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Praxeological case against God

socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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1/4/2012 1:11:59 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
To the Austrians of the site (not sure if there are too many of them on here anymore) or really anyone who subscribes to the axiom of action, I found a pretty interesting argument which uses the fact that action is always a means to some unattained end to disprove the existence of an all perfect being. Here it is:

P1: A completely perfect deity created reality and everything encompassing existence.- assumed position of the theist

P2: To act is to aim at the attainment of some end or goal.- Mises' axiom of action

P3: A being of pure perfection could not be in a state more preferable than that of it's initial perfection.

C: No such utterly perfect being could possibly exist.

Thought?
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
baggins
Posts: 855
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1/4/2012 7:36:05 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/4/2012 1:11:59 AM, socialpinko wrote:
To the Austrians of the site (not sure if there are too many of them on here anymore) or really anyone who subscribes to the axiom of action, I found a pretty interesting argument which uses the fact that action is always a means to some unattained end to disprove the existence of an all perfect being. Here it is:

P1: A completely perfect deity created reality and everything encompassing existence.- assumed position of the theist

P2: To act is to aim at the attainment of some end or goal.- Mises' axiom of action

P3: A being of pure perfection could not be in a state more preferable than that of it's initial perfection.

C: No such utterly perfect being could possibly exist.

Thought?

The argument consists of erroneous extrapolation. Mises' axiom of action is applicable for human behavior. It cannot be applied to God.
The Holy Quran 29:19-20

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2012 7:52:12 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/4/2012 7:36:05 AM, baggins wrote:
At 1/4/2012 1:11:59 AM, socialpinko wrote:
To the Austrians of the site (not sure if there are too many of them on here anymore) or really anyone who subscribes to the axiom of action, I found a pretty interesting argument which uses the fact that action is always a means to some unattained end to disprove the existence of an all perfect being. Here it is:

P1: A completely perfect deity created reality and everything encompassing existence.- assumed position of the theist

P2: To act is to aim at the attainment of some end or goal.- Mises' axiom of action

P3: A being of pure perfection could not be in a state more preferable than that of it's initial perfection.

C: No such utterly perfect being could possibly exist.

Thought?

The argument consists of erroneous extrapolation. Mises' axiom of action is applicable for human behavior. It cannot be applied to God.

Why not?

If we agree, in a similar vein as Aquinas, that "to act" means to go from potentiality to actuality, then it is clear that God cannot act. To act is to change and how can perfection change and remain perfection?

So while such a perfection could technically exist, it cannot be a causal agent for anything we experience as reality, as that would require action on part of said perfection.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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1/4/2012 8:04:23 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/4/2012 7:52:12 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2012 7:36:05 AM, baggins wrote:
At 1/4/2012 1:11:59 AM, socialpinko wrote:
To the Austrians of the site (not sure if there are too many of them on here anymore) or really anyone who subscribes to the axiom of action, I found a pretty interesting argument which uses the fact that action is always a means to some unattained end to disprove the existence of an all perfect being. Here it is:

P1: A completely perfect deity created reality and everything encompassing existence.- assumed position of the theist

P2: To act is to aim at the attainment of some end or goal.- Mises' axiom of action

P3: A being of pure perfection could not be in a state more preferable than that of it's initial perfection.

C: No such utterly perfect being could possibly exist.

Thought?

The argument consists of erroneous extrapolation. Mises' axiom of action is applicable for human behavior. It cannot be applied to God.

Why not?

If we agree, in a similar vein as Aquinas, that "to act" means to go from potentiality to actuality, then it is clear that God cannot act. To act is to change and how can perfection change and remain perfection?

So while such a perfection could technically exist, it cannot be a causal agent for anything we experience as reality, as that would require action on part of said perfection.

Exactly. While the action axiom originally only applied to humans, the principle can consistently be applied to any conscious agent. Mises merely focused on humanity in the action axiom because most everyday cases only apply to people. God doesn't come into conversation on social sciences or economics very much, however, there's no reason to believe that the action axiom only applies to one of the species homo sapiens when the only point of interest is the concept and motivations for action.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,926
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1/4/2012 8:49:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Uh, drafterman, that is just not factually correct. Your view isn't ib aquinas' vein at all. In fact, it's the complete opposite. For aquinas and other theists of the thomistic variety God is a being in which no distinctions of potentiality and act apply; God is pure act.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/4/2012 9:14:04 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/4/2012 8:49:58 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Uh, drafterman, that is just not factually correct. Your view isn't ib aquinas' vein at all. In fact, it's the complete opposite. For aquinas and other theists of the thomistic variety God is a being in which no distinctions of potentiality and act apply; God is pure act.

