God is an Impossibility.

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Post Reply
User avatar
Fanman
Posts: 2951
Joined: December 14th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Fanman » February 11th, 2018, 3:49 pm

Mr Spectrum :) :

Thanks for responding.
Note firstly the ideas of 'absolute perfection' or 'absolutely absolute' are not my personal claims and beliefs.


I'm not sure if I understand fully? You've claimed that “absolute perfection” (as claimed by theists about God) cannot exist. You've then defined a distinction between “absolute perfection” and “relative perfection”. Whilst the claim that God is absolutely perfect is not yours (that is clear) the definitions of absolute and relative perfection are yours, and since you've used those definitions as a premise for your argument(s) it seems that they are your personal claims and beliefs.
These terms 'absolute perfection' or 'absolutely absolute' are claimed or implied by theists or rather the more advanced theologians, e.g. St. Anselm, Descartes and others.
I have given evidences/references where advanced theologians has introduced these terms and the likes.
I agree that there are theists who've claimed that God is “absolutely perfect”, but that doesn't mean that all theists do.
The point is the initial drive of theism is a psychological issue and with crude reason drive theists to invent the idea of a God to soothes those psychological angst. The initial concepts of God were mostly anthropomorphic, but throughout history such flimsy [silly] anthropomorphic concepts has been question by rational people and even other theists.


I can't agree with this, because we can only speculate what the “initial drive” of theism is. It is possible that God or all gods are an invention of the minds of the ancients and do not actually exist, but when we attempt to amalgamate all of the different factors contributing to religious belief into a single root cause, without proper justification or evidence of causation, we are doing the same thing you accuse theists of – creating an ideation based upon the limited information we have available. To say that theism is a psychological issue seems quite vague, because the cause of most, if not all human-behaviour can be reduced to being psychological, or a combination of psychological and biological factors. I don't think you can, from that conclusion, extrapolate a “root cause” – given the depth of psychology, to do so is a guess and an educated guess at best. I don't agree that the reasoning behind theism is “crude” I find that to be denigratory towards theists. There's no empirical evidence for the existence of God, but people have theistic beliefs for reasons that are anecdotal. I think that how someone views the degree to which theistic beliefs are rational is dependent on their world view.
When questioned, each group will correct their errors and shortfalls and come up with new concepts to cover for the underlying psychological issues.
But as each new anthropomorphic or empirical concepts are raised to justify the existence of God, they are continually attacked/challenged by rational & critical thinkers and other theists as well.
I'm not sure if this is correct? I think that most theists perceive God as immutable. Meaning that the specific definition of the God they believe in does not change and cannot change. I think theists claim that through revelation (revealed knowledge) they discover a greater depth of knowledge about God or about the “will” of God, but such revelations are not, I think, to “cover for the underlying psychological issues”, but rather to have a greater/better understanding of the God they believe in. Yes, anthropomorphic concepts of God are challenged (as they should be), and I don't think they can be justified qua knowledge. If they were justified, belief in God would not be criticised as widely as it is, but because God's existence cannot be disproved despite the rationality of the counter-arguments and lack of evidence for the existence of God – belief in God maintains a degree of reasonableness.
This continual attack pushes the concept of God to the idea [not concept] of an ontological God, i.e. the absolutely perfect God or the absolutely Absolute which no other theists can challenge but exposes its back to the philosophical rationality.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean here? We can challenge theistic ideas with rationality and critical thinking – we can create arguments which make the existence of God seem logically contradictory and juxtapose theistic ideas with empirical reality such that there's no correlative or causative necessity for God, but we cannot prove as a fact that God doesn't exist.
It is philosophical rational and critical thinking that prove the idea of God - by more advanced theist - as an absolutely perfect or absolutely-absolute is an impossibility.


As I've stated, I think that any claim of impossibility (unless it's a priori) requires a leap of faith, because we must assume, without certain knowledge that God cannot exist. There is a bridge between “doesn't exist” and “impossible to exist” that we don't have the knowledge to cross. At the moment we don't even have the knowledge to prove that God “doesn't exist” so postulating that it is “impossible” for God to exist is seemingly very problematic.
When I have stripped all the clothing of the various concepts and ideas of God, what is left naked is the psychological basis why God was conjured in the first place.
Interesting analogy. You're attempting to do so, and I think it is possible that you're right and God is purely psychological, but you haven't done so in my opinion. I think that concepts and ideas about God will persist as long as the human race does.
Point is I am not speculating, there are scientific proofs of the various experiences of God and there are non-theistic religions that deal with the inherent psychological issue using the psychological approach.


I think that you are. I don't doubt that there are many explanations for why people have theistic beliefs and experiences. As far as I'm aware, there is no single accepted explanation which has the consensus. Whichever explanation you think is correct is not necessarily the truth. The reasons for why people believe in God are not something that can't be falsified, so we have to accept what theists claim are the reasons for their belief as a given. It is difficult to claim that a reason a theist says is the core reason for why they believe in God is not the core reason – as the methodology needed to refute their claim simply isn't there. You can't test what they claim empirically. There are many factors which make isolating a “root cause” for theistic belief problematic. This has been explained to you by others, but you to choose to reject what they're saying in favour of what you think is right, which is up to you I guess, but to claim that you're not speculating means that you think you know the truth, I don't agree with that. In order to accept your proposition, we must reject all other causes of theistic beliefs in favour of one unprovable conclusion which you posit “existential crisis”/"psychological angst" – which I think is unacceptable. The problems of claiming that existential crisis is the “root cause” of theistic beliefs has also been explained to you by others, but you choose to disregard the explanations. How can you know for certain, what is and isn't caused by existential crisis?
Note my explanation above. I am not claiming those terms as a belief.
I gave reasons above how those terms are from the more advanced theologians.
I never said or implied that you did. Again, you've specifically defined “absolute perfection” as being distinct from “relative perfection” as a means of supporting your argument for the impossibility of God. The term “absolute perfection” is used in theism, but you are using it in your argument as though it means actually means something that “perfection” (without the "absolute" emphasis) is not suitable to describe.
So the term 'absolutely perfect' absolute perfection, Absolute [absolutely absolute] is not my invention but introduced by the more advanced theologians. I know this because I had read very widely on this subject and was very alert to these terms.
I never claimed that it was your invention. I questioned your application of the term. There is no difference between theist's application of the term and your application. You've both claimed (although no one here has) that God must be absolutely perfect.
If you reflect on them philosophically, they are actually meaningless and are impossible to be real, i.e. within an empirical rational reality. The only real reason these ideas of God which are illusory and impossible is because they are raised primarily to soothe the inherent psychological angst.
I wouldn't say that ideas about God are “meaningless” or “impossible” to be real. Unlikely yes, but impossible no, how do you cover that epistemological ground? No ideas about God may be specifically right, but they could elude to something or some part of reality that is real (yes I am speculating). To say that they are “raised primarily to soothe the inherent psychological angst.” Is not only arbitrary, but also unconvincing IMO.
Once a theist, now agnostic.

Spectrum
Posts: 5160
Joined: December 21st, 2010, 1:25 am
Favorite Philosopher: Eclectic -Various

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Spectrum » February 12th, 2018, 4:38 am

Fanman wrote:
February 11th, 2018, 3:49 pm
Mr Spectrum :) :

Thanks for responding.
Note firstly the ideas of 'absolute perfection' or 'absolutely absolute' are not my personal claims and beliefs.

I'm not sure if I understand fully? You've claimed that “absolute perfection” (as claimed by theists about God) cannot exist. You've then defined a distinction between “absolute perfection” and “relative perfection”. Whilst the claim that God is absolutely perfect is not yours (that is clear) the definitions of absolute and relative perfection are yours, and since you've used those definitions as a premise for your argument(s) it seems that they are your personal claims and beliefs.
Nope, none of the above are mine. All are common terms used by different groups of people. Note the use of absolute perfection for God and relative perfect for man in this link;
For correct Bible understanding one must not make the common error of thinking that everything called “perfect” is so in an absolute sense, that is, to an infinite degree, without limitation. Perfection in this absolute sense distinguishes only the Creator, Jehovah God.

Perfection of any other person or thing, then, is relative, not absolute. (Compare Ps 119:96.)

