On 1/12/2013 11:37 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 12:50 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net
On 1/12/2013 9:21 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 10:32 AM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com
On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 12:41 AM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com
> Please provide some reference showing almost all theists use that
definition of God [ a omnipotent omniscient being who created the
. I find it unlikely that most theists would incorporate every
That's true. Many theists, the more intelligent ones anyway, reject the
God but they become so in love with a word they play a silly and rather
cowardly game. If, as so many have, you redefine the word "God" to mean
power greater than myself" then I am a theist who firmly believes in God
because I believe that bulldozers exist. But if by "God" you mean a
super-human abilities then God is just a comic book superhero (or
and I am a agnostic about something like that actually existing
> It doesn't matter if 95% of theisms are ones you find fault with;
takes one correct theism to make atheism wrong, which is why I
think it is
an untenable and illogical position.
Obviously I can't refute every one of the tens of thousands of Gods
have invented over the eons,
It is not about refuting all of them. It is that maybe there are some you
believe in, if you knew more about them. Even one who has spent years
known human religions lacks knowledge about religions unknown to history,
or any of
the individually developed privately known religions, or religions of other
or civilizations on other planets. How can anyone presume to know enough
that they are all false?
but your statement assumes that if there is no hard evidence for or
theory then there is a 50% chance that it is correct and thus worthy of
consideration. And that is idiotic.
I never said there was a 50% probability, or that all theories are worthy of
serious consideration. I do find it absurd, however, to reject all
one has no evidence for or against them. Why not remain neutral until you
reason otherwise? Also, if you don't think 50% is a valid starting point,
you suggest is a good /prior probability/ to use in Bayesian inference when
lacks any evidence for or against a proposition?
> John said that he "just believes in one less god" than I do, but
refused to say what that one God was that I believed in but he
I don't believe in a omnipotent omniscient being that created the
I think you do.
No you don't. I've said before an omniscient being does not have the power
forget, and hence cannot be considered omnipotent. However, if you limit
words to refer to something else, like a universe (rather than to itself,
contradiction is created), then it may be possible to be both omniscient and
omnipotent in reference to that other thing.
Since you and I are both platonists, we agree that anything not ruled out
definition exists. So you should agree there are instances in the
where beings create vast simulations of entire universes. We humans have
played this role in creating relatively simple GoL universes. In the
the simulation, a being can know everything about it and simultaneously
complete control over it, even changing the laws or altering its natural
progression of the simulation.
As one who often writes simulations, I note that I *don't* know everything
them and the reason I create them is to find out something I don't know.
you may say that I could find it out, after the simulation has run - but
seem to be what the religious mean by omniscient since they include knowing
before they happen.
Time doesn't translate between universes. Consider two independent universes A, and B
each with inhabitants. For those inhabitants in universe A, you cannot say what time is
it in universe B, whether universe B even started or is it already over. Time only has
meaning in the context of existing within some universe. The same is true of the full
trace of your simulations execution. From our perspective there is no time, it is a
timeless object which we can inspect and one can know the beginning and end and all the
details in between.
If you believe everything with a consistent definition exists, then there
universe just like ours that was created by a being who knows everything
happens in it and has complete control to alter it in any way that being sees fit.
There is nothing inconsistent or impossible about this. So you have a choice:
either abandon platonism or abandon atheism. The two are incompatible.
If it's possible we live in a simulation, it's also possible we don't. So
see the incompatibility.
It doesn't matter which one we are in. If you accept Platonism then you by extension
accept these semi-omniscient, semi-omnipotent beings exist. When Atheism says they do not.
Also the question of which one we are in is ambiguous if you consider that multiple
instances of ourselves (with identical mind states) exist in such simulations. In what
sense are we not in them?
This is more easily demonstrable when you use other definitions of God,
when you identify the platonic plenitude with the Hindu's Brahman. You and
seem hell-bent on using a definition where God is an omniscient and
And beneficent and answers prayers. Other gods who may have created the
for amusement and who are not beneficent are possible. Gods who created
universe as a simulation to see how it turns out and who therefore never
it, deist gods are possible.
But many things are possible. I don't go around believing them just
Then you are not a Platonist.
A-theism doesn't mean believing there are no gods, it just means failing
believe there are gods (at least theist ones).
Do you agree or disagree with the stronger form of Atheism that rejects deist
so I offer the above example of the simulation hypothesis as an example more
fitting to your definition.
While on this subject, I have another question for you and Brent: Do you
an afterlife or immortality?
I think the evidence is against it.
What evidence is there against it?
People don't remember previous lives (and don't tell me about Bridey Murphy).
Consciousness is interrupted by a blow to the head or too much Jack Daniels - so it's not
likely it survives decay of the brain.
I see the following evidence for it:
Nearly all scientists would agree that the material identity is not important to
continuity of consciousness. Therefore any time the appropriate instantiation arises,
consciousness can continue. In an infinitely large and varied reality (Platonism, QM,
infinite hubble volume, or eternal inflation), our patterns continually reappear.
That would imply that copies of one's soul exist. But John defined souls as being
impossible to copy.
Just as you might find a certain string of digits appear infinitely often in the digits
of Pi. If consciousness is informational/computational, and no special properties are
required by the matter of the substrate,
But John contrasted soul with information. What definition are you using? You ask for
definitions and then you start making assertions apparently based on some definition you
then we may even be resurrected or reincarnated in entirely different universes. We can
therefore survive even the heat death of this universe.
And how will we know it is us? Will we remember this life? If not, I'd say
it's not us.
Immortality is given if consciousness is mechanistic and that reality is infinite in
time, extent, or variety. There are plenty of scientific theories suggesting both of
these requirements exist.
Is there any definition of "soul" you agree with?
That's a liberal theologians question: There's a word "soul" I'd like to use.
Please think of something it applies to so we can agree that it exists.
The word "energy" has existed for thousands of years, yet with each generation its
actual meaning has evolved through our greater understanding of the mechanics behind it.
Whereas "soul" has evolved to have no definite meaning at all - which is not doubt why
you wanted John and I to define it rather than defining it yourself or simply referring to
its (non-existent) common meaning.
It is the nature of progress for the meanings of words to change while the particular
words remain and survive through the newly evolved understanding. If we had to change
our vocabulary each time we learned something new about a concept we would find reading
past texts impossible.
I'd be happy to agree with any definition that captures common usage and is
definite. I think common usage equates soul with the basic character and
values of a person or other agent.
John provided a number of good elements to in his definition which both largely fits
with the existing usage and is scientifically justified.
It's a confusion of categories to say a definition is scientifically justified. And John
didn't define "soul" he just listed some attributes that he thought it should have.
"Only through ignorance and delusion do men indulge in the
dream that their souls are separate and self-existing
entities. Their heart still clings to Self. They are anxious
about heaven and they seek the pleasure of Self in heaven.
Thus they cannot see the bliss of righteousness of the
immortality of truth.' Selfish ideas appear in man's mind
due to his conception of Self and craving for existence."
--- Siddhartha Gautama
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