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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phenomenal_graffiti
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by phenomenal_graffiti » February 3rd, 2020, 12:19 am

Terrapin Station:
phenomenal_graffiti wrote: ↑Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:16 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.
One can know something definitely and irrefutably exists by experiencing it.

One can know something definitely and irrefutably exists simply by believing it exists? Can something that is not and has never been experienced by a person be definitely and irrefutably true because one believes in it?

How can believing in something make the belief justifiably true? Can belief indicate objective existence as well as direct experience?

How can one know something exists simply by believing something exists without having experienced it?

What makes some beliefs justifiably true and others dubious?
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.
So we find ourselves in the following predicament:

I. Persons and first-person subjective experience can be known to exist and are known to exist through knowledge-by-acquaintance.

II. That which Bertrand Russell referred to as 'matter' and George Berkeley referred to a 'unperceived substance' (that which, in the mythology that brains create consciousness there was a time when first-person subjective experience did not exist as brains did not exist) cannot be known through knowledge-by-acquaintance but can only be known through propositional knowledge.

But...existence only appears and has only ever appeared in the form of knowledge-by-acquaintance, re: first-person subjective experience.

Existence has never appeared, and one surmises by the existence of subjective experience, can never appear, in the form of non-experience.

knowledge-by-acquaintance in the form of belief in non-experience indicates that non-experience exists?

How can one know non-experience exists simply by believing it exists?

What makes it so that belief infallibly and irrefutably indicates existence?

It seems that "Propositional knowledge" of the existence of non-experience (what Bertrand Russell refers to as 'matter' and George Berkeley refers to as 'unperceived substance') cannot be justified true belief, as existence cannot appear as or in the form of non-experience (even further, one might argue that existence can only appear in the form of a subject of experience and that which the subject experiences).
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.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by phenomenal_graffiti » February 3rd, 2020, 12:31 am

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: ↑Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:35 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.
Is there evidence of something that is not 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.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Consul » February 3rd, 2020, 1:09 am

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 12:31 am
Is there evidence of something that is not subjective experience?
Yes, there is empirical evidence for nonexperiences. Nonexperiences are perceptually presented to me through their experiential appearances in me.

+++By the way, you should remove that picture from your posts, because it's too big and too loud!+++
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Sculptor1 » February 3rd, 2020, 4:37 am

Consul wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 1:09 am
phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 12:31 am
Is there evidence of something that is not subjective experience?
Yes, there is empirical evidence for nonexperiences. Nonexperiences are perceptually presented to me through their experiential appearances in me.
Surely this is complete nonsense!

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by phenomenal_graffiti » February 3rd, 2020, 11:31 am

Consul wrote: ↑Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:09 am
phenomenal_graffiti wrote: ↑Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:31 pm
Is there evidence of something that is not subjective experience?
Yes, there is empirical evidence for nonexperiences. Nonexperiences are perceptually presented to me through their experiential appearances in me.

Sculptor replies:


Surely this is complete nonsense!
While I disagree with the manner of Sculptor's response I must agree with (and share the ardor of) his sentiment.

Think about your statement:
Nonexperiences are perceptually presented to me through their experiential appearances in me.
To paraphase (?): "Non-experiences are themselves in the external world, not made of my or anyone's experience, yet can appear in me in the form of my experience, while still remaining not my experience in the external world' (as non-experiences presumably do not cease to exist when, then come back into existence following, making an experiential appearance in a person."

This doesn't make any sense. Non-experience is simply that: 'not experience'. How can 'not experience', as it is not experience, make an experiential appearance, given that it is not experience?

That would require 'not experience' to magically transform into 'experience'. To experientially appear in a person, some part of non-experience must magically transform into the experience of that person, or the person cannot experience the non-experience or non-experiential object and event.

Why?

Because in order for you to experience something, that which you experience must be made up of the material substance not of something that is not experience at all, but of your experience of it. If something is not your experience or materialistically made up of your experience, how can you experience it if it is something that is not your experience? Shouldn't something be your experience in order for you to experience it?

Why use something that is not your experience to explain your experience? How can something that is not your experience tell your experience what it is like and worse, cause your experience to assume it's "form"?

It seems that something that is not experience at all cannot be experienced as it is...well...it is not experience. You can only experience experience, you cannot experience non-experience (as non-experience is not experience).
______________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a mythological background to the belief that experience experiences that which is not experience at all: the "brains behind the outfit" so to speak:

This mythology holds there was a time when consciousness did not exist, as brains did not exist. When brains, and therefore consciousness did not exist, there must have been something that pre-dated consciousness (first-person subjective experience) and existed in the universal non-existence of consciousness in lieu of consciousness or subjective experience. Bertrand Russell referred to this "whatever" as 'matter; George Berkeley referred to is as 'unperceived substance'.

