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Godsnmbr1

A question for all skeptics

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Frank Merton

I cant comprehend this so i have to try and accept it on faith. I do find the concept fascinating, if incredible. Feelings in humans are an intellectual concept (generally learned and taught from birth) They are attached to words/labels to identify them. All human ideas emotions etc are verbally based. In fact i would argue one cannot "think" without using a verbal language Otherwise one is limited to the type of" thinking" used by animals lacking awarenessof self and all that goes with this.

What do you think in/with, if not word based constructs, and if you see an image, how do you know what it is, without a linguistic/label attached to it?

I think with thoughts. It's like trying to explain "blue" or "pain." These qualia can be understood only if you have experienced them.

Let me ask this -- animals do not have language -- but watch your pets and try to tell me they don't think. Not about philosophy perhaps, but more like where am I likely to find some food?

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Mr Walker

I just can't imagine myself thinking purely in words and languages, unless I try hard to visualize every single letter. My reaction to MW's thinking process was a pure 'WTF?!'. Everything in my head is pretty much made of sounds and images.

Is your avatar that guy from Bleach, the pure embodiment of bluffing?

When you say sound, do you mean a comprehensible sound? if so you are thinking in words as well as images. The only difference with me is that, while awake, i never see, or can form, a visual image simple or complex. I do not SEE words in my mind (or letters .) They are just there in my thoughts. When i spell, even a complicated word, i do not visualise the letters of it, just recall it verbally from memory. This may be why i can read and memorise a whole page in a second or two. I do not 'read' each word or letter, but transfer the whole content of the page into my memory in a very short time . (the time it takes to look at the page and turn it over)

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Paranoid Android

The universe is what it is and if it contains gods that change the rules arbitrarily, then they and their manipulations are also part of the universe, subject to its rules.

The definition of God that I use includes the idea that if such a being exists then it created everything in our world, including the physical laws governing it. So to me it does not make sense when you posit that the manipulations of such a being (if it exists) is a slave to the system it itself created. That would seem to suggest that the system is greater than that which created it.

Call this a product of indoctrination if you wish, but I believe miracles can and do happen. I don't expect to see them, they aren't commonplace, but I believe they can.

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Frank Merton

Congratulations that you can do that.

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Frank Merton

The definition of God that I use includes the idea that if such a being exists then it created everything in our world, including the physical laws governing it. So to me it does not make sense when you posit that the manipulations of such a being (if it exists) is a slave to the system it itself created. That would seem to suggest that the system is greater than that which created it.

Call this a product of indoctrination if you wish, but I believe miracles can and do happen. I don't expect to see them, they aren't commonplace, but I believe they can.

Can God create a universe where when A causes or implies B and B causes or implies C that A nevertheless does not cause or imply C?

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Mr Walker

I think with thoughts. It's like trying to explain "blue" or "pain." These qualia can be understood only if you have experienced them.

Let me ask this -- animals do not have language -- but watch your pets and try to tell me they don't think. Not about philosophy perhaps, but more like where am I likely to find some food?

What are thoughts if not verbal/linguistic constructs?

Animals do not have words. (with a few trained exceptions) they act on instinct and learned response.Tthey cannot form abstract constructs.

I'm not trying to be difficult here. I am trying to understand how a human being can think at a human level without the use of linguistic verbal constructs attached to objects ideas and constructs. The word blue (a linguistic construct) allows any english speaker to communicate with another an understanding of the colour blue. When we first see blue we have no name for it, but the colour recognition/memory is stored on a neuron.

When we learn the word associated with the colour, every human being transfers the knowledge to a new neuron linking colour/memory image, with label. Thus we can communally recognise and talk about blue, or an apple, or paris hilton, with a common knowledge.

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Mr Walker

Riyeh

What Mr Walker reports is familiar and plausible among sighted people. Can you reproduce a smell in your mind? Some people can, others not, of those who can, there is a range of performance. Can you feel dizzy by summoning either the experience of disequilibrium or of visual voritcity?

