The Instigator
Lexicaholic
Pro (for)
Losing
80 Points
The Contender
InquireTruth
Con (against)
Winning
86 Points

If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then God cannot be omnibenevolent at the same time.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 27 votes the winner is...
InquireTruth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 21,347 times Debate No: 8483
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (45)
Votes (27)

 

Lexicaholic

Pro

Resolution: If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then God cannot be omnibenevolent at the same time.

Definitions:
benevolent : marked by or disposed to doing good
omnibenevolent: disposed to doing only good
good: 1. virtuous, right, commendable 2. kind
kind: 1. of a sympathetic or helpful nature 2. of a forbearing nature : gentle 3. arising from or characterized by sympathy or forbearance 4. of a kind to give pleasure or relief
omnipotent: almighty
almighty: having absolute power over all
omniscient: (1) having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight (2) possessed of universal knowledge
God: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe
time: the point or period when something occurs

Observations and Requirements:
1. Time for the purpose of this debate must be considered the discrete point at which God may be honestly described as possessing the qualities of omniscience, omnipotence and omnibenevolence at once. We are therefore not discussing whether or not God would have the power to turn omnibenevolence on and off like a light switch, in order to possess the qualities at different moments in time.
2. We are not discussing potentiality. We are discussing qualities. Therefore, that God has the ability to manifest any one quality without manifesting the others is irrelevant to this debate, as he must manifest all three concurrently to counter the resolution.
3. The understandings of terms relevant to this Debate are not to exceed that of their definitions.
4. Bad things happen to people and people suffer for them.
5. Bad things include both the deleterious actions of others and harm brought upon people by natural events.

Rules:
1st round: Pro expounds his argument supporting the resolution. Con rejects the assertion with his first argument, adhering to the guidelines set out in this round.
2nd round: Pro rebuts Con's points. Con rebuts Pro's rebuttal.
3rd round: Pro provides a counter-rebuttal. Con answers this with his counter-counter-rebuttal.
4th round: Final arguments. Both sides argue their full case in consideration of the overall debate.
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First Pro Argument:
If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then God cannot be omnibenevolent at the same time. If God is omnipotent, then he has power over everything. If he is omniscient, then he is knowledgeable of all that occurs. If he is omnibenevolent, then he is of a nature to relieve suffering where it occurs.

Assuming God is omniscient, he knows when people are suffering, how they are suffering, and how that suffering may be relieved. Assuming he is omnipotent, he has the power to relieve those who are suffering of their suffering. If he is omnibenevolent, he is inclined to relieve those who are suffering of their suffering if he is able.

Why then does he not? If he is lazy, then he is negligent, and not at all benevolent, let alone omnibenevolent. If he is concerned with something beyond our understanding, then he must surely still be lazy, for that which is omnipotent has the power to void the concern and may act without regard to it. If he does not know, he can not be omniscient, therefore he must be aware. Why then does God not intercede?

The only logical answer is that he does not intercede because he can not or will not, and the only rational evaluation of that answer is to conclude that God can not be omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent at the same time.

My thanks to my opponent for accepting this debate. Best of luck.
InquireTruth

Con

===============
Introduction:
===============

I would like to thank Lexicaholic for his willingness to debate this topic. What needs to be pointed out before I get into my argument is that my contentions need not be plausible or even true; they need only be possible for my opponent to fail in fulfilling his burden. My opponent has made the absolute claim that God cannot be omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscient simultaneously – he asserts that there is a necessary and explicit contradiction. If I can, at bare minimum, show that it is POSSIBLE for there to be no explicit contradiction then my burden is fulfilled and my opponent fails – for my opponent cannot say that what possibly can be, cannot be.

===============
Contention 1: There are things even an omnipotent God cannot do
===============

A world that contains free creatures is more valuable than a world that contains no freedom at all. It is indeed possible for God to create free creatures, but, as Plantinga points out, "He can't cause or determine them to do only what is right FREELY. To create creatures of moral good, therefore, He must create creatures capable of moral evil, and He can't give these creatures the freedom to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so. (1)"

To put it more simply by way of syllogism:

P1: It is possible for said God (omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-benevolent) to create a being that has moral freedom.

P2: If it is possible for said God to create morally free beings, then it is possible for said God to create a being who freely chooses to act evilly.

C: It is possible therefore, for said God to create a being who then freely chooses to act evilly.

This can account for evil acts. And with God, we can rightly call them evil as there is an objective standard by which to do so.

Moreover, and with contention 1, God cannot force a free action – it is a logical contradiction. Stepping into modal logic here, let's take Bob as an example. Bob has a choice to beat up Larry. If the decision is a free one, then there must be a possible world where Bob beats Larry and also a possible world where Bob does not beat Larry. Now one of these worlds even God cannot actualize. Which world becomes reality depends on the free action of Bob, not God.

===============
Contention 2: improper assumption
===============

John Hick has pointed out the errant presupposition held by many propagators of the problem of evil (an assumption my opponent seems to hold) (2). They assume, like David Hume, that the purpose of an omni-excellent (this includes all three properties in question) God is to create a "hedonistic paradise." Hick's analogy of their thinking is a human with a caged pet. In any respect that the animal's cage falls short of the veterinarian's ideal, then it is immediately attributed to a lack of benevolence, limited means, or both. David Hume talks of an architect that builds a home and if the economy of the home led to any discomfort or misfortune (e.g. noise, darkness, fatigue or etc.) then we would not hesitate to blame the architect. And to argue that by changing a defect in the house would lead to more bad or less good would be in vain, as Hume said, "If the architect had had skill and good intentions, he might have formed such a plan of the whole, and might have adjusted the parts in such a manner, as would have remedied all or most of these inconveniences (3)."

My opponent's observation would only be a valid one if his assumption that an omni-excellent God would want to create a hedonistic paradise on earth. But an alternative understanding would see earth not as what Heaven ought to be – an environment for perfected finite beings – but rather as an environment for finite beings who are in the process of being perfected. John Hick says it best when he writes:

"For if our general conception of God's purpose is correct, the world is not intended to be a paradise, but rather the scene of a history in which human personality may be formed towards the pattern of Christ. Men are not to be thought of on the analogy of animal pets, whose life is to be made as agreeable as possible, but rather on the analogy of human children, who are to grow to adulthood in an environment whose primary and overriding purpose is not immediate pleasure but the realizing of the most valuable potentialities of human personality."

