The Instigator
Cogito-ergo-sum
Pro (for)
Losing
16 Points
The Contender
Anacharsis
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

Does being Omni-------- make your god fallible?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/27/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,275 times Debate No: 11886
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (32)
Votes (9)

 

Cogito-ergo-sum

Pro

This is one case I have against the religious who claim God to be the truth and without any error ever placed as his.

This is an excerpt from an e-mail I sent to a friend.

'I think I have a few arguments of my own I would like to see them tackle; my main one being the 3-big-O's. I have never understood how saying God is Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent make him good, they are all sophism's.

Omniscient - Knowing everything...where to begin, if God knows all, and I am a product of God, it stands to reason that anything I can think and theorise stems from his higher intelligence (mine being nothing but a speck comparatively). If that is the case, I put forth the idea that to know everything comes with some plot holes in the theory. I presuppose that that to know every answer to 'every' question connotes that there must be an unanswerable question. Such a question must exist due to deity-worshippers claiming their chosen god knows everything. Then it collapses in on itself, why doesn't your god know the answer to the unanswerable question?

Omnipresent - God is ubiquitous? Doesn't work either. If God is everywhere, then there is no where he is not. If he is a universal in terms of locale then he is not everywhere, he is in one place which reversed happens to mean everywhere. It is comparable in terms of opposites. If good triumphed over evil entirely and evil was no more, what would happen to goodness? It would cease to be, 'cause what are you being good in comparison to?

Omnipotent - the old idea is - Could God create a rock so heavy even God couldn't lift it? This is just a plus one game, it yields no fruit for an answer. Weight of rock - + 1, God's strength - + 1 etc etc etc - it doesn't achieve anything. Also links back to Omniscience, if God knows all, but God is all powerful it stands to reason that God doesn't know his own limits.'

Please step up if you think I am wrong, and we shall see where we go.
Anacharsis

Con

Thank you for posing this debate, Cogito-ergo-sum. I am sure I am being foolish in accepting, but as I have not yet had the opportunity to engage in a formal debate I'll get that out of the way here.

If I understand the proposition correctly, it seems that Pro has not demanded a proof of God's existence, but merely posed that the commonly attributed characteristics of "God", omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence are sufficient to demonstrate logical inconsistencies in common conceptions of "God". Further, he has clarified through the comments section that he specifically finds inconsistencies between these three attributes and the infallibility attributed to God. So, really the debate is about these four attributes being logically incompatible.

While it isn't directly germane to the points I hope to make, I'll explain that my reason for putting "God" in quotes is really to remind myself that using such a term kind of begs the question of what this entity is beyond the limited set of attributes we are considering for this debate.

I will assume that he does not believe in God's existence based on what he has posted, though his profile omits that information. I point this out to reinforce the observation that my burden as Con is not to demonstrate that God does exist, but only to show that attributing God with these four characteristics does not in itself create any logical problem for a concept of "God". Pro has not made an assertion of God's non-existence the center of his resolution; merely an assertion of logical inconsistency of the four attributes.

Moreover, Pro has not stated a specific concept of God that he wishes to debunk, but (from the comments) "aimed at the majority monotheisms that dominate." The majority where? Is there a majority? Christianity, fairly dominant in the countries where we each live is not completely united in how they conceive of God. Judaism, I believe, differs from Christianity in significant details about what they believe God is like. Within Christianity and Islam there are also some sects with some very different ideas. Coptic Christians? Sufi Muslims? One might consider these as fringe groups, but closer to home the overall image of God is somewhat different under such mainstream groups as Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Presbyterians and what may seem like subtle or insignificant doctrinal details to an outsider may have profound implications within a given paradigm. One would naturally include Judaism as a founding basis for much of Christian and Muslim theology, however Sikhism has significantly more followers worldwide by all measures that I can find. Shall we include that?

