Author Topic: One logical reason god might not heal amputees  (Read 13126 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« on: August 30, 2011, 06:19:33 PM »
It's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but at least it's logically sound:

If a limb is separated from a body, there are now two pieces of that body.  Which piece should be regenerated?  Take, for example, a leg that is amputated.  Should we expect god to grow a new body on the leg, or a new leg on the body?  Or both?  Since god is all-powerful, there's no reason for him to prefer one solution over the other - clearly he is capable of doing either without difficulty.  The choice is purely arbitrary.  Since god can't rationally choose one outcome over the other, he cannot actualize either of them.

This is commonly known as the Buridan's ass paradox.  I enjoy mild amusement in equating god with an ass, so sue me :)

Some might argue that if god were to regenerate a new body on the amputated leg that would result in two people when previously there was only one.  However, I will retort that many species of animals reproduce in exactly this way. 

What is relevant here is that there exists a logical paradox which prevents god from healing amputees, so asking why he doesn't is moot.





« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 06:22:06 PM by tschmidt »

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2011, 06:23:47 PM »
Of course, this argument does not speak to those situations where a person is missing a limb from birth, or when the severed limb is completely destroyed, but hey, at least it's a start for you theists out there...run with it!


Offline curiousgirl

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 886
  • Darwins +22/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Inquisitive agnostic atheist
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2011, 06:58:09 PM »
Of course, this argument does not speak to those situations where a person is missing a limb from birth, or when the severed limb is completely destroyed, but hey, at least it's a start for you theists out there...run with it!

IMHO, a start for the theists would be providing some scientific evidence for the existence of a God before I would even listen to their attempts at arguing why God won't heal amputees. If they try to argue that God won't heal amputees for reason x, they have already assumed that God exists without proving or arguing that. They are making an implicit claim that God exists, so the burden of proof is on them. Just my two cents.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 08:49:50 PM »
Well, I'm kinda new here and in my welcome thread Jetson said:

I'm not too much on philosophy, but I can enjoy a romp in the imagination every now and then.  And you'll notice that many of the discussions here start out by assuming someone's god exists, in order to keep the conversation going, and perhaps make someone think.

So, I was just trying to go ahead with the assumption that "god" (whatever that is) already exists and postulate a legitimate reason why he doesn't heal amputees.  The theists seem to have trouble coming up with sound arguments, so I'm just trying to help them out :)

I certainly agree with you that theists are also responsible for providing evidence for their deity, but that's not what this thread is really about.  What do you think about my argument for WWGHA?


Offline jetson

  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 7276
  • Darwins +170/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Meet George Jetson!
    • Jet Blog
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 08:52:26 PM »
Hey, it's at least as good as any other explanation so far.  I was thinking that maybe the part that still had the head (and brain) would get priority, but then again, maybe it's the heart?  Where is the soul stored - everywhere?  I don't know...


Edit:  damn spell correction on my iPad.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 09:39:02 PM by jetson »

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 09:02:09 PM »
I'm not sure it matters where the "soul" is housed.  The argument really hinges on the "all-powerful" attribute of god.  See, if he/she/it is really all-powerful, that means that everything is equally possible and easy-to-accomplish.

Think about an infinite number line.  Imagine that every point on that line represents a different amount of power.  Now, let's say that regenerating a new leg on a body is relatively difficult.  We'll assign it the number '50' (although it doesn't really matter what number we assign as you'll soon realize).  Regenerating a body on a leg is probably more difficult because it requires creating a new "soul", a brain, more body parts, etc.  Let's assign it a difficulty rating of '1500' (again, the actual number doesn't matter much, bear with me).

Now, on an infinte number line, '50' is just as far from infinity as '1500' is.  So for a person with infinite power, neither is actually more difficult or problematic to achieve.  It's only when you are dealing in the realm of *finite* power that these difficulty ratings mean anything.

So even if a new soul has to be created to regenerate a new body onto an amputated leg that really is no more or less difficult for god to achieve than regrowing a new leg onto a body.  Truly this is a Buridan's ass paradox which will prevent a rational god from moving in either direction, yes?

« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 09:04:07 PM by tschmidt »

Offline jetson

  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 7276
  • Darwins +170/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Meet George Jetson!
    • Jet Blog
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 09:45:28 PM »
I've never heard of the Buridan's ass paradox.  At the risk of looking foolish, can I just say that God has the power to pull pretty much anything out of his ass?

I do see the issue though.  For an infinitely powerful god, nothing is more or less difficult than anything else.  Makes sense to me, but I doubt that s theist could get their head around it.  You see, the theist is so highly prone to SPAG, that the gods they create are not as infinitely powerful as we non-believers theorize.  In other words, the typical theist applies man's nature and laws to the god it believes in, instead of the other way around.  Unfortunately, most don't recognize this distinction.

God acts exactly as man imagines he will, and with all of man's attributes - only more powerful.

Along a similar vein, I've asked a number of theists what God could possibly need.  I usually get a blank stare for more than a few seconds.  It is so difficult for many believers to imagine that a perfect being cannot possibly be perfect if it has needs.  Thus, the perfect being that many seem to believe cannot logically exist as described, because they insist on this God having needs.

Damn, you got me talking again...stop it.

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 10:11:51 PM »
I've never heard of the Buridan's ass paradox.  At the risk of looking foolish, can I just say that God has the power to pull pretty much anything out of his ass?

Well, the Buridan's ass paradox is a pretty simple one.  Basically, it goes like this:

Suppose there is an ass that is both hungry and thirsty, to an equal degree.  There is a pile of hay to one side and a trough of water to the other side.  Neither takes more effort to reach.  Since the ass is equally hungry and thirsty, then there is no rational reason for him to turn one way instead of the other.  The unfortunate conclusion is that the ass neither eats nor drinks and eventually dies of a combination of hunger & thirst.

This is similar to (although not the same as) the timing and deadlock issues we see with electronic components and computer programs that are by nature deterministic.  When the circuitry cannot reliably determine the appropriate course of action it halts.  For example, in the case of an input voltage exactly halfway between a 1 and a 0, the comparator may not reliably determine the appropriate state.

Quote
<snip> ...the typical theist applies man's nature and laws to the god it believes in, instead of the other way around.  Unfortunately, most don't recognize this distinction.

God acts exactly as man imagines he will, and with all of man's attributes - only more powerful.

I certainly can see your point.  I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that a product of man's imagination will act exactly like a man...it's practically a tautology.  Hopefully there are a few theists out there who are smarter than that.

Quote
Along a similar vein, I've asked a number of theists what God could possibly need.  I usually get a blank stare for more than a few seconds.  It is so difficult for many believers to imagine that a perfect being cannot possibly be perfect if it has needs.  Thus, the perfect being that many seem to believe cannot logically exist as described, because they insist on this God having needs.

Based on my research, god has a lot of needs.  Here are a few off the top of my head:

1  The blood of goats, sheep, calves, and doves
2  Glory
3  Prayers
4  Figs (even if they aren't in season)
5  First-born children
6  Confessions
7  Praise
8  Obedience
9  Money

I guess #9 is the one that seems strangest to me, given that god doesn't really participate in our global economy.  Perhaps he should enter negotiations with the Chinese :)

Quote
Damn, you got me talking again...stop it.

My apologies, good sir!



Offline curiousgirl

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 886
  • Darwins +22/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Inquisitive agnostic atheist
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 10:45:03 PM »
So, I was just trying to go ahead with the assumption that "god" (whatever that is) already exists and postulate a legitimate reason why he doesn't heal amputees.  The theists seem to have trouble coming up with sound arguments, so I'm just trying to help them out :)

Why help the theists out?

Quote
I certainly agree with you that theists are also responsible for providing evidence for their deity, but that's not what this thread is really about.  What do you think about my argument for WWGHA?

I think that even if we assume that there is a god, I cannot necessarily agree with your argument because of the way that you portray "god" within it:

Since god is all-powerful, there's no reason for him to prefer one solution over the other - clearly he is capable of doing either without difficulty.  The choice is purely arbitrary. Since god can't rationally choose one outcome over the other, he cannot actualize either of them.

You call god all-powerful within your argument. Then, you argue that he cannot do something. If you say that god cannot do something (my bold above), that implies that your "god" is not all-powerful. IMO, this seems contradictory to me. If god is capable of "doing either without difficulty", as you say, and he is "all-powerful" as you say, then why couldn't he just use his power to figure out which outcome to choose?
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 11:25:55 PM »
Why help the theists out?