I certainly hope that my opponent does not suggests that a parent is a malevolent one if she wishes moral integrity, magnanimity, compassion, courage, humor, honesty, and the capacity for love as greater values than mere unalloyed pleasure. Certainly a parent will wish pleasure for their children, but is it morally deviant to see this NOT as the highest priority?

===============
Contention 3: Our limited perspective
===============

My opponent does not possess the necessary knowledge to determine evil. For it cannot ALWAYS be evil for one to suffer. Take for example a man who slowly awakes to find a woman cutting his stomach. The man will rightly fuss that such an action is evil! But say he finds out that the woman is a doctor who is trying to remove a malignant mass that will ultimately kill him. Will he not then realize that what he perceived to be evil was not evil at all? It is possible for our perceptions to be incorrect. Therefore our conceptions of natural evil may be incorrect.

===============
Contention 4: Good and Bad?
===============

My opponent defines good but not bad. The problem is, he presupposes an alternative objective standard by which we may determine good and bad. Such a presupposition will not be granted and needs to be explained. It is my contention that, if God does not exist, then neither does an objective standard for good and bad. If no objective standard for good or bad exists, then good and bad do not ACTUALLY exist at all – they are mere subjective ideas akin to one's favorite color. However, if God DOES exist, then there is an absolute and objective standard by which to judge good and bad. Since the crux of my opponent's argument hinges on the idea that, if God is truly omnibenevolent, he would prevent suffering where it occurs, it is my opponent's burden to prove that (1) it was not a result of free action and (2) it is not possible that such an event is occurring so that greater good may come.

===============
Conclusion
===============

My opponent's assumptions need to be explained and he needs to prove that it is NOT AT ALL possible for God to be omni-excellent. I look forward to his response.

Sources:
(1) http://philofreligion.homestead.com...
(2) http://mind.ucsd.edu...
(3) IBID
Debate Round No. 1
Lexicaholic

Pro

Introduction:

I agree that my opponent "will succeed if, at a bare minimum, he can show that it is possible for there to be no explicit contradiction" in God being omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscient. However, for there to be no contradiction, God must still REMAIN omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscient in any possibility provided by my opponent. Therefore, any point my opponent makes that is representative of a God who does NOT meet these qualifications, must be discarded as an invalid argument against my resolution.

Contention 1: There is nothing an omnipotent God cannot do

My opponent contends that "[a] world that contains free creatures is more valuable than a world that contains no freedom at all." There is no rational support for this contention. It may be well argued that a peaceful world of happy robots is a better one for those experiencing it, than a world of strife gifted to those granted autonomy. However, even if one accepts freedom as a virtue, one must recognize that there is no such state in a universe formed by an omnipotent God. God sets all the rules. He is all powerful. If he deemed it desirable we would exist as septadimensional kumquats that reproduced by licking each other. He knows every act that we will take in any given state given any number of possibilities (being omniscient), and sets the stage upon which we will conduct our play. He knows all of our lines in advance, and does not act to change the script. Where then is the improvisation that my opponent would imagine impossible without God's policy of non-interference? My opponent fails to recognize that a being that is all powerful and all knowing necessarily affects reality by merely existing. In acting, God allows what would be to not come to pass. In not acting, God allows what he knows will be to come to pass. The agents who believe they are free-willed have no ability to choose outside of God's caprice.

My opponent argues that God " must create creatures capable of moral evil" in order to "create creatures of moral good" and "He can't give these creatures the freedom to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so." This is false. God, being all powerful, may eliminate evil as a possibility within reality, allowing every choice to be good, although by varying degrees. He may redesign our understanding of morality, or morality itself, if you assume it is objective, to improve our situation. He can even alter the laws of action and consequence. I can quite easily imagine a universe where the rules were developed to make us fully autonomous and yet devoid of suffering. How difficult could it be then for a God, whose omniscience makes him infinitely more creative than I, to conceive of such an alternative?

As my opponent is fond of syllogisms, I present my own:

P1: It is possible for an omni-excellent God to create a being with moral freedom.

P2: If it is possible for said God to create morally free beings, then it is possible for Him to create beings that freely choose to act deleteriously.

P3: It is then possible for said God to create a being who then freely chooses to act deleteriously.

P4: The consequences of these actions, not the actions themselves, lead to suffering.

P5: God, being omnipotent, can remove consequences from these actions, or alter the consequences of these actions.

C: Therefore, it is possible for God to create morally free beings without needing human suffering to result.

As my opponent noted, his syllogism accounts for "evil acts." It does nothing against consequences, which God may allow or disallow at his leisure. I should also point out that this is not a debate about good and "evil." This is a debate about why an omnibenevolent God that has the capability does not alleviate human suffering. I did not define "evil" because the why of people doing bad things is irrelevant when it is the consequences of those bad things, not the rationales behind them, which lead to suffering. In short, God does not need to "force a free action" if he sets the world up so that no action can lead to suffering. My opponent's argument fails because he argues the case for a limited God, not an omnipotent one.

Contention 2: Hedonism?

Unlike my opponent, I do not care what God's purpose is, nor do I need him to create a "hedonistic paradise." My assumption is valid because I have a concept of good that includes the desire to alleviate the suffering of others and must wonder why God, who is all good, does not do so when given the opportunity.

Additionally, because we are discussing God's goodness, and not mankind's, it is important to note that it is no less hedonistic of God to allow human suffering for the pleasure he will receive in fulfilling his plan by such suffering than it would be for a human to request of God that he eliminate suffering from the world.

Assuming omnipotence, God could choose to make us all perfect, in an instant. What benevolent objective could God have for making us wait? An alternative understanding is only relevant to this debate if God could still be all good and all powerful with the understanding. Clearly, he could not be in this case.

As for my opponent's argument regarding parents and children, the difference is that parents are not omnipotent. They affect their children to a certain extent, but after a time they are on equal terms with adults who may or may not accept or reject their desires. Humans, being finite beings, as my opponent notes, will never be in such a relationship with God. God can make sure that people do what is right instantly. If it's a matter of God wanting free willed beings to act with an understanding of good, then he can make them instantly good. There is no need to wait. My opponent's understanding of God in this sense must be either less than omnipotent or less than omnibenevolent for him to allow experience at the expense of suffering when He could provide the experience without the expense. Therefore, my opponent's argument is invalid.