I would like to introduce the following definition from Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary:
infallible
1 : incapable of error : unerring
2 : not liable to mislead, deceive, or disappoint : certain
3 : incapable of error in defining doctrines touching faith or morals

While Pro has hinted at the direction his arguments may take, he has failed so far to really state why omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence conflict with infallibility in a coherent way. So, I will leave this aside for now merely pointing out that it is burden to demonstrate that it is so. As his resolution was posited as a question, I will assert that there is no conflict and leave him to fulfill his burden.

I will give a brief statement on each of the four noted attributes, while leaving it to later rounds to develop my own arguments further once I have seen how Pro intends to try satisfying his burden.

God is omniscient. This is by definition. It seems permissible to argue thusly, since I don't actually have to show that God does exist, merely that there is no contradiction between omniscience and the other three attributes. God certainly has the ability to determine the state of anything in existence at any time. Further, God knows all of the things that have ever existed, will exist at some point, has any probability of existing or can even be imagined to exist. Pro presupposes, "that to know every answer to 'every' question connotes that there must be an unanswerable question." This is a novel argument to me and I will be interested to see how he might demonstrate such a theory.

God is omnipresent. To be honest, all of the explanations about this that I have heard or seen from a Christian point of view have puzzled me as well and I consider it a very weak point in the depiction of God in most theologies; which is not to say that there is any conflict with any of the other three attributes. It may be a severely flawed picture, but still be internally consistent at least as far as the four attributes are concerned. Also, various theologies differ in their reasoning on how God can be omnipresent. Sikhism, for example, asserts that nothing exists that is not God; that wherever one could go or imagine going, one would still be within God. Pro likens omnipresence to a perceived logical inconsistency in an argument from evil. The analogy seems fairly weak and we shall see if he chooses to develop this point.

God is omnipotent. As Pro notes, the seeming paradox of the unmovable rock is a red herring. According to Pro, "if God knows all, but God is all powerful it stands to reason that God doesn't know his own limits." The logical fallacy here should be patently obvious. "If God is all-knowing, then he must know his own limitations, but yet you say he is not limited," the argument might go. Maybe we should ask when God will stop beating his wife; it's the same kind of fallacy of presumption known as the complex question, a subtle from of false dilemma.

The resolution is not affirmed.
Debate Round No. 1
Cogito-ergo-sum

Pro

Thanks to Con for taking up the debate: as per mentioned in the comments section, I am new to this and the resolution is unclear.

Con is correct. I do not want Con to divulge any higher knowledge he may possess as to the likeliness of "God" being real or attesting to "His" craftsmanship with regards to the Universe. I am an agnostic and feel that scepticism is healthy in discourse regarding "God".

'Moreover, Pro has not stated a specific concept of God that he wishes to debunk, but (from the comments) "aimed at the majority monotheism's that dominate." The majority where? Is there a majority? Christianity, fairly dominant in the countries where we each live is not completely united in how they conceive of God. Judaism, I believe, differs from Christianity in significant details about what they believe God is like. Within Christianity and Islam there are also some sects with some very different ideas. Coptic Christians? Sufi Muslims? One might consider these as fringe groups, but closer to home the overall image of God is somewhat different under such mainstream groups as Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Presbyterians and what may seem like subtle or insignificant doctrinal details to an outsider may have profound implications within a given paradigm. One would naturally include Judaism as a founding basis for much of Christian and Muslim theology'
Con has attempted here use a fallacy of division argument (or form thereof) as his main point of contention over "aimed at the monotheism's that dominate" And as Con mentions - 'Within Christianity and Islam there are also some sects with some very different ideas.' - by taking my statement regarding major monotheisms and then using sects, or even sub-sects, within religious groups as an argument you overlook that to be a sect you're still a part of the whole and thusly share some common ground as a starting point of origin.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

To expand on this point in the opposite direction Con does not display how much individualism he takes into account, if every sect is to be taken into account, then is each member of every sect to be counted as a unique view and thusly alien to the person on the pew/prayer mat next to him/her?

'However Sikhism has significantly more followers worldwide by all measures that I can find'
As per the below link provided Sikhism falls seventh on the list.
(http://en.wikipedia.org...)