Mr Walker

The issue of "forming" an image in the mind is one aspect of thinking visually. The common and still interesting case is to reason from an actual image, like a diagram or model.

Example There is a thread here on UM about the "Monty Hall Problem." My first encounter with that was somebody telling me the story in words. The story is just complicated enough to swamp short term memory, and I got the problem wrong. I grabbed pencil and paper and requested to be told the story again. I diagrammed the situation as the person spoke. The diagram would still have swamped short term memory, just as the words had done, but with the concrete image, I immediately saw the solution. I reasoned visually, without the need to form a consciously apprehensible image in my head.

I suspect both you and your typical student can do that. Of course, I accept that you could train yourself to develop other ways of thinking instead of visual. I was an eiditiker in early childhood, and learned my way out of that (as almost all eidetikers do - it sounds great, but it's actually limiting) - I'll spot you your training, then.

Closer to topic, the plot of Close Encounters of the Third Kind has the still-undetected aliens summon a few humans to join them at their landing site. Information about the rendezvous is communicated to the humans using a variety of mental modalities, including visually and muscially (and they use physical lights and music when they arrive - hey, it's the movies). In one case, the aliens guide the human in creating a concrete image, not just impart a mental one.

Reann

Yes, we all have "a condition," but hers is an interesting example of how difficult the diagnosis of mental illness can be, or for that matter to apply Jesus' or the Buddha's "test by fruits." Her voices were the vehicle of something extraordinary, but they got her killed.

The English church was the means of her execution. In reality, however, she was a prize of war, her king declined to ransom her, and so, one way or the other, she was toast. In fairness, it was she, not the English, who had raised the Gott mit uns issue regarding her career, that there was heavenly interest in the secular squabble between England and France. That does not, in my view, justify what was done to her, but it does contribute to the complexity of her case.

Frank brings up another complicated case, Socrates', whose voices were both his distinction and what got him killed. It is regrettable that we know so much less about Socrates than Jeanne - whatever else the church did, it preserved her description of her experience.

Interesting. I can draw almost anything, from a real object to an imagined one including maps house plans etc. quite well (Either good genes or some family background A number of my family were expert artists and draftsmen. ) yet i cannot "see" an image in my mind, even while looking at one on paper. I draw straight from my mind without any visual step in between. My mind knows what a pine tree or a dodecahedron looks like, but cant reproduce one in visual form in my mind even though I can draw it accurately on paper.

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Frank Merton

What are thoughts if not verbal/linguistic constructs?

If you don't know I can't tell you. Subject closed as far as I'm concerned.

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Liquid Gardens

Can God create a universe where when A causes or implies B and B causes or implies C that A nevertheless does not cause or imply C?

Yes, he's omnipotent, do you have some basis for thinking otherwise? On what basis should we expect a supreme being to be confined by our understanding of reality? Doesn't it ignore a large part of what God is defined to be to assume that he should yet be confined by our puny ability to comprehend?

I'm not sure what this question is supposed to demonstrate, you've mentioned it a couple times like it's some kind of 'gotcha' but I'm not sure why. Depending how you look at it, how he can violate human understanding of logic would seem to be insignificant considering he's a being that can create universes from nothing and in my opinion also defined what logic is to begin with; yes, now that I have asserted that he can create an illogical universe you can ask, 'explain how he can do that or how that makes sense', but you might as well be asking to explain how he can create a universe from nothing and how that makes sense. Of course no one can explain it, that's why he's God, it's part of the definition.

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Mr Walker

If you don't know I can't tell you. Subject closed as far as I'm concerned.

Ah well. Perhaps someone else can explain it. I am actually fascinated by this, as speech, language, symbolism thought self aware sapience, etc., has fascinated me since early childhood, from when my mother first explained the nature of conscious and subconscious thought as well as explaining my stream of consciuousness which terrified me when i first became conscious of its existence; and the costruction of language and thought formed a large part of my university education.

Ps I can appreciate the dificulty of trying to explain your own thought processes to someone totally unfamiliar with such a way of thinking.