Contention 3: Our limited perspective

Evil is meaningless to this debate. See above. Within the context of this debate, humans need only suffer and understand the concept of good. Arguing that we don't understand good because we have an insufficient understanding of evil is an attempt to redefine good and is invalid. Worse, it is illogical, as good only matters in this debate as it relates to justification for seeking the reduction of suffering, not in opposition to ‘evil.' It is like saying we can not understand why we use water to douse a fire because we do not know why someone would light the fire. God has a bucket of water and the disposition to use it. Nothing opposes him. The house is on fire, and people are screaming. Yet not a drop falls. No one can argue that he benevolently stays his hand because he has not yet considered the arsonist's mindset.

Contention 4: Good and Bad?

This argument is irrelevant, as we are not debating whether or not God exists. In fact, for the purposes of this argument, we should assume he DOES. However, we ARE debating whether or not God is an omni-excellent being. My opponent has already argued that for a good God to be all-powerful, he must be capable of creating beings that can do evil. I contend that it is just as likely that an evil God could create the same or the inverse. The existence of God is not limited by his being omnibenevolent. His nature is merely redefined. This argument is therefore invalid, because it argues that God exists with no regard to his qualities.

Conclusion:

My thanks to my opponent for his earnest response. I will be happy to explain my assumptions and how it is not at all possible for God to be all powerful, good and knowing at the same time, when my opponent makes an argument that actually shows how such a God could even possibly be all powerful, good and all knowing at the same time.
InquireTruth

Con

Introduction:

I am glad that my opponent agrees that all that is necessary for me to provide is a possible world in which an omni-excellent God exists and suffering exists – I will hold him to this.

Contention 1: There ARE some things that an omnipotent God cannot do.

My opponent forgets that the particularly ugly Latin word, omnipotent, was coined to define the nature of God – specifically the Christian God. To say that there is NOTHING an omnipotent God cannot do is to shift from arguing against the traditional notion of the Christian deity, to a misinformed hacking of a straw man. It is conceptually maintained that even an omnipotent deity cannot do that which is logically impossible to do (e.g. create a rock to heavy to carry or a circled squire). If my opponent wishes to grasp at straws he may, but such casuistry should be considered unsupportive of his overall case.

My opponent claims that there is no reason to believe that logical freedom or moral freedom is more valuable than automated, non-sentient life. He seems to be forgetting that which he has already conceded as true. It need not be shown as true or even plausible, it need only be POSSIBLE. Is it not possible that moral freedom is more valuable? This would seem weird considering it is a traditional characteristic of the deity in question. That is to say, if freedom was not a more valuable characteristic, an omni-excellent God would not possess it.

Plantinga's syllogism is essentially (from Paul Tidman's "The Free Will Defense"):

(P1) It is possible for an omnipotent, wholly good being to create a being that has morally significant freedom.

(P2) If it is possible for an omnipotent, wholly good being to create a being that has morally significant freedom, then it is possible for an omnipotent, wholly good being to create a being who then freely choose to bring about evil (evil, for the purpose of this debate, should be considered undeserved pain and suffering).

Therefore,

(C) It is possible for an omnipotent, wholly good being to create a being who then freely chooses to bring about evil.

My opponent, like J. L. Mackie, assumes that God, being omnipotent, can bring about any world, even one where people freely choose to do good. Plantinga labels this assumption "Leibniz' Lapse" and convincingly argues it to be fallacious. The assumption is essentially that God, if omni-excellent, must bring about the best of all possible worlds. However, the failure in that thinking is that there are many worlds that even an omnipotent God cannot bring about. The problem lies in human free choice. Someone, in a particular set of circumstances, has a choice and God cannot determine which choice will be made. In one possible world a person may make one choice, and in another possible world and in the same circumstances, he may make an entirely different choice. One of those two worlds even an omnipotent God cannot actualize because it resides solely on the free choice of the person – not God.

My opponent cannot merely wave a rubber wand over his keyboard and expect us to believe that he has seriously considered Plantinga's philosophically infamous work and found it wanting. It has led Peter Van Inwagen to conclude in a recent paper, "it used to be widely held that evil—which for present purposes we may identify with undeserved pain and suffering—was incompatible with the existence of God: that no possible world contained both God and evil. So far as I am able tot ell, this thesis is no longer defended (1)."

Since an omnipotent God can create morally free creatures, insofar as their decisions are made without internal or external force, it is possible for an omni-excellent God to exist while human suffering exists as well.

-

My opponent believes that foreknowing some how is equal to determining. In that human choice operates within God's caprice… There is no reason to believe that omniscience equaling determination is true, let alone necessarily true (my opponent's burden).

No one can rightly say that God can FORCE genuine love, it is a logical contradiction. Therefore, an omni-excellent God that desires genuine love and virtue must therefore allow the opposite to be possible.

-

My opponent's assumption is that an omni-excellent God would never, for any reason and never in any circumstance, permit suffering. This is to make the same categorical error of the relativist. It is a claim to absolute knowledge. To say that there is no possible world in which an omni-excellent God would permit suffering is to say that you have scaled the vast expanses of our universe, searched under every rock and in every chasm and crevice. It is a claim to have considered every proposition and applied scrutiny to the mass sum of all existence and found, among the indefinite expanse of all matter and ideas alike, there is no possibility of an omni-excellent God having a "morally sufficient reason" to permit suffering. Such a position is clearly not cogent. No person possesses absolute knowledge.

My opponent mentions ridding consequences. To what end? What is the goal? These are important questions as they lead us to the kind of environment we should expect. If God's purpose was merely comfort and painlessness, then my opponent's contentions are valid. But what if God's purpose is to "bring his sons and daughters to glory?"

The question my opponent asks again is why does God not merely create humans in this perfected state. The answer is that they would not be morally or logically free creatures. Moreover, it is POSSIBLE that finite perfection can only logically be achieved through process. Consequences exist to promote RIGHT behavior.

My opponent's syllogism fails because it still assumes that suffering cannot be or lead to good. If God's desire is soul-making and not a hedonistic paradise, then he would have deleterious actions have consequences in hopes of fostering right and virtuous behavior without internal or external force.

Contention 2: Hedonism

My opponent is clearly wrong in saying that he does not care what God's purpose is in that he assumes it must include a desire to stop human suffering. Furthermore, my opponent misses my point with evil. He says that "his conception" of good includes the concept of alleviating human suffering. My point is that HIS concept of good is akin to personal preference, things like favorite food or color. His conception of good stems from a subjective base and is therefore not indicative of ACTUAL reality. If an objective standard for good exists, then it is possible that what my opponent feels or conceives as good, is indeed wholly or partially inaccurate – insofar as good would no longer be a property of subjective measurement, but a property of an objective one. Take math for example – an objective practice. Though I may feel or conceive that 2+2=5, I would be wrong – and objectively so. Just like my believing that 2+2=5 does not make it so, my opponent's believing that good and suffering are mutually exclusive does not make it so.