It must be remembered that perfection as it relates to humans is a relative perfection, limited to the human sphere.
https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200003440#h=15
These terms 'absolute perfection' or 'absolutely absolute' are claimed or implied by theists or rather the more advanced theologians, e.g. St. Anselm, Descartes and others.
I have given evidences/references where advanced theologians has introduced these terms and the likes.
I agree that there are theists who've claimed that God is “absolutely perfect”, but that doesn't mean that all theists do.
I have argued theism of ALL theists by reason and default has to leverage on an absolutely perfect God.
The point is the initial drive of theism is a psychological issue and with crude reason drive theists to invent the idea of a God to soothes those psychological angst. The initial concepts of God were mostly anthropomorphic, but throughout history such flimsy [silly] anthropomorphic concepts has been question by rational people and even other theists.

I can't agree with this, because we can only speculate what the “initial drive” of theism is. It is possible that God or all gods are an invention of the minds of the ancients and do not actually exist, but when we attempt to amalgamate all of the different factors contributing to religious belief into a single root cause, without proper justification or evidence of causation, we are doing the same thing you accuse theists of – creating an ideation based upon the limited information we have available. To say that theism is a psychological issue seems quite vague, because the cause of most, if not all human-behaviour can be reduced to being psychological, or a combination of psychological and biological factors. I don't think you can, from that conclusion, extrapolate a “root cause” – given the depth of psychology, to do so is a guess and an educated guess at best. I don't agree that the reasoning behind theism is “crude” I find that to be denigratory towards theists. There's no empirical evidence for the existence of God, but people have theistic beliefs for reasons that are anecdotal. I think that how someone views the degree to which theistic beliefs are rational is dependent on their world view.
Note the all the major religions, the Abrahamic, Hinduism, Buddhism and others [representing ~85% of human] are leveraged on the existential crisis/dilemma which is psychologically driven.

'Crude' refer to crude reasoning, e.g. every effect/thing has a cause/creator, God is the final cause, therefore God exists.
When questioned, each group will correct their errors and shortfalls and come up with new concepts to cover for the underlying psychological issues.
But as each new anthropomorphic or empirical concepts are raised to justify the existence of God, they are continually attacked/challenged by rational & critical thinkers and other theists as well.
I'm not sure if this is correct? I think that most theists perceive God as immutable. Meaning that the specific definition of the God they believe in does not change and cannot change. I think theists claim that through revelation (revealed knowledge) they discover a greater depth of knowledge about God or about the “will” of God, but such revelations are not, I think, to “cover for the underlying psychological issues”, but rather to have a greater/better understanding of the God they believe in. Yes, anthropomorphic concepts of God are challenged (as they should be), and I don't think they can be justified qua knowledge. If they were justified, belief in God would not be criticised as widely as it is, but because God's existence cannot be disproved despite the rationality of the counter-arguments and lack of evidence for the existence of God – belief in God maintains a degree of reasonableness.
It is so obvious the representation of God has changed over human history. Note the once 'God is a Bearded Man in the sky' was a very common belief but that has changed in the present.

Image
This continual attack pushes the concept of God to the idea [not concept] of an ontological God, i.e. the absolutely perfect God or the absolutely Absolute which no other theists can challenge but exposes its back to the philosophical rationality.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean here? We can challenge theistic ideas with rationality and critical thinking – we can create arguments which make the existence of God seem logically contradictory and juxtapose theistic ideas with empirical reality such that there's no correlative or causative necessity for God, but we cannot prove as a fact that God doesn't exist.
Before the ontological God, each theist will claim his God is more powerful than another's. If one claim his God has power of X, then the next will claim his God is power of X+1 and it goes on to an infinite regression.
The ending of the infinite regression is the ontological God, i.e. a God than which no greater can exists. If every theist claim such a God then no one can claim their God is greater than another.

So note, this why I stated using reason the default God has to be an ontological God.
It is philosophical rational and critical thinking that prove the idea of God - by more advanced theist - as an absolutely perfect or absolutely-absolute is an impossibility.

As I've stated, I think that any claim of impossibility (unless it's a priori) requires a leap of faith, because we must assume, without certain knowledge that God cannot exist. There is a bridge between “doesn't exist” and “impossible to exist” that we don't have the knowledge to cross. At the moment we don't even have the knowledge to prove that God “doesn't exist” so postulating that it is “impossible” for God to exist is seemingly very problematic.
Just as I had demonstrated above how an idea of a God has to ontological, I am using reason to demonstrate why such a God [possible by reason] is an impossibility in the real world.
Note we don't need knowledge [empirical] to cross, we use the highest possible reason to deduce God is an impossibility within an empirical rational reality.
In this case since God is an impossibility, the question of whether God exists or not is moot and a non-starter. One cannot even raise such a question.
When I have stripped all the clothing of the various concepts and ideas of God, what is left naked is the psychological basis why God was conjured in the first place.
Interesting analogy. You're attempting to do so, and I think it is possible that you're right and God is purely psychological, but you haven't done so in my opinion. I think that concepts and ideas about God will persist as long as the human race does.
I have demonstrated by reason why God is an impossibility within an empirical rational reality.
It is not valid to have a concept [which must be empirical] of God but possible to have an idea of God via reason.
But the only possibility of an idea of God is an impossibility to be real within an empirical-rational reality.

What is left naked is the idea of God hinges is its psychological basis.
I have demonstrated this with evidence and that Eastern philosophies are dealing with the same fundamental existential crisis using psychological approaches.
Point is I am not speculating, there are scientific proofs of the various experiences of God and there are non-theistic religions that deal with the inherent psychological issue using the psychological approach.

I think that you are. I don't doubt that there are many explanations for why people have theistic beliefs and experiences. As far as I'm aware, there is no single accepted explanation which has the consensus. Whichever explanation you think is correct is not necessarily the truth. The reasons for why people believe in God are not something that can't be falsified, so we have to accept what theists claim are the reasons for their belief as a given. It is difficult to claim that a reason a theist says is the core reason for why they believe in God is not the core reason – as the methodology needed to refute their claim simply isn't there. You can't test what they claim empirically. There are many factors which make isolating a “root cause” for theistic belief problematic. This has been explained to you by others, but you to choose to reject what they're saying in favour of what you think is right, which is up to you I guess, but to claim that you're not speculating means that you think you know the truth, I don't agree with that. In order to accept your proposition, we must reject all other causes of theistic beliefs in favour of one unprovable conclusion which you posit “existential crisis”/"psychological angst" – which I think is unacceptable. The problems of claiming that existential crisis is the “root cause” of theistic beliefs has also been explained to you by others, but you choose to disregard the explanations. How can you know for certain, what is and isn't caused by existential crisis?
There are people who believe in God due to medical and mental problems. When they are cured, they lost the drive to believe in a God. That is the falsification.
Note my explanation above. I am not claiming those terms as a belief.
I gave reasons above how those terms are from the more advanced theologians.
I never said or implied that you did. Again, you've specifically defined “absolute perfection” as being distinct from “relative perfection” as a means of supporting your argument for the impossibility of God. The term “absolute perfection” is used in theism, but you are using it in your argument as though it means actually means something that “perfection” (without the "absolute" emphasis) is not suitable to describe.
Note my response to the same issue above.
So the term 'absolutely perfect' absolute perfection, Absolute [absolutely absolute] is not my invention but introduced by the more advanced theologians. I know this because I had read very widely on this subject and was very alert to these terms.
I never claimed that it was your invention. I questioned your application of the term. There is no difference between theist's application of the term and your application. You've both claimed (although no one here has) that God must be absolutely perfect.
I stated it is the theists who claimed God must be absolutely perfect and I show as above by default in accordance to their line of argument thatGod has to be absolutely perfect. But such an idea is an impossibility within an empirical-rational reality.
If you reflect on them philosophically, they are actually meaningless and are impossible to be real, i.e. within an empirical rational reality. The only real reason these ideas of God which are illusory and impossible is because they are raised primarily to soothe the inherent psychological angst.
I wouldn't say that ideas about God are “meaningless” or “impossible” to be real. Unlikely yes, but impossible no, how do you cover that epistemological ground? No ideas about God may be specifically right, but they could elude to something or some part of reality that is real (yes I am speculating). To say that they are “raised primarily to soothe the inherent psychological angst.” Is not only arbitrary, but also unconvincing IMO.
Note logically,
  • 1. the idea of God as an ontological being is arrived by reason and it is not empirically based.
    2. What is not empirically based cannot exists as real within an empirical rational reality.
    3. Since the idea of God is not empirically based, it cannot exists are real within an empirical rational reality.
God cannot be epistemological since it is not empirically based.
The idea of God is usually deliberated within metaphysics and ontology, never epistemological.