But given that existence only appears, and has only ever appeared in the form of a person and that which the person experiences, it does not follow that we should first, dream up, and second, rely upon, that which is not first-person subjective experience to derive subjective experience.

Non-experience is make-believe, entirely made up. It must be, as we have never had evidence of something that is not first-person subjective experience. As for propositional knowledge, believing in non-experience, simply by believing in non-experience, certainly does not make non-experience justifiably true as we only have evidence of the existence of subjective experience. One would simply be saying non-experience is justifiably true by justified true belief simply because one wants it to be true. After all, why should something be justifiably true simply by believing in it, if it is not or is not made up of subjective experience? What is non-experience even like, given we only have evidence of subjective experience as the only thing in existence that appears or demonstrates that it exists is subjective experience?

It follows, then, that non-experience is entirely made up in response to disbelief and incredulity at the possibility that first-person subjective experience may be the only thing that exists, and the only thing that has ever existed.

There is certainly no good reason to believe that non-experience can appear in the form of something experienced, or that experience is obligated to "assume the form" of something that is not experience. Whence cometh the obligation? The obligation is made up. The process is made up, make-believe. Why? Because we have no evidence of the existence of non-experience, as it cannot be evidenced, as it is not subjective experience.

Even if one entertains the notion of non-experience for sake of argument, any communciation or causal connection between non-experience and experience would require an ad hoc, arbitrary magic (given that y does not follow from and cannot be existentially and substantially predicted from x) in which non-experience stops being non-experience to inexplicably and magically become someone experiencing and that which the person experiences; not-experience "somehow" stops being something that is not experience to suddenly be someone experiencing and that which the person experiences. Why should this even be thought to be true?

Instead.....

Rather that fancifully imagine the existence of something that has never and, it is safe to say, can never appear, that is the existential opposite of the only form in which existence has and has only appeared, it's easier and more logical that the only thing that exists, the only thing that has ever existed, is first-person subjective experience.

Much more difficult, but still more logical than non-experience, is the idea that the only thing that has ever existed are persons.

More difficult, but still more logical than non-experience, is the idea that all persons exist within the mind of a single, external Person.
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 3rd, 2020, 4:44 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 12:19 am

One can know something definitely and irrefutably exists by experiencing it . . .
Hold on a second. First, you're not acknowledging whether you understand the distinction between knowledge-by-acquaintance and propositional knowledge. I wasn't bringing that up for you to just obliquely ignore it. Do you understand the distinction or not?

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by phenomenal_graffiti » February 3rd, 2020, 5:35 pm

Terrapin Station:

One can know something definitely and irrefutably exists by experiencing it . .
Hold on a second. First, you're not acknowledging whether you understand the distinction between knowledge-by-acquaintance and propositional knowledge. I wasn't bringing that up for you to just obliquely ignore it. Do you understand the distinction or not?
Knowledge-by-acquaintance=knowledge of something or knowledge of the existence of something by experiencing it.

Propositional knowledge=knowledge of something or knowledge of the existence of something by believing it exists: one can only "know" the thing exists by believing in it as the thing one believes in cannot be experienced or is not yet experienced.

To wit:
Propositional knowledge is a term for justified true belief [emphasis mine]. It doesn't require experiencing or having direct contact with something.
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.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Terrapin Station » February 3rd, 2020, 5:41 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 5:35 pm
Terrapin Station:

Hold on a second. First, you're not acknowledging whether you understand the distinction between knowledge-by-acquaintance and propositional knowledge. I wasn't bringing that up for you to just obliquely ignore it. Do you understand the distinction or not?
Knowledge-by-acquaintance=knowledge of something or knowledge of the existence of something by experiencing it.

Propositional knowledge=knowledge of something or knowledge of the existence of something by believing it exists: one can only "know" the thing exists by believing in it as the thing one believes in cannot be experienced or is not yet experienced.

To wit:
Propositional knowledge is a term for justified true belief [emphasis mine]. It doesn't require experiencing or having direct contact with something.
Cool. So do you understand why it's important not to conflate the two? We don't have knowledge-by-acquaintance of stuff we don't directly experience, but we can have propositional knowledge of stuff we don't directly experience.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by phenomenal_graffiti » February 3rd, 2020, 7:25 pm

Terrapin Station:
Cool. So do you understand why it's important not to conflate the two? We don't have knowledge-by-acquaintance of stuff we don't directly experience, but we can have propositional knowledge of stuff we don't directly experience.
Can one conflate experience with belief? On the one hand we're talking about knowing of the existence of something or knowing something exists by experiencing it: elementary and so obvious it almost doesn't require statement or explanation.

But "knowing" something exists because one believes it exists? This belief believed (pun not intended) to be knowledge equal to experience itself? Not so easy and admittedly magical (if not downright illogical).

