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Jyhani

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Joined 07/2010

he brought nothing new to the table. Is that a prerequisite? Then Dawkins should have destroyed him right? Instead he seemed rather weak. Doesn't make me want to read his book at all. Same goes for any debate he participates in. Not convincing.



Read the book. After that you find him very convincing.

Posted over 6 years ago

tHeBoYmUsTdIe

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1530 posts
Joined 01/2010

@ improva

Godel is very interesting. Is that his incompleteness theorem?

Posted over 6 years ago

tHeBoYmUsTdIe

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While studying Godel's theorem I came up with an interesting complication. It is essentially a more complex version of St. Anselm's ontological argument (A greatest conceivable being is greater in existence than in conception only and so must exist actually). The main problem with this argument is that it presupposes the existence of god to prove the existence of god...making it tautological.

Godel's argument is as follows: IF it is possible for a rational omniscient being to exist THEN necessarily a rational omniscient being exists.

I think i found two complications

1a. How can an omniscient being be rational? If he already knows everything there is to know there can be no assumptions and no logic to his thinking, there can only be conclusions. In fact, there is no thinking at all, only absolute knowledge. It also follows that this being cannot change his mind or weigh options.

This is quite strange...it makes us as humans more experiential than god---how can this be? How can we do something that god can't?

Also it appears that omniscience is incompatible with omnipotence.

so,

1b. If it impossible for an omniscient being to be rational, then the premise is false and the argument fails.

and

2. The argument is internally flawed. It says essentially that if it's possible that something exists then it exists...which seems absurd on the face of it. The logical extrapolation of the argument is that everything exists. (Which might actually be true, if there is an infinite amount of universes-this seems to be supported by recent cosmological and scientific knowledge).


I might be missing something here, but that seems to be the gist of it.

Posted over 6 years ago

maglame

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Godel's argument is as follows: IF it is possible for a rational omniscient being to exist THEN necessarily a rational omniscient being exists.


That seems like a strong argument for atheism.

Posted over 6 years ago

nawhead

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2485 posts
Joined 10/2009

That is what I pointed out with my ninja edit.

From Gödel it follow that is more to the universe than science can explain. That is
a scientific fact. There are truths that cannot be proved or disproved. Let us
investigate some of our options for picking a God with this in mind.

Option 1: God is a part of our scientific reality and he can communicate with us.
- This means that science can reproduce God. He becomes a product of man. A valid
option.

Option 2: God is a part of our scientific reality and he cannot communicate with
us.
- May or may not be true. A valid option.

Option 3: God is not a part of our scientific reality and he can communicate with
us.
- This violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. This statement is false.

Option 4: God is not a part of our reality and he cannot communicate with us.
- May or may not be true. A valid option.

So it seems to me that we have to pick between options 1, 2, 4 or to claim that
logic is false. I'm not sure what it means to say that logic is false. The very word
is seems to lose it's meaning.


improva, this is a much better way to break down the possibilities than the simple dichotomy of "Messiah X was right and god does exist or else Messiah X was insane and god doesn't exist" used by religious apologetics.

we could then use Occam's Razor to do some probability analysis.

it seems to me the simplest explanation using known facts is that we created god. men create stories all the time. we do it for many reasons, but the reasons are not important, the fact is we do make up stories. this is irrefutable.

so it would seem to me Option 1 is most likely. we have been talking with god; we have been talking with ourselves. "Messiah X was not insane, but he was not right, and god does not exist."

of course, Occam's Razor is just a heuristic and not a law. using it doesn't prove anything.

and it doesn't account for expected value, only probability. and if we calculate for EV of an afterlife (Pascal's Wager), we would prefer Option 2 or 4. but then we have the dilemma that not all religions have an afterlife, and which particular deity from history to choose.

but i may be getting ahead of myself. how would you analyze between these options?

Posted over 6 years ago

improva

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@ improva

Godel is very interesting. Is that his incompleteness theorem?



In any axiomatic mathematical system there are propositions that cannot be proved or disproved within the axioms of the system.

Posted over 6 years ago

nawhead

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1a. How can an omniscient being be rational? If he already knows everything there is to know there can be no assumptions and no logic to his thinking, there can only be conclusions. In fact, there is no thinking at all, only absolute knowledge. It also follows that this being cannot change his mind or weigh options.