Note my point above that 85% [likely to be more] of all humans are from the worlds major religion which center focus is the existential crisis [psychological] it is convincing for any rational person to raise the hypothesis, "religions [theistic and non-theistic] were raised primarily to soothe the inherent psychological angst.”
I agree to reach a conclusion on the above, we need more justifications. I have sufficient justifications [pending posting] to support my hypothesis.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

User avatar
Fanman
Posts: 2951
Joined: December 14th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Fanman » February 12th, 2018, 8:29 am

Spectrum:
Nope, none of the above are mine. All are common terms used by different groups of people. Note the use of absolute perfection for God and relative perfect for man in this link;
So to be clear. You do not think that there's a distinction between “absolute” and “relative” perfection, you're referring to theism's use of the terms? IMV, the excerpt you provided doesn't demonstrate that there is a distinction between “absolute” and “relative” perfection - it arbitrarily claims that there is, it is preaching (note “For correct Bible understanding”) which means that it is meant to proselytise. I don't agree with the excerpt you provided for reasons that I've already stated. We know that theists use the term “absolutely perfect” to describe God, but IMO it reflects how much they reify God – it does not IMO represent a statement that shows a correct understanding the word “perfection”.
I have argued theism of ALL theists by reason and default has to leverage on an absolutely perfect God.
I don't think that is necessarily the case.
When we make claims regarding all, and the claim is not a priori, we need to support that claim with evidence and our claim must also include the views of all, which is problematic. I agree that there are theists who claim that God is absolutely perfect, but I don't know that all theists believe that God is absolutely perfect. I think that the only claim we can make about all theists, is that they believe that there's a God, as people can have diverse views about the same thing. Perhaps your views about theists are too rigid, causing you to make arbitrary distinctions?
Note the all the major religions, the Abrahamic, Hinduism, Buddhism and others [representing ~85% of human] are leveraged on the existential crisis/dilemma which is psychologically driven.
I don't think that you're right. As has been explained, there are issues with your "existential crisis/dilemma" idea. IMV, claiming that human-related behaviours are “psychologically driven” is a truism. It says nothing specific about the causes of theistic beliefs – which I believe are psychosocial and much too complex to describe with a single phrase (existential crisis/dilemma) or a single root cause.
'Crude' refer to crude reasoning, e.g. every effect/thing has a cause/creator, God is the final cause, therefore God exists.
That doesn't really strike me as inherently “crude”. Some people believe that the universe was created, so it follows that they believe that the universe has a creator, and that the creator is God (or something God-like). There is a lack of evidence for that view, but religious frameworks offer explanations that many educated people believe in. People can also believe that there's a creator without being attached to a religious framework. If you think that theism is based upon crude reasoning, what do you think isn't crude reasoning?
It is so obvious the representation of God has changed over human history. Note the once 'God is a Bearded Man in the sky' was a very common belief but that has changed in the present.
Which “God” are we talking about here? The Abrahamic God is purported to be immutable. How has the view of that God changed?
Before the ontological God, each theist will claim his God is more powerful than another's. If one claim his God has power of X, then the next will claim his God is power of X+1 and it goes on to an infinite regression.
The ending of the infinite regression is the ontological God, i.e. a God than which no greater can exists. If every theist claim such a God then no one can claim their God is greater than another.
My exposure is limited, but I've never experienced any theist reason in such a rudimentary, unsophisticated way. I'm speculating, but I don't think that Anselm's "that than which nothing greater can be thought" was borne of that kind of reasoning, rather it is his conception of God based on all of the ideals that he held relating to God. In my experience, theists reject other religion's concepts of God, not on the basis of “my God is bigger”, but on the basis of what they believe according to the tenets and stories of their religion.
Just as I had demonstrated above how an idea of a God has to ontological, I am using reason to demonstrate why such a God [possible by reason] is an impossibility in the real world.
Note we don't need knowledge [empirical] to cross, we use the highest possible reason to deduce God is an impossibility within an empirical rational reality.
In this case since God is an impossibility, the question of whether God exists or not is moot and a non-starter. One cannot even raise such a question.


Demonstrated? Don't you mean intuit? I disagree, we need knowledge to bridge epistemological gaps – otherwise we are speculating. I don't know what you mean by “the highest reason possible”, as the strength of any reasoning is based upon the framework supporting it. The most accurate method we have of understanding reality is science, and science cannot prove that God doesn't exist. So if our most accurate method of reasoning cannot demonstrate that God doesn't exist what type of reasoning are you referring to? I don't agree that God's existence is an impossibility, and the question: “Does God exist?” is certainly not moot.
I have demonstrated by reason why God is an impossibility within an empirical rational reality.
It is not valid to have a concept [which must be empirical] of God but possible to have an idea of God via reason.
But the only possibility of an idea of God is an impossibility to be real within an empirical-rational reality.
I don't think that you have. IMV, you've used theistic ideas about the term “absolute perfection” to create an invalid syllogism. There is no specific claim that God is empirical, and there is no reason why God cannot exist empirically. Being “absolutely perfect”, is not a necessary attribute of existence, and because theistic ideas of God claim that it is “absolutely perfect” doesn't mean that it must be.
There are people who believe in God due to medical and mental problems. When they are cured, they lost the drive to believe in a God. That is the falsification.
I don't understand, what would that falsify? To falsify claims for why people have theistic beliefs, I think you have to be able to demonstrate that the reasons they're claiming may not be correct as according to what you think is the core reason for their belief (because you propose there's another reason). If someone claims: “I believe in God because Jesus' testimonies are the truth” proving that they're mentally ill and cease to believe in God, does not falsify their claim (as it was claimed prior to their disbelief), you have to be able to demonstrate that their claim was or could be false, how could you do that?
Note logically,
1. the idea of God as an ontological being is arrived by reason and it is not empirically based.
2. What is not empirically based cannot exists as real within an empirical rational reality.
3. Since the idea of God is not empirically based, it cannot exists are real within an empirical rational reality.
I disagree, empirical can also mean through experience, and some people believe that their experiences prove the existence of God, like a miracle healing or some other type of “spiritually caused” event. Although credibility is a huge issue, such happenings would denote that God, although not being itself empirical, is capable of acting on empirical reality (like being able to hear and answer prayers) Our disbelief does not automatically make such claims completely untrue. Yes, God can be “arrived at” through reason, but this does not preclude God from being an empirical being, some people may reason that empirical reality is evidence God's creation. It is your preclusion of God as being empirical that is invalid. As God could be empirical in a way that we're not able to realise – impossibility requires facts as support, not suppositions that the author believes are facts - more so as you're making an absolute claim.
God cannot be epistemological since it is not empirically based.
The idea of God is usually deliberated within metaphysics and ontology, never epistemological.
Why so arbitrary? Reasoning and how and why we arrive at intellectual conclusions is an epistemological topic. In order to successfully claim that "God cannot exist", you must have some form of knowledge, which we can discuss epistemologically.
Once a theist, now agnostic.

Spectrum
Posts: 5160
Joined: December 21st, 2010, 1:25 am
Favorite Philosopher: Eclectic -Various

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Spectrum » February 13th, 2018, 4:01 am

Fanman wrote:
February 12th, 2018, 8:29 am
Spectrum:
Nope, none of the above are mine. All are common terms used by different groups of people. Note the use of absolute perfection for God and relative perfect for man in this link;
So to be clear. You do not think that there's a distinction between “absolute” and “relative” perfection, you're referring to theism's use of the terms? IMV, the excerpt you provided doesn't demonstrate that there is a distinction between “absolute” and “relative” perfection - it arbitrarily claims that there is, it is preaching (note “For correct Bible understanding”) which means that it is meant to proselytise. I don't agree with the excerpt you provided for reasons that I've already stated. We know that theists use the term “absolutely perfect” to describe God, but IMO it reflects how much they reify God – it does not IMO represent a statement that shows a correct understanding the word “perfection”.
Earlier you doubted anyone would use the term 'relative perfection.'
I have given you an example of how it is used and if you google you will note there are many.
According to theists' belief [not mine] the difference is the term absolute perfection is reserved for God only and relative perfection is for humans. It is stated in that article and would be the same elsewhere as used by theists.

