The criteria for determining what is or is not a good reason can be subjective, however if the reasoning offered fails even the most casual application of logic, then I don't think we can argue that it's sound.

I'm not sure if that fits in with your 1's and 0's or your shrugging, but it is my final answer.

Really? I guess that's why you take a position you believe above them because of their absolutist lunacy. Fine and well.I'm not sure what "take a position you believe above them" means, but yes, it is easier for me to hold some small margin of respect for people who are consistent within their own beliefs. Fundies do this. Non-fundies do not.

Objective thinking, perhaps.And what does that look like (within this context)?

That god simply is, I do.What does this mean? What is the nature of god while is just sitting (?) there "simply is-ing".

You're the one here basically saying like the fundamentalists that either we theists absolutely take it all literal if they believe, or else we absolutely do not believe.Interesting interpretation.

Not necessarily.
<snip>
Not necessarily.
<snip>
At some point.
<snip>
Maybe.Okay, so you worship a god that "simply is" and is "vengeful". This is as far as you've gone to describe your precise views regarding god's nature. I think you're either not being terribly honest here or you're being awfully arbitrary in your selection of belief systems. At least with standard christianity you get the "heaven" and "god's love" stuff.

I broke myself across all the hairsplitting that envelops atheism. Such a sterile way seemed to take all the life out of living to me. Plus I noticed that I was not all that different from the fundies which was another part behind my reasoning for going atheist in the first place. If you can stand by it day in and day out, good for you.At least one false premise in each sentence.

You said it's about what we know, and not what god knows. I told you what I know. You told me what you know and the fundamentalists know. Everyone else has told what they know.

I don't pretend to actually 'know god'. I don't do the "know god, then not know god", for convenience. There are those who do, I won't deny that much. I try to separate myself from that.

But I guess that's another null grenade since it makes me a non fundamentalist which in turn makes me a nonbeliever. Whoops.Since we're discussing the general nature of belief, feel free to step outside your own experience on this one.

The unchanging fundamentals truths withstand.You can't identify these without critical analysis (or you can simply adopt what others tell you are "fundamental truths", however that's a faith-act, not a challenging one's own beliefs-act).

So once more, I'll point out that the reasoning is circular and ask you to try again.

You point out that in nature there is no good and evil. That is probably because animals are primarily instinctual, thus see as such. It doesn't explain freewill which you believe is all that we have. So you've relegated behavior to instinct and baser actions/instinct. You appear to be fine with this so discussion of it is over. :giveup:You're conflating concepts. You argue that good and evil are byproducts of free will. I argue that good and evil are artificial constructs of our own imagination and that free will is something completely separate. One does not have to explain or even follow the other.

If I've relegated behavior to anything, it's to the most important thing a human has that is his or her own. On a side note, this is why I also believe that humanism/atheism is infinitely more satisfying than straight theism could ever be.

My appologies. In that case, I would bet that you make damned sure your inactions (where you could clearly do something but don't on account of your worldview) do not fall under negligence. Then again, your lawyer would argue it isn't negligence if you don't see it that way (Unless I'm mistaken about general laws of intent?), so no problem for you. You by your own views have done nothing wrong while everybody else scoffs at you. Whatever floats your boat.Again, not sure what this has to do the point we were discussing. How does not believing in "good" or "evil" end up with me needing a lawyer for negligence?


As is it equally tiresome that you believe freewill is all we have, yetIt doesn't mean free will is true, but it works. Since I haven't contradicted myself (because you quoted someone else), I'm not sure why you would find my non-contradiction tiresome. If I have been inconsistent in my position, please point out where and I will be happy to admit my error and remedy the situation as efficiently as possible.

It was educational nonetheless. At least for me. :hattip:

So I guess this is over as well.Take care.

Necessarily the thread should have defined:
what is a deity precisely?
what is omniscience precisely?
Since one might be tempted to attribute omniscience to a deity, that would have to be defined first. I would agree that defining "deity" would be an important step, however since it's impossible to do, we wouldn't get far. Luckily, we've been ordered and instructed by The Staff that we must overlook this fact, which means that we get to continue on as though this were not a futile exercise.

Then the process of testable assertions and passive observations could commence, although the conclusion is foregone. As a supernatural power any deity may contradict the laws of physics. As the stated religions are monotheistic there is only one such descriptor, amongst which all others reside. By definition it exists outside the physical universe of our knowing, although is directly responsible for its existence. It is therefore, inherently omniscient.We don't stand for this kind of crazy talk in Kavar's. ;)

vanir
12-31-2008, 05:44 AM
I concluded long ago that god was not omniscient after reading the book of genesis (chapter 3 specifically).

Achilles, you must be aware this appears spiteful and not very scientific. Whilst presented as an opinion, the nature of your debating with GTA:SWcity has made it necessary that I should ask you to qualify such a statement.