In riposte to Con's Merriam-Webster's definition
Main Entry: fal�li�ble
Pronunciation: \ˈfa-lə-bəlFunction: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin fallibilis, from Latin fallere
Date: 15th century
1 : liable to be erroneous
2 : capable of making a mistake
-What I intend to prove that "God" is.

'While Pro has hinted at the direction his arguments may take, he has failed so far to really state why omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence conflict with infallibility in a coherent way.'

They do not conflict with infallibility but prove it in "God". Maybe a written faux pas on Con's part.

'Pro presupposes, "that to know every answer to 'every' question connotes that there must be an unanswerable question." This is a novel argument to me and I will be interested to see how he might demonstrate such a theory.' - I shall be begin by citing Con, specifically the last part of this statement – ‘has any probability of existing or can even be imagined to exist.'

This is justification of my point in my original address to Con (Round 1 paragraph regarding omniscience)

I will again cite myself as written in the comments section on this debate page

'How does it follow that there is a question that can not be answered?' - 3. Mathematics
a. A quantity capable of assuming any of a set of values.
This can be used as a template if infinitely knowing everything means knowing of every possible variable and category of question - the unanswerable question would be a part of that.' - If we take the quantity as 'infinity' and it is capable of assuming a set of values (this being all of them, since it is infinite [coupled with Con's assertion of ' has any probability of existing or can even be imagined to exist.']) the unanswerable question is one of the variables.

‘Sikhism, for example, asserts that nothing exists that is not God; that wherever one could go or imagine going, one would still be within God.'

I would like to contest this point and the point of omnipresence as a logical inconsistency due to the principles of geographical hodology – being able to determine a course from a current location of move to another location; can not be done if you occupy all places.

Fallacy of Absolute Location – ‘Absolute Location is a term which has no real meaning, since all locations must be expressed relative to something else.' - Gersmehl, P., 2008, Teaching Geography, Second Edition, page 60

‘Pro likens omnipresence to a perceived logical inconsistency in an argument from evil. The analogy seems fairly weak and we shall see if he chooses to develop this point.'

May voters indeed cast against me if they deem it to be a weak argument, but the ad hoc to the above statement from Con can be explained as thus -

The good vs. evil argument I put forward was to display the nature of opposites. One cannot exist without the other, as given their nature as opposites.

Where I am vs. Where I am Not – Sentient beings know where they are based on an understanding of their own dimensions and the space they occupy, and also the space they wish to move to and to then occupy by perambulating, swimming, flying etc.

As a side note to the omnipresent argument, does Con wish to adhere to the notion that the universe is shaped thusly? -http://www.uweb.ucsb.edu...

Or is Con sticking to the stance of Sikhism in that – ‘A key distinctive feature of Sikhism is a non-anthropomorphic concept of God, to the extent that one can interpret God as the Universe itself.' - http://en.wikipedia.org... paragraph 2.
This would pose a problem to Con as I am arguing against the major monotheisms in which the nature of man is stated to be in the image of "God".

‘As Pro notes, the seeming paradox of the unmovable rock is a red herring.'
Is Con claiming I am petitio principii on this point? It is a statement grounded in reason. If Con were to pursue the point of the possibility of omnipotence in "God" then a guide to it would be to use Ockham's Razor – ‘Don't multiply entities beyond necessity'. "God" would simply have to be powerful enough, wouldn't He?

The unmovable rock paradox still stands, it is not a red herring, and it does not take the topic off on a tangent, but is in fact the topic at hand. This is a very sophistic stance taken by Con.

Again, my thanks to Con for being up for the debate.
Anacharsis

Con

On the question of sects, I won't to make out that we should consider "each member of every sect to be counted as a unique view and thusly alien to the person on the pew/prayer mat next to him/her?" We shouldn't have to address each individual variation in thinking or even the array of fringe sects within Christianity. I just want to home in on which specific theology we are discussing. Likewise, my suggestion that a Sikh view is one example that might fit within "the majority monotheism's that dominate" isn't an effort to open up the entire world of beliefs to this debate, but to see if there's a specific theology you are attempting to debunk. I won't argue whether Sikhism is 5th, 7th or 100th on the list, but note only that its followers are more numerous than those of Judaism, which one would naturally include in the discussion as a basis for the theology of Christianity and Islam. Perhaps I should just take it that Pro is really just questioning the logical basis of Abrahamic religions as the religions with which he is most familiar. Is that how you wished to pose the resolution?