This is quite strange...it makes us as humans more experiential than god---how can this be? How can we do something that god can't?

Also it appears that omniscience is incompatible with omnipotence.


tHeBoYmUsTdIe, these types of thought exercises to assume the mind of god in order to disprove god is a red herring. god is a supernatural being. it does not obey the laws of the natural world. a completely valid counter-arugument is that god is everything at all times, thus it can be rational and irrational at the same time. the concept itself is "beyond our imagination," thus trying to use natural logic to disprove the supernatural is futile.

we're just falling into the trap of trying to disprove a non-scientific claim.

that's why i think it's much more productive to take it down to an empirical level. i can logically disprove bad, weak, empirical evidence. i can question the inconsistency of god's intent to know its creations while being unable to differentiate itself from known fictions.

Posted over 6 years ago

tHeBoYmUsTdIe

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1530 posts
Joined 01/2010

tHeBoYmUsTdIe, these types of thought exercises to assume the mind of god in order to disprove god is a red herring. god is a supernatural being. it does not obey the laws of the natural world. a completely valid counter-arugument is that god is everything at all times, thus it can be rational and irrational at the same time. the concept itself is "beyond our imagination," thus trying to use natural logic to disprove the supernatural is futile.

that's why i think it's much more productive to take it down to an empirical level. i can logically disprove bad, weak, empirical evidence. i can question the inconsistency of god's intent to know its creations while being unable to differentiate itself from known fictions.



Umm, I was speaking specifically of Godel's ontological proof. He's the one who did the assuming.

Posted over 6 years ago

nawhead

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Umm, I was speaking specifically of Godel's ontological proof. He's the one who did the assuming.


yes, you were making an argument to disprove Godel's assumption. you tried to disprove the possibility of god.

Posted over 6 years ago

tHeBoYmUsTdIe

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yes, you were making an argument to disprove Godel's assumption. you tried to disprove the possibility of god.



I didn't try to disprove anything, I just raised a possible problem with his assumption. Improva asked me what I thought of it so I looked into it and that came up for me.

I don't really care that god is an unscientific claim, god is a metaphysical discussion and is still interesting to think about and debate philosophically.

One thing that was raised in an earlier post that I have been thinking about a lot is whether or not 'everything' has a natural explanation. I'm not sure that it does.

Apparently Godel proved that this is the case, with his incompleteness proof.

EDIT: He didn't prove everything was not explainable naturally--he proved that mathematics is not ultimately self-consistent and thus that the universe cannot be self-sustaining. As near as I can tell it must either be infinite (as in part of a multiverse) or supported by something external to it.

Posted over 6 years ago

nawhead

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sorry for attacking you or insinuating that you can't think about this stuff. it is heady stuff. i only wanted to point out that this line of reasoning will usually backfire in a debate with theists as it plays into assuming god or trying to disprove god as the starting point (even if it was unintentional), which is impossible as we keep saying. since there doesn't seem to be any theists around... i guess it's OK. Smile

Posted over 6 years ago

tHeBoYmUsTdIe

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1530 posts
Joined 01/2010

sorry for attacking you or insinuating that you can't think about this stuff. it is heady stuff, i only wanted to point out that this line of reasoning will usually backfire in a debate with theists as it plays into assuming god or trying to disprove god as the starting point (even if it was unintentional), which is impossible as we keep saying. since there doesn't seem to be any theists around... i guess it's OK. Smile




You should look up Godels proof. It is pure mathematics and it comes to some very interesting conclusions---mainly that logic and science are not self-consistent because they are a part of the system they are attempting to describe. If there is a limit to logic and science then by definition there is something greater than logic and science that support both.

Either there is something beyond science and logic that does explain it, namely god, or an infinite set of possibilities. There seem to be no other options.

Posted over 6 years ago

Orestto

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1554 posts
Joined 07/2009

Don't see how a God's existence or lack thereof should really matter in a practical sense.

Love all! FREE HUGS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8oAGvFxevw

Posted over 6 years ago

nawhead

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Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter

i knew Gödel sounded familiar! this book has been on my bedside for over 7 years now. haven't been able to get past the first few chapters. well, now is as good a time as any i guess.

Posted over 6 years ago

maglame

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1015 posts
Joined 04/2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8oAGvFxevw


And I was just one forum post away from never wasting my time on this song....

Posted over 6 years ago




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