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Skep B

Lets see...if i wake up in the morning, and I hear a voice claiming to be god......I'm probably crazy, or just massively egotistical.

I'm already egotistical, and don't usually hear from God aside from weekends, so I'd have to have gone crazy.

Probably follow in my gradaddy's footsteps and start a cult

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ambelamba

Yes, he's omnipotent, do you have some basis for thinking otherwise? On what basis should we expect a supreme being to be confined by our understanding of reality? Doesn't it ignore a large part of what God is defined to be to assume that he should yet be confined by our puny ability to comprehend?

I'm not sure what this question is supposed to demonstrate, you've mentioned it a couple times like it's some kind of 'gotcha' but I'm not sure why. Depending how you look at it, how he can violate human understanding of logic would seem to be insignificant considering he's a being that can create universes from nothing and in my opinion also defined what logic is to begin with; yes, now that I have asserted that he can create an illogical universe you can ask, 'explain how he can do that or how that makes sense', but you might as well be asking to explain how he can create a universe from nothing and how that makes sense. Of course no one can explain it, that's why he's God, it's part of the definition.

Does omnipotence equal the complete, total control of everything?

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Leonardo

Yes, he's omnipotent, do you have some basis for thinking otherwise? On what basis should we expect a supreme being to be confined by our understanding of reality? Doesn't it ignore a large part of what God is defined to be to assume that he should yet be confined by our puny ability to comprehend?

The quality of omnipotence does not suggest God can do that which cannot be done, only that God can do anything which can be done.

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Liquid Gardens

Does omnipotence equal the complete, total control of everything?

Not necessarily, although I think it implies an ability to do so if it was desired; the Christian God given his definition does not appear to control everything due to his bestowing us with free will, but he does have the power to withdraw that and completely control everything if he wished.

The quality of omnipotence does not suggest God can do that which cannot be done, only that God can do anything which can be done.

Doesn't suggesting that there exists something 'that cannot be done' imply that God dwells in some greater universe with laws that cannot be violated? If so, who created those rules or laws? Given the definition of God, how can something else exist that was not his creation, including logic, rationality, etc? It doesn't seem like we're really being faithful (ha) to the definition of God then. Even if you were correct that 'God cannot do that which cannot be done', it doesn't really say too much relevant to this particular point as we should have no confidence that we can know which specific things cannot be done and which can, including violating logical rules.

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eight bits

LG

Doesn't suggesting that there exists something 'that cannot be done'

"Suggesting" is the key word. To say some action cannot be done is to say that there is no such action. You have imagined some idea that cannot be done. In which case, what you imagine is not an action. If it were an action, then it could be done.

imply that God dwells in some greater universe with laws that cannot be violated?

No, they can't be violated in this universe, either. Nor any other. This is not optional, this is not local, this is not temporal.

Given the definition of God, how can something else exist that was not his creation, including logic, rationality, etc?

Logical rules weren't created. They aren't things - they have no ontological status. They aren't even rules, rules are a way we have of speaking about them.

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Sherapy

LG

"Suggesting" is the key word. To say some action cannot be done is to say that there is no such action. You have imagined some idea that cannot be done. In which case, what you imagine is not an action. If it were an action, then it could be done.

No, they can't be violated in this universe, either. Nor any other. This is not optional, this is not local, this is not temporal.

Logical rules weren't created. They aren't things - they have no ontological status. They aren't even rules, rules are a way we have of speaking about them.

This is an excellent point one worth remembering in and of themselves(something I had to learn) until a definition is applied they are abstractions. Definitions are a starting place that do not always bear out. In fact, in logic a definition has to meet a certain criteria..

Edited by Sherapy
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Liquid Gardens

"Suggesting" is the key word. To say some action cannot be done is to say that there is no such action. You have imagined some idea that cannot be done. In which case, what you imagine is not an action. If it were an action, then it could be done.