Did your former belief in God hurt you in some manner? Do you do something bad? Surely this could not be an objective appraisal, as you must positively be aware the scientific response is that the matter is inconclusive (ie. it is not a falsifiable hypothesis by definition).

I should remind your impressive skill at debating the nature and indeed very foundation of individuals that many turn to religion due to intense personal loss. Just some food for thought there about how we intend to present scientific arguments. One should do so responsibly, without bias or malice. Science does not care in the slightest whether or not a God exists, or should people believe in it.
In fact, Science seeks one thing and one thing only: to describe the physical universe.

Achilles
12-31-2008, 05:59 AM
Achilles, you must be aware this appears spiteful and not very scientific. Whilst presented as an opinion, the nature of your debating with GTA:SWcity has made it necessary that I should ask you to qualify such a statement.Qualify what precisely? The content of chapter three of the book of genesis?

You can find it here (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis%203&version=31). Feel free to read it at your leisure. Please keep tally of how many times god asks a question of adam and/or eve. Then ask yourself why an being that possess omniscience would have to ask questions in the first place.

In the mean time, I'll begin preparing myself for the apologetic responses to this that will argue that god knew but was asking them in order to make them admit their shameful acts.

Did your former belief in God hurt you in some manner?Only to the same baseline degree that it hurts everyone.

Do you do something bad?"Bad" like cheat on a test or "bad" like killing a hooker in Vegas? I'll need to have your objective appraisal of "bad" in order to scientifically evaluate the question.

Surely this could not be an objective appraisal, as you must positively be aware the scientific response is that the matter is inconclusive (ie. it is not a falsifiable hypothesis by definition).See the first part of my response.

I should remind your impressive skill at debating the nature and indeed very foundation of individuals that many turn to religion due to intense personal loss.I'm not sure what this means.

Just some food for thought there about how we intend to present scientific arguments."We"?

One should do so responsibly, without bias or malice.I see.

Science does not care in the slightest whether or not a God exists, or should people believe in it.Science doesn't have feelings of any sort (that I am aware of).

In fact, Science seeks one thing and one thing only: to describe the physical universe.Ooo, and if Science contradicts religion (or vice versa) in this regard?

Jae Onasi
12-31-2008, 12:27 PM
but I know you well enough to know that there isn't much to be gained in chasing you down on this point.
And I know you well enough that any further discussion of religion with you in this thread will result generally in more sarcastic comments like this, and you lived up to that expectation already, though I shouldn't be surprised. So as usual with any religious discussions with you, I'll just walk away from the discussion rather than deal with the frustration of being on the end of your nasty barbs because of your utter hatred for anything theistic. You win by default, enjoy your victory.

@Qliveur--in regards to the Job issue--I don't think God was saying "I am unknowable, therefore don't try to know me", I think He was saying "I want you to learn more about Me, but understand that there are things that I will do that you won't be able to understand because you're limited by time and space when I am not." There is an aspect of God that is unknowable because He exists outside the natural universe, and our limits to this natural universe prevents complete knowledge of God as a result.

vanir
12-31-2008, 08:51 PM
Once again you choose argumentative over collaborative behaviour Achilles, which is counterproductive to scientific extrapolation as well as bearing no semblence to an objective opinion.

Why pick apart posts and argue them? Would it not be far more evolved to choose an individual point and make a case? To focus attention in a progressive manner? One should keep in mind that to do so is a collaboration.

Do you wish to suggest you have no peers upon this subject material? Do you claim that apparently you have no peers here?

Regardless of your manner, I intend to handle this one point at a time and leave self evident results for peer review.
Qualify what precisely? The content of chapter three of the book of genesis?

You can find it here. Feel free to read it at your leisure. Please keep tally of how many times god asks a question of adam and/or eve. Then ask yourself why an being that possess omniscience would have to ask questions in the first place.

In the mean time, I'll begin preparing myself for the apologetic responses to this that will argue that god knew but was asking them in order to make them admit their shameful acts.
Please rephrase your contention more instructively. Assume we are not your conscience, but individuals whom require patient introduction to your point of view.

My request is not so difficult. This is the only statement you've made relative to the thread topic (and it might've been far more collaborative rather than confrontational with GTA:SWcity to have left out much other diatribe):
I concluded long ago that god was not omniscient after reading the book of genesis (chapter 3 specifically).
Here is the request for an extrapolation of your contention:
Whilst presented as an opinion, the nature of your debating with GTA:SWcity has made it necessary that I should ask you to qualify such a statement.

It is not an argument. We are not having a fight at the back of the locker room. Assume we are friends, agreeing with each other and you are explaining something. Walk with me a little. Let others walk with you a little, even when it comes to your obviously very personal mind.

