The "God exists" paradox

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.
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Consul
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Consul » January 29th, 2020, 4:24 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 11:32 am
5. We supposedly experience non-experience or objects and events in the external world made up of non-experience, but anyone using just a gram of common sense can see this makes no sense. You can only experience experience.
It doesn't follow that you cannot perceive or cognize nonexperiences. Actually, we do perceive and cognize nonexperiences through our (sensory) experiences. To perceive or cognize a nonexperience is to experience an appearance of it.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by phenomenal_graffiti » January 29th, 2020, 5:16 pm

It doesn't follow that you cannot perceive or cognize nonexperiences. Actually, we do perceive and cognize nonexperiences through our (sensory) experiences. To perceive or cognize a nonexperience is to experience an appearance of it.
We don't know non-experiences even exist to be "perceived" or "cognized". As they are things that are not a person or the first-person subjective experience of a person, they are entirely imaginary concepts, the imagination of non-experience itself made up of...you guessed it, subjective experience. So there is only subjective experience that shows up and demonstrates it exists: nothing else appears or demonstrates it exists.

Thus there is only subjective experience in the form of thought imagining the existence of something that is not itself or other than itself, despite the fact that non-experience qua non-experience given they are not experiences cannot be experienced and indeed are not experienced. Why? Because they are not the experience of a person but something imagined by the person's subjective experience to be something that is not the person or its experiences.

Remember, the only thing in existence that demonstrates it actually exists is a person and the first-person subjective experience of the person. Nothing else appears, thus we have no evidence for the existence of anything except the first-person subjective experience of a particular person (I am not a solipsist thus have faith that other person's consciousnesses exists, though I only have evidence of the existence of my own, as it is the only thing in existence that appears). Non-experiences, therefore, being "not experience" are something that cannot be experienced or perceived or even cognized (as sensory perception and cognition are,well... experiences).

The concept of non-experience, therefore, is supported only by quasi-religious faith in a probably non-existent, imaginary entity. The Process of Perception, therefore, except for the existence of the percept (subjective experience) is entirely imaginary. Sensory experience is merely sensory experience: it does not logically follow that it can perceive something that is not itself, i.e. something that is not experience itself.

To wit:

"It remains a scandal to philosophy and human reason in general that things outside us (upon which we depend for the whole of knowledge, even for inner life) must be accepted merely on faith, and that if one thinks good to doubt their existence we are unable to respond to him with satisfactory proof."

-Immanuel Kant
We are currently living within the mind of Jesus Christ as he is currently being crucified. One may think there is no God, or if one believes in God, one thinks one lives outside the mind of Christ in a post-crucifixion present.

In other news...

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Sculptor1 » January 30th, 2020, 5:03 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 10:14 am
@Prof Bulani - To begin with, I offered the reply below to @Sculptor1, but it applies as much, or more, to you too.
Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 28th, 2020, 5:52 am


If this is the course this topic must take, I think it would be reasonable to quote actual believers, and offer them the chance to respond to your views on their beliefs, don't you? Or will you just make up stories about believers - straw men - and write about how stupid they all are? Do you want this topic to be a place where anti-theists can congragate and laugh at the poor deluded believers, or is there a philosophical discussion to be had here?
==================================
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 3:30 pm
@pattern-chaser, I'll point out here that "spiritual knowledge" would be considered a form of knowledge, and subject to the scrutiny that all forms of knowledge must undergo.
OK. Then I will point out here that spiritual knowledge is qualitatively different from knowledge such as you refer to. It is not treated in the same way. It is not subject to the same rules. It does not offer the same benefits that plain old knowledge does. Spiritual knowledge, like many things spiritual, is primarily faith-based.

The construction "spiritual knowledge" is dubious in the extreme.
I regard the idea of knowledge and what qualifies correctly to be called by such a phrase involves a great deal of labour and effort. Appending "spiritual" to it simply makes no sense at all. And you try to justify such a banal concept by saying it is "based" on faith, as if that offers something in qualification.
Let me ask in what way does such a thing differ from complete and utter fantasy?
Thus in what way would the idea of God differ from the idea of Gandalf?


==================================
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 3:30 pm
Furthermore, to claim that spiritual knowledge of God can be obtained (a claim you haven't made, so I'm presupposing) means that God would have a definition, at the very least "God: a thing about which spiritual knowledge can be obtained".
The basic point to grasp here is that God cannot be defined in a way that you would find adequate. Believers have as many different impressions of God as there are believers. If you think about it, this is to be expected. God is not human. Ways of understanding and judging humans do not apply to God, any more than they would apply to any other non-human being. We (believers) do not understand God, or what She is. She is beyond us. And, frustratingly, we cannot define Her in a way that investigative thinkers might prefer. God is a being "about which spiritual knowledge can be obtained", but bear in mind what I just wrote about spiritual knowledge, above.