Contention 3: Our limited perspective

My opponent misses the mark entirely. The point of the analogy was to show that our conceptions can be wholly incorrect. The man thought that his suffering was not good, but indeed, his suffering was for good. Similarly, though my opponent may believe that there is no purpose or reason for suffering, especially in light of an omni-excellent God, he cannot rightfully say that there is no purpose because he does not have absolute knowledge of the situation. And since, in this life, he never will have absolute knowledge, he never will fulfill his burden.

Contention 4: Good and Bad

The purpose was to show that if God does indeed exist, then it is possible that good and evil exist objectively, therein rendering all human conceptions of good and bad as red herrings if they differ from God's objective standard.

Sources:
1 TEPE by Daniel Howard
Debate Round No. 2
Lexicaholic

Pro

My opponent continues to argue outside the scope of this debate:

Contention 1:

Omnipotence already has a concrete definition in this debate, and "the traditional notion of the Christian deity" has nothing to do with it. The word's definition, not its etymology, matters. Omnipotence means "almighty", meaning "having power over all." My opponent argues another definition, as though I claimed "the traditional notion of the Christian God can not be omni-excellent." I have not claimed this. I have claimed that God can not be omni-excellent, according to pre-defined terms. My opponent must use those terms.

My opponent restates his syllogism:

"(P1) It is possible for an [omni-excellent] being to create a being that has morally significant freedom."

Accepted.

"(P2) It is possible for an [omni-excellent] being to create [beings] who … freely choose to bring about evil (… undeserved pain and suffering)."

Once again, we are not debating evil, or "undeserved" suffering. A being capable of eliminating ANY suffering, which chooses not to do so, can not be "kind." An unkind being is in a sense not good. A being that is even in a sense not good is not "omnibenevolent."

"(C) It is possible for an [omni-excellent] being to create a being who then freely chooses to bring about evil."

No. Being omniscient, God would know that "evil" leads to suffering. Being omnipotent, he needn't create evil. Being omnibenevolent, he wouldn't. You have successfully argued that we should not exist. You have not successfully argued that an omni-excellent God could bring himself to allow or produce suffering.

"My opponent … assumes that God, being omnipotent, can bring about [a world] where people freely … do good."

Yes, I do. An omnipotent God has "power over all," including natural laws and causality.

"There are many worlds that even an omnipotent God cannot bring about."

My opponent once again limits God. Omnipotence means that God may have any world he wants.

"The problem lies in … free choice. … God cannot determine which choice will be made."

Yes, God can. He is omniscient. Even assuming he had a moral imperative to make us free, that doesn't prevent him from keeping us from the consequences of that imperative. Moreover, for our freedom to not limit God's power, God would have to choose to not interfere (as nothing could stop him from doing so). As such, God still has the ability to intervene, and chooses not to. This is not good.

"One of those two worlds even an omnipotent God cannot actualize because it resides solely on the free choice of the person – not God."

Then God is not omnipotent. What keeps God from actualizing both at once, then instantly dissolving the worse of the two worlds, unifying the experiences of the inhabitants therein so that there is no suffering and no loss of life? I assume God has at least as much creativity as myself, being omniscient.

My opponent cannot … expect us to believe that he has seriously considered Plantinga's … work and found it wanting."
Sure I can. Even the theory of relativity has its detractors. [1] Persuasive codswallop is STILL codswallop.

"Since an omnipotent God can create, insofar as [morally free creatures'] decisions are made without … force, it is possible for an omni-excellent God to exist while human suffering exists..."

No, it is not. My opponent assumes that there are only good and bad choices to be made. God could alter the dichotomy, and change the choices to great and good, or good and best, or good and ineffectual. People would still have a choice of alternatives; the choice just would not lead to suffering.

"There is no reason to believe that omniscience equaling determination is true, let alone necessarily true …"

Omniscience alone does not equal determination, but omniscience with omnipotence does. Allowing that which will occur when YOU HAVE MADE IT SO means that God INTENDS for us to suffer.

"… God [forcing] genuine love … is a logical contradiction."

Only if God allows the contradiction to exist.

"Therefore, an omni-excellent God that desires genuine love and virtue must ... allow the opposite to be possible."

If God MUST do anything, he is not omnipotent. Additionally, an omni-excellent God should HIMSELF be genuinely loving and virtuous. If his desire for our genuine love and virtue stands in the way of this, he should set aside his desires.

"To say that there is no possible world in which an omni-excellent God would permit suffering is to say that you … have considered every proposition … and found … no possibility of … a "morally sufficient reason" to permit suffering."

Any morally sufficient reason he would have must exist separate and apart from this debate's definition of good. The reason can not be kind, therefore it must be to some extent not good, therefore God is not omnibenevolent.

"My opponent mentions ridding consequences. To what end? What is the goal?"

The elimination of suffering, because God is kind, and would eliminate it if he could. Being omnipotent, he can.

"What if God's purpose is to "bring his sons and daughters to glory?""

Then that purpose must not be good, based upon his observed actions relative to our current state.

"…why does God not … create humans in this perfected state[?] The answer is … they would not be morally or logically free creatures."

If God can not immediately perfect morally and logically free creatures, then he is not omnipotent.

"Moreover, it is POSSIBLE that finite perfection can only logically be achieved through process."

If God can not change the process of perfection, or alter logic according to his needs, then he is not omnipotent.

"If God's desire is soul-making …"

Then nothing is stopping him from making the souls he wants, right now.

Contention 2:

"My opponent … clearly [cares about] what God's purpose [is as] he assumes it must include a desire to stop human suffering."

I do not care about God's purpose. God can end suffering with no adverse consequences. God does not. Ending suffering is good. God chooses not to be good. Therefore, God is not omnibenevolent.

"My point is that his conception of good stems from a subjective base ..."

My conception of good stems from a plain reading of the definition of ‘kind', part of the definition of good. Unlike my opponent, I do not wax philosophical about definitions, because I read the ones accepted at the beginning of this debate. Additionally, I do not argue that "good and suffering are mutually exclusive." I argue that a good God that is omnipotent and omniscient would know to prevent or end suffering where it would or does occur. Allowing suffering when one has created the process whereby it is generated, and doing nothing to end or prevent it when one could, is not good.

Contention 3:

"The man thought that his suffering was not good, but indeed, his suffering was for good."