It's a little weird that GTA:SWcity or anyone (much less me, lol) should have to be less self confident with our thoughts in order to be friends with you.
You were seriously expecting an apolegy for this behaviour?

Therefore again, I ask you to qualify your aforementioned statement in the interest of furthering an open information exchange. Please extrapolate in a patient and non-confrontational manner, you alluded as a scientist you should have no feelings about it, or anything else.

And the conclusion will be, as I have already foretold, that scientifically the subject materiel is inconclusive (read slowly: it-is-not-a-falsifiable-hypothesis). That what you have presented therefore is no more than an opinion based upon the contention of a fantasy. And why precisely is it foremost to that of GTA:SWcity?

You are asserting, if there was a divine God it is not omniscient. You scientifically killed your own argument at the start. By very definition, if there was a divine God, it is bound by no rules which includes...wait for it...logic.

Again, it is not a falsifiable hypothesis.

Didn't catch it?

It is not a falsifiable hypothesis (don't be so arrogant).

Achilles
12-31-2008, 09:35 PM
Once again you choose argumentative over collaborative behaviour Achilles, which is counterproductive to scientific extrapolation as well as bearing no semblence to an objective opinion.Opinions are subjective. That's why they are called "opinions" and not "facts". I hope that helps.

Why pick apart posts and argue them?Because that's what discussion forums are for.

Would it not be far more evolved to choose an individual point and make a case?Which I do.

To focus attention in a progressive manner?That's pretty subjective.

One should keep in mind that to do so is a collaboration.Indeed.

Do you wish to suggest you have no peers upon this subject material?Which subject material are you referring to specifically? Do I need to be peerless in order to know what I'm talking about? I don't believe that's a prerequisite.

Do you claim that apparently you have no peers here?Again, which subject?

Do you intend to offer something other than faux psychoanalysis at some point?

Regardless of your manner, I intend to handle this one point at a time and leave self evident results for peer review.Sounds great.

Please rephrase your contention more instructively. Assume we are not your conscience, but individuals whom require patient introduction to your point of view.My last post was quite instructive. I even provided a link. Everything you need is right there.

It is not an argument. We are not having a fight at the back of the locker room. Assume we are friends, agreeing with each other and you are explaining something. Walk with me a little. Let others walk with you a little, even when it comes to your obviously very personal mind.This seems more than a little hypocritical considering the extent you've gone to offer up a characture of who you think I am and what you think my motives are. Perhaps a little more "practicing what you preach" and a little less "preaching" would be beneficial here.

It's a little weird that GTA:SWcity or anyone (much less me, lol) should have to be less self confident with our thoughts in order to be friends with you.I suppose it's a good thing that I'm not here to make friends then, isn't it? :)

FWIW, I do have people here that I consider friends that do not agree with me. All I ask is a for a modicum of honesty.

You were seriously expecting an apolegy for this behaviour?:confused:

Therefore again, I ask you to qualify your aforementioned statement in the interest of furthering an open information exchange. Please extrapolate in a patient and non-confrontational manner, you alluded as a scientist you should have no feelings about it, or anything else.Feel free to go back and re-read the first part of post #72 at any time. It's all right there. If that doesn't answer your question, then please feel free to let me know.

And the conclusion will be, as I have already foretold, that scientifically the subject materiel is inconclusive (read slowly: it-is-not-a-falsifiable-hypothesis).That's a problem for the context of your argument, not for mine.

The god question isn't a scientific one, so please take your strawman elsewhere.

You are asserting, if there was a divine God it is not omniscient.I am asserting that there is no evidence for god and no reason to accept that he/she/it is omniscient. Even within playing within the confines of judeo-christian mythology, the argument for omniscience is weak, contradictory, or both.

Again, it is not a falsifiable hypothesis.And again, this is a strawman. It isn't a scientific question.

Didn't catch it?

It is not a falsifiable hypothesis (don't be so arrogant).How's that shoe fittin' for ya?

True_Avery
12-31-2008, 10:52 PM
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.

2 Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."

6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?"
"Yes, my son?" Abraham replied.
"The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"

8 Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.

9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.

12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."



23 Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare [a] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge [b] of all the earth do right?"

26 The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?"
"If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it."

29 Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?"
He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it."

30 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?"
He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."

31 Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?"
He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it."

32 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?"
He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."
If god was omniscience, then He wouldn't need Abraham to prove his loyalty. He would already know he is loyal. He also would not need Abraham to see how many righteous were in the city.

34 Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 35 Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the LORD was grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel.
Grieved?

What? He couldn't see what was coming?

1 Samuel said to Saul, "I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD. 2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy [a] everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' "
So much for omni-benevolence.

The evidence for omni-benevolence is contradictory at best. God supposedly is supposed to love its children, but has never really had a problem with bombing the crap out of entire cities.