==================================
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 3:30 pm
As to the point of believing that God cannot possibly exist, consider this. Suppose I told you that a plinky, by definition, is something that can only exist in the imagination. No physical or detectable information about a plinky can ever be obtained. Now, let statement p = "a plinky can possibly exist in reality". Note that the statement isn't suggesting that the plinky actually exists, it's a statement about the possibility that a plinky could exist.

Would you say that statement p is true, false, or cannot be evaluated? And give a reason for your answer.
I can't make sense of this. If a plinky "can only exist in the imagination", then how can a plinky "possibly exist in reality"? Presumably, this could only make sense if you consider your imagination to be part of "reality"? It is unclear to me how your statement p can or should be considered.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by LuckyR » January 30th, 2020, 8:06 pm

Say we suppose that words like "god" are a label (but not the only label) for things far beyond current human understanding, such that we don't currently have the ability to reliably detect and/or observe them.

First are we in agreement that things beyond our understanding likely exist?

Second if they do, it is illogical that we would be able to go into detail on the intricacies of the exact status, form and behavior of such entities. Such that attempts to claim detailed knowledge is (by definition) speculation at best.

Third it is also illogical to try to use the lack of detailed knowledge of them as some sort of "evidence" of their nonexistence.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 31st, 2020, 7:04 am

LuckyR wrote:
January 30th, 2020, 8:06 pm
Say we suppose that words like "god" are a label (but not the only label) for things far beyond current human understanding, such that we don't currently have the ability to reliably detect and/or observe them.

First are we in agreement that things beyond our understanding likely exist?

Second if they do, it is illogical that we would be able to go into detail on the intricacies of the exact status, form and behavior of such entities. Such that attempts to claim detailed knowledge is (by definition) speculation at best.

Third it is also illogical to try to use the lack of detailed knowledge of them as some sort of "evidence" of their nonexistence.
That sums it up pretty well! 👍

And, as regards your 3rd point, Wikipedia offers you this support:
Argument from ignorance (from Latin: argumentum ad ignorantiam), also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance represents "a lack of contrary evidence"), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false or a proposition is false because it has not yet been proven true. This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes the possibility that there may have been an insufficient investigation to prove that the proposition is either true or false. It also does not allow for the possibility that the answer is unknowable, only knowable in the future, or neither completely true nor completely false.
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 31st, 2020, 5:12 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
January 30th, 2020, 5:03 pm
The construction "spiritual knowledge" is dubious in the extreme.
No, it's an honestly and openly declared expression of how God can exist when there is absolutely no evidence at all ... for or against. It's wholly faith-based. And, from your perspective, there is no reason at all why these faith-based feelings should be founded. I make no assertions and no claims. I simply state my beliefs. It is absolutely correct that they are my beliefs. The stuff I believe, though, that's something else. Something for which I openly admit I can provide no justification that you would find acceptable or convincing.

So my "construction" is just that: a simple, honest and clear expression, which hides nothing, and misleads no-one. Is that "dubious"? 🤔
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Sculptor1 » January 31st, 2020, 6:28 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 31st, 2020, 5:12 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:
January 30th, 2020, 5:03 pm
The construction "spiritual knowledge" is dubious in the extreme.
No, it's an honestly and openly declared expression of how God can exist when there is absolutely no evidence at all ... for or against.
How stupid!

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by phenomenal_graffiti » January 31st, 2020, 10:33 pm

No, it's an honestly and openly declared expression of how God can exist when there is absolutely no evidence at all ... for or against. It's wholly faith-based. And, from your perspective, there is no reason at all why these faith-based feelings should be founded. I make no assertions and no claims. I simply state my beliefs. It is absolutely correct that they are my beliefs. The stuff I believe, though, that's something else. Something for which I openly admit I can provide no justification that you would find acceptable or convincing.

So my "construction" is just that: a simple, honest and clear expression, which hides nothing, and misleads no-one. Is that "dubious"?
This, in my view, is "philosophical honesty". Stating one's beliefs and owning up to the fact that they are just beliefs is the most honest thing a person does. Atheists, meanwhile, seem reticent to show the same honesty, particularly in their belief that the brain creates consciousness, or that something other than persons and first-person subjective experience exists.
We are currently living within the mind of Jesus Christ as he is currently being crucified. One may think there is no God, or if one believes in God, one thinks one lives outside the mind of Christ in a post-crucifixion present.

In other news...

