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The Problem of Transcendentalism

000ike
Posts: 11,196
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5/26/2012 4:23:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Assuming that transcendent means beyond comprehension and understanding, then it's a contradiction.

If something were truly transcendent, then we would not know that it was transcendent, nor would we know it existed.

Religions operate under the assumption that God is logically approachable. However, if God was logically approachable that means that he and his workings abide by the the same logical rules that we humans understand. Science is ultimately governed by math,...and math is logic. Therefore, to say that we can prove God's existence through logic is to imply that God does not violate science. (because violating science would mean that he is above logic, and hence cannot be logically proven)

So, what I'm saying is, either God is transcendent and there is no prayer, miracle, Noah's flood, parting the red sea, divine intervention, bringing dead back to life etc. (all the things that violate science), also, no one would be qualified to talk about him, in fact, there would be no Jesus..., or God is not transcendent, and we should be able to make sense of his actions (no more "god works in mysterious ways").

Thoughts?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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5/26/2012 4:44:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Aquinas agreed, and came up with a solution. Basically, God only acted once: God created the universe, and everything in it. He also created "timed", or "scripted" events, where He intervenes in a sense: that is, nature works against the laws of itself, to create miracles and the like. God's interventions were predestined. In short, God 'sustains' the universe, rather than creates it, then acts inside it. When the world was created, in the blueprints he made it so the miracles at Lourdes and equivalent would happen.

I don't know what this does to free will though.
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thett3
Posts: 14,334
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5/26/2012 4:53:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'm not following, why must we assume that you cannot logically justify the existence of a being above logic? There's no warrant to you saying that we would not be able to know if a being is beyond our comprehension given that actions (such as creatio ex nihilo) that the being committed are beyond our comprehension. It would follow that if something has the power to do actions beyond human comprehension, the power of that thing would also be beyond human comprehension. Nothing illogical about that.

It's more logical that a maximally great being is unrestrained by physical and mathematical law since that being created them in the first place. If you created a videogame, you would not be restrained by the rules of that virtual world, and would have the power to alter it in ways that would seem incomprehensible to its inhabitants.

None of this justifies the hypothesis you're positing, that if God is beyond human comprehension his actions are also incomprehensible given that he has the power to enlighten his creations about his will.
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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5/26/2012 5:06:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/26/2012 4:53:54 PM, thett3 wrote:
I'm not following, why must we assume that you cannot logically justify the existence of a being above logic? There's no warrant to you saying that we would not be able to know if a being is beyond our comprehension given that actions (such as creatio ex nihilo) that the being committed are beyond our comprehension. It would follow that if something has the power to do actions beyond human comprehension, the power of that thing would also be beyond human comprehension. Nothing illogical about that.

It's more logical that a maximally great being is unrestrained by physical and mathematical law since that being created them in the first place. If you created a videogame, you would not be restrained by the rules of that virtual world, and would have the power to alter it in ways that would seem incomprehensible to its inhabitants.

None of this justifies the hypothesis you're positing, that if God is beyond human comprehension his actions are also incomprehensible given that he has the power to enlighten his creations about his will.

If a being is above logic, then you cannot logically justify it's existence. Imagine that God leaves behind a red path to trace where he is, and all you have to do is follow the path to find him.....however, God can completely leave the path at any point...The conclusion is that you can never possibly find him. If God may disobey logic at will, then logic will never justify him.

My argument is that if you use logic to justify God, then you assume that God must follow logic. Therefore and by extension God must follow science.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
thett3
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5/26/2012 5:16:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/26/2012 5:06:24 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 5/26/2012 4:53:54 PM, thett3 wrote:
I'm not following, why must we assume that you cannot logically justify the existence of a being above logic? There's no warrant to you saying that we would not be able to know if a being is beyond our comprehension given that actions (such as creatio ex nihilo) that the being committed are beyond our comprehension. It would follow that if something has the power to do actions beyond human comprehension, the power of that thing would also be beyond human comprehension. Nothing illogical about that.

It's more logical that a maximally great being is unrestrained by physical and mathematical law since that being created them in the first place. If you created a videogame, you would not be restrained by the rules of that virtual world, and would have the power to alter it in ways that would seem incomprehensible to its inhabitants.