I dunno...I guess I just figured they weren't doing so well at helping themselves. 

Quote
I think that even if we assume that there is a god, I cannot necessarily agree with your argument because of the way that you portray "god" within it:

Since god is all-powerful, there's no reason for him to prefer one solution over the other - clearly he is capable of doing either without difficulty.  The choice is purely arbitrary. Since god can't rationally choose one outcome over the other, he cannot actualize either of them.

You call god all-powerful within your argument. Then, you argue that he cannot do something. If you say that god cannot do something (my bold above), that implies that your "god" is not all-powerful. IMO, this seems contradictory to me. If god is capable of "doing either without difficulty", as you say, and he is "all-powerful" as you say, then why couldn't he just use his power to figure out which outcome to choose?

OK, I guess I also need to stipulate that god is perfect.  He is all-powerful, and he is also perfect.  So he cannot do anything that is irrational.  That doesn't really limit his power in any way, since expecting him to behave irrationally would be...well...irrational.  Sorry for moving the goalposts on you, but I think we are headed towards a nice tight refutation of the WWGHA argument.  Just have to iron out these niggling details :)




Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1291
  • Darwins +406/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 11:42:42 PM »
Well, the Buridan's ass paradox is a pretty simple one.  Basically, it goes like this:

Suppose there is an ass that is both hungry and thirsty, to an equal degree.  There is a pile of hay to one side and a trough of water to the other side.  Neither takes more effort to reach.  Since the ass is equally hungry and thirsty, then there is no rational reason for him to turn one way instead of the other.  The unfortunate conclusion is that the ass neither eats nor drinks and eventually dies of a combination of hunger & thirst.

Whelp.  There's one ass that won't be carrying any more Buridans.  *rimshot*

Anyway, I hate to rain on your parade, but it would a trivial undertaking for God to simply use the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics to regenerate the limb from the body in one bifurcation of the Cosmos, and regenerate the body from the limb in another.

This is similar to (although not the same as) the timing and deadlock issues we see with electronic components and computer programs that are by nature deterministic.  When the circuitry cannot reliably determine the appropriate course of action it halts.  For example, in the case of an input voltage exactly halfway between a 1 and a 0, the comparator may not reliably determine the appropriate state.

So in other words, Captain Kirk could talk God to death:

Kirk: Almighty God--you would agree with me that a cat has--one more tail--than no cat, would you not?

God: WORK-ING! *rattling SFX, blinking lights*  YES.

Kirk: Would! You agree that--no cat has eight tails?

God: WORK-ING! *rattling SFX, blinking lights*  YES.

Kirk: Therefore--eeeevery cat! Has!  Nine tails!

God: *rattling SFX, blinking lights, sparks, curliques of smoke*  ERR-OR!  ERR-OR!  DOES NOT COMPUTE!  DOES NOT COMPUUUUUUUUTE!  *explodes*

Spock: *raises eyebrow*  Fascinating.

McCoy: Dammit Jim!  I'm a doctor, not a theologian, but...God is dead, Jim.

Spock: An accurate assessment, more eloquently stated by Nietsche.

McCoy: Oh, shut up, you pointy-eared hobgoblin!
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline curiousgirl

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 886
  • Darwins +22/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Inquisitive agnostic atheist
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 11:47:15 PM »
So he cannot do anything that is irrational.  That doesn't really limit his power in any way, since expecting him to behave irrationally would be...well...irrational. 

I agree that a perfect god would be rational. However:

Quote
Since god is all-powerful, there's no reason for him to prefer one solution over the other - clearly he is capable of doing either without difficulty.

Why would you say that "there's no reason for him to prefer one solution over the other"? How would you know?

Are we talking about bible god here? If so, why would Jesus (god the son) choose to heal the blind, lepers, etc 2000 years ago (which indicates preference since Jesus healed in specific ways such as touching a leper and saying "Be clean" in Luke 5:13) and god seems not to do that in the present?

So, if you are defending bible god, you would have to explain why he healed (anyone, let alone amputees) before and does not seem to do that now, considering that you are trying to give a reason for him not healing amputees.