In the end, the bible portrays god too much like a human father figure. God has many human aspects to his personality, because humans want something to relate to.

Even if it is the "word of god", its be skewed and biased towards human favor over the years.

vanir
01-02-2009, 12:40 AM
<a large mass of inordinate stupidity>
I am asserting that there is no evidence for god and no reason to accept that he/she/it is omniscient.

Okay you need to read this sentence over and over. Eventually the penny might drop about what the logic problem is with your entire tact and argument, but I doubt it. By your own admission, this is a fight for the sake of fighting and you haven't the slightest interest in right, wrong or strict correctness.

If god was omniscience, then He wouldn't need Abraham to prove his loyalty. He would already know he is loyal. He also would not need Abraham to see how many righteous were in the city.
Okay, firstly Avery, the Archbishop for the Anglican Church has publicly declared the Bible is a book of allegory, that it was never intended to be taken literally.
For example, "Then God said," may mean a feeling, or an intuition. I couldn't say, but perhaps a priest might elaborate upon this. There are scholarly priests as I understand it, sects within the Church.
Here is even an allegory within the allegory, by this reckoning. "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." Where what he means to say, is you are to be the offering, my son.
In this example, the boy's life was at stake for reading between the lines and knowing something was amiss. For you and I it is only our sense of honour which is at stake by calling some 90% of the world's population intensely misguided liars before fully appreciating their point of view, and contemplating the reasons for it.

But even where you take the Bible to be given literally, as many sects and some denominations such as Kabbalah, the passage describes an angel being convinced by the Lord of Abraham's loyalty. In keeping with the Kabbalah belief (and certain other denominations) this describes the independent nature of angelic forms, carried by the word of God (which normally human ears and minds have troubles with) and yet sapience unto themselves.

In the second passage where Abraham is speaking directly with God (though iirc it was in fact by proxy, through the angels sent to destroy Sodom and Gomorra-been a while but I had pretty good translations of early texts...this is one important consideration for biblical texts, translations and publishers agendas vary and so there are many versions, best is to use academic theologist references, there are many good theology centres based in Jerusalem of course). God is not asking how many righteous people are in Soddom. The angels, whom carry the Word of God (thus power of creation and destruction by definition) have come to destroy Soddom for its offence to the righteous. Abraham, a peaceful man does not wish to see any killing and argues for its survival. The angels challenge him to find any righteous people living within Soddom, they already know there aren't any (hence the decision), however will stave the assault for any number of righteous inhabitants that Abraham wishes to declare.

Grieved?

What? He couldn't see what was coming?
You're kidding, right? You've never had to do something you didn't prefer because it was best given the circumstances?

The evidence for omni-benevolence is contradictory at best. God supposedly is supposed to love its children, but has never really had a problem with bombing the crap out of entire cities.

In the end, the bible portrays god too much like a human father figure. God has many human aspects to his personality, because humans want something to relate to.

Even if it is the "word of god", its be skewed and biased towards human favor over the years.

According to Jerusalem based theologists the Old Testament was written in a style which reflected the sentiment of the day. They cite it is to be remembered it was written by human hands, under divine instruction perhaps but even then, no direct communication between human ears and the Word of God is generally possible (very rare exceptions involving superbeings who live centuries and yet aged terrifically by the experience...ahem :D

tk102
01-02-2009, 01:29 AM
Just for fun I'll regurgitate what I learned at Catholic high school.

Re: God's request of Isaac's sacrifice
If god was omniscience, then He wouldn't need Abraham to prove his loyalty. He would already know he is loyal. The counter-argument is that, yes, God knew exactly what would happen here. Be requesting this of Abraham and allowing him to demonstrate his devout faith, God not only made a role-model out of Abraham, but also demonstrating his own benevolence in stopping Abraham once his faith had been shown. This episode was not to test Abraham, it was to exalt him.

Re: Abraham's discussion about Sodom and Gomorrah
He also would not need Abraham to see how many righteous were in the city.Here is the flip-side of the Isaac story. Again, the counter-argument presumes that God of course knew there not even 10 people in the cities who were righteous. But now we have Abraham appearing as the merciful one. He questions whether God would save them all for fewer and fewer numbers, which allows God to show benevolence by saying he would. But now God shows his wrath instead of his mercy. His decision to eradicate the cities was based on the fact they were morally depraved rotten to the core. The implied justification here is that by keeping immorality in check, God was bestowing a blessing on mankind.

Now I don't have any argument regarding 1 Samuel 15. The books of Judges and Kings are all pretty damned bloody. :D

True_Avery
01-02-2009, 02:11 AM
Okay you need to read this sentence over and over. Eventually the penny might drop about what the logic problem is with your entire tact and argument, but I doubt it. By your own admission, this is a fight for the sake of fighting and you haven't the slightest interest in right, wrong or strict correctness.
Takes two to tango.

