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Paul Anthony



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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:25 pm

I think of us as being composed of "God". If God created the universe, what did he use for building materials? If, before the Big Bang, nothing existed except God, then God IS the energy and matter which makes up everything in the universe. So, we are all parts of God.

I am not a human being, having a spiritual experience.
I am a spiritual being, having a human experience.

And perhaps God finds it amusing.
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Schizophretard

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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:31 am

I can see how predestination and freewill would make a paradox but God knowing the future isn't predestination. Predestination is God knowing the future because he caused it to happen thereby taking away your freewill.

It's like this. If God sees your future but it is actually you that chooses your destiny then you have freewill. If God sees your future and chooses your destiny then that is predestination. It all depends on actions and not knowledge. Even if God didn't know your future he could still control your behavior. So, God knowing the future has nothing to do with it. What if God knows your future but every single one of your choices are against his will? Would it be his will that you did everything against his will? What if God knew your future then made himself forget? Would his forgetting give you freewill and change all the choices you were going to make? What if you time traveled back into your past? Would you take away your own freewill in the past because now you know all the choices your past self is going to make? What if there is a psychic that knows your future? Did that psychic take away your freewill at the moment they gazed into your future?

There is no reason why God's knowledge must be limited to have freewill. The only thing he has to limit for you to have freewill is his actions. If he pulls your strings then you're his puppet. If he cuts your strings then he is allowing you to be your own puppeteer. His knowledge of the puppet show makes no difference at all.

God knowing your past before you do is just from your perspective any ways. Since God is out of time he experiences no past or future. All of time is in his present eternal moment. He sees you making your choices as you make them just like everyone around you sees them when you make them. So, the reason he knows everything your going to do is because he is watch you do it as you do it. He finds out what your going to do the same way you do. God has no future, only we do. He only has the present.

Why is this so hard to understand? There is no apparent contradiction!!!!!!!!!! d'oh
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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:31 am

Schizophretard wrote:
I can see how predestination and freewill would make a paradox but God knowing the future isn't predestination.

If God created the universe in such a way that He could know every subatomic event that would occur and every choice we would make, then the universe would be predestined to follow that fate.

Therefore:
Quote :
Predestination is God knowing the future because he caused it to happen thereby taking away your freewill.

Exactly. But the point I keep bringing up is why would He go through such a process, put us through Hell, so to speak, to watch us do what He knew we would do all along. It's the same thing even if God was created with/as the universe. What's the point? Not only would we have been created to follow the path He had created, but He wouldn't be able to experience the surprise and delight of creatures choosing to do the right thing of their own free will.

Quote :
Even if God didn't know your future he could still control your behavior.


Not without destroying your free will.

Quote :
What if God knows your future but every single one of your choices are against his will? Would it be his will that you did everything against his will?


We don't make choices against His will, we make them free of His will. We can however act counter to His desire that we act morally and with virtue.

Quote :
What if God knew your future then made himself forget?

lol!

Quote :
What if you time traveled back into your past? Would you take away your own freewill in the past because now you know all the choices your past self is going to make?

Forgetting the time travel paradox, which I believe isn't possible, making amends of our own free will for our past mistakes is a large part of repentance.

Quote :
He finds out what your going to do the same way you do.

Not if He "knows the future".

Quote :
Why is this so hard to understand? There is no apparent contradiction!!!!!!!!!!


But there is................
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:38 pm

Quote :
If he pulls your strings then you're his puppet. If he cuts your strings then he is allowing you to be your own puppeteer. His knowledge of the puppet show makes no difference at all.

That's a good point, notwithstanding that paineful might be right that if God does know what's going to happen right down to the final i dotted and t crossed then that does sound a lot like predestination.

A rose is a rose by any other name.

So yeah, I think you've made some interesting points but I don't think you have in fact resolved our paradox, i.e. ...
Quote :
Why is this so hard to understand? There is no apparent contradiction!!!!!!!!!!

Although I think Gnomon is getting at what you're alluding to that it's possible to have a system in which you can kinda predict the system as a whole, but not necessarily how it will arrive there.

The concept of randomness that Gnomon talks about is fascinating.

Life forms, I guess inject randomness, one could say. And that is because, while they are subject to the physical laws of the universe, their behaviour is not strictly and totally reactionary to the laws of nature (as a falling rock's would be).

What I mean is that inanimate ojects move totally as a reaction to the laws of nature. That is if you threw a rock out of the 100th floor of a building, most people would agree that the rock would not influence its own movement, it's trajectory would simply be in response to physical forces like wind resistance, gravity, etc.