As the original Aramaic, Hebrew & Greek texts, in the case of Judaism & Christianity, Arabic in the case of Islam, have been translated & interpreted in many ways it is handy to know what interpretation might be applied. As we rely on language not only to communicate, but to conceptualize these issues in our own heads, particularly when we are discussing such a mystical concept as omnipresence it is helpful to be aware of the variety of interpretation that exists. I really don't want to focus on semantics. But the internal logic of a system of beliefs is hard to pull apart. To do so in any sensible way requires a firm grasp of how the original author may have intended the meaning from the context of the culture he was in as well as how our modern reader might be trying to apply a concept obtained from an imperfect translation. Without derailing the debate into a discussion about what translation to use or how many people believe exactly what, I ask only that if Pro wishes to illustrate examples of how, e.g. Christianity, views omnipotence that he cite an authoritative source.

I accept Pro's definition of fallible

On my suggestion that our debate might be framed as whether "omniscience, omnipresence & omnipotence conflict with infallibility", Pro reposts that, "They do not conflict with infallibility but prove it in 'God'." I acknowledge that there is a bit of difference in these formulations & I look forward to Pro demonstrating this proof.

I apologize for suggesting the unmovable rock argument was a red herring. Reading Con's statement, "This is just a plus one game, it yields no fruit for an answer. Weight of rock - + 1, God's strength - + 1 etc etc etc - it doesn't achieve anything." I took it that he was acknowledging that the argument doesn't achieve anything. I don't think it fails from begging the question, but rather includes a false dilemma, presuming there are only 2 possibilities. Try this resolution. A thing is only movable relative to other things, as you note concerning geographic hodology. Even if God couldn't move some rock, he could move the entire universe around it, achieving the same thing & failing to make the rock unmovable. But if the rock were made to fill all locations there would be nothing relative to which it could be moved. God could then shrink the rock, making it movable again without having failed to make it completely immovable. This kind of logic still falls, however, to some problems in trying to make God follow human logic as I will elucidate shortly.

@Pro - "I would like to contest this point and the point of omnipresence as a logical inconsistency due to the principles of geographical hodology – being able to determine a course from a current location of move to another location; can not be done if you occupy all places." And again, citing a teacher of geography, "Absolute Location is a term which has no real meaning, since all locations must be expressed relative to something else." True; a thing can only move relative to other things. Do you suggest that this is a deficiency of God?

Pro suggests that since the concept of absolute location has been shown to be meaningless and "absolute location" is equivalent to saying "omnipresent", that by extension "omnipresent" is also a meaningless term. Theologists and religious apologists don't use the term "absolute location" & geographers don't use the term "omnipresence" for a good reason. They are not equivalent. They seem similar, but one relates to a human endeavor to locate persons & objects in physical space & the other is a mystical concept that attempts to make something said to be infinite to be more conceivable in human terms.

The general argument I will make against all such arguments is that religious apologists have come up with all kinds of different interpretations of what it means to be omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient & infallible & how these may be harmonized in thinking. As a short simple example, Wikipedia cites a few interpretations of omnipresence here http://bit.ly..., some perceived problems associated with these & how different thinkers have worked around them. IE, for each such argument, apologists for whatever religion you may focus on will redefine what is meant. While in logic, we consider such a tactic to be an equivocation not lending itself to construction of rational arguments, in religion it is taken rather differently. While all theistic religions do claim at least a bit of knowledge about God concerning some basic attributes, they all also clearly state that God is ultimately unknowable. A brief search on the string "bible god unknowable" turns up quite a list for discussion (http://bit.ly...). The issue is not that believers want to cling to crazy beliefs in spite of well reasoned logic, it is rather a belief that if our logic and understanding fail to apprehend God, the problem lies with us rather than God. Far from viewing these equivocations as logical fallacies pointing up some error in our belief in God, we view them as limitations in language and logic.