He's saying this is not a matter of right or wrong. You cannot quantify something as right or wrong if it is not a scientific quandary.

There is no proof that god exists. There is no proof to support the existence of one, and by extension no way to disprove it.

It is not something that is about being right or wrong. It is the problem that the question of if a god exists is an illogical one.

Thus, asking if something that cannot be confirmed to exist or not exist whether it knows everything is a brick wall question.

Least, that's what I summarize from Achille's posts in this thread. He can feel free to correct this.

Okay, firstly Avery, the Archbishop for the Anglican Church has publicly declared the Bible is a book of allegory, that it was never intended to be taken literally.
Umm... ok. What does that have to do with anything? The question of the thread is "Is god omniscience".

I presented some verses that I thought said otherwise in the context that we base god off of the bible.

If I cannot base god off of the bible, as you seem to be stating, then this thread has no ground to stand on.

I may as well try and answer the OP's question with a Harry Potter book. But, being that the thread has stated to be placed in the context of Jewish/christian belief, I saw it fit to look at the book concerning.

For example, "Then God said," may mean a feeling, or an intuition. I couldn't say, but perhaps a priest might elaborate upon this. There are scholarly priests as I understand it, sects within the Church.
I'm confused. How am I supposed to answer a question if we are basing the questions off of supposed emotions guessed in an allegory?

Here is even an allegory within the allegory, by this reckoning. "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." Where what he means to say, is you are to be the offering, my son.
In this example, the boy's life was at stake for reading between the lines and knowing something was amiss. For you and I it is only our sense of honour which is at stake by calling some 90% of the world's population intensely misguided liars before fully appreciating their point of view, and contemplating the reasons for it.
I'm not sure where you are coming from or going with this.

But even where you take the Bible to be given literally, as many sects and some denominations such as Kabbalah, the passage describes an angel being convinced by the Lord of Abraham's loyalty. In keeping with the Kabbalah belief (and certain other denominations) this describes the independent nature of angelic forms, carried by the word of God (which normally human ears and minds have troubles with) and yet sapience unto themselves.
I'm lost...

You're kidding, right? You've never had to do something you didn't prefer because it was best given the circumstances?
Yeah, but I'm a human capable of mistake.

God sent a dude to kill children and such. Helped his become King. Then, looking back and seeing what he had done and who he had put into power... grieved?

He's a being that can supposedly see and know all. Why grieve when your all knowing eye seems to know the good that would come out of it? If there was no good? Then god is kind of a jerk.

It is an awfully human mistake for an all powerful omniscience diety. And if it was not a mistake, then why grieve! He supposedly has the power of future and past sight and well as seeing everything and anything. It is not logical for a figure like that to grieve.

Thus why I bring his omniscience into question.

According to Jerusalem based theologists the Old Testament was written in a style which reflected the sentiment of the day. They cite it is to be remembered it was written by human hands, under divine instruction perhaps but even then, no direct communication between human ears and the Word of God is generally possible (very rare exceptions involving superbeings who live centuries and yet aged terrifically by the experience...ahem :D
Ok, it wasn't god then. But, at the same time, you call them allegory.

I don't know where you are coming from and personally have no idea how to answer much of your above. While your neutrality on the subject is admirable, it makes your words into a puzzle to decifer.

This episode was not to test Abraham, it was to exalt him.
Yeah, I sorta gathered that as well. Was worth a try though.

Here is the flip-side of the Isaac story. Again, the counter-argument presumes that God of course knew there not even 10 people in the cities who were righteous. But now we have Abraham appearing as the merciful one. He questions whether God would save them all for fewer and fewer numbers, which allows God to show benevolence by saying he would. But now God shows his wrath instead of his mercy. His decision to eradicate the cities was based on the fact they were morally depraved rotten to the core. The implied justification here is that by keeping immorality in check, God was bestowing a blessing on mankind.
Ah, gotcha.

Achilles
01-02-2009, 11:58 AM
Okay you need to read this sentence over and over. Eventually the penny might drop about what the logic problem is with your entire tact and argument, but I doubt it. By your own admission, this is a fight for the sake of fighting and you haven't the slightest interest in right, wrong or strict correctness.Not quite.

If the correct answer is "I don't know and neither can you because there is no answer", then there is a purpose behind debating those that claim "there is an answer, I know it, and you don't". That would seem to have something to do with "right, wrong, or strict correctness", wouldn't you agree?

Were you going to address my other points as well or are you conceding them?

Re: God's request of Isaac's sacrifice
The counter-argument is that, yes, God knew exactly what would happen here. Be requesting this of Abraham and allowing him to demonstrate his devout faith, God not only made a role-model out of Abraham, but also demonstrating his own benevolence in stopping Abraham once his faith had been shown. This episode was not to test Abraham, it was to exalt him.Wouldn't this type of behavior constitute child abuse today? Again, I find it interesting that that which we find to be psychological abuse of children by our standards equals benevolence by god's standards.