None of this justifies the hypothesis you're positing, that if God is beyond human comprehension his actions are also incomprehensible given that he has the power to enlighten his creations about his will.

If a being is above logic, then you cannot logically justify it's existence. Imagine that God leaves behind a red path to trace where he is, and all you have to do is follow the path to find him.....however, God can completely leave the path at any point...The conclusion is that you can never possibly find him. If God may disobey logic at will, then logic will never justify him.

My argument is that if you use logic to justify God, then you assume that God must follow logic. Therefore and by extension God must follow science.

You cannot logically prove it's existence. You can logically justify its existence. There is a distinction there. Note how virtually all arguments for the existence of God attempt to logically justify his existence with observations from the natural world (IE first cause, morals, fine tuning, ect.) as opposed to personal interaction. The most sound argument for 000ike's existence would be the interaction we've observed with him, however since God cannot be comprehended by humans, we use observations on what we can comprehend to justify his existence.

God can leave the path you brought up. That does not mean he does. Just because God has the power to violate logical proofs of his existence does not mean he does-after all, since most proofs are based off of fundamental aspects of our nature, his removal of any of these things would change the universe or human nature (morals) as we know it. From this it follows that your argument is unsound since God obviously, by our own observations, does not violate the logic that proves his existence.

When you use logic to prove Gods existence you arent presuming he's bound to logic, you're presuming that he chooses not to alter the logic that leads to mans greatest understanding of his nature.

There is also the objection that all of the miracles described in Scripture are scientifically possible.
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Ahmed.M
Posts: 616
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5/26/2012 5:22:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
There are two things we must understand. There are things beyond our reason and things against our reason.

--> Imagine God understanding what everyone is thinking in all their different languages and interpreting it all perfectly. We simply cannot fathom this, but it isn't impossible. This is BEYOND reason.

--> However something like Can God make himself born is simply contradictory. When something is contradictory it simply carries no meaning that can't be applied to reality. This is AGAINST reason. It's either God is eternal or he isn't in this case. If he is eternal he cannot make himself born period.

You can be transcendent and still be comprehensible but not fully comprehensible. You don't know exactly what it is like to have the power that God does, but it doesn't mean that the idea is impossible.
CrazyPerson
Posts: 1,114
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5/26/2012 8:29:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/26/2012 4:23:15 PM, 000ike wrote:
Assuming that transcendent means beyond comprehension and understanding, then it's a contradiction.

Why is that a contradiction? You don't need to comprehend or understand an experience for it to take place.

If something were truly transcendent, then we would not know that it was transcendent, nor would we know it existed.

Transcendence is generally referred to as any state that beyond the normal range of experience, such as when under the influence of a drug or during a lucid dream.

Religions operate under the assumption that God is logically approachable. However, if God was logically approachable that means that he and his workings abide by the the same logical rules that we humans understand. Science is ultimately governed by math,...and math is logic. Therefore, to say that we can prove God's existence through logic is to imply that God does not violate science. (because violating science would mean that he is above logic, and hence cannot be logically proven)

So, what I'm saying is, either God is transcendent and there is no prayer, miracle, Noah's flood, parting the red sea, divine intervention, bringing dead back to life etc. (all the things that violate science), also, no one would be qualified to talk about him, in fact, there would be no Jesus..., or God is not transcendent, and we should be able to make sense of his actions (no more "god works in mysterious ways").

Thoughts?

Whether or not God is transcendent isn't really something we can discuss. However, I do believe humans can transcend to certain experiential plateaus. Rationality is only half of the coin, as many aspects of life are not rationally explainable.
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
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socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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5/26/2012 8:33:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Doesn't the basic formulation of the problem apply to anything regarding the causes of the universe and not just God specifically since logic, reason, etc. are inherently a part of the universe inside the universe?
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
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Gileandos
Posts: 2,394
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5/26/2012 9:12:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/26/2012 4:23:15 PM, 000ike wrote:
Assuming that transcendent means beyond comprehension and understanding, then it's a contradiction.

Theologically transcendent does not mean that.

http://www.theopedia.com...

"The transcendence of God is closely related to his sovereignty. It means that God is above, other than, and distinct from all he has made - he transcends it all. Paul says that there is "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:6). Scripture says elsewhere, "For you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods (Psalms 97:9; cf. 108:5)."