You may be thinking "Aha! Now I've got you. You're admitting to equivocation and an inability to demonstrate God through logic." However, your original question was "Does being Omni-------- make your god fallible?" And the answer is still no. The need to employ words, limited in their ability to convey numinous realities, to communicate only shows language & human beings to be fallible. And ultimately, if we determine that being omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent "prove" logically this being we are calling "God" to be fallible, we will only have demonstrated the fallibility of our concept of God. It doesn't affect the actual God existing in reality, only the concept, which achieves nothing since all religions already claimed long ago that we can't really know God anyway. IE, we've already acknowledged that multiple unknown and unknowable failings of our concept exist.

Whoever you address with your opening question, the answer will still be no. So we must acknowledge that not only does your logic fail to demonstrate the vision of God conceived in my mind as fallible, but indeed the vision of God held by anybody to be fallible. I think any believer will acknowledge the truth of what I've said here and vote for Pro as having defeated the resolution. Atheists & agnostics may feel I failed to defeat your logic, which proceeds from sound reasoning. But my logic is based upon the evidence of human behavior, the widely acknowledged imprecision of language (http://bit.ly...) and the nature of the concept of God as an essentially unknowable being. I believe these facts are indisputable and defeat whatever argument from pure reason you might construct. Thus, even the atheist and agnostic should acknowledge that Con has failed in his aims and vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 2
Cogito-ergo-sum

Pro

In this final round, I would again like to thank Con for being a part of this debate. It has been thoroughly enjoyable and I hope we shall debate again, though next time the choice of topic is yours!

‘We shouldn't have to address each individual variation in thinking or even the array of fringe sects within Christianity.'
Why not? This is not a rebuttal. This type of discourse fails to work as it is akin to a parent saying "No more sweets!" and the child replying "Why not?" – "Because I said so!" – And this is the type of nonsensical discourse that religious bodies engage in.

‘Pro is really just questioning the logical basis of Abrahamic religions as the religions with which he is most familiar. Is that how you wished to pose the resolution?'
In a sense, but given this is the third round it would be ill-advised of me to try an attempt at including other religions beyond as you say, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

‘As we rely on language not only to communicate, but to conceptualize these issues in our own heads, particularly when we are discussing such a mystical concept as omnipresence it is helpful to be aware of the variety of interpretation that exists.'
Within a religious context, I would like to point out that Con's point is moot as with the (now agreed) 3 main monotheism in use in this debate.

As per user - http://www.debate.org... - ‘being self caused amounts to having no cause because in both cases nothing caused you... both involve the same violation of causality as we understand it, namely dispensing with the necessity of a prior event to give rise to god.'

It could be argued that from a religious point of view, "God" is the father of language since we would be deemed as the children who use it. "God" created all, so everything stems from "God".
Genesis 2, verse 16 [1] - "God" speaks first, and with no formal education in how to converse, Adam and Eve inherently know how to reply and not only that, but how to reply correctly, suggesting language is inherent and not something that needs to be learnt.

"If a lion could talk, we could not understand him." [2] – This goes against Con's point regarding language and interpretation. Either all religions are right, in that they cite "God" as issuing direct commands to individuals, or none of them are right, because you're then arguing from the point of counterfeits.

‘e.g. Christianity, views omnipotence that he cite an authoritative source.' – [3]

Quick rebuttal - ‘On my suggestion that our debate might be framed as whether "omniscience, omnipresence & omnipotence conflict with infallibility", Pro reposts that, "They do not conflict with infallibility but prove it in 'God'." I acknowledge that there is a bit of difference in these formulations & I look forward to Pro demonstrating this proof.' – See comment 25 in comments section. No proof requires demonstrating.