If you are defending bible god, please explain why in Luke 22:51 Jesus (as god the son) healed the man whose ear Peter chopped off, but no longer does that.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline curiousgirl

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 886
  • Darwins +22/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Inquisitive agnostic atheist
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2011, 11:53:52 PM »
So he cannot do anything that is irrational.  That doesn't really limit his power in any way, since expecting him to behave irrationally would be...well...irrational. 

I agree that a perfect god would be rational. However:

Quote
Since god is all-powerful, there's no reason for him to prefer one solution over the other - clearly he is capable of doing either without difficulty.

Why would you say that "there's no reason for him to prefer one solution over the other"? How would you know?

Are we talking about bible god here? If so, why would Jesus (god the son) choose to heal the blind, lepers, etc 2000 years ago (which indicates preference since Jesus healed in specific ways such as touching a leper and saying "Be clean" in Luke 5:13) and god seems not to do that in the present?

So, if you are defending bible god, you would have to explain why he healed (anyone, let alone amputees) before and does not seem to do that now, considering that you are trying to give a reason for him not healing amputees.

If you are defending bible god, please explain why in Luke 22:51 Jesus (as god the son) healed the man whose ear Peter chopped off, but no longer does that.

Also, if you support bible god, yet you claim that he cannot rationally choose a healing solution, how do you explain the healings of Jesus?

EDIT: Added a question
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2011, 12:12:17 AM »
Since god is all-powerful, there's no reason for him to prefer one solution over the other - clearly he is capable of doing either without difficulty.
Why would you say that "there's no reason for him to prefer one solution over the other"? How would you know?
Well I thought my earlier response to Jetson cleared that up.  If god is all-powerful, then any rational course of action is equally easy to accomplish.  In the case of amputees, it's just as easy for him/her/it to graft a new body onto a severed leg as to graft a new leg onto a body.  If neither choice is more rational than the other, he/she/it cannot do either, and so does neither.  That would be the expected outcome given a deterministic and rational being. 

Quote
Are we talking about bible god here? If so, why would Jesus (god the son) choose to heal the blind, lepers, etc 2000 years ago (which indicates preference since Jesus healed in specific ways such as touching a leper and saying "Be clean" in Luke 5:13) and god seems not to do that in the present?

So, if you are defending bible god, you would have to explain why he healed (anyone, let alone amputees) before and does not seem to do that now, considering that you are trying to give a reason for him not healing amputees.
Well I suppose I am defending "bible god" if you consider the god of the bible to be perfect and all-powerful, which most christians do.  I don't know why jesus chose to heal the blind and lepers 2000 years ago - I haven't formed any hypothesis about that because I've never been asked that question before.  The question before us is why god doesn't heal amputees and that's what I'm trying to answer, using the standard definition of god and the additional requirement (often overlooked by christians) that the answer make logical sense. 

Quote
If you are defending bible god, please explain why in Luke 22:51 Jesus (as god the son) healed the man whose ear Peter chopped off, but no longer does that.

I really don't know, but it's an excellent question.  In fact it may be the downfall of my theory.  Here's how it might go down:

Assume for the sake of argument that god decided to attach an ear to the man so that he could proselytize more effectively to that man.  Attaching a man to the ear would give Jesus an additional person to proselytize to, but at the expense of the first man, who wouldn't be able to hear him without an ear.  So again we have a zero-sum game...attach an ear to the man or a man to the ear?  Neither choice is more rational than the other...Buridan's ass is rearing it's ugly head.

I'm sorry I can't be more helpful...this is just a new hypothesis I am exploring and I haven't really thought out all the possibilities yet.  That's why I need people like you to ask the hard questions :)

Perhaps if there were other factors at work then god could overcome the impasse because one choice would be more rational than the other.  I can't think what those factors would be though because I'm not really familiar with the story in Luke.





« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 12:15:01 AM by tschmidt »

Offline curiousgirl

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 886
  • Darwins +22/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Inquisitive agnostic atheist
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2011, 12:32:43 AM »

I really don't know, but it's an excellent question.  In fact it may be the downfall of my theory.  Here's how it might go down:

Assume for the sake of argument that god decided to attach an ear to the man so that he could proselytize more effectively to that man.  Attaching a man to the ear would give Jesus an additional person to proselytize to, but at the expense of the first man, who wouldn't be able to hear him without an ear.  So again we have a zero-sum game...attach an ear to the man or a man to the ear?  Neither choice is more rational than the other...Buridan's ass is rearing it's ugly head.