But if you threw a bird out of the 100th floor of a building. You could make some assumptions such that it is subject to the physical laws of the universe. You could even explain the process by which it can fly. But beyond that you wouldn't know what it would do. Would it come back through the window?, where would it fly to? etc. So all life exudes this randomness.

But then we get into a category of life in which we are aware of the randomness and can actually, to a degree limited by the fact that we are still subject to the physical laws of the universe, control our randomness, so to speak.

I guess another way of looking at it is an animal that is almost completely operating on instinct still injects randomness but a randomness that is still completely reactionary.

For instance if you put out six saucers of beer, which slugs crawled into a particular saucer would be random.

With higher life forms, and most notably humans, we inject a randomness that is self directing. And actually we can do some quite powerful stuff when you think of it. For instance, if we set off every nuclear device on the earth at strategic points we could, I believe, set off an extinction as great as ever befell the earth. Global warming is another self directing randomness (i.e. we know we're doing it, unlike cows, for instance, which wouldn't have the freakin foggiest clue what they're doing to the planet when they have a crap!)
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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:59 pm

Helium wrote:
What I mean is that inanimate ojects move totally as a reaction to the laws of nature. That is if you threw a rock out of the 100th floor of a building, most people would agree that the rock would not influence its own movement, it's trajectory would simply be in response to physical forces like wind resistance, gravity, etc.

But if you threw a bird out of the 100th floor of a building. You could make some assumptions such that it is subject to the physical laws of the universe. You could even explain the process by which it can fly. But beyond that you wouldn't know what it would do. Would it come back through the window?, where would it fly to? etc. So all life exudes this randomness.

That's a good analogy. A rock's behavior is predestined in the sense that it has no choice but to obey the law of gravity. Yet the bird seems to have freewill to the degree that it can exploit other natural laws long enough to defy the law of gravity. When the bird chooses to fly instead of fall, it is not defying G*D, but simply exercising its G*D-given right to choose between alternatives.

The difference between birds and humans is that our choices---some of them---are made self-consciously and deliberately, while the bird's instinctive behavior is simply a sub-conscious expression of its bird-nature. To the extent that we mechanically express our evolutionary human-nature, we are no more free than the animals.

However, as New Agers like to say, Consciousness is a continuum with a hierarchy of levels. As an element of G*Ds imagination, even a rock---in theory---may have some modicum of consciousness. As a dynamic, living creature though, the bird has a greater increment of consciousness---and of choice. Yet as dynamic, living, knowing creatures, humans have probably the greatest allocation of consciousness, and consequently the highest degree of freedom to choose---with an imaginary, self-interested, future goal in mind.

Freewill requires both random options, and the foresight of consequences, plus the power to influence the present in order to change the future. That combination of rare powers is indeed god-like. Yet even the most highly-evolved humans lack the will-power to fly like a bird. [Except of course, in a brute-force mechanical manner. Or if you are impressed by the Maharishi's demonstrations of yogic levitation. To me that kind of flying is more frog-like than god-like] bounce
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:05 pm

Quote :
Yet even the most highly-evolved humans lack the will-power to fly like a bird.
We're not limited by will-power. Any deluded person who threw themselves off a cliff or apartment balcony were not limited by will-power, but two simple items: their mechanical construction and the physical laws of the universe. Actually will power (i.e. survival instinct) certainly does play a key. But only when the first equation has been met (i.e. that you're physically capable of the feat you're trying to do).
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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:22 pm

Helium wrote:
Quote :
Yet even the most highly-evolved humans lack the will-power to fly like a bird.
We're not limited by will-power. Any deluded person who threw themselves off a cliff or apartment balcony were not limited by will-power, but two simple items: their mechanical construction and the physical laws of the universe. Actually will power (i.e. survival instinct) certainly does play a key. But only when the first equation has been met (i.e. that you're physically capable of the feat you're trying to do).

True. I was alluding to the people who think that humans could fly if only they had faith like unto a mustard seed. Carlos Castaneda, for example, reported on Indian shaman practitioners, who can fly, among other mystical things, with a little help from peyote hallucinogens to boost their self-confidence.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:51 am

Paineful,

I agree that if God created the universe in such a way that He could know every subatomic event that would occur and every choice we would make, then the universe would be predestined to follow that fate but this isn't the scenario I'm speaking of. I'm not saying that God looks at our present and can make a scientific prediction of all our future choices. This would be predestination because God would of designed the universe to produce me and make me type this. I'm saying that the world is designed in such away that if God was in time looking at every subatomic event he would only be able to predict all the physical events that will occur and not the mental events that will occur(choices) but since God isn't in time he sees all our future choices instead of predicting them in the past.