Re: Abraham's discussion about Sodom and Gomorrah
Here is the flip-side of the Isaac story. Again, the counter-argument presumes that God of course knew there not even 10 people in the cities who were righteous. But now we have Abraham appearing as the merciful one. He questions whether God would save them all for fewer and fewer numbers, which allows God to show benevolence by saying he would. But now God shows his wrath instead of his mercy. His decision to eradicate the cities was based on the fact they were morally depraved rotten to the core. The implied justification here is that by keeping immorality in check, God was bestowing a blessing on mankind.Indeed that is a formidable counter argument.

My question in this case (as it is in all cases where god sends one of "his people" in to either eradicate or lay the groundwork for the eradication of some "other" group) is, "why didn't god do something sooner?". He's timeless and all powerful, yet he only makes nice with this one group of people?

I realize the question at hand was omniscience, but I like to point out that the argument of one of god's alleged attributes always seems to come at the cost of another one of his alleged attributes.

Q
01-28-2009, 01:41 AM
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able, and willing?Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
My apologies for the threadcromancy, but I thought that it was worth pointing out that the only logical explanation for God's omnipotence, omniscience, and benevolence in spite of the existence of evil would be that, for some humanly unfathomable reason, evil is necessary.

Det. Bart Lasiter
01-28-2009, 01:45 AM
no evil, no bootstraps, only man

Q
01-28-2009, 01:46 AM
Are you saying that there is no such thing as evil? I do understand that the existence of good and evil is debatable.

Vaelastraz
01-28-2009, 10:18 AM
Aren't those contradictions more of a question as to whether we believe that god is bound by logic?

If god can do p and not p at the same time, then he can also be benevolent and malevolent at the same time.

Q
01-29-2009, 09:45 PM
That is an excellent point.

Vaelastraz
01-31-2009, 06:39 PM
You are not being sarcastic are you? :(

Samuel Dravis
02-01-2009, 03:45 AM
People generally accept that god is bound by logic because (to give one example) to do otherwise eliminates the possibility of coherent discussion about God's nature. This directly contradicts various parts of sacred texts and religious traditions, which love to say things like "God is good," etc. This may seem irrelevant to you, but it appears to me that if you throw out those texts/traditions then you're no longer talking about a specific religion's god. If you're not talking about a religion's god, then I can't help you; it's your own god and you can say whatever you like about it. If there are contradictions or "faults" in your god, it's because you allow them to exist.

In addition, it also can be said that anyone who says that God can do anything, even things against the "laws of logic", have failed to understand what kind of thing, exactly, those laws are. We give them the name "laws", but in fact they have little to do with laws in a judicial sense. You gave an example: can god be benevolent and malevolent at the same time? No - not because there is a limit to God's power, but because of a curiosity of human speech. There is simply no possibility in English of describing the same person with two opposite intentions with reference to a single third party in a given context. One could say that it's an artifact of our grammar that God is "bound" by logic; this wouldn't affect his ability to do anything any more than the possible descriptions of my actions affect my ability to act.

My advice is to leave the philosopher's gods to people who like to beat their heads against a wall...

mur'phon
02-01-2009, 07:38 AM
My advice is to leave the philosopher's gods to people who like to beat their heads against a wall...

We're kavarites, it's what we do best:D

Q
02-02-2009, 01:27 AM
You are not being sarcastic are you? :(
Not at all. Really. I don't believe that God is 100% benevolent. Justice never is. ;)

LadyRevan
02-02-2009, 03:00 AM
I think god is all knowing... I think he picks his battles in a sense though as he doesn't interfere with us in a larger sense. I think god merely watches us until we're ready to come back to him and at that point we are asked about things that we have done in our lives wether they be that of a sinner or of a saint.

But to answer this question in a whole sense, yes; yes I do think god is all knowing.

Vaelastraz
02-02-2009, 06:37 AM
People generally accept that god is bound by logic because (to give one example) to do otherwise eliminates the possibility of coherent discussion about God's nature. This directly contradicts various parts of sacred texts and religious traditions, which love to say things like "God is good," etc. This may seem irrelevant to you, but it appears to me that if you throw out those texts/traditions then you're no longer talking about a specific religion's god. If you're not talking about a religion's god, then I can't help you; it's your own god and you can say whatever you like about it. If there are contradictions or "faults" in your god, it's because you allow them to exist.
I agree with all of this..