The secular world used the term 'perfection' and 'absolute' without qualification. But philosophically such perfection and absolute are conditional upon a system, thus relative, i.e. relative perfection.
I have argued theism of ALL theists by reason and default has to leverage on an absolutely perfect God.
I don't think that is necessarily the case.
When we make claims regarding all, and the claim is not a priori, we need to support that claim with evidence and our claim must also include the views of all, which is problematic. I agree that there are theists who claim that God is absolutely perfect, but I don't know that all theists believe that God is absolutely perfect. I think that the only claim we can make about all theists, is that they believe that there's a God, as people can have diverse views about the same thing. Perhaps your views about theists are too rigid, causing you to make arbitrary distinctions?
I have argued based on a priori, i.e. reason and note I stated by default as applicable to all.
I understand in practice theists believe all sorts of gods, but note my point here is a priori and by default, all theists ultimately has to believe in an absolutely perfect God.
Note the all the major religions, the Abrahamic, Hinduism, Buddhism and others [representing ~85% of human] are leveraged on the existential crisis/dilemma which is psychologically driven.
I don't think that you're right. As has been explained, there are issues with your "existential crisis/dilemma" idea. IMV, claiming that human-related behaviours are “psychologically driven” is a truism. It says nothing specific about the causes of theistic beliefs – which I believe are psychosocial and much too complex to describe with a single phrase (existential crisis/dilemma) or a single root cause.
If you have read and understand all the religions I mentioned above, the common critical concern is related to mortality and its existential crisis as reflected in their holy texts.
You tell me what is the common critical element between the non-theistic religion of Buddhism and those of Abrahamic religions and Hinduism. It is 'mortality' and its existential crisis issues.
'Crude' refer to crude reasoning, e.g. every effect/thing has a cause/creator, God is the final cause, therefore God exists.
That doesn't really strike me as inherently “crude”. Some people believe that the universe was created, so it follows that they believe that the universe has a creator, and that the creator is God (or something God-like). There is a lack of evidence for that view, but religious frameworks offer explanations that many educated people believe in. People can also believe that there's a creator without being attached to a religious framework. If you think that theism is based upon crude reasoning, what do you think isn't crude reasoning?
One example of crude reason is exposed by Hume re the Problem of Induction and the gap between Cause and Effect. When billard ball-A hit billard ball-B, it is taken that A caused B, but Hume stated No! this principle of cause and effect is due to psychological reasons arising from constant conjunction, habits and custom. The ability to think and reason beyond this primitive primal thinking is not crude reasoning.

Thus when the majority of theist believe God is the creator [cause] of all effects without proofs, that is crude reasoning. What is not crude reasoning is the ability to see beyond this crude reasoning that the idea of God is actually a psychological response as driven by an existential crisis.
It is so obvious the representation of God has changed over human history. Note the once 'God is a Bearded Man in the sky' was a very common belief but that has changed in the present.
Which “God” are we talking about here? The Abrahamic God is purported to be immutable. How has the view of that God changed?
'The Abrahamic God is purported to be immutable' by who??
The basic belief is God exists, but it is only a limited number of theists who belief God is immutable. In the past 'God is a Bearded Man in the sky' but now there is the idea of God as an ontological God. Obviously there is a difference.
The non-Abrahamic theists also believe in a God that has various forms but many are gravitating naturally to an ontological God, note Brahman in Hinduism which overrides all other gods.
Before the ontological God, each theist will claim his God is more powerful than another's. If one claim his God has power of X, then the next will claim his God is power of X+1 and it goes on to an infinite regression.
The ending of the infinite regression is the ontological God, i.e. a God than which no greater can exists. If every theist claim such a God then no one can claim their God is greater than another.
My exposure is limited, but I've never experienced any theist reason in such a rudimentary, unsophisticated way. I'm speculating, but I don't think that Anselm's "that than which nothing greater can be thought" was borne of that kind of reasoning, rather it is his conception of God based on all of the ideals that he held relating to God. In my experience, theists reject other religion's concepts of God, not on the basis of “my God is bigger”, but on the basis of what they believe according to the tenets and stories of their religion.
One good example is Islam which claims Allah is the absolutely perfect God and trashes the Christian God in the present Bible is a corrupted God and an inferior God which can father a son.

To counter the above, the Christian theologians has no choice but to keep on par with Islam in believing an absolute perfect God a priori, i.e. a God than which no greater can exists.
In this case, neither Islam not Christianity can condemn each other God as inferior.
Hope you get this critical point.
Just as I had demonstrated above how an idea of a God has to ontological, I am using reason to demonstrate why such a God [possible by reason] is an impossibility in the real world.
Note we don't need knowledge [empirical] to cross, we use the highest possible reason to deduce God is an impossibility within an empirical rational reality.
In this case since God is an impossibility, the question of whether God exists or not is moot and a non-starter. One cannot even raise such a question.

Demonstrated? Don't you mean intuit? I disagree, we need knowledge to bridge epistemological gaps – otherwise we are speculating. I don't know what you mean by “the highest reason possible”, as the strength of any reasoning is based upon the framework supporting it. The most accurate method we have of understanding reality is science, and science cannot prove that God doesn't exist. So if our most accurate method of reasoning cannot demonstrate that God doesn't exist what type of reasoning are you referring to? I don't agree that God's existence is an impossibility, and the question: “Does God exist?” is certainly not moot.
It is demonstrated' a priori using reason.
The only way theists can justify their God is via reason a priori is as an ontological God. In this specific mode such a God cannot be empirical at all.
Since God cannot be empirical at all, it cannot be dealt within the realm of empirical Science.
Since the idea of God is outside the sphere of Science, it is moot even for Science to prove God do not exists - which in the first place is not the onus of Science to prove a negative.

If God is not moot, what other reliable mode beside Science can anyone rely upon to prove God is real?

It is because the forces of the existential crisis is SO powerful and influential that compel [subliminally] theists to cling to a God and agnostic like yourself to sit on the fence on the issue.

OTOH, non-theistic Buddhism & others understood the whole shebang of theism and its negatives, thus side-stepping theism and deal with the existential crisis directly from the psychological perspective.
I have demonstrated by reason why God is an impossibility within an empirical rational reality.
It is not valid to have a concept [which must be empirical] of God but possible to have an idea of God via reason.
But the only possibility of an idea of God is an impossibility to be real within an empirical-rational reality.
I don't think that you have. IMV, you've used theistic ideas about the term “absolute perfection” to create an invalid syllogism. There is no specific claim that God is empirical, and there is no reason why God cannot exist empirically. Being “absolutely perfect”, is not a necessary attribute of existence, and because theistic ideas of God claim that it is “absolutely perfect” doesn't mean that it must be.
I have explained above why the idea of God must be ultimately ontological [absolutely perfect] so that one's God will not be inferior to another and having to kiss the ass of the other God.
There are people who believe in God due to medical and mental problems. When they are cured, they lost the drive to believe in a God. That is the falsification.
I don't understand, what would that falsify? To falsify claims for why people have theistic beliefs, I think you have to be able to demonstrate that the reasons they're claiming may not be correct as according to what you think is the core reason for their belief (because you propose there's another reason). If someone claims: “I believe in God because Jesus' testimonies are the truth” proving that they're mentally ill and cease to believe in God, does not falsify their claim (as it was claimed prior to their disbelief), you have to be able to demonstrate that their claim was or could be false, how could you do that?
Note Jesus thought he was the Son of God 2000 years ago.
If Jesus were to be in 2018 and claimed he is the Son of God, it is very likely his real parents [as with any rational person] would send him to see a psychiatrist and he is likely to suffer from some kind of mental illness like many mental patients in modern times who believed they were agent, son of God or God themselves.