‘Even if God couldn't move some rock, he could move the entire universe around it, achieving the same thing & failing to make the rock unmovable.' – This is wrong. An unmovable rock in terms of geographical hodology and the notion of ‘move the entire universe around it' means that the unmovable rock is your point of origin, if I can liken it to the planet Uranus as an example –
If we took Uranus as the unmovable object, and the rings as the universe around it, and spun the rings in every direction and moved them inwards and outwards, you still wouldn't have moved Uranus. If someone walks away from another person, the stationary person hasn't moved, because they do not have Absolute Location, and know the other person is moving away because they know their location is fixed.

‘@Pro - "I would like to contest this point and the point of omnipresence as a logical inconsistency due to the principles of geographical hodology – being able to determine a course from a current location of move to another location; can not be done if you occupy all places." And again, citing a teacher of geography, "Absolute Location is a term which has no real meaning, since all locations must be expressed relative to something else." True; a thing can only move relative to other things. Do you suggest that this is a deficiency of God?'

As per the link # [3], and what I said in round two, yes, it is a deficiency. You don't see this as a deficiency, even though your particular religions cites "God" as being everywhere and in fact being everything? Doesn't this strip away the fact that you are you? You are no longer you, your just a small part of "God" and if you are "God" and you're worshipping yourself in essence, this is selfish and self-adulatory.

‘They seem similar, but one relates to a human endeavor to locate persons & objects in physical space & the other is a mystical concept that attempts to make something said to be infinite to be more conceivable in human terms.'
What a blatant contradiction. How are you arguing this point? Either, in your words, people as a whole want to know where supposedly existing things are through fact and science and learned understanding – but hold on a second – people also want to be mystified by a divine concept? Antinomy abounds in this statement by Con.

‘The issue is not that believers want to cling to crazy beliefs in spite of well reasoned logic, it is rather a belief that if our logic and understanding fail to apprehend God, the problem lies with us rather than God.'
An interesting point. So why adhere to the words of the Pope? Archbishop of Canterbury? A Rabbi or Shatz? Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Angad Dev, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Har Gobind, Guru Har Rai, Guru Har Krishan , Guru Tegh Bahandur, Guru Gobind Singh? Why believe any of these people or their teachings if "God" is an unknowable? Are the religious hierarchy's preaching to an empty sky? Or are they just talking but no one's listening, so it is better at least to fill the void of faith-based silence with a prayer and psalm cacophony?

‘We are created sick and commanded to be well.' – Christopher Hitchens (The Blasphemy Debate at the Hay Festival 2005)

‘I believe these facts are indisputable and defeat whatever argument from pure reason you might construct.'
I have only copied and pasted this sentence between what you wrote about failing to apprehend "God" through logic and understanding to here as everything you have written in the last three paragraphs is systemic of the above quote from Christopher Hitchens. Con's arguments are that we should be grateful for being given insufficient faculties.

‘While it isn't directly germane to the points I hope to make, I'll explain that my reason for putting "God" in quotes is really to remind myself that using such a term kind of begs the question of what this entity is beyond the limited set of attributes we are considering for this debate.' – You fail to stick to one of your initial resolutions and I surmise it is exactly because you are religious that you can take the path of pre-ordained righteousness that follows from being religious exactly because of your religion's specific pact with "God". I will let the voters count how man times Con fails to follow one of his own rules.

I would like to finish up by mentioning Con had no riposte to my Omniscience arguments. Unless mentioning it as part of the four categories that we are debating.

Thanks for this wonderful debate, and as mentioned before, I hope we get to do it again. Please note, I will not be voting for myself at the end of this debate.