Hi eight. I'm not sure if this is a refutation of what I said or not, it seems to largely be a semantic argument if so. We cannot talk about hypothetical actions, that's a contradiction? Can a dragon take the action to breathe fire? I'd assume not since there are no such things as dragons so it cannot be done, so I shouldn't be using the term, 'action'?

No, they can't be violated in this universe, either. Nor any other. This is not optional, this is not local, this is not temporal.

What exactly is this confidence based on? You're really going to assert that we know enough to know what a supreme being is confined by, a supreme being upon which all of our meager understanding relies? As I mentioned earlier, should we also say that God could not have created this universe from nothing, or is that something that can be violated in some realm, and how do we know any of this?

Whether or not God can create a universe where A=B but B<>A isn't the full point, it's that even if God could, we could not comprehend it. So it seems that we are then stuck with saying, 'I know that God cannot do this certain thing that I can't comprehend', which seems like pretty weak reasoning.

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Frank Merton

I can see there is no way, except by regurgitation following severe nausea, that one can say an omnipotent being could not exist in spite of being a logical contradiction contrary to self-referential reasoning. Refuting it strikes me as on the same order as refuting solipsism or the extreme skepticism that nothing exists and there is no reality. It also has aspects of trying to refute creationism or hard-line Marxism.

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Skep B

Now, now Frank...you let the kids fight, it's good for them

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Frank Merton

Now, now Frank...you let the kids fight, it's good for them

Oh, in spite of knowing better, I'm one of them.
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Skep B

DANGIT

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Liquid Gardens

Now, now Frank...you let the kids fight, it's good for them

Someone's fighting?

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Skep B

I was joking

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Frank Merton

I'm not sure but when I referred to regurgitation following severe nausea I think I was too.

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eight bits

Hi, LG

it seems to largely be a semantic argument if so.

It's not an argument, it's an observation about what your "rules of logic" are. If you see what they are, then you see that it is nonsense to speak of their being "violated."

Not merely that it cannot happen, but that it makes no sense to say that it happens. What you call "the rules of logic" are a necessary condition for sense.

Perhaps the confusion lies in that there is another necessary condition for sense, being acceptably grammatical. A disordered string of words, not even Yoda-ordered, makes no sense:

violate logic does rules the of God

That's easy to see. What's harder to see, but equally true, is that this string of the same words, arranged in orderly grammatical fashion, makes just as much sense: none at all

God does violate the rules of logic

At best that sentence could be false. But that isn't what you're talking about. You're talking about

God made a circle with no center. See, there it is.

That first sentence, as the words are actually used, is not even false. It fails to assert. It is just a string of words, ordered but vacuous. To say that isn't "semantics," because there is no meaning to discuss.

If I wanted to play you, then I would hide the ball.

God made a rock so heavy that he couldn't budge it.

That "looks like" it asserts something. But that's only because the contradiction in "a rock so heavy that God can't budge it" is a little better hidden than the contradiction in "a circle with no center." Sheri's caution is indispensible. You have to be very careful with definitions. Even then, it is a theorem that you can never be sure that I didn't hide the ball "one layer deeper" than you checked.

We cannot talk about hypothetical actions, that's a contradiction?

Not necessarily. If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. The contradiction and the action are nicely separated from each other. The beggar rode a wish horse. That's a problem.

Can a dragon take the action to breathe fire?

Sure. The corresponding sentence "a dragon can breathe fire" may be false, but "to breathe fire" isn't a contradiction. The action is fine. Dragon can be fine, too. It just so happens that the combination of a real being and that particular action doesn't exist. I can reason about falsehoods; I cannot "reason about" contradictions.

So it seems that we are then stuck with saying, 'I know that God cannot do this certain thing that I can't comprehend', which seems like pretty weak reasoning.

I comprehend it just fine. The "certain thing" in question in no thing at all. There is nothing to "reason about," no more than I would reason about

"Apple wrong sideswiping pancake underscores."

Me: Can God do that, do you think?

You: Do what?

Me: You got it.

Edited by eight bits
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