Since the emergence of Science and psychiatry and in the last 50 years no humans has been able to convince the majority public they are direct agents, messengers or son of God.
Note logically,
1. the idea of God as an ontological being is arrived by reason and it is not empirically based.
2. What is not empirically based cannot exists as real within an empirical rational reality.
3. Since the idea of God is not empirically based, it cannot exists are real within an empirical rational reality.
I disagree, empirical can also mean through experience, and some people believe that their experiences prove the existence of God, like a miracle healing or some other type of “spiritually caused” event. Although credibility is a huge issue, such happenings would denote that God, although not being itself empirical, is capable of acting on empirical reality (like being able to hear and answer prayers) Our disbelief does not automatically make such claims completely untrue. Yes, God can be “arrived at” through reason, but this does not preclude God from being an empirical being, some people may reason that empirical reality is evidence God's creation. It is your preclusion of God as being empirical that is invalid. As God could be empirical in a way that we're not able to realise – impossibility requires facts as support, not suppositions that the author believes are facts - more so as you're making an absolute claim.
As I had demonstrated God must be absolute perfect - by reason, there no other choice.
There cannot be absolute perfection in the empirical world [only relative perfection].
I have no qualms making an absolute claim based on a priori reason but not empirically.
So my point 1, 2 and 3 above is maintained.
God cannot be epistemological since it is not empirically based.
The idea of God is usually deliberated within metaphysics and ontology, never epistemological.
Why so arbitrary? Reasoning and how and why we arrive at intellectual conclusions is an epistemological topic. In order to successfully claim that "God cannot exist", you must have some form of knowledge, which we can discuss epistemologically.
[/quote]Reasoning on how and why can only be epistemological only if it is empirical and empirically possible. Epistemology is about knowledge, i.e. objective knowledge or Justified True Belief [JTB]. Theology is based on faith and not knowledge.

What is not empirically possible like God is confined to Metaphysics [beyond the empirical -Physics] and ontology. This is commonly understood within the Philosophical community.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

User avatar
Fanman
Posts: 2951
Joined: December 14th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Fanman » February 13th, 2018, 10:51 am

Spectrum:
Earlier you doubted anyone would use the term 'relative perfection.'
I have given you an example of how it is used and if you google you will note there are many.
According to theists' belief [not mine] the difference is the term absolute perfection is reserved for God only and relative perfection is for humans. It is stated in that article and would be the same elsewhere as used by theists.


I don't recall doing so, I think you've misinterpreted my comments. My views on the terms “perfection”, “relative perfection” and “absolute perfection”, are well noted.
The secular world used the term 'perfection' and 'absolute' without qualification. But philosophically such perfection and absolute are conditional upon a system, thus relative, i.e. relative perfection.
Note the above, but also, what do you mean by “without qualification” in this context?
I have argued based on a priori, i.e. reason and note I stated by default as applicable to all. 
I understand in practice theists believe all sorts of gods, but note my point here is a priori and by default, all theists ultimately has to believe in an absolutely perfect God.
I don't agree, for reasons that I've already stated.
If you have read and understand all the religions I mentioned above, the common critical concern is related to mortality and its existential crisis as reflected in their holy texts.
You tell me what is the common critical element between the non-theistic religion of Buddhism and those of Abrahamic religions and Hinduism. It is 'mortality' and its existential crisis issues.
You've reached this conclusion through your interpretation, which doesn't mean that you're wrong, but it is not a fact, as you seem to be propounding. The problem is that you're claiming the and not a, in reference to the truth. Existential crisis may be an element, but it is not necessarily the critical element. I cannot say for sure what the “critical element” is, but I would argue that the correlation between all religions are, put in simple terms “how best to live”. If no religion expressly gives reference to “existential crisis issues” as the reason for their being - then the claim that “existential crisis issues” is the critical element between religions is clearly interpretive. Religions, however, do expressly provide tenets and rules on “how best to live” as instructed by the deity they're concerned with, and because all religions seem to follow that trend we can argue that it is one of the main themes or as you say a “critical element”.
One example of crude reason is exposed by Hume re the Problem of Induction and the gap between Cause and Effect. When billard ball-A hit billard ball-B, it is taken that A caused B, but Hume stated No! this principle of cause and effect is due to psychological reasons arising from constant conjunction, habits and custom. The ability to think and reason beyond this primitive primal thinking is not crude reasoning.
IMV, it is not primitive to reason in terms of cause and effect. It can be argued that cause and effect reasoning is necessary in life, in both sophisticated and non-sophisticated methods. You've claimed that problem-solving is your forte, how can you problem-solve without using cause and effect reasoning?
Thus when the majority of theist believe God is the creator [cause] of all effects without proofs, that is crude reasoning. What is not crude reasoning is the ability to see beyond this crude reasoning that the idea of God is actually a psychological response as driven by an existential crisis.
I think this is a matter of opinion, we will have to agree to disagree on this point.
'The Abrahamic God is purported to be immutable' by who??
Christianity.
The basic belief is God exists, but it is only a limited number of theists who belief God is immutable.
I don't think you're correct here. Do you have reference?
In the past 'God is a Bearded Man in the sky' but now there is the idea of God as an ontological God. Obviously there is a difference.
I don't agree. Within theism, the anthropomorphic God and the ontological God (such as postulated by Anselm) are the same being. People may have their own views, perspectives and opinions about “what God is like”, but they remain within the context of the religion - ie "a perfect masculine being".
The non-Abrahamic theists also believe in a God that has various forms but many are gravitating naturally to an ontological God, note Brahman in Hinduism which overrides all other gods.
I couldn't comment on this.
One good example is Islam which claims Allah is the absolutely perfect God and trashes the Christian God in the present Bible is a corrupted God and an inferior God which can father a son.
From the proverbial “horses mouth” I've never heard such a claim. The Muslims I've encountered believe that Jesus was real, but that he was a prophet, not the son of God - they believe “Allah” is alone. I've never heard a Muslim refer to the Christian God as “inferior” or claim that the Bible is “corrupted”.
To counter the above, the Christian theologians has no choice but to keep on par with Islam in believing an absolute perfect God a priori, i.e. a God than which no greater can exists.
In this case, neither Islam not Christianity can condemn each other God as inferior.
Hope you get this critical point.


Critical point? It reads like pure conjecture. If all Christians believe that God is perfect (as you hold), it is not IMV, due to the purported existence of other Gods/gods. The Bible (their reference) claims that God is perfect, isn't that the fundamental reason why they'd believe that God is perfect?
It is demonstrated' a priori using reason.
Slow down a bit. What exactly are you claiming is demonstrated a priori and why is it a priori?
The only way theists can justify their God is via reason a priori is as an ontological God. In this specific mode such a God cannot be empirical at all.
That doesn't follow IMO. Justification for belief in God is not only achieved through reason, there are people who believe they have empirical proofs for God's existence. You cannot (IMV) point to the various intellectual functions of the mind and claim that this or that method of deduction/induction precludes the existence of God. If that was the case, long before now someone would have demonstrated that God doesn't exist a priori.
Since God cannot be empirical at all, it cannot be dealt within the realm of empirical Science.
Since the idea of God is outside the sphere of Science, it is moot even for Science to prove God do not exists - which in the first place is not the onus of Science to prove a negative.


I don't agree. Science can be applied as a means of refuting religious claims, such as miracle healing or spiritual experiences - by finding the natural or real causes. If, in the future science discovers what the origins of the universe are, and is able to create a theory that accurately supports the findings, it may invalidate God as being the creator. Effectively, I think that science is capable of reducing the sphere of “God did it”.
If God is not moot, what other reliable mode beside Science can anyone rely upon to prove God is real?


I didn't say that “God is not moot”, I said that the question: “Does God exist?” is not moot. As far as I'm aware, there is currently no means of proving that God exists (or is real), but the debate justifiably goes on.
It is because the forces of the existential crisis is SO powerful and influential that compel [subliminally] theists to cling to a God and agnostic like yourself to sit on the fence on the issue.
I sit on the fence because none of the arguments convince me enough to make a decision either way.
OTOH, non-theistic Buddhism & others understood the whole shebang of theism and its negatives, thus side-stepping theism and deal with the existential crisis directly from the psychological perspective.
What about actual belief in God, doesn't that in-itself play the largest factor?
Can't someone be a theist due solely to the fact that they intellectually believe that God exists? Wouldn't that falsify your “existential crisis” idea?
Note Jesus thought he was the Son of God 2000 years ago.
If Jesus were to be in 2018 and claimed he is the Son of God, it is very likely his real parents [as with any rational person] would send him to see a psychiatrist and he is likely to suffer from some kind of mental illness like many mental patients in modern times who believed they were agent, son of God or God themselves.
That is not relevant to the point I made about falsification of theistic claims.
As I had demonstrated God must be absolute perfect - by reason, there no other choice.
There cannot be absolute perfection in the empirical world [only relative perfection].
I have no qualms making an absolute claim based on a priori reason but not empirically.
So my point 1, 2 and 3 above is maintained.
This claim has been refuted so many times, in so many different ways and by quite a few different people, but you keep iterating it as though it stands. Let me try this way: (1) IMV, there is no necessity for God to be perfect and (2) perfection is not a requisite of empirical existence. (3) Therefore a perfect or non-perfect (whatever that means) God may or may not exist empirically :D .