Does something that cannot be experienced magically grant knowledge of its existence by forming belief in its existence in the mind of a person? Is the belief, simply because it happens to be belief not in the existence of Popeye the Sailor but in this particular thing, automatically and irrefutably true? What makes it true, besides the presence of belief in the thing? What else other than unmoored belief does it have to support its existence?

Propositional knowledge thus reads as such:

"The fact that I believe it means it's absolutely and irrefutably true; something inexperiential in the external world creates my belief in it, and because I have the belief, I need not experience it: the belief functions in lieu of experience."

Not so much different, I think, than Fundamentalist Christian revelatory knowledge of the existence of God.

That being said, propositional knowledge indeed works when it comes to things that have appeared by knowledge-by-acquaintance in the past, and continue to appear to knowledge-by-acquaintance in the present and future in a lawfully repetitive way, like chemical reactions in a lab, biological and medical behavior, and the sun rising on the morrow. These are repetitive, re-occurring entities of experience, which supports propositional knowledge as we have reason, based on past experience, to believe the content of propositional knowledge is justifiably true.

(Propositional knowledge also works, albeit weaker, in prediction of criminal, mentally ill, or socially maladjusted behavior: one can have justified true belief of the future actions of a drug addict, a schizophrenic, etc. the propositional knowledge in these cases supported, again, by past knowledge-by-acquaintance)

Propositional knowledge, however, does not work when it comes to the existence of that which is not or is something other than first-person subjective experience.

[My beef is against the existence of non-experience and belief in the existence of non-experience (Bertrand Russell's 'matter' and George Berkeley's 'unperceived substance'); that's really the thing I'm "on about". 8)]
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.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Terrapin Station » February 3rd, 2020, 7:34 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 7:25 pm
Can one conflate experience with belief?
You ask, and then in the next paragraph, you do just that:
But "knowing" something exists because one believes it exists? This belief believed (pun not intended) to be knowledge equal to experience itself? Not so easy and admittedly magical (if not downright illogical).
You have to be able to keep track of the two different senses of "knowledge." When we say that we know that rocks exist independently of us, we're saying that we have propositional knowledge of that.

We're not saying that we have knowledge-by-acquaintance of that.

So an objection to the propositional knowledge sense can't be that we don't have knowledge-by-acquaintance of it. If that's the objection, you're conflating the different senses of "knowledge." And then yes, one can do that, as you've done a couple times now.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by phenomenal_graffiti » February 3rd, 2020, 7:59 pm

by Terrapin Station » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:34 pm
phenomenal_graffiti wrote: ↑Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:25 pm
Can one conflate experience with belief?
You ask, and then in the next paragraph, you do just that:
But "knowing" something exists because one believes it exists? This belief believed (pun not intended) to be knowledge equal to experience itself? Not so easy and admittedly magical (if not downright illogical).
You have to be able to keep track of the two different senses of "knowledge." When we say that we know that rocks exist independently of us, we're saying that we have propositional knowledge of that.
We're not saying that we have knowledge-by-acquaintance of that.
It seems that believing rocks exist independently of us is 'knowing' of mind-independent rocks only in the sense of having a concept of mind-independent rocks, not that mind-independent rocks objectively exist. I don't think belief in mind-independent rocks reveals or indicate the objective existence of mind-independent rocks (or anything that is not or is not composed of subjective experience). One can assert it does, but this is a matter of one saying "yes they irrefutably exist" without being able to provide evidence of their existence, as they are things that are not 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.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Terrapin Station » February 3rd, 2020, 8:05 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 7:59 pm

It seems that believing rocks exist independently of us
Having a justified true belief of this is propositional knowledge
is 'knowing' of mind-independent rocks
Here you're switching to the knowledge-by-acquaintance sense of knowledge, thus conflating the two senses again.
only in the sense of having a concept of mind-independent rocks, not that mind-independent rocks objectively exist.
We don't have knowledge-by-acquaintance of something mind-independent as something mind independent (although arguably some phenomenal appearances are that, but we can skip that).

We have propositional knowledge that mind-independent rocks exist. That is knowledge. It's just not knowledge-by-acquaintance. It's propositional knowledge. A lot of what we know is via propositional knowledge rather than knowledge by acquaintance.
I don't think belief in mind-independent rocks reveals or indicate the objective existence of mind-independent rocks
Justified true belief does.
(or anything that is not or is not composed of subjective experience).
It seems like you only accept knowledge-by-acquaintance as knowledge and you don't accept propositional knowledge in general. But you'd have to try to give a good reason why.
One can assert it does, but this is a matter of one saying "yes they irrefutably exist"
Why in the world are you bringing up the idea of "irrefutable"?

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Consul » February 3rd, 2020, 8:24 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 11:31 am
Think about your statement:

"Nonexperiences are perceptually presented to me through their experiential appearances in me."

My answer is there (because it's off-topic here): viewtopic.php?p=348036#p348036
"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 » February 3rd, 2020, 9:46 pm

Terrapin Station:
phenomenal_