What I just said is one of the objections to Aquinas' argument:

"There seems to be a contradiction in the argument. Premise (2), "Whatever is moved is moved by another," conflicts with the notion of God in this argument as that of something unmoved, i.e., that of the Unmoved Mover. God, then, is an the exception to the truth of premise (2). Nevertheless, cannot God move or act? If God is pure actuality, then it would seem to follow that God can't do anything, for God is already all that God could be. If, then, God is already all that God can be, there's no potential for God to be able to act or be in any way different from what God is. If God is claimed to have a privileged status and not subject to the firse premise, then the argument becomes viciously circular."

http://philosophy.lander.edu...
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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1/4/2012 1:49:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/4/2012 1:34:20 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Why should we accept p2 or p3?

P2 is self evident and irrefutable really. Individuals act, any attempt to refute the premise relies on it's affirmation to prove it's negation since refutation is itself an act. Action on their part is always acted in a way so as to maximize preferableness. Otherwise it's action would be random or non- goal oriented.

P3 bases on the common concept of perfection as more preferrable than non-perfection. If an individual (or deity) is in a state of pure perfection, it follows from the general conception of perfection as preferrable that that entity would not be able to act in any way without lowering it's state of perfection and thus preferableness of it's state.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
M.Torres
Posts: 3,626
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1/4/2012 5:58:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I award thee over 9,000 forum points.
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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1/4/2012 6:46:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/4/2012 5:58:10 PM, M.Torres wrote:
I award thee over 9,000 forum points.

Is that good or bad?
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,926
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1/4/2012 9:16:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/4/2012 7:52:12 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2012 7:36:05 AM, baggins wrote:
At 1/4/2012 1:11:59 AM, socialpinko wrote:
To the Austrians of the site (not sure if there are too many of them on here anymore) or really anyone who subscribes to the axiom of action, I found a pretty interesting argument which uses the fact that action is always a means to some unattained end to disprove the existence of an all perfect being. Here it is:

P1: A completely perfect deity created reality and everything encompassing existence.- assumed position of the theist

P2: To act is to aim at the attainment of some end or goal.- Mises' axiom of action

P3: A being of pure perfection could not be in a state more preferable than that of it's initial perfection.

C: No such utterly perfect being could possibly exist.

Thought?

The argument consists of erroneous extrapolation. Mises' axiom of action is applicable for human behavior. It cannot be applied to God.

Why not?

If we agree, in a similar vein as Aquinas, that "to act" means to go from potentiality to actuality,

No, that's change. Change is going from potentiality to actuality.

then it is clear that God cannot act. To act is to change and how can perfection :change and remain perfection?

The whole argument goes that nothing can actualize it's own potentials (because only actual things can actualize things; mere potentials obviously can't). And so on. So for each of these potentials there must be something actual that actualizes these potentials. Obviously this leads to chain of composite things that are act and potency that constantly have to be acted in order to change the potential. If there were an infinite regress of act/potency beings nothing would have been actualized in the first place because there would be no first member (that itself has no potentials) in order to actualize and the start the chain. That's where God comes in that he's pure actuality in that he has no potentials and thus is in no need for another actual thing to act upon him.

And you're aware that divine immutability (God not being able to go through change) is part of that classical theist doctrine, right? You're not pointing out anything out that classical theists (and aristotelians) haven't accepted for, literally, thousands of years.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
baggins
Posts: 855
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1/4/2012 9:59:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/4/2012 8:04:23 AM, socialpinko wrote:
At 1/4/2012 7:52:12 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2012 7:36:05 AM, baggins wrote:
At 1/4/2012 1:11:59 AM, socialpinko wrote:
To the Austrians of the site (not sure if there are too many of them on here anymore) or really anyone who subscribes to the axiom of action, I found a pretty interesting argument which uses the fact that action is always a means to some unattained end to disprove the existence of an all perfect being. Here it is:

P1: A completely perfect deity created reality and everything encompassing existence.- assumed position of the theist

P2: To act is to aim at the attainment of some end or goal.- Mises' axiom of action

P3: A being of pure perfection could not be in a state more preferable than that of it's initial perfection.

C: No such utterly perfect being could possibly exist.

Thought?

The argument consists of erroneous extrapolation. Mises' axiom of action is applicable for human behavior. It cannot be applied to God.