IMV, based upon current knowledge we cannot reach the conclusion (soundly) "that it is impossible for God to exist empirically" by reason alone - that requires a degree of faith. The statement "It is impossible for God to exist empirically" expresses an empirical fact unknowable (qua knowledge) by reason alone. I think that may be one of the reasons why atheists don't actually make that claim.
Reasoning on how and why can only be epistemological only if it is empirical and empirically possible. Epistemology is about knowledge, i.e. objective knowledge or Justified True Belief [JTB]. Theology is based on faith and not knowledge.
This is too rigid for my tastes. I think that the grounds of faith is an epistemological topic.
What is not empirically possible like God is confined to Metaphysics [beyond the empirical -Physics] and ontology. This is commonly understood within the Philosophical community.
Well, I guess I'm not part of the “Philosophical community” because I don't think this is "commonly understood".
Once a theist, now agnostic.

User avatar
Consul
Posts: 1204
Joined: February 21st, 2014, 6:32 am
Location: Germany

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Consul » February 13th, 2018, 12:10 pm

Background information:

"theology, perfect-being: Perfect-being theology is an attempt to analyse the nature of God in terms of absolute perfection or maximal greatness. The idea is that this is the single defining attribute of God's, and that the other attributes that God is traditionally thought to possess (omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, perfect goodness, eternity) are derived from it. Anselm is the fountainhead for this approach (though there are signs of it in Augustine), and it has been recently revived by Alvin Plantinga and many others."
(p. 185)

"greatness, maximal: 'Maximal greatness' is a technical term roughly corresponding to 'absolute perfection'. The difference is twofold: (1) a being that is absolutely perfect is generally held to have every great-making property to the highest degree, whereas a being that is maximally great is generally held only to be such that no possible being is greater (thus allowing for it to be impossible to have every great-making property to the highest degree); and (2) it is generally held that, by definition, there can be only one absolutely perfect being, whereas it is not true by definition that there can be only one maximally great being."
(p. 78)

"property, great-making: A great-making property is one that endows its possessor with some measure of greatness. In other words, its possession makes its possessor greater than he or she would have been without it."
(p. 153)

(Hill, Daniel J., and Randal D. Rauser. Christian Philosophy A–Z. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006.)

"According to Anselm, God is to be thought of most fundamentally as 'that than which no greater can be conceived'. Most contemporary philosophers have taken Anselm's basic idea here to be best interpreted to mean that God is to be thought of as the greatest possible being, an individual exhibiting maximal perfection. This core conception of deity is both very general and at the same time highly focused. It does not explicitly give us many specifics concerning God, hence its generality. But it provides a single focus for all our reflections about divinity, one point of light to guide all our thinking about the nature of God. The idea of God as the greatest possible being is not itself a full-blown conception of deity; rather, it is more like the main element in a recipe for cooking up our idea of God in detail. This core idea, along with an accompanying method for its development, will be what constitutes Anselm's most distinctive contribution to religious thinking, the philosophical procedure known as perfect being theology.

The ideas to be found in perfect being theology are not altogether original with Anselm. The conception of God as unsurpassably great is clearly itself a central biblical idea. But what Anselm provided was a precise philosophical statement of that idea and an examination of some of its implications. It was thus Anselm who pioneered the clarification and use of this biblically based and philosophically attuned method of thinking about God.

We can characterize the core of perfect being theology as the thesis that:

(G) God is a being with the greatest possible array of compossible great-making properties.

Clearly, the terms in this thesis require some elucidation. A great-making property is a property, or attribute, or characteristic, or quality which it is intrinsically good to have, any property which endows its bearer with some measure of value, or greatness, or metaphysical stature, regardless of external circumstances."

(p. 35)

"In order to elaborate an Anselmian idea of God, all practitioners of perfect being theology consult their value intuitions about what basic properties are great-making properties. Beginning with one of the least controversial candidates for the status of great-making property, we can represent schematically the development of a conception of a perfect being which I think would accord in one way or another with the intuitions of most of those who employ this method. In one representative example of an ascending order of discovery concerning the various aspects of his greatness in metaphysical stature, God can be conceived of in this way as:

(1) conscious (a minded being capable of and engaged in states of thought and awareness),
(2) a conscious free agent (a being capable of free action),
(3) a thoroughly benevolent, conscious agent,
(4) a thoroughly benevolent conscious agent with significant knowledge,
(5) a thoroughly benevolent conscious agent with significant knowledge and power,
(6) a thoroughly benevolent conscious agent with unlimited knowledge and power, who is the creative source of all else,
(7) a thoroughly benevolent conscious agent with unlimited knowledge and power who is the necessarily existent, ontologically independent creative source of all else.

And with this, we have arrived at what, with all its implications, is the highest conception of all, the conception of a unique, maximally perfect, or greatest possible, being. It is some such cumulative development of intuitions concerning intrinsic goodness, great-making properties, and the comparative greatness of different arrays of such properties that every practitioner of perfect being theology must undertake."

(pp. 39-40)

(Morris, Thomas V. Our Idea of God. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991.)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

Wayne92587
Posts: 1712
Joined: January 27th, 2012, 9:32 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Hermese Trismegistus

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Wayne92587 » February 13th, 2018, 4:05 pm

Perfection that is not absolute is relative perfection just as a lie is the relative truth.

Freedom, Truth, Perfection, are absolute terms and do not need a qualifier, an adjective, to give them definition.

Wayne92587
Posts: 1712
Joined: January 27th, 2012, 9:32 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Hermese Trismegistus

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Wayne92587 » February 13th, 2018, 4:11 pm

Freedom that is not absolute is not Freedom.
Something that is merely relatively perfect is not Perfection.
A Lie must be the relative Truth in order to function as Lie.

Wayne92587
Posts: 1712
Joined: January 27th, 2012, 9:32 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Hermese Trismegistus

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Wayne92587 » February 13th, 2018, 4:17 pm

A Reality that is not Absolute, that is not a Reality, is an Illusion

Spectrum
Posts: 5160
Joined: December 21st, 2010, 1:25 am
Favorite Philosopher: Eclectic -Various

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Spectrum » February 13th, 2018, 10:00 pm

Fanman wrote:
February 13th, 2018, 10:51 am

Note the above, but also, what do you mean by “without qualification” in this context?
'With qualification' mean something is conditioned to something else.
Scientific theories/truths only have credibility when conditioned [complied] to the Scientific Framework and System.
Legal truths [a convicted murderer] are conditioned to a specific court of law. Different courts in different states, countries, etc. may give different judgement [legal truths].
Whatever terms is defined, it is conditioned by human conditions.

Only God is claimed to be without qualification, i.e. absolutely absolute. This meant God is only by-itself and not conditioned by anything else.

The other philosophical claim is that of the thing-in-itself [Kant] which is supposedly unconditional. According to Kant the thing-in-itself is a transcendental illusion and God is also a thing-in-itself [unconditioned].
You've reached this conclusion through your interpretation, which doesn't mean that you're wrong, but it is not a fact, as you seem to be propounding.
The problem is that you're claiming the and not a, in reference to the truth.
Existential crisis may be an element, but it is not necessarily the critical element. I cannot say for sure what the “critical element” is, but I would argue that the correlation between all religions are, put in simple terms “how best to live”.
If no religion expressly gives reference to “existential crisis issues” as the reason for their being - then the claim that “existential crisis issues” is the critical element between religions is clearly interpretive. Religions, however, do expressly provide tenets and rules on “how best to live” as instructed by the deity they're concerned with, and because all religions seem to follow that trend we can argue that it is one of the main themes or as you say a “critical element”.
The central theme of Buddhism is the existential crisis as reflected in the myth, i.e. the Buddha Story. This squash your 'no religion' claim.

'How to live' is too general and there are infinite ways of 'how to live' within humanity.
In this case we have to reduce all the 'how to live' to their root principles and one of the why re 'how to live' is reducible to the proximate root cause, i.e. the 'existential crisis' which is fundamentally in all the religion.

Re the Abrahamic religion, what is the ultimate purpose of 'how to live' in accordance to the respective holy texts?
The answer is; so they can please God to be assured of God's promise to give the believers eternal life in Paradise [some with virgins] - thus re the existential crisis.