My opponent was mentioning "evil" before. Now that he mentions suffering, he must concede that a doctor has no other way to heal. God, being omnipotent, has any way he pleases. An analogy that compares God to a doctor would have to allow that doctor whatever procedure the doctor could imagine. The doctor should then choose the least painful procedure. God has a better option: he can choose a procedure with no pain. Is the doctor kinder than God?

"… my opponent … cannot … say … there is no purpose because he does not have absolute knowledge …"

I don't need absolute knowledge to understand that a God who meets the definition for omni-excellence in this debate wouldn't act on any purpose if such purpose conflicted with his nature.

Contention 4:

"[H]uman conceptions of good and bad" are all that matter in this debate.

[1] http://www.sciencecentric.com...
InquireTruth

Con

I:

I do believe I am arguing perfectly within the scope of this debate. When my opponent uses a word that itself requires definition to define omnipotent, then it is subject to my understanding. Since his argument is based on the well aged epicurean pericope (he even mimicked Epicurus' language in his first round), then my presumption is that he is actually arguing against a being that people ACTUALLY believe exist – not a straw man. It is a little late in the debate for my opponent to tell me what almighty means. He will find that almighty has a similar etymology as omnipotence. Almighty, in terms of a deity, is power over all things. Not included in this definition is the power to defy logic or to violate ones own nature.

I am using my opponent's terms as he has defined and I have understood, if he was actually arguing against a deity that no one espouses as true, then the most he could do is succeed with a handful of straw. Since he has defined omnipotent as almighty, and the ability to do that which is not logically possible to do is NOT included its definition, then we should not assume that any such deity that possesses omnipotence can do that which is not possible to do (this line of thinking goes back to as early as Thomas Aquinas' "summa Theologica").

1

My opponent's argument is casuistry with words. He is dipping and dodging and hiding behind different definitions. The objection that I put forth against good, insofar as it is possible that what we perceive to be not good is in fact good, can be put forth against kind.

(P1) It is possible that "kind" is defined objectively (given that an omnipotent and omniscient God exists).

(P2) Our perceptions of "kind" are subjective not objective.

Therefore,

(C) What we view as unkind may, in fact, be kind.

As long as (P1) is possible, then our subjective understandings of kind are irrelevant as they do not reflect reality. As long as (P1) remains possible, then my opponent's assertion that it is unkind to allow ANY suffering is an ipse-dixitism. God need only be kind or good in the OBJECTIVE sense in order for him to be omnibenevolent. It is ridiculous to conclude that God must be good and kind in EVERY sense, given that it is logically impossible. For a sadist might think it is good to rape and kill people, while a philanthropist thinks to the contrary – both cannot be right as they are diametrically opposing.

If it is possible that morally significant freedom is more valuable than non-autonomous, robotic beings, then it is possible for an omni-excellent God to produce free creatures that then choose to make decisions that lead to suffering. This suffering is possibly kind and good given the abovementioned syllogism.

"My opponent once again limits God. Omnipotence means that God may have any world he wants."

Of course I am limiting God; even omnipotence has its limitations. For instance, if God could create a being more powerful than himself, then he would not be omnipotent given that it is possible to be even more powerful. Omnipotence does not include the ability to defy logic. God cannot do that which is logically impossible to do (e.g. create a circled square).

In order to have logical freedom, there must be a possible world for every action or event, in that every action or event could be possibly different. God knows each and every possible world, but, because he has created beings with logical freedom, the world that is actualized is not contingent on the action of God, but on the choices of His creation.

Since my opponent has a ridiculously distorted view of omnipotence, in that it is philosophically confused, he is continuously grasping at straws. His very understanding of omnipotence is self-defeating. Since, in his argument, God can defy logic, then there is absolutely no LOGICAL contradiction with God being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent at the same time, given that God, with unfettered and absolute power, can do whatever in the world he wants to do. As long as my opponent maintains that omnipotence includes the possibility of defying logic, then his very use of logic is a red herring, because, as we know, that does not apply to God. So as long as God is omnipotent, then it does not matter if there seems to be a logical contradiction with him being omnibenevolent at the same time, because, as my opponent contends, God is far beyond logic.

My opponent says that it is not good for God to not intervene. I am asking him to prove it. I am asking him to show, that even if good and kind were objective definitions, that it is not POSSIBLE for an omni-excellent God who has created LOGICALLY free beings to not intervene. Assertions without out evidence are never all that convincing.

"What keeps God from actualizing both at once, then instantly dissolving the worse of the two worlds."

My opponent is unfamiliar with modal logic. Possible world jargon is used to understand the realm of possibilities. If God has created beings with logical freedom then he cannot actualize a choice that never happened – insofar as if Fred did not actually choose to give money to the poor, God cannot actualize the world in which Fred did (this would defy logical freedom).

"My opponent assumes that there are only good and bad choices to be made."

My opponent assumes it is possible to know good without bad. Moreover, he assumes that there can be absolutely no kind reason for God to allow suffering. This, like I have said before, is a claim to absolute knowledge and is therefore self-refuting. The most my opponent can say is that it is POSSIBLE that there is no morally sufficient reason, or "kind" reason for God to allow suffering – quite a distance away form his burden.

"Allowing that which will occur when YOU HAVE MADE IT SO means that God INTENDS for us to suffer."

God did not make it so. He made it POSSIBLE and WE made it so.

"Only if God allows the contradiction to exist."

This is beyond humorous to me. Since my opponent says God is not bound by logic, why in the world is he using a logical argument against Him?

"Any morally sufficient reason he would have must exist separate and apart from this debate's definition of good. The reason can not be kind, therefore it must be to some extent not good, therefore God is not omnibenevolent."

My opponent must prove this. Prove that it is not possible for the reason to be kind. As long as it is possible for kind to be objectively measured, then it is possible for God to have a morally sufficient reason that IS kind.

2

"I do not care about God's purpose. God can end suffering with no adverse consequences. God does not. Ending suffering is good. God chooses not to be good. Therefore, God is not omnibenevolent."

What evidence is there that ending suffering in this world is good other than saying, "because it is kind?" Since good can possibly be measured objectively (the traditional Christian notion), then it is possible that ending suffering is indeed NOT good.

"My conception of good stems from a plain reading of the definition of ‘kind'"

It does not matter where your definition comes from, but how you measure what KIND is. As long as it is possible that the allowance of suffering is helpful (www.m-w.com), then it is possible that God's action is good. Moreover, I need only shift the argument over a bit; his conception of kind stems from a subjective base and is therefore not indicative of ACTUAL reality. If an objective standard for kind exists, then it is possible that what my opponent feels or conceives as kind, is indeed wholly or partially inaccurate – insofar as kind would no longer be a property of subjective measurement, but a property of an objective one.