Tschmidt, the text in Luke 22:51 is the following:

Quote
But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him.

What I am trying to say is that, since you are trying to defend bible god, I need an explanation as to why Jesus (as god the son) chose a healing solution (touching the man's ear and growing it back onto him rather than growing a new man on the ear). According to your argument, if he were rational, he should not have been able to do this.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2011, 12:35:18 AM »
Hey Curiousgirl,

Wow your previous post really got me thinking.  I see you have posted again while I was typing this, but I'm not sure it matters because basically I am conceding the point and making a completely different claim now. 

Now I actually think I have developed a new proof that god cannot do anything at all that effects the material world. 

Let's just take the Buridan's ass paradox and apply it to more than just amputees... 

Really, if god is all-powerfull and perfect, and then we add to it the assumption that events in this world are an expression of his will, then really he cannot take any action at all.  Because at any juncture where he must decide between multiple possible ways of achieving his will, he will be at an impasse that will prevent him from selecting one course of action over another.  So the only way god could ever do anything given these circumstances would be if A) Everything was predetermined in such a way that god could not make choices, i.e. he is not all-powerfull and the events that take place in the world are not an expression of his will  or B)  God sometimes makes decisions that aren't rational. 

If the theist argues that the situation never arises that there are multiple ways for god to achieve his will, then baiscally you are at #A, because if god never has to make choices then his "life" if just as predetermined as our own and he doesn't have any more free will than we do.

Any thoughts?  I know that this is a radical departure from my earlier posts in the thread, but that's why I said this is just a new idea I'm kicking around.  Funny how all things seem to lead back to the no-god hypothesis as the most likely one though, huh?

Offline curiousgirl

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 886
  • Darwins +22/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Inquisitive agnostic atheist
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2011, 12:56:53 AM »
Funny how all things seem to lead back to the no-god hypothesis as the most likely one though, huh?

After reading your last post, I would have to agree with you there.  :)

Anyway, I think your new argument is interesting, but I'm sure if you try using it against a theist with a bad case of SPAG, they might say that god's will is based on the best outcome for the believer (Father knows best, and he loves me), which they would argue is the most "logical" outcome since it revolves around them.  :o

Glad you're back on this (atheist) side of the fence!  ;)
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2011, 01:38:24 AM »
Glad you're back on this (atheist) side of the fence!  ;)
I've never really been on the other side...I just like thinking about things, trying out different arguments, looking at things "as if" I were on the other side...basically just trying people's patience by playing devil's advocate.

I've seen the acronym SPAG before on this forum, but I don't really understand it.  Can you elaborate?


Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2011, 01:43:49 AM »
Also, the argument is not decided by outcomes.  The outcome is already determined...the impasse is reached when there is more than one way to achieve a certain outcome.

Whatever outcome god wants to achieve, if there are multiple ways to achieve that outcome, then he cannot act as a rational agent because he is all-powerful and all ways of achieving the outcome are equally easy to produce.  So no particular course of action is more rational than any other.


Offline jetson

  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 7276
  • Darwins +170/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Meet George Jetson!
    • Jet Blog
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2011, 06:05:56 AM »
SPAG - Self Projection as God.

In a nutshell, God is whatever the believer thinks it is.

Others can elaborate, and there is a thread somewhere...but I'm on my way to work!

Offline curiousgirl

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 886
  • Darwins +22/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • Inquisitive agnostic atheist
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2011, 09:13:14 AM »
Whatever outcome god wants to achieve, if there are multiple ways to achieve that outcome, then he cannot act as a rational agent because he is all-powerful and all ways of achieving the outcome are equally easy to produce.  So no particular course of action is more rational than any other.

Yes, I got that part. I was mocking the irrationality of theists in my earlier post, when I put up a silly "argument" for them. I was not being serious.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline Add Homonym

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2723
  • Darwins +221/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • I can haz jeezusburgerâ„¢
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2011, 09:19:37 AM »
Also, the argument is not decided by outcomes.  The outcome is already determined...the impasse is reached when there is more than one way to achieve a certain outcome.

