First, I think we need to set some ground rules (and this is for everyone in this thread). It is totally unfair and mean spirited for you guys to use my words against me. As a mock-theist I am to be given a wide latitude and plenty of wiggle room.
You get as much wriggle room as the next theist, atheist, mock-theist, stamp collector or non-stamp collector.
If you persist in this I will be forced to play my trump card. Don't make me do it.
Ah, typical "theist".
Why aren't you coming at us with your best argument from the start? Why hold off with some trump card, I presume for some "gotcha" moment?
God's happiness is of no real interest to me. I misspoke earlier when bringing up happiness as happiness is (as has been pointed out) a dependent and subjective emotion. Perhaps the plan for the universe is too maximize well-being . . . eventually.
It's of interest to me and that's why I asked. To refuse to engage with at least an attempt to answer that question is to dodge the question.
It doesn't matter if you change maximum happiness to well-being, maximum jealousy or the best possible tasting strawberry - the concept still holds and the question remains as to why god needs to bring forth a universe in order to achieve this when it has already been achieved via his existence alone.
God is not constrained by his choices as they were his choices to begin with.
No, you're missing the point. The point is no choices are ever necessary. There are no holds barred for god - his playing field has no perimeter fence. However, it was you
that stated god has to follow natural laws, so it follows that those natural laws already existed. Now you are saying that they were god's choices to begin with. We call that shifting the goalposts.
I suggest that you either stick with god having to follow these natural laws or make these natural laws redundant because they are laws god put there anyway. If you go with the latter, then you must concede that god could've made those laws however he damn well liked, and that they cease to be laws but random choices god made on a whim.
If I make up a game I can set the rules however I wish and then modify them whenever I wish. While I am choosing to play by the rules I am constrained by them but only in as much as I wish to be. ie . . .
Pam: Rolls a 5
Ataraxia: Why do you move forward when you roll a six but backwards when you roll a five?
Pam: Because those are the rules I made up.
Ataraxia: But that makes no sense. You just had to move backwards.
Ataraxia: So you couldn't have invented the game.
That's not my contention. My contention is that god is constrained by the concept of rules/laws.
I have already answered the "tweaking" question but I will try again. I am not using your definitions of omnimax. I am, instead proposing a Functionally Omnimax God. I believe too much has been made of the terms omniscient and omnipotent. We can't even actually grasp the full implications of those words.
I haven't really defined what I mean by omnimax. I've heard theists in the past use defnitions that allude to "as powerful as possible" or "to know all that is possible to know". I'm happy to stick to such definitions instead of "can do anything" or "knows everything".
Think of God as a baker. In the beginning there was no cake and flatness was on the face of the counter. Then, in the first five minutes God said "Let there be a bowl" and the bowl was placed on the counter. Into the bowl God added the flour, eggs, sugar, and milk. And so ended the first 5 minutes.
Ah, right, so if we follow your analogy, god already had something to work with - the counter and its flat face. He needs this in order for the bowl to be placed somewhere. I'll take this to be analogous to the natural laws he needs to adhere to...... which already exist, leaving god unnecessary for the existence of nature.
God in this case is the God of the cake. There are no other Gods for the cake but him. In his omniscience God decides whether to make angel food or chocolate. He is omniscient to the cake in that he knows what ingredients will be added and when as well as when the cake will be finished.
Based on what I said above, you'll see that I totally disagree. You may say he is the god of the cake, but I say the counter is the god of god, just like the natural laws are if he has to follow them. Why then, do you say this is god when it is held to ransom by other external factors. Surely, that which is top of the tree - that which isn't contingent on anything else - is what god is supposed to be, not some weedy sycophant to counters and natural laws?
Look, all WE have is this universe. All WE can know about is a very very very very small fraction of this universe.
How do you know that we can only know about a small fraction of the universe? If that is the case, then it smacks of confirmation bias when you invoke a god to explain the universe as a whole.
I do agree that all we have is this universe to perceive, therefore anything posited as outside of that is imperceptible, unfalsifiable and not worth mind wanking over.
Who are WE to criticize or doubt God? Who are WE to question his plan when we can only perceive the tiniest fraction of its design.
Apparently, WE are the ones who god gave critical, doubtful and sceptical faculties to, so for it somehow feel it should be exempt from our use of these is rather contradictory. And again, if we take your repeated assertion of perceiving a tiny fraction of "design", then there is no reason to invoke something for which we can't perceive - that being the universe as a whole.
Then there's the word "design". What does design imply? Design takes planning, it means to invent something based on what you have available to you. What you have available to you is what constrains
you. If god is constrained by laws external to him that he has to follow, then the laws are more akin to a god. If it is god that makes up these laws, then it isn't design - it is something that is indistinguishable from randomness, and if god appears random then he has no control, so why call it god?
Why call him God? Because he is.
Who's "him". I didn't know we were questioning who was god, but the concept of god.
I must say, you're doing quite a good job of mimicking a theist. It's difficult to not dodge questions and use confirmation bias when arguing for something irrational isn't it?