[1] -http://www.biblegateway.com...
[2] -http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] - http://www.biblestudyguide.org...
Anacharsis

Con

Pro quotes me, "As we rely on language not only to communicate, but to conceptualize these issues in our own heads, particularly when we are discussing such a mystical concept as omnipresence it is helpful to be aware of the variety of interpretation that exists." He then claims the "point is moot as with the (now agreed) 3 main monotheism in use in this debate." The point is not at all moot as there is significant disagreement within Christianity & between Christian apologists & those of a Jewish or Muslim belief. The following suggests some of the major divisions within Christianity [4]. Kaufmann Kohler and Jacob Zallel Lauterbach write that, "This doctrine is that prayer may be directed only to God; and that, besides Him, there is no other being worthy of prayer (Maimonides' commentary on Sanh. xi. 1). This doctrine is, of course, only a consequent result of the doctrine of God's omnipotence, and that He alone is the Creator and the Ruler of the world, so that He alone can grant men their desires. But in this inhibition against praying to other beings, the Jewish religion includes also the invocation of angels or aught else as mediators between God and man." [5] Whereas Catholics have a long tradition of appealing to saints [6] for intercession with God on their behalf. Obviously they have a different understanding of what is implied by omnipotence. Calvinism has had a significant impact in dividing Christian sects over the question of predestination, which they take as a necessary implication of God's omniscience and omnipotence [7]. My point once again in bringing these up is to show that the differences of definition in these essential terms of the debate and the fact that all of these religions describe God as unknowable and mysterious, make it pretty hard to base any proof of God's supposed fallibility upon these terms, especially when Pro proposes that he is attacking all of them at once!

But wait! Pro doesn't seem sure that proving God fallible is what he is arguing. In round 1 he notes:

"Main Entry: fal�li�ble
Pronunciation: \ˈfa-lə-bəlFunction: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin fallibilis, from Latin fallere
Date: 15th century
1 : liable to be erroneous
2 : capable of making a mistake
-What I intend to prove that "God" is."

He says he will prove that God is fallible. But then in round 3 he says, "See comment 25 in comments section. No proof requires demonstrating." Comment 25 from Pro reads, "Apologies to Anacharsis - 'They do not conflict with infallibility but prove it in "God". Maybe a written faux pas on Con's part.' A mistake I made as I realised I read what you wrote ambiguously."

I won't deny that there could be a case to make somewhere that a given interpretation of the 3 O's might lead through some logic to a conclusion that God must be fallible. But Pro fails to make it every time and even disdains to make the attempt after having said that doing so is what this debate is all about. And he does this in the face of three different definitions of the terms that occasionally conflict in their implications.

@Pro - "'If a lion could talk, we could not understand him.' [2] – This goes against Con's point regarding language and interpretation." This is an amusing citation, as Pro ignores the preceding sentence in the article, "Wittgenstein stresses the social aspects of cognition; to see how language works, we have to see how it functions in a specific social situation." And it is this preceding sentence that is given to explain Wittgenstein's statement. It is a failure to follow Wittgenstein's advice (referenced by Pro) to consider the social aspects of cognition and how language functions in a specific social situation, e.g. a contrast in usage of fairly mystical terms between Muslims, Christians and Jews, of which I accuse him in his arguments. In citing Wittgenstein he opens himself to further criticism. The same article expands that, "Wittgenstein rejects the idea that ostensive definitions can provide us with the meaning of a word." And further, the Wittgenstein makes the point that "it is not that it is impossible to define "game", but that we don't have a definition, and we don't need one, because even without the definition, we use the word successfully." I would ask both Wittgenstein and Pro how they learned as a child the concept of something being red? Certainly you can define it with an objective reference to wavelengths of light and perhaps other ways, but as we are actual human animals and not some abstract consciousness, we do need it to be shown to us in order to understand it. Did Pro or anyone ever learn the concept of "red" by being told that it is evoked by light of a wavelength approximately 630–740 nm? I suggest that we have difficulty defining omnipresence and the other attributes because we cannot observe or measure omnipresence, omniscience or omnipotence in a rigorous scientific way, though we each observe them in our own way. While many of you will say this failure to observe such attributes from an objective standpoint negates any rationale in claiming God's existence, I will point out again that I am not attempting to demonstrate that God does exist, merely that ascribing to God the 3 O's does not prove him to be fallible.