Why not?

I guess it is obvious that the concept of time is unlikely to be applicable to God in the same way as it is applicable to human beings. This means the concept of 'time', 'action', 'change' cannot be used to understand nature of God.


If we agree, in a similar vein as Aquinas, that "to act" means to go from potentiality to actuality, then it is clear that God cannot act. To act is to change and how can perfection change and remain perfection?

So while such a perfection could technically exist, it cannot be a causal agent for anything we experience as reality, as that would require action on part of said perfection.

Exactly. While the action axiom originally only applied to humans, the principle can consistently be applied to any conscious agent. Mises merely focused on humanity in the action axiom because most everyday cases only apply to people. God doesn't come into conversation on social sciences or economics very much, however, there's no reason to believe that the action axiom only applies to one of the species homo sapiens when the only point of interest is the concept and motivations for action.

Defending the axiom is much more tougher if you want to include God within its scope.
The Holy Quran 29:19-20

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,926
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1/4/2012 10:36:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/4/2012 1:49:08 PM, socialpinko wrote:

P3 bases on the common concept of perfection as more preferrable than non-perfection. If an individual (or deity) is in a state of pure perfection, it follows from the general conception of perfection as preferrable that that entity would not be able to act in any way without lowering it's state of perfection and thus preferableness of it's state.

This argument seems to rely on the assumption that there is a maximally good/perfect state of affairs that God would prefer o some less than good or perfect state of affairs and without going to onerous detail this assumption has been challenged. For example, it doesn't really seem to be that way. For example, in creating the world, it would seem that there is no limit to the value that could be added in some other possible. So in possible world A we have one good person. In possible world B we have two good people, and so on ad infinitum. There doesn't seem to be any limit on how many value making things there could possibly be; in this respect asking what the most perfect or maximally good state of affairs or possible worlds would be like asking what the highest natural number is. There isn't one. And, so, if there is no "perfection" limit on the states of affairs it seems that God could choose to take a less than perfect action and that would be preferrable because there is no upper limit to perfect states of affairs. The best one could do with is settle with a really good states of affairs (at best).
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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1/5/2012 6:40:01 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/4/2012 9:16:13 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 1/4/2012 7:52:12 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 1/4/2012 7:36:05 AM, baggins wrote:
At 1/4/2012 1:11:59 AM, socialpinko wrote:
To the Austrians of the site (not sure if there are too many of them on here anymore) or really anyone who subscribes to the axiom of action, I found a pretty interesting argument which uses the fact that action is always a means to some unattained end to disprove the existence of an all perfect being. Here it is:

P1: A completely perfect deity created reality and everything encompassing existence.- assumed position of the theist

P2: To act is to aim at the attainment of some end or goal.- Mises' axiom of action

P3: A being of pure perfection could not be in a state more preferable than that of it's initial perfection.

C: No such utterly perfect being could possibly exist.

Thought?

The argument consists of erroneous extrapolation. Mises' axiom of action is applicable for human behavior. It cannot be applied to God.

Why not?

If we agree, in a similar vein as Aquinas, that "to act" means to go from potentiality to actuality,

No, that's change. Change is going from potentiality to actuality.

Action is a form of change.


then it is clear that God cannot act. To act is to change and how can perfection :change and remain perfection?


The whole argument goes that nothing can actualize it's own potentials (because only actual things can actualize things; mere potentials obviously can't). And so on. So for each of these potentials there must be something actual that actualizes these potentials. Obviously this leads to chain of composite things that are act and potency that constantly have to be acted in order to change the potential. If there were an infinite regress of act/potency beings nothing would have been actualized in the first place because there would be no first member (that itself has no potentials) in order to actualize and the start the chain. That's where God comes in that he's pure actuality in that he has no potentials and thus is in no need for another actual thing to act upon him.

And you're aware that divine immutability (God not being able to go through change) is part of that classical theist doctrine, right? You're not pointing out anything out that classical theists (and aristotelians) haven't accepted for, literally, thousands of years.

The problem is, God needs to be able to actualize his own potentials in order to be a terminator in an infinite sequence.

Prior to creating the world, God had the potential to create the world. So... how did that potential become actual? By God himself?
Jon1
Posts: 314
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1/5/2012 2:38:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/4/2012 6:46:20 PM, socialpinko wrote:
At 1/4/2012 5:58:10 PM, M.Torres wrote:
I award thee over 9,000 forum points.

Is that good or bad?

Dunno, but it's over 9000.