In addition, it also can be said that anyone who says that God can do anything, even things against the "laws of logic", have failed to understand what kind of thing, exactly, those laws are. We give them the name "laws", but in fact they have little to do with laws in a judicial sense. You gave an example: can god be benevolent and malevolent at the same time? No - not because there is a limit to God's power, but because of a curiosity of human speech. There is simply no possibility in English of describing the same person with two opposite intentions with reference to a single third party in a given context.
Quite true.. that's the nature of logical contradictions though isn't it? They can't be true, they're defined to be false in all cases.
Can you doubt logic? Absolutely. Does it make any sense to do so? Not at all.

That's why I said that it's a question as to whether someone believes god is bound by logic. If someone holds the belief that logical contradictions do not apply to god you might as well stop arguing then and there, as you pointed out.

I think that's why most people will try to argue semantics, to turn the contradiction into something consistent.



My advice is to leave the philosopher's gods to people who like to beat their heads against a wall...
Well I'm into philosophy but I see your point. :D

Samuel Dravis
02-02-2009, 10:55 AM
Quite true.. that's the nature of logical contradictions though isn't it? They can't be true, they're defined to be false in all cases.
Can you doubt logic? Absolutely. Does it make any sense to do so? Not at all.

That's why I said that it's a question as to whether someone believes god is bound by logic. If someone holds the belief that logical contradictions do not apply to god you might as well stop arguing then and there, as you pointed out.My point was that God being "bound" by logic is a matter of description by language. It has nothing to do with any actual restriction on God's abilities to do anything. If someone were to say that contradictions (as in the example above) don't apply to God, they're demonstrating a misunderstanding of the proper grammatical use of "malevolent" or "benevolent". Either those words apply or they don't. If they don't, then don't use them. If they do, then in English only one can apply to a specific instance... otherwise:

...meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to words before them: 'God can' ... nonsense is nonsense, even if we speak it about God.

Jae Onasi
02-02-2009, 12:01 PM
Assumptions--God exists, God created and maintains the universe (and thus has the knowledge to do so).
Given the order found in the laws of science and nature, I think we can ascribe some level of understanding to God that He has organized the universe with certain rules and a certain amount of consistency in mind.

We can try to learn all that God knows, and I think the more we understand about the universe, the more we can appreciate just how exquisitely put together everything is. There is a practical limit to what we can learn just based on our anatomy. For instance, our anatomy and brain wiring doesn't allow us to see into the UV or IR ranges, so we have to either translate it into a mode we can see (e.g. night goggles converting IR into the visible light range, converting radio waves into something that's in our audible range), or we just have to learn about it intellectually without fully experiencing it. There are some things we might not be able to fully understand because we just don't have the brain pathways laid down for it. We are also bound by space and time. God does not have the space-time-anatomy-physiology limits we have. There is also no way of knowing if God is all-knowing unless we become all-knowing ourselves. We can't understand completely any possible limits on God without being omniscient ourselves, and that's not going to happen.
From a practical point of view, a being that can create time/space, an entire universe, and at least one world teeming with life, and hold it all together over billions of years, has to be pretty darn knowledgeable. Compared to our puny and limited understanding of life and the universe, God is in effect omniscient compared to us.

EnderWiggin
02-02-2009, 05:31 PM
Compared to our puny and limited understanding of life and the universe, God is in effect omniscient compared to us.
So your opinion is that he seems to be, but we can't be sure?

(Just for clarification's sake :) )

_EW_

Jae Onasi
02-06-2009, 06:48 PM
So your opinion is that he seems to be, but we can't be sure?

(Just for clarification's sake :) )

_EW_
We can't achieve the omniscience required to decide if God is omniscient or not. We can look at the entire universe and decide if that level of intelligence approaches infinity.

Samuel Dravis
02-06-2009, 08:54 PM
I was under the impression that it wasn't a scientific question?

Summa Theologica Question 14 Article 1. Whether there is knowledge?

Objection 1. It seems that in God there is not knowledge. For knowledge is a habit; and habit does not belong to God, since it is the mean between potentiality and act. Therefore knowledge is not in God.

Objection 2. Further, since science is about conclusions, it is a kind of knowledge caused by something else which is the knowledge of principles. But nothing is caused in God; therefore science is not in God.

Objection 3. Further, all knowledge is universal, or particular. But in God there is no universal or particular (3, 5). Therefore in God there is not knowledge.

On the contrary, The Apostle says, "O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God" (Romans 11:33).

