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screwtape

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You're making an inscrutable claim.  If you expect me to scrutinize my beliefs based off it, then I need a way to scrutinize the claim.

I have faith and my heart tells me this is so. 

This same problem you voice here – assuming it is valid in our conversation – is the exact problem we have with every single thing anyone has ever said about gods. God loves us.  Impossible to discern.  God is omnipotent.  We have no way to tell.  God is omniscient.  We have no way to tell.  God exists.  We have no way to tell.

But I’m not agreeing you have a valid point here.  I do not think you do.  I disagree with you that my claims are inscrutable.  You agreed with me that being omnimax means having no limitations. Then you turned around and suggested mothballs could be the stumbling block to the omnimax Screwtape since the merely potent and conscient Screwtape cannot surmount the problem.  So, either I have misunderstood what you’ve written or your definition of omnimax is not my definition of omnimax. 

And in doing this, you have said it is impossible for you to say whether your god could create moth balls or cars that would not kill people.  Is that the case?  Is your version of god not omnipotent or omniscient or particularly benevolent?

I linked you to 6 different definitions of omnipotent.  So simply saying "definition of omnipotent" uncited is not sufficient to tell me how you are approaching omnipotence.


I did.  In fact, I gave my definition before you linked wiki.  In case you missed it, it was here:
That is what omnipotence means.  The ability to do literally anything.

If that is not acceptable, will this do?
http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/omnipotent
Quote
Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful.

Neither definition is comprehensive or thorough, but I have pointed out that I do not consider it the ability to do logically impossible things or realize paradoxes.

Of the definitions you linked, I think the first one fits with what I am talking about best.

No, I'm putting monumental limits on you.  You're saying that if you were omnipotent, you would do X.  In other words, you're a being that's not omnipotent and not omniscient viewing the universe from an extremely limited perspective who is making inscrutable claims about how you'd do things differently.

Wait, wait, wait. Is this a question of perspective or one of ability?  As in, if I were omnimax I might not want to make non-poisonous mothballs?  If so, that’s very different.  Maybe I would see things differently, maybe my personality and desires would be different.  Maybe not.  But who cares? 

The question here is not what I would be like as omnimax.  The question here is accountability and responsibility.  If some being – any being - is omnimax, how responsible is it for its creation?  If omnimax Mooby creates a brick, leaves it on the sidewalk, and Joe Shmo trips over it later, how does omnimax Mooby escape responsibility?  Did he not know Joe would trip over it if he put it there?  Was there no choice among the infinity of possible choices before him that would have resulted in less suffering?  In the end I think there are only two possible conclusions – omnimax is responsible for everything or omnimax does not exist.  That’s it.


If you mass produce a car that violates the laws of physics, then that means that the laws of physics do not hold, which means that the laws of physics aren't actually the laws of physics.  Congrats, by inventing your car you've made it impossible for humans to science.

Each car that rolls off my assembly line is endowed with a miracle by Omnimax Me.  I would have given my technicians the power to do those miracles (a miracle in itself!), but I didn't want them to get swelled heads.  They are just paid laborers, not apostles.

And so what if I’ve made it impossible for humans to do science?  Is that my obligation as Omnimax Me?  To make science possible?  How dare you try to put Omnimax Me in a box.

I don’t think that would make science impossible anyway.  You see, the laws of physics would still hold, except when I make exceptions.  Just like you say god does in your next quote. No one else can make them.  Only Omnimax Me.  So if someone else wanted to make a car, they would be making a standard four wheeled death-machine like the ones we currently go around in, using the usual laws of physics.  Physics would only be inscrutable if they tried to scroot the mystical powers of my cars.

Miracles are single violations of natural laws that therefore defy scientific investigation.

And so are each of my cars. 

The car you propose would be part of the natural world,

This is a terrible argument and holds no water.  Many of the objects of miracles are part of the natural world.  The sun that allegedly stopped overhead for a day in Joshua is also a part of the natural world.  All the sick people who were allegedly miraculously healed were part of the natural world.  The young jewish lady who allegedly got knocked up by a ghost was part of the natural world.