3

Missing the point. The point is that our perceptions can be wrong. What we perceive as unkind or not good may be wrong.

4

False. Moreover, human conceptions cannot be wrong?
Debate Round No. 3
Lexicaholic

Pro

I thank my opponent for a well fought debate. However, I must contend that he has failed to meet his burden of providing even a possibility of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God that allows suffering.

My opponent and I differ in approach not because one is necessarily ‘better' or ‘worse,' as my opponent contends, but because I argue empirically, as required for this debate, and my opponent argues ideologically, ignoring the terms of this debate. This does not amount to ‘casuistry'[1] (though I suppose he means sophistry[2], as casuistry requires precedence and God has none, assuming he exists.) If anything, my opponent has resorted to casuistry in attempting to apply former arguments about the nature of God's qualities to this current argument.

I argue for a definition of God that is free from the limitations of theological apologetics for two reasons: 1. More than one omni-excellent God has been posited. [3] If I had focused solely on the Christian God, I couldn't argue against others. We do not have the time to debate every past consideration of every god's attributes. 2. This argument is one from observation, not merely one from assumption. Otherwise it would be mere sophistry and semantics.

Let us examine what my opponent's argument is actually about: we have terms. These terms have semantic meaning we understand. To the extent that they describe anything, they describe a set of traits we consider valid of the description. A tree is not equal to the word ‘tree.' The word tree merely describes all of the physical properties of a subjectively considered tree. My opponent has repeatedly argued that, assuming some objective aspect of reality known as God, "our subjective understandings of ‘kind' are irrelevant as they do not reflect reality." My opponent is wrong. We create terms. If an aspect of reality, however objective, does not meet our subjective definition, then we are using the wrong term for it. [4] If God does exist, even assuming that his choice to let us suffer amounts to a more beneficial one than to do otherwise, it does not amount to an absolutely good choice, because we have assigned a trait to kindness, a subset quality of good, that includes the alleviation of suffering.

If I claim that something is hot, and put my hand on it, I do not expect my hand to freeze. If I claim that something is all good, I do not expect it to be in any way not good. If my hand freezes, that which I believed was hot, was not. If I discover that something I considered all good is in some way not good, I now know that I have used the wrong terms. I have two choices: I can revise the terms, or I can develop a new one. My opponent claims I should revise the terms, particularly ‘good.' I can not because the debate presupposes that the terms are fixed. Therefore, we should use different terms. If we use a different term, we have abandoned the idea of affixing the original term to God. In which case, God does not possess the qualities necessary to apply the term.

It would also be absurd for us to replace the value of the particular term ‘good,' because it is applicable when describing the qualities of things other than God. When an observed quality otherwise applies to all but one thing to which we would assign it, it is far more efficient, and rational, to assign a different quality to this exception than to redefine the term for all qualified objects/actions.

We can not observe God. I assume my opponent has not personally observed God directly. Therefore, we should not assume his purpose based on a hypothetical assumption of the observation of God. [5] We must infer it from what we CAN observe. In this case, the concern is how a God, assumed for the purposes of debate to have two qualities that do not contradict themselves, can have a third quality that, considering the truth of the first two qualities, would appear paradoxical to our observation.

My opponent is right that God is assumed to have unfettered, absolute power (no limits). My opponent then engages in a bit of his own sophistry by arguing that this must mean that God could be omni-excellent and allow suffering to exist, as he has the ability to rearrange logic. God does have the ability to alter logic for the purposes of this debate, but clearly, he has not or we would not be using it as we are. [6] Therefore, a consideration of what God could do is irrelevant to what he IS or IS NOT doing. God also has the ability to eliminate suffering for the purposes of this debate, but clearly, he IS NOT. That observation IS relevant to the debate because for God to be omnibenevolent, suffering SHOULD NOT exist.

My opponent has attempted to win this debate by hypothetically positing a purpose beyond our ability to understand. He claims that our inability to define it means that it could possibly be omnibenevolent in nature. He is wrong. Our inability to define it makes it indefinable. [7] The definition for ‘indefinable' does not equal the definition for ‘omnibenevolent.' It is high sophistry to debate that an unknown could have a different value. [8] It already has a value. That value is ‘unknown.'

If my opponent wishes to prove that the value of unknown is something greater than unknown, he must predicate that proof upon an observation of the undefined quality that is correlative to the conceived possibility. In order to do that, he must be able to show how observed suffering IS NOT INCAPABLE of existing assuming an all-powerful God predisposed to end suffering. [9] Even a "mere possibility" must be rationally related to actuality. My opponent has failed to meet even the relatively low threshold burden of possibility, as each of his attempts to do so was either qualitative of a limited God, or one who is not Omnibenevolent. For this reason, my opponent has not refuted my claim, and functionally has conceded the debate. Vote Pro.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.pantheon.org...
http://books.google.com...
[4] http://www.scribd.com... - one of several readily found works linking pragmatism and semantics – even agency semantics requires a rational relation to the thing observed, however
[5] http://www.nizkor.org...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org... http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[8] http://student.britannica.com...
[9] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Flow Chart:
Pro argument
{Oe = Op+Os+Ob}, {Ob = [g(a…z)]}, {g(k) = -S}, {Ob=[g(a…z) -(g(k) + S)]}: Identity
{Op /= -Os, -Ob}, {Os /= -Op, -Ob}, {Ob /= -Op, -Os}: Argument against paradox
{Oe =1}: Assumption; {S=1}: Observation
{Oe =S}; {Oe-S=0}; {Op+Os+Ob-S = Op+Os+[g(a…z)] –S = Op+Os+[g(a..z) –(g(k)+S)-S=0}; {Op+Os+[g(a…z)-g(k)] -2S = 0}; {Op+Os+[g(a..z)-g(k)] = 2S}; Arguments from substitution/redistribution
{1-g(k) =2} Argument from substitution
{1=2+g(k)} Redistribution
1>2 : Assumption is invalid.
Con Argument
{g(k) is not an element of g(a …z)}
Pro Argument
g(k) is defined as an element of g(a …z).
Con Argument
Then g(k) /= -S
Pro Argument
g(k) is defined as = -S
Con Argument
Defining is impossible. If you can not define, you can not make a claim.
Pro Argument
Then nothing is true, and omnibenevolence is invalid/false. If omnibenevolence is not true of anything, it is not true of God as well.
InquireTruth

Con

=============
In Summary:
=============

I would like to thank my opponent for starting this debate, and I am glad that we could engage this topic in this venue. However, it seems that my opponent is persistent in maintaining a straw man that is itself self-defeating – which is rather unfortunate given the purpose of straw man arguments. It is a straw man argument because no one ACTUALLY believes in a god that can defy logic and his very nature (his excuse is bunk, given that other religions do not believe in omni-excellent god(s) as he has defined).