I answer that, In God there exists the most perfect knowledge. To prove this, we must note that intelligent beings are distinguished from non-intelligent beings in that the latter possess only their own form; whereas the intelligent being is naturally adapted to have also the form of some other thing; for the idea of the thing known is in the knower. Hence it is manifest that the nature of a non-intelligent being is more contracted and limited; whereas the nature of intelligent beings has a greater amplitude and extension; therefore the Philosopher says (De Anima iii) that "the soul is in a sense all things." Now the contraction of the form comes from the matter. Hence, as we have said above (Question 7, Article 1) forms according as they are the more immaterial, approach more nearly to a kind of infinity. Therefore it is clear that the immateriality of a thing is the reason why it is cognitive; and according to the mode of immateriality is the mode of knowledge. Hence it is said in De Anima ii that plants do not know, because they are wholly material. But sense is cognitive because it can receive images free from matter, and the intellect is still further cognitive, because it is more separated from matter and unmixed, as said in De Anima iii. Since therefore God is in the highest degree of immateriality as stated above (Question 7, Article 1), it follows that He occupies the highest place in knowledge.

Reply to Objection 1. Because perfections flowing from God to creatures exist in a higher state in God Himself (4, 2), whenever a name taken from any created perfection is attributed to God, it must be separated in its signification from anything that belongs to that imperfect mode proper to creatures. Hence knowledge is not a quality of God, nor a habit; but substance and pure act (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01125b.htm).

Reply to Objection 2. Whatever is divided and multiplied in creatures exists in God simply and unitedly (13, 4). Now man has different kinds of knowledge, according to the different objects of His knowledge. He has "intelligence" as regards the knowledge of principles; he has "science" as regards knowledge of conclusions; he has "wisdom," according as he knows the highest cause; he has "counsel" or "prudence," according as he knows what is to be done. But God knows all these by one simple act of knowledge, as will be shown (7). Hence the simple knowledge of God can be named by all these names; in such a way, however, that there must be removed from each of them, so far as they enter into divine predication, everything that savors of imperfection; and everything that expresses perfection is to be retained in them. Hence it is said, "With Him is wisdom and strength, He hath counsel and understanding" ( Job 12:13).

Reply to Objection 3. Knowledge is according to the mode of the one who knows; for the thing known is in the knower according to the mode of the knower. Now since the mode of the divine essence is higher than that of creatures, divine knowledge does not exist in God after the mode of created knowledge, so as to be universal or particular, or habitual, or potential, or existing according to any such mode. Summa Theologica Question 14 Article 7. Whether the knowledge of God is discursive?

Objection 1. It seems that the knowledge of God is discursive. For the knowledge of God is not habitual knowledge, but actual knowledge. Now the Philosopher says (Topic. ii): "The habit of knowledge may regard many things at once; but actual understanding regards only one thing at a time." Therefore as God knows many things, Himself and others, as shown above (2,5), it seems that He does not understand all at once, but discourses from one to another.

Objection 2. Further, discursive knowledge is to know the effect through its cause. But God knows things through Himself; as an effect (is known) through its cause. Therefore His knowledge is discursive.

Objection 3. Further, God knows each creature more perfectly than we know it. But we know the effects in their created causes; and thus we go discursively from causes to things caused. Therefore it seems that the same applies to God.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. xv), "God does not see all things in their particularity or separately, as if He saw alternately here and there; but He sees all things together at once."

I answer that, In the divine knowledge there is no discursion; the proof of which is as follows. In our knowledge there is a twofold discursion: one is according to succession only, as when we have actually understood anything, we turn ourselves to understand something else; while the other mode of discursion is according to causality, as when through principles we arrive at the knowledge of conclusions. The first kind of discursion cannot belong to God. For many things, which we understand in succession if each is considered in itself, we understand simultaneously if we see them in some one thing; if, for instance, we understand the parts in the whole, or see different things in a mirror. Now God sees all things in one (thing), which is Himself. Therefore God sees all things together, and not successively. Likewise the second mode of discursion cannot be applied to God.

First, because this second mode of discursion presupposes the first mode; for whosoever proceeds from principles to conclusions does not consider both at once; secondly, because to discourse thus is to proceed from the known to the unknown. Hence it is manifest that when the first is known, the second is still unknown; and thus the second is known not in the first, but from the first. Now the term discursive reasoning is attained when the second is seen in the first, by resolving the effects into their causes; and then the discursion ceases. Hence as God sees His effects in Himself as their cause, His knowledge is not discursive.

Reply to Objection 1. Altogether there is only one act of understanding in itself, nevertheless many things may be understood in one (medium), as shown above.

Reply to Objection 2. God does not know by their cause, known, as it were previously, effects unknown; but He knows the effects in the cause; and hence His knowledge is not discursive, as was shown above.

Reply to Objection 3. God sees the effects of created causes in the causes themselves, much better than we can; but still not in such a manner that the knowledge of the effects is caused in Him by the knowledge of the created causes, as is the case with us; and hence His knowledge is not discursive.

EnderWiggin
02-06-2009, 10:15 PM
I was under the impression that it wasn't a scientific question?

Oh, bringing out the big guns, are you?
Don't you Saint Thomas Aquinas me, Sam :xp:

Just kidding. Good quotation, and a good point.

_EW_