Pro's rebuttal to my argument about the unmovable rock: "This is wrong. An unmovable rock in terms of geographical hodology and the notion of ‘move the entire universe around it' means that the unmovable rock is your point of origin, if I can liken it to the planet Uranus as an example –
If we took Uranus as the unmovable object, and the rings as the universe around it, and spun the rings in every direction and moved them inwards and outwards, you still wouldn't have moved Uranus. If someone walks away from another person, the stationary person hasn't moved, because they do not have Absolute Location, and know the other person is moving away because they know their location is fixed." Personally, I'm on Earth. An unmovable rock is not my point of origin. If God were to move the whole universe around the unmovable rock we might determine with instruments and techniques of astronomy that this is what was happening, but if He spun us in every direction, moved us inwards and outwards around the unmovable rock, then we would not be able to determine what was going on. The effect would be the same as having moved the rock.

In response to my question, "a thing can only move relative to other things. Do you suggest that this is a deficiency of God?" Pro responds, "As per the link # [3], and what I said in round two, yes, it is a deficiency. You don't see this as a deficiency, even though your particular religions cites "God" as being everywhere and in fact being everything?" I don't. The title of the debate poses the question "Does being Omni-- make your god fallible?" In my interpretation, being omnipresent removes the need to move any place. So the answer to his question is no, it doesn't make my God fallible. Apologists within the 3 main Abrahamic traditions seem to typically take omnipotence to either mean that God can do everything that can be done or that He can do all of those things that are within His nature as identified through his other attributes. So, it doesn't work against them either. While Pro goes off making further arguments against my particular Sikh interpretation, having finally said he wanted to limit debate to Christianity, Islam and Judaism, he fails to actually attack any of these religions based on their own interpretations of the 3 O's.

Most of the rest of his points are completely non-sequitur and none promote his thesis or refute my central points.

Thank you for the opportunity for this debate. It has been truly stimulating.

[4] http://bit.ly...
[5] http://bit.ly...
[6] http://bit.ly...
[7] http://bit.ly...
Debate Round No. 3
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Romanus 6 years ago
Romanus
"If God is all-knowing, then he must know his own limitations, but yet you say he is not limited,"

I would like to point out that God dose know his limits. He is all powerful, so he has no limits. Thus we can assume that God knows that personnal limmitations do not exist (when considering himself objectivley). This simply reaffirms that God is All-Knowing.
Posted by Cogito-ergo-sum 6 years ago
Cogito-ergo-sum
I concur with Anacharsis. Thank you for taking the time to check out the debate and give us your feedback.
Posted by Rockylightning 6 years ago
Rockylightning
your welcome
Posted by Anacharsis 6 years ago
Anacharsis
Thank you to those who take the time to vote and comment.
Posted by popculturepooka 6 years ago
popculturepooka
belle, self causation is having a cause - it's just that thing brought itself into existence (which is logically impossible in any case).

Eternal things have never been brought into existence.

And I certainly don't view causation as always necessitated by a prior event in any case. There can be simultaneous causation for instance.
Posted by Cogito-ergo-sum 6 years ago
Cogito-ergo-sum
Apologies to Con, I had that many links to pages open I copied the wrong one - [3] is in fact http://www.biblestudyguide.org...
Posted by Anacharsis 6 years ago
Anacharsis
Well I have muddled things slightly there at the end of my round 2 post saying to vote for Pro because I had debunked his arguments. Obviously, I am Con and crossed the two up. I guess I think of myself as having a positive outlook rather than a negative one. Anyway, it should be clear what I meant. Vote Con.
Posted by Cogito-ergo-sum 6 years ago
Cogito-ergo-sum
Apologies to Anacharsis - 'They do not conflict with infallibility but prove it in "God". Maybe a written faux pas on Con's part.' A mistake I made as I realised I read what you wrote ambiguously.
Posted by belle 6 years ago
belle
being self caused amounts to having no cause because in both cases nothing caused you... both involve the same violation of causality as we understand it, namely dispensing with the necessity of a prior event to give rise to god.
Posted by popculturepooka 6 years ago
popculturepooka
Not really seeing the equivalency, but I'm off to stop procrastinating now. :P
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