The primary disagreement in this debate that led to dissonance in our arguments was that my opponent assumed attributes of omnipotent and almighty that were not inherent in their definitions – namely that God can defy logic. My opponent's argument does, indeed, amount to casuistry, in that it is creatively fallacious (1).

My argument focused on showing that it is possible for good and kind to be defined or measured objectively. My opponent, far from showing that it was not possible, instead tried to say that good and kind can only be subjective. This is completely nonsensical, in that we KNOW that good exists, insofar as we make moral and ethical propositions – this however, does not make our measurements accurate. It is possible that how or what we understand as good, is incorrect. As long as it is possible for humans to perceive reality incorrectly (the point of my doctor analogy), then my point stands. Moreover, when pressed about having a standard or metric for judging this good, my opponent dipped and dodged. My point was that my opponent actually has no way of knowing what good or kind actually is. He says that it includes the alleviation of suffering, but he never substantiated this. Is it consensus, majority, utilitarianism, democracy, political force or economical force that determines what is good or kind? If good is wholly subjective, then who determines what kind is? There are those who inflict suffering in the name of what is good and kind.

I believe that we SHOULD use the terms in the debate, however, I believe we should acknowledge our limitations when it comes to measuring them. I am saying that we can know that good exists while at the same time acknowledge that we may be wholly inaccurate with our measurements. My problem is not with the definition of good, but with our measurement of it. We can know that such thing as speed exists, but we could have wholly inaccurate measurements of it.

My opponent tries to acknowledge his self-defeating position that God can defy logic by suggesting that, if he did, it would not be illogical and we would see it as such. This is a straw man as it is a refutation of something I did not say. My opponent never engaged my argument that IF God indeed has unfettered power that includes the ability to defy logic, then we know he can be omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent at the same time EVEN IF it does not SEEM logical or even if it is NOT logical – such is the nature of a God who can defy logic. It can be illogical but still be possible given the definition given by my opponent. So it stands that, given my opponent's definition, that God can be omni-excellent no matter how illogical it seems.

My opponent has conceded his formula in the comment sections so I will not acknowledge it here.

This is all that needs to be said to show that my opponent's case is sorely wanting and that I have shown it possible for God to be omni-excellent.

Sources:
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Thanks,
InquireTruth
Debate Round No. 4
45 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by govardhandas 3 years ago
govardhandas
Sometimes God incarnates Himself or empowers a suitable living being to act for Him, but in either case the purpose is the same: the Lord wants the suffering living being to go back home, back to Godhead. The happiness which the living beings are hankering for is not to be found within any corner of the innumerable universes and material planets. The eternal happiness which the living being wants is obtainable in the kingdom of God, but the forgetful living beings under the influence of the material modes have no information of the kingdom of God. The Lord, therefore, comes to propagate the message of the kingdom of God, either personally as an incarnation or through His bona fide representative as the good son of God. Such incarnations or sons of God are not making propaganda for going back to Godhead only within the human society. Their work is also going on in all types of societies, among demigods and those other than human beings. http://www.govardhandas.com...
Posted by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
I will now present my own syllogism as it appeared in the debate.

P1: It is possible for an omni-excellent God to create a being with moral freedom.

P2: If it is possible for said God to create morally free beings, then it is possible for Him to create beings that freely choose to act deleteriously. (i.e. to cause suffering ... I'm not as hooked on good and evil).

P3: It is then possible for said God to create a being who then freely chooses to act deleteriously.

P4: The consequences of these actions, not the actions themselves, lead to suffering. (in philosophy, anything is possible so long as it is logically possible, as per my opponent. We have assumed that an omnipotent and omniscient God is logically possible. Therefore, God could change causality, and alter the present consequences to eliminate suffering. E is replaced with Q.)

P5: God, being omnipotent, can remove consequences from these actions, or alter the consequences of these actions. (see above)

C: Therefore, it is possible for God to create morally free beings without needing human suffering to result.

Consequently, even the need to recognize good and evil, if assumed to be a valid good objective of a good God, is not needed for that God to affect his aim. Yet, suffering exists. This is an unacceptable paradox so long as omnibenevolence is credited to God, as he would have a desire to eliminate suffering.

Now, admittedly, over time, I have thought of one exception to this syllogism that allows omnibenevolence but that my opponent did not mention: God could have dual personality disorder and be omnimalevolent simultaneously. There is no paradox if God chooses not to act. Assuming infinite power turned to both ends, both impulses would be brought to bear infinitely upon each other. Therefore, God, in his benevolence, would quiet his malice and, in his malevolence, would stay his benevolent hand.
Posted by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
The syllogism:

Observations:

(1) We have already admitted that we are looking at what could be logically possible.

(2) We are both assuming God's omnipotence and omniscience are true as part of the construct. This doesn't make them true, anymore than it does any other conceptual model. Basically, all conceptual models are giant if/then statements where we say 'If [everything is as I know it to be], then [this will necessarily follow].' In this instance, a tri-omni God is added to [everything is as I know it to be] and I am arguing [this will necessarily follow].

(3) Divergence: my opponent assumes that recognition of good and evil relies upon suffering. I do not believe that this follows logically. Moreover, I do not believe it follows that this level of suffering is needed.

Response:

P1: It is possible for said God (omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-benevolent) to create a being that has moral freedom.

Moral freedom is merely the ability to choose between a better and a worse alternative (a 'good' and an 'evil' one). God can change everything. Why not change the dichotomous relationship of good and evil? As commonprotocol said, X+Y=Z only if, for constant Z, X and Y have the necessary combined value. God can change the values and make Y or X=Z. So suffering+experience=recognition of good and evil need not follow.

P2: If it is possible for said God to create morally free beings, then it is possible for said God to create a being who freely chooses to act evilly.

Once again, only if God allows evil. God can still make an agent morally free without 'evil,' or at least without the level of 'evil' presently in existence. For example:

A has option G or E. O can replace E with Q. E has value -2G. Q has value -G. Assuming more G is desirable and that O cares about A, O should replace E with Q. A now has a free and moral choice between G and -G.