Also, that is inscrutable.  You cannot say that my cars would be part of the natural world because you cannot know what Omnipotent Me would be capable of.  They could sit astride both worlds.  They could be ghost cars.  You don’t know.  If you cannot drive, quit attempting to do so from the backseat.

I don't believe He's going to make physics-defying cars a commonplace occurrence.

That is why I would be a much more believable and popular god.  Evidence of me would be abundant and positive.  I would lead my own parades, not appear on toast or leave my symbol on goldfish crackers.  I’d make people smarter, so they wouldn’t have to believe in me or rely on me to make their mothballs non-toxic.

Why would you say existing outside time and space are impossible and nonsense?

Because it’s an idiotic idea that has never been coherently explained by any xian, living or dead.  But that’s not the point.  I was making a point about differentiating between that preposterous xian position and the idea that it is impossible to think an omnimax being could surmount the problem of moths chewing on your good suits. 

As for moth larvae, I'm talking about the specific species that does eat clothes, and I'm talking on a rather small-scale Year Of Hell type example.

Not the point.  The point is those species could be different without invoking Burritos So Hot Even God Cannot Eat Them type of demands. 

I don’t know what Year Of Hell is.


I think you skipped over something important that might help the discussion.  This quote:
Quote
4. A deity is able to do anything that corresponds with its omniscience and therefore with its worldplan.

I get the feeling this is more at the crux of what we are talking about, but I am not sure.  Would you like to expand on it? 


However, you do not have an omnipotent perspective which is why I'm questioning how exactly you know things would be better if they were different.  If you want to play back-seat driver to the universe, I'd like to see at least some indication you know how to drive.

Here’s the thing - I am actually omnimax.  And I could explain it.  But you are not omnimax, and so, as you’ve said, you could not comprehend even if I told you and so you are unqualified to evaluate my driving skillz.

While that is hysterically funny and ironic, there is a point in there.

Your comments are inscrutable claims from someone who doesn't believe in the concepts he's commenting on, and who is making claims about it that don't reflect what believers actually believe.

I’m pretty sure you have at some point run into xians who believe the things I am portraying here.  I am not making up strawman argument, Moo.

So the standards were applied retroactively?
I don’t get where this is going and I get the impression we are not on the same page.  If you have a point, kindly make it.  Otherwise, I’m just going to let this piece of the conversation wait by the side of the road.

In what way does it beg the question?  Leibniz does not go on to conclude that God is good and omnipotent.

No.  He starts off assuming an omnipotent and good god and concludes a “best possible world”.  His assumption begs the question, where he should have made a demonstration. 

So the described being has:
- Potential to know A will occur (omniscience)
- Potential to prevent A from happening (omnipotence)

So what forces the being to prevent A from happening? 

Two possibilities:

Nothing forces it.  It is a matter of will.  Which means said being is responsible for A happening.

Or

Omniscience.  If it knows it will happen, then it must happen.  Which means said being is not responsible, but also is not omnipotent. The being is a slave to fate and has no choices.

It is as I said up top - either omnimax is responsible for everything, or it is not omnimax.

After all, do you do everything you have the potential to do?

Potential is a huge topic.  You could argue everyone has tons of potential they don’t live up to.  Or you could argue people actually have little potential and everyone lives up to it.  That is more than I want to get into here.   

Correct.  But again, my point is that we already can accept programmers who anticipate both positive and negative outcomes and program anyways;

What do you mean “accept”?  Whether the person is a proficient programmer or not, they are responsible for their program and what it does. We excuse them sometimes for making errors, because, heck, they’re just human.  And we certainly do not praise them and justify their errors.  Though, sometimes they get fired. 

why then must we logically not accept programmers who perfectly anticipate both positive and negative outcomes and program anyways?

If a programmer anticipated an error and did not avoid it, that would be a problem.  There is no excuse for the error.  He would be completely responsible for encoding an error intentionally.  Which is exactly what we are talking about with yhwh.
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