To give you a mental picture of what I'm saying I'll compare the predestination Bible God to my Bruce Almighty. Bible God came from a time called eternity. This time was an infinite amount of time that had no beginning and no end. One day Bible God looked at his watch and it was infinite o'clock in the morning. He thought to himself in the void," Damn I'm bored! What should I do? Oh! I know! I'll make a flat world called Earth in a dome. On this Earth would be little bugs called men. I will plan out there lives. I will choose 144,000 of them to come to Heaven to play video games and choose 1,654,359,854,236,543,244,246,656,757,553,298,089,770 of them to burn in Hell for the rest of eternity because I love them so much. So, Bible God made the Earth. Every day he watched the men do his will. He would say to the angels(men that look like glow bugs)," I knew that would happen, I knew that would happen, I knew that would happen, I knew that would happen, and I bet you the Giants will beat the Patriots at the Super Bowl! So, Bible God won the bet and lived happier ever after. Amen

There was also another god called Bruce Almighty. He also came from a place called eternity but his eternity was the opposite of Bible God's. Bible God's was an infinite amount of time before the existence of Earth but Bruce's was the complete lack of time. It was like a moment frozen in time with no beginning and no end. Not after eternity but during it Bruce made an object called The Universe. This universe had three main properties. They were space, time, and matter. He made these things called natural laws that controlled the space, time, and matter. These laws were so perfect they turned chaos into order, order into complexity, complexity into life, life into self awareness, and self awareness into freewill. With Bruce's good planning this universe would follow a basic plan called Divine Providence. This Divine Providence was his assurance that the universe would turn out basically the way he wanted it but he gave life freewill. This freewill aspect of life allowed living things to make their own plans. So, Bruce and the living creatures of the universe co authored the destiny of the universe. After eons of time there arose these people called BibleGodians. They were a primitive people that couldn't understand the ways of Bruce. So, they worshiped Bible God. One day the BibleGodians had a child called Schizophretard. Schizophretard was a strange creature. Everyone could tell there was something not right about him but they couldn't put there finger on it. Some say he was retarded, some say he had ADHD, some say he was bipolar, some say he had autism, some say he had schizophrenia, and some say he was just f@#ked up. He always had a look like he was in deep thought, he had all these strange thoughts, he had bad social skills, and people would say," Schizo if I didn't know you I'd think you were retarded but so far you're the smartest person I've met. You're so smart that you appear stupid." Schizo would answer," If this is smart then I don't want it cause I'm tired of living in my head with my thoughts in the clouds." Well anyway, this Schizophretard was a BibleGodian and because he couldn't get any satisfactory answers about Bible God he left the church to find a new god. One thing he couldn't accept about Bible God was that he was in time instead of created it. His reasoning told him that God made time and wasn't subject to it. One day Schizophretard heard about this theory called general relativity that basically says that time is relative, runs at different rates, and that the more mass present the slower the rate time goes. One example of relativity he heard about was about an astronaut and a black hole. The astronaut was going into a black hole and the closer he got to it the slower his watch ticked relative to the watches of his crew in the spaceship. The astronauts in the spaceship watched him go in and once he was in it appeared to them that he was frozen in time. One billion years later an alien spaceship came by and the aliens saw the astronaut still frozen in time. He stayed frozen in time until the very end of the universe. While all those billion of years went by the astronaut looked out the black hole and saw all those billions of years pass in an instant. All those billions of years didn't appear like the past, present, and future to the astronaut but all seemed to just be the present. After hearing this Schizophretard thought," Wow! That's it! That's the answer! God is like that astronaut!" Schzophretard's reasoning told him that God must be a divine mind that contains all knowledge, that people must have freewill, and God must be outside of time. Schizophretard found this great forum hosted by Aaron the Panendeist. He debated with others on this site about predestination and freewill. They said," If God knows everything we are going to do before we do it then we can't have freewill because the only choices we can make are the ones God predestined us to do!" Schizophretard would respond," God only knows what we are going to do before we do from our perspective but from God's perspective there is no before and after! To God all time is the present! He doesn't see our choices before they happen! He sees them when they happen! They all happen in his eternal NOW! This debate went on for weeks. They all decided to agree to disagree. Bruce was very please with their debates. Even though they couldn't fully comprehend Bruce he knew they were on the right track. One day Schizophretard saw Bruce out of time with his mind's eye. Bruce was in an astronaut suit with both his thumbs up. cheers
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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:41 am

Schizophretard wrote:

I'm not saying that God looks at our present and can make a scientific prediction of all our future choices. This would be predestination because God would of designed the universe to produce me and make me type this. I'm saying that the world is designed in such away that if God was in time looking at every subatomic event he would only be able to predict all the physical events that will occur and not the mental events that will occur(choices) but since God isn't in time he sees all our future choices instead of predicting them in the past.