Additionally, what good cause compels him to do so?

I will now present my own syllogism, wh
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
These arguments stem from dualism, as I noted prior. Dualism, as is detailed by quite a few of the greatest minds in the history of mankind (if we are to use an appeal to authority to validate our position :) ), is significantly flawed. Not only that, but even the man who first adopted the dualist perspective mitigated it clearly by giving a detailed philosophical proof that our sensory perception is intricately tied to our mind/soul, so dismissing the empirical as illusory isn't particularly founded. Descartes invented the demon hypothesis in order to challenge our senses, but still ends up proving that we should trust them by the end of the Meditations. So, any empiricist & even many dualists will have trouble with modal logic if it means that we have to entirely disregard our schema of what is actually possible.
Posted by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
A few points necessarily following IT's responses:

(1)"In philosophy, what is possible is [only] limited by ... what COULD be possible. "
I agree. Let's look at it this way: in this hypothetical, we are positing the same world ordinarily observable under the auspices of an omnipotent and omniscient God, and are arguing what is possible for that God to do to this world or before this world's inception. However, unlike my opponent who feels that logic springs from a font of possibilities enabled by an objective truth, I believe that an action is logical provided that it is not contradictory within a conceptual framework, and that a framework is logical provided that it does not allow any actions that logically contradict its precepts. In other words, I believe that all of one's understanding is a part of an imperfect subjective model under improvement, renovated as logical fallacies become apparent.

(2) "I COULD jump to the moon; that means it is LOGICALLY possible."
Actually, in the scenario posited, you could not, without God's assistance. Once the scope of possibilities has been established for a hypothetical, those possibilities can not be revised without altering the hypothetical. In this debate, the construct requires that we assume that everything is as it is. It allows only how God could make it to be or have been.

(3) Now, could I both exist and not exist at the same time...? No ..."
Yes. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Meet the wacky world of quantum mechanics!

(2)"there is a possible world where my physiological make-up and the gravitational force where such that I COULD jump to the moon."
So this is more logically possible than that God could have designed us without a pain free alternative to nerve endings and allowed us moral choice?

I will answer the syllogism in the next post.
Posted by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
And commonprotocol, do not let my prose confuse you - I am not trying to be particularly harsh, I just like to barb my words for literary purposes. Words that sting tend to be more beautiful ;). I should extend this word to you as well alto2osu, I know I can come across as condescending, but I am genuinely thankful that we can exchange views.
Posted by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
You are straw-manning because you are attacking something that is not central to my claim, as if by successfully toppling a branch within my argument you have somehow felled the tree. My analogy was for the purpose of clarity, nothing more. Logical possibilities are determined by what could possibly be. There is a possible world were the moon is such and bodies are such that earth-to-moon jumping is possible. I did not reference dualism, as any morphological changes need not effect my brain, which, for all intents and purpose, is more or less what I would call 'me.'

Furthermore, modal logic does not allow for me to say that anything is logically possible. It is a tool that allows us to determine exactly what IS logically possible. There are some things that simply cannot be different. All bachelors are married cannot be different by definition. By affirming that it is a logical impossibility for God to be omni-excellent, then one would need to show that in all possible worlds there is no omni-excellent God. This can be seen in the given syllogism:

P1: It is possible for said God (omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-benevolent) to create a being that has moral freedom.

P2: If it is possible for said God to create morally free beings, then it is possible for said God to create a being who freely chooses to act evilly.

C: It is possible therefore, for said God to create a being who then freely chooses to act evilly.

It need not be plausible or even necessarily true, it need only be possible.

You think logic needs to only deal with the physical. I respectfully disagree, along with the mass some of all analytical philosophy. Logic does not ONLY deal with what is, but also with what possibly could be. Is it possible that our cognitive perceptions yield falsehood and that your experience of physical reality is merely illusory? Logic would dictate that yes, it is indeed possible.
Posted by commonprotocol 7 years ago
commonprotocol
@ Inquiretruth
For starters I would love to know why I am straw-manning you, and more importantly where im doing it.
Secondly even though you try dodging my claim by jumping to dualism it doesn't change the fact that logically I would not state that your physical being is capable of jumping to the moon. If you got confused and thought I was referencing whatever spirit you think you have then please reconsider my arguments as addressing the physical side of things only. And despite all of your condescension you still completely and totally dropped my argument about the foundation of our logic. As soon as you change everything about our planet, then the conclusions you reach don't carry over. As we are no longer able to follow those baby steps of logic that lead us to a conclusion. trying to dodge that argument doesn't work because even though your trying to come in line with it by saying "well fine I don't need to change at all" your still accepting a massive change to our planet, and essentially our expectations of how our planet will react. Either way that chain of logic has been destroyed.
And before you repeat yourself, merely stating that modal logic somehow allows for you to say that anything is logically possible doesn't make you correct.
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
I think that an empiricist definition of experience and your's are two different things :) I would argue that I have no experience of God, only the things that others have told me about their faith/beliefs in such a being. Experience, for me, is tangible, essentially. It is based upon simple ideas that, as my cognitive abilities progress, allows me to form abstract concepts and imaginary concepts. However, an empiricist will differentiate between the experiential idea (simple ideas, as Locke calls them, that are based on readily observable properties) and the abstract or even imaginary idea, which is extrapolated from what we know of the world. God, in this case, is a manifestation created by beings who could not or cannot explain the phenomena around them.

As science progresses, and as more and more of the natural world is examined & explained, the need for God(s) or religion has dwindled. However, I digress.

And, for the record, even dualists presuppose the reliability of the senses. Descartes, in Meditation VI (the founding father, if you will, of dualism) admits plainly that, though he is a thinking thing, that thinking portion is in close & inseparable union with the experiences of his physical body. This is how Descartes comprehends everything outside of "I exist." And I don't think that we accept all physical reality that we perceive via sense. That is the scientific process. We use what replicable means we can to establish that what we hypothesize is true is, in fact, true most of the time, if not all of the time (theories and laws).
Posted by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
The whole model of empiricism is based on begging the question. Physical reality can ONLY be known through experience. We cannot prove the reliability of the senses without presupposing their reliability. Theistic reality is ONLY known through experience (though some argue that it is physically verifiable). There has to be some valid reason that allows us to accept the former on experience alone but not the latter.
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Vote Placed by numbany 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by biggrz 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by abromwell 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by alto2osu 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by PwnzorDebaterLyncher 7 years ago
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