Whatever outcome god wants to achieve, if there are multiple ways to achieve that outcome, then he cannot act as a rational agent because he is all-powerful and all ways of achieving the outcome are equally easy to produce.  So no particular course of action is more rational than any other.

To your original question: God would not heal a leg, because a leg is not Christian, and cannot pray.

If God has multiple choices, he could always use the multiverse. That way he can do evil stuff as well.

Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Historicity

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2350
  • Darwins +80/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • (Rama, avatar of Vishnu)
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2011, 10:16:03 AM »
God is a blind, mad, idiot who bubbles and blasphemes at the center of all infinity.

Hail, Azathoth!

Cthulhu fhtagn.

Offline Avatar Of Belial

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 499
  • Darwins +30/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm not an Evil person; I just act like one!
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2011, 11:33:01 AM »
Also, the argument is not decided by outcomes.  The outcome is already determined...the impasse is reached when there is more than one way to achieve a certain outcome.

So why not do all ways. Since he is all-powerfull, it is just as easy as only doing one, but has a greater effect towards his purpose.

(In other words, the logical course of action, given a man with no ear, and an ear with no man, is to attach a man to the ear and an ear to the man. You now have two men who are fully capable of listening to you for the same amount of effort.)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 11:36:05 AM by Avatar Of Belial »
"You play make-believe every day of your life, and yet you have no concept of 'imagination'."
I do not have "faith" in science. I have expectations of science. "Faith" in something is an unfounded assertion, whereas reasonable expectations require a precedent.

Offline hypagoga

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 59
  • Darwins +1/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2011, 01:09:04 PM »
God is a blind, mad, idiot who bubbles and blasphemes at the center of all infinity.

Hail, Azathoth!

Cthulhu fhtagn.


Did Nyarlathotep tell you that?

ETA. Or did you look it up on cthuugle? :)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 01:16:47 PM by hypagoga »

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2011, 09:22:23 PM »
To your original question: God would not heal a leg, because a leg is not Christian, and cannot pray.

If God has multiple choices, he could always use the multiverse. That way he can do evil stuff as well.

An excellent point that I'm ashamed I hadn't considered.  Doubtless, god heals many amputees in other universes, then uses his amputee army to force his will upon others and commit vile atrocities against poor atheists.

And here I was thinking he was just incapable of making decisions.  Wow I guess I underestimated him  :-[

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2011, 09:32:48 PM »
So why not do all ways. Since he is all-powerfull, it is just as easy as only doing one, but has a greater effect towards his purpose.

(In other words, the logical course of action, given a man with no ear, and an ear with no man, is to attach a man to the ear and an ear to the man. You now have two men who are fully capable of listening to you for the same amount of effort.)

Yeah, I sort of alluded to that earlier but didn't really elaborate on it when CuriousGirl and I were talking about Jesus healing the guy's ear.  Jesus's motivation was obvious - he wanted to prosyletize.  Of course, by taking both actions he would have two people to prosyletize to instead of just one and that would be the most rational course of action for an all-powerful being.

Since that is not what jesus did, I think it is safe to say that if the bible story is true then jesus acted irrationally.

Thanks for setting me straight!  Funny how this thread started out as an argument *for* god but has somehow turned into an argument *against* god.  I guess now I know how theists feel when they come on here :)


 

Offline tschmidt

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2011, 09:37:39 PM »
Did Nyarlathotep tell you that?

OMG that is so funny!  I used to have a girlfriend back when Gmail first came online and you had to get an invite to join.  I set up an account as nyarlothotep@gmail.com and invited her.  She joined gmail as dumuzid@gmail.com.  We aren't together anymore, but good memories...thanks!


Offline Revival

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • WWGHA Member
Re: One logical reason god might not heal amputees
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2011, 03:26:19 PM »
He doesn't heal amputees right now because it would be a very powerful prove of his existence, and he wants us to have faith on him, in the Bible it says Jesus healed an amputee.

God bless you all, I will pray for you really hard, and try to explain the best I can why you are mistaken, hopefully you will understand the TRUTH.