I agree with the first part, but if God isn't in time, then there is no past or future for Him to see. I believe He is both.

I think that the Big Bang is where our four dimensions were extruded from the 10 or 28 dimensions that physicists now theorize that there are, and He, being God, can simultaneously occupy the 10/28 as well as our 4. An alternate possibility is that time does not exist for God making the Big Bang and the Big Crunch/Universe's heat death, simultaneous. Thus He says poof and we pop out the other end having made all our choices having experienced time while God didn't, and He would have full knowledge of what we did. (This sounds most like the SchizoGod).

A third possibility is that on our death we pop out of the universe via the "unused" dimensions that God may well inhabit and that enables Him to watch us undetected, into the spiritual, supernatural timelessness where God has "always" been. This would be the most likely explanation why we observe no pre- or postmortem spirits, haint's or ghosts--or evidence of God beyond the Big Bang.


As for the BibleGod, you're preaching to the choir.
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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:26 am

Paineful,

Well, As stated before I believe God to be a Divine Mind. I believe that everything that exists is a part of God. So, in a way God is the only thing that exists. Time and every other dimension are ideas in his mind. He is all knowing, all thinking(he thinks of everything simultaneously), and he only has one complete complex thought.

I think all of this probably requires an explanation. So, here I go. Our thoughts on an average are more complex than the thoughts of lower life forms. An animal may have to have many thoughts to equal just one of our more complex thoughts. Therefore, it is possible for there to be a thought so complex that it contains every thought. I believe this thought is what God is thinking. If a person is in danger their thoughts can speed up and time appears to go by slower to help them make a life saving decision. So, how fast your thinking determines the rate you perceive time. God is only thinking this one complex thought, he is thinking it only once, and since he is out of time he is thinking this one thought eternally. Since you perceive time relative to how fast you're thinking, then when you think really fast time can stop and when you think very slow time can go by instantly. Since God is thinking of just one thought instead of many thoughts one after the other the rate he is thinking is stopped. So, he perceives time to go by instantly. Movement is relative. Nothing in the universe is at rest but things are at rest relative to things moving faster. Relative to us God is frozen in time and relative to God we are moving in time. So, in a way God is the unmoved mover of time. Since God is thinking this one eternal thought and our universe is included in it. Our universe is eternal. This doesn't mean it is without beginning or end. It is like an eternal book. The book being opened is the big bang and the book being closed is the big crunch but the book itself always exists in the timelessness(eternity) of God. Since God authored our book he is like an eternal first cause. Well, I'm starting to ramble. So, I'll move on to the next thing I wanted to respond to.

I want to give my take of why I think we exist or in other words give an answer to the meaning of life. I think God made us for a selfless reason. He wants us to learn, to grow, to make choices, and to experience life. Basically he wants what we want for our children. To us we are not important and only our children are. I think this is how God's attitude is. So, he didn't make the universe for himself but for us. He is happy that we get to do the thing he can not and that is experience life. With our lives he gains the experience of life through us. It's like we need him to live and he needs us to experience life. I guess it's kinda like love. We are dependent on each other. If I was to ask God about the meaning of life I think it would be like this. I ask,"God, what is the purpose of my life? Why do I exist?" God answers,"You exist to find your own purpose and find meaning in your life just as I have." I ask,"What purpose did you find?" God answers,"You are my purpose."
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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:18 am

The Paineful Truth wrote:
... God isn't in time, then there is no past or future for Him to see.

Thus He says poof and we pop out the other end having made all our choices having experienced time while God didn't, and He would have full knowledge of what we did.

I think you are exactly right on this point. As a whole the universe must be timeless because time is change mediated by the exchange of energy in order for an event to occur. And since as a whole the universe does not appear to be releasing or gaining energy it can not change.

Our minds however must spread "events" out in what we call time because just as a globe can not be reduced to a two dimensional map without distortion our brains must order things into "past", "present", and "future" to make sense of them. So instead of talking about time we should be talking about logical contingency. In that way God could see what we call the future without influencing it.

(But personally I like the way you put it better.)
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PostSubject: Re: Atheist Arguments   Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:46 pm

I think God would see the order of events but they wouldn't occur one at a time. Like if I set up dominoes and knocked them down. I would see them fall one at a time. God would see them fall at the same time but would know which was the first domino and which was the last. Since God knows all our thoughts in away he is seeing things in time through us and all things simultaneously as a universal whole. It's hard to comprehend what it would look like to observe everything at every angle simultaneously but to make it more simple I imagine the way God sees time similar to a time line. It's like a big chart with all of the universe's events in order from beginning to end. Looking at the chart he can see all the events of time but not the movement of it. I think it's kinda like that with God but he sees the movement from our perspective also. So, he has an in time/out of time perspective.
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