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Terrapin Station » February 1st, 2020, 10:15 am

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 5:16 pm
We don't know non-experiences even exist to be "perceived" or "cognized". As they are things that are not a person or the first-person subjective experience of a person, they are entirely imaginary concepts, the imagination of non-experience itself made up of...you guessed it, subjective experience. So there is only subjective experience that shows up and demonstrates it exists: nothing else appears or demonstrates it exists.
It seems like you're conflating two different senses of "know" there. One sense is knowledge-by-acquaintance. The other sense is propositional knowledge.

Knowledge-by-acquaintance is basically a term for experiencing something--having direct contact with it.

Propositional knowledge is a term for justified true belief. It doesn't require experiencing or having direct contact with something.

You're saying that you don't have knowledge-by-acquaintance with things that are not experienced. That's obviously the case, since knowledge-by-acquaintance is a term for experiencing or having direct contact with something.

But that's not what we're saying when we say that you can know things you do not experience. We're saying you can have propositional knowledge of things you do not experience. For propositional knowledge, subjective experience of the thing in question is often irrelevant.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Pattern-chaser » February 1st, 2020, 10:53 am

Sculptor1 wrote:
January 31st, 2020, 6:28 pm
How stupid!
I take your descent into invective to mean you have nothing further to contribute.
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by LuckyR » February 1st, 2020, 5:10 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
January 31st, 2020, 10:33 pm
No, it's an honestly and openly declared expression of how God can exist when there is absolutely no evidence at all ... for or against. It's wholly faith-based. And, from your perspective, there is no reason at all why these faith-based feelings should be founded. I make no assertions and no claims. I simply state my beliefs. It is absolutely correct that they are my beliefs. The stuff I believe, though, that's something else. Something for which I openly admit I can provide no justification that you would find acceptable or convincing.

So my "construction" is just that: a simple, honest and clear expression, which hides nothing, and misleads no-one. Is that "dubious"?
This, in my view, is "philosophical honesty". Stating one's beliefs and owning up to the fact that they are just beliefs is the most honest thing a person does. Atheists, meanwhile, seem reticent to show the same honesty, particularly in their belief that the brain creates consciousness, or that something other than persons and first-person subjective experience exists.
While your comment is true enough, it's omission of the significantly greater reticence to show (the above) honesty by typical theists, makes your post misleading at best.
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Sculptor1 » February 2nd, 2020, 2:50 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 10:53 am
Sculptor1 wrote:
January 31st, 2020, 6:28 pm
How stupid!
I take your descent into invective to mean you have nothing further to contribute.
No. I have plenty. But stupid statements are not worth the time.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Sculptor1 » February 2nd, 2020, 2:51 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
January 31st, 2020, 10:33 pm


This, in my view, is "philosophical honesty". ... particularly in their belief that the brain creates consciousness, ...
From stupidity to whataboutery

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by phenomenal_graffiti » February 2nd, 2020, 11:35 pm

LuckyR:
This, in my view, is "philosophical honesty". Stating one's beliefs and owning up to the fact that they are just beliefs is the most honest thing a person does. Atheists, meanwhile, seem reticent to show the same honesty, particularly in their belief that the brain creates consciousness, or that something other than persons and first-person subjective experience exists.
While your comment is true enough, it's omission of the significantly greater reticence to show (the above) honesty by typical theists, makes your post misleading at best.
Typical theists exhibit philosophical dishonesty in their inability and refusal to entertain the possibility that God does not exist so yes, there's fault on both sides.

But that does not change the fact that by and large (perhaps on a scale greater and with more complexity than the dishonesty exhibited by theists?) atheists hold the irrational belief(s) that:

1. Brains create consciousness

2. There is something other than or that is not first-person subjective experience that is the material substance of brains and everything that is not consciousness.

a. There is something other than or that is not subjective experience that existed before atoms formed cells and cells formed brains.

b. Something other than or that is not subjective experience will continue to exist when consciousness no longer exists due to the destruction of the solar system, causing the extinction of brains and life.

c. Only brains (and non-biological computers or other mechanisms that can perform the consciousness-creating function of biological brains) create consciousness, so that no moment or instance of consciousness can exist that does not correlate to or is not generated by some neural circuit in the brain.

By and large atheists express these irrational beliefs as though they were irrefutable fact as opposed admitting these are beliefs about states of affairs that may not exist...given existence only appears in the form of subjective experience.
We are currently living within the mind of Jesus Christ as he is currently being crucified. One may think there is no God, or if one believes in God, one thinks one lives outside the mind of Christ in a post-crucifixion present.

In other news...

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Consul » February 2nd, 2020, 11:56 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
February 2nd, 2020, 11:35 pm
By and large atheists express these irrational beliefs as though they were irrefutable fact as opposed admitting these are beliefs about states of affairs that may not exist...given existence only appears in the form of subjective experience.
It's a truism that appearings of things depend existentially on subjective experiences, but it doesn't follow that appearing things depend existentially on subjective experiences.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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