Otherwise you tell me - what is the purpose [ultimate and proximate] of 'how to live?'
IMV, it is not primitive to reason in terms of cause and effect. It can be argued that cause and effect reasoning is necessary in life, in both sophisticated and non-sophisticated methods. You've claimed that problem-solving is your forte, how can you problem-solve without using cause and effect reasoning?
Cause and Effect is a primal instinct that essential for survival. It is a common thing with the higher living things to avoid threats and to incline towards what promotes survival.

It is humans who has the higher power or reasoning via the human prefrontal cortex [which is absent in the lower animals] to think beyond the primal cause and effect.

Theists are driven by the primal instinct of cause and effect to believe in a God which is illusory but nevertheless serves their psychological existential needs.
I think this is a matter of opinion, we will have to agree to disagree on this point.
Suggest you think and reflect deeper and wider.
Christianity.
Throughout the history of mankind humans has only been focusing on the forms of God and not its substance - the same with Christians.
It is only in the later phased of history that some advance theologicians came up with the idea of the default ontological God.
I don't think you're correct here. Do you have reference?
Note my point above re the more advanced theologians, e.g. St. Anselm, Descartes, etc.
I don't agree. Within theism, the anthropomorphic God and the ontological God (such as postulated by Anselm) are the same being. People may have their own views, perspectives and opinions about “what God is like”, but they remain within the context of the religion - ie "a perfect masculine being".
In theory and by reason, yes they are the same in substance. I was referring to the forms which has changed over time.
From the proverbial “horses mouth” I've never heard such a claim. The Muslims I've encountered believe that Jesus was real, but that he was a prophet, not the son of God - they believe “Allah” is alone. I've never heard a Muslim refer to the Christian God as “inferior” or claim that the Bible is “corrupted”.
That is the point, it is unfortunate your knowledge database relevant to the discussion is too narrow and shallow.

Islam condemned the Bible as wrong and the Christian God a liar [implied stupid] and the Quran provided its own corrected version of what Jesus was.

Note this;
  • 37:152 [Pickthall] Allah hath begotten. Allah! verily they tell a lie.

    37:152 [Ali] "Allah has begotten children"? but they are liars!
The above in context is expressed in a very derogatory manner.

Here is link to the ton of other verses related to the above condemnation of Christianity and the NT re the Christian God fathering a son.

http://www.islamicity.org/quransearch/a ... d=cv&-find

Personally I believe Allah misunderstood the divinity principle re 'Jesus as son' but the Islam and Muslims don't care since to them Allah's words is Truth.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

Spectrum
Posts: 5160
Joined: December 21st, 2010, 1:25 am
Favorite Philosopher: Eclectic -Various

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Spectrum » February 13th, 2018, 10:46 pm

Spectrum wrote:To counter the above, the Christian theologians has no choice but to keep on par with Islam in believing an absolute perfect God a priori, i.e. a God than which no greater can exists.
In this case, neither Islam not Christianity can condemn each other God as inferior.
Hope you get this critical point.
Fanman wrote:
February 13th, 2018, 10:51 am
Critical point? It reads like pure conjecture. If all Christians believe that God is perfect (as you hold), it is not IMV, due to the purported existence of other Gods/gods. The Bible (their reference) claims that God is perfect, isn't that the fundamental reason why they'd believe that God is perfect?
The Bible was written by humans to deal with an existential crisis.
'One-upping' is an instinct and human nature. This has been going on ever since human emerged and naturally such one-upping instinct will be reflected in the human-originated-Bible.
Note the idea of the ontological God -St. Anselm. Descartes, to reinforce God's perfection came much later after the emergence of Islam. They have to otherwise the Christian God will have to eat the sh1t of the Islamic God [at least in the eyes of the Muslims who deem themselves superior as claimed in their Quran].
It is demonstrated' a priori using reason.
Slow down a bit. What exactly are you claiming is demonstrated a priori and why is it a priori?
A priori meant not reliance of experience. One can reason without the necessity of experience, thus a priori.
The only way theists can justify their God is via reason a priori is as an ontological God. In this specific mode such a God cannot be empirical at all.
That doesn't follow IMO. Justification for belief in God is not only achieved through reason, there are people who believe they have empirical proofs for God's existence. You cannot (IMV) point to the various intellectual functions of the mind and claim that this or that method of deduction/induction precludes the existence of God. If that was the case, long before now someone would have demonstrated that God doesn't exist a priori.
Yes, the concept of God can be inferred by reason based on the empirical via cause and effect.
But an empirical God will always leave room for a greater God who can imposed on the lesser God to eat ****.
No believers who is made aware of this inferiority will accept it and thus they will use reason to uplift their God to a status no other God can be greater, i.e. the ontological God.
Since God cannot be empirical at all, it cannot be dealt within the realm of empirical Science.
Since the idea of God is outside the sphere of Science, it is moot even for Science to prove God do not exists - which in the first place is not the onus of Science to prove a negative.

I don't agree. Science can be applied as a means of refuting religious claims, such as miracle healing or spiritual experiences - by finding the natural or real causes. If, in the future science discovers what the origins of the universe are, and is able to create a theory that accurately supports the findings, it may invalidate God as being the creator. Effectively, I think that science is capable of reducing the sphere of “God did it”.
What is Science other than it at best 'polished conjecture' [Popper].
If God is ever proven by Science, then it is at best a conjecture, albeit a polished one.
So the only recourse to give the highest credibility to a God and to ensure that God is not vulnerable to be forced to eat sh1t, is to use the highest reason possible.
But then the highest reason confirmed God is an impossibility to be real.
If God is not moot, what other reliable mode beside Science can anyone rely upon to prove God is real?

I didn't say that “God is not moot”, I said that the question: “Does God exist?” is not moot. As far as I'm aware, there is currently no means of proving that God exists (or is real), but the debate justifiably goes on.
Since God by reason cannot be empirical, the question “Does God exist empirically?” is certainly moot.
It is because the forces of the existential crisis is SO powerful and influential that compel [subliminally] theists to cling to a God and agnostic like yourself to sit on the fence on the issue.
I sit on the fence because none of the arguments convince me enough to make a decision either way.
Think and reflect deeper and you will note my point re that 'Zombie Parasite' that is in all humans, very active in theists and a mildly in the agnostic.
OTOH, non-theistic Buddhism & others understood the whole shebang of theism and its negatives, thus side-stepping theism and deal with the existential crisis directly from the psychological perspective.
Can't someone be a theist due solely to the fact that they intellectually believe that God exists? Wouldn't that falsify your “existential crisis” idea?
Nope. It is the existential crisis that generate angst and drive a person to believe in a God intellectually [or otherwise] to enable the brain to produce the relevant juices to relieve that existential pain.
As I had demonstrated God must be absolute perfect - by reason, there no other choice.
There cannot be absolute perfection in the empirical world [only relative perfection].
I have no qualms making an absolute claim based on a priori reason but not empirically.
So my point 1, 2 and 3 above is maintained.
This claim has been refuted so many times, in so many different ways and by quite a few different people, but you keep iterating it as though it stands. Let me try this way:
  • (1) IMV, there is no necessity for God to be perfect and
    (2) perfection is not a requisite of empirical existence.
    (3) Therefore a perfect or non-perfect (whatever that means) God may or may not exist empirically :D .
IMV, based upon current knowledge we cannot reach the conclusion (soundly) "that it is impossible for God to exist empirically" by reason alone - that requires a degree of faith. The statement "It is impossible for God to exist empirically" expresses an empirical fact unknowable (qua knowledge) by reason alone. I think that may be one of the reasons why atheists don't actually make that claim.[/quote]Note I am not using 'knowledge' [objective JTB] but using our highest reason to reason out why God is an impossibility within an emprical rational reality.

I understand human believe in all sorts of God [inferior, superior, perfect, not perfect, immutable, etc.] but as I had explained and justify a God by default MUST be an 'absolutely perfect being' so that it does not end up eating the **** of another greater God.
Any theist who is made aware of this limitation of their God will definitely opt for the ontological God -an absolutely perfect being - since it is as easy as just a shifting of thoughts to a more secured ideas.

But to secure their beliefs to an ontological God they are exposed the other attack, i.e. an ontological God is an impossibility within an empirical rational reality, i.e. Catch-22.
Why catch-22, it is GIGO..
Fact is the initial cause of theism is psychological and the resolution has to be psychological.

Why do theists resort of murdering, genocides and other evils & violence just to defend the their belief in a God when its existence is so doubtful? The real reason is that very terrible and strong psychological and existence force within.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

User avatar
Fanman
Posts: 2951
Joined: December 14th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Fanman » February 14th, 2018, 6:44 am

Spectrum:
'With qualification' mean something is conditioned to something else.
Scientific theories/truths only have credibility when conditioned [complied] to the Scientific Framework and System.
Legal truths [a convicted murderer] are conditioned to a specific court of law. Different courts in different states, countries, etc. may give different judgement [legal truths].
Whatever terms is defined, it is conditioned by human conditions.
Only God is claimed to be without qualification, i.e. absolutely absolute. This meant God is only by-itself and not conditioned by anything else.
This doesn't seem right to me. Where have you sourced this definition from, can you provide reference for it? The definition of "without qualification" I sourced is. IMV, something cannot be described as being “perfect” without possessing or demonstrating a condition or a set of conditions that make what is being referring to “perfect”, e.g. “the condition that makes God perfect is possessing all of the omni's”.
The central theme of Buddhism is the existential crisis as reflected in the myth, i.e. the Buddha Story. This squash your 'no religion' claim.
You misunderstand. I said “If” and I didn't make a claim, I was making a point. Does Buddhism expressly claim that existential crisis is the reason for it's being? I don't mean “reflect” as that is an interpretive statement, but expressly claim. If Buddhism expressly claims that existential crisis is the reason for it's being, it doesn't follow that existential crisis is the reason for all religions being. Are you claiming that "existential crisis issues" being the cause of all religions is not an interpretive statement?
'How to live' is too general and there are infinite ways of 'how to live' within humanity.
In this case we have to reduce all the 'how to live' to their root principles and one of the why re 'how to live' is reducible to the proximate root cause, i.e. the 'existential crisis' which is fundamentally in all the religion.
The generality of “how best to live” is not the point. The point is that all religions expressly provide guidance on this issue. Your reduction is clearly interpretive and not necessarily correct.

Case in point:
Re the Abrahamic religion, what is the ultimate purpose of 'how to live' in accordance to the respective holy texts?
The answer is; so they can please God to be assured of God's promise to give the believers eternal life in Paradise [some with virgins] - thus re the existential crisis.
This is not necessarily correct.
Otherwise you tell me - what is the purpose [ultimate and proximate] of 'how to live?'
I don't claim to know (which doesn't mean that you're right).
Since God by reason cannot be empirical, the question “Does God exist empirically?” is certainly moot.
What specific reasoning are you referring to here?
Once a theist, now agnostic.

User avatar
Fanman
Posts: 2951
Joined: December 14th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Fanman » February 14th, 2018, 10:07 am

Spectrum:

You've argued in the OP and elsewhere that there's a difference between "absolute" and "relative" perfection, and that human or “empirically-based” perfection can only be relative perfection. However, if God is a conceptual invention of empirically-based human-beings (as you've also argued), then by your reasoning God can only be relatively perfect, because empirically-based human-beings can only invent something that is relatively perfect, and not absolutely perfect. By your reasoning, if God must absolutely perfect (as distinct from being relatively perfect), then God wasn't created by human-beings. How, in relation to your claim that all empirical perfection is relative perfection (including human conceptions), do you address this seeming inconsistency?
Once a theist, now agnostic.

Wayne92587
Posts: 1712
Joined: January 27th, 2012, 9:32 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Hermese Trismegistus

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Wayne92587 » February 14th, 2018, 1:42 pm

God is simply the Omniscience of Everything that existed prior to the Big Bang, which was Nothing.

When man attempts to give definition, meaning, to nothingness, an abomination is the result, confusion, distortions of Reality, Lies, duplicity, guilefulness.


Only a few understand that Man is (in a sense) forbidden to speak of hidden, secret, sacred knowledge if he or she wants to be taken seriously; simply because Priori Knowledge can not be experienced, and therefore is without understanding, can not be spoken without creating an abomination, confusion, distortion of Reality, chaos, a paradox; it being, irreverent to speak of God's as though Omnipotence is Limited.

User avatar
Fanman
Posts: 2951
Joined: December 14th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: God is an Impossibility.

Post by Fanman » February 16th, 2018, 4:10 pm

Spectrum:
The Bible was written by humans to deal with an existential crisis.
We cannot know exactly why the Bible was written without a possessing a time machine. You're speculating, existential crisis seems to be your generic reason for everything that has even a hint of "God" about it - you're generalising IMO.
'One-upping' is an instinct and human nature. This has been going on ever since human emerged and naturally such one-upping instinct will be reflected in the human-originated-Bible.
This doesn't make any sense. What does “one-upping” have to do with the themes of the Bible? How have you condensed all of the possible reasons for the themes of the Bible into a single meme? What was your methodology? IMV, the Bible's themes reflect the many facets of the human-condition.
Note the idea of the ontological God -St. Anselm. Descartes, to reinforce God's perfection came much later after the emergence of Islam. They have to otherwise the Christian God will have to eat the sh1t of the Islamic God [at least in the eyes of the Muslims who deem themselves superior as claimed in their Quran].


You're connecting dots and may be seeing cause where there is only correlation (if there is correlation at all?). I would argue that Anselm's revelation came about from more sophisticated reasoning that you've expressed, ditto Descartes. Do you have a reference for this :lol: ?
A priori meant not reliance of experience. One can reason without the necessity of experience, thus a priori.
I generally understand what a priori means, what I asked was “what exactly are you claiming is demonstrated a priori and why is it a priori?” What I'm trying to understand, is what exactly you think you've demonstrated as a truth, that doesn't require any evidence and why - similar to “all bachelors are not married”.
Yes, the concept of God can be inferred by reason based on the empirical via cause and effect.
But an empirical God will always leave room for a greater God who can imposed on the lesser God to eat ****.
No believers who is made aware of this inferiority will accept it and thus they will use reason to uplift their God to a status no other God can be greater, i.e. the ontological God.
Ironically, I think that your reasoning here is crude, emphasised by your use of expletives.
What is Science other than it at best 'polished conjecture' [Popper].
If God is ever proven by Science, then it is at best a conjecture, albeit a polished one.
So the only recourse to give the highest credibility to a God and to ensure that God is not vulnerable to be forced to eat sh1t, is to use the highest reason possible.
But then the highest reason confirmed God is an impossibility to be real.
Science provides us with a justified ground of belief, because it is based upon empirical evidence. In my view science is more than “polished conjecture” as I think it is capable finding the foundations of empirical reality. I did ask, but you never defined what you mean by "the highest reason possible" or why you think that you're using it?
Think and reflect deeper and you will note my point re that 'Zombie Parasite' that is in all humans, very active in theists and a mildly in the agnostic.


I'm not aware of any “zombie parasite”, I might have a few beliefs, but they are based upon my experiences. if there was an argument or circumstances for or against the existence of God that convinced me either way, I would no longer be agnostic. IMV, you're engaging in pseudopsychology here.
Nope. It is the existential crisis that generate angst and drive a person to believe in a God intellectually [or otherwise] to enable the brain to produce the relevant juices to relieve that existential pain.
More pseudopsychology... We're back to the questions of “how can we falsify the reason a person's claims for why they believe in God?” And how can we falsify your claim of “existential crisis?” The former we can accept because it is directly stated. We have no reason to question the reason the theist gives unless we believe they're lying. The latter (existential crisis) because it is not empirically evident, we have to prove or demonstrate before we can begin to accept. How can we prove your claim?
Note I am not using 'knowledge' [objective JTB] but using our highest reason to reason out why God is an impossibility within an emprical rational reality.
Yet you haven't stated what you mean by “highest reason” or even what makes it “highest”. The term “highest reason” unaccompanied by a definition is clearly vague.
I understand human believe in all sorts of God [inferior, superior, perfect, not perfect, immutable, etc.] but as I had explained and justify a God by default MUST be an 'absolutely perfect being' so that it does not end up eating the **** of another greater God.
Any theist who is made aware of this limitation of their God will definitely opt for the ontological God -an absolutely perfect being - since it is as easy as just a shifting of thoughts to a more secured ideas.
I don't think that your justifications are valid. For reasons that have already been propounded. That you think any (meaning every) theist reasons in this way is a fallacy IMV, and certainly not an example of “highest reason” (whatever that means) or an accurate reflection of theism or theistic reasoning. Your inability to give theists any credit is hindering your objectivity.
Once a theist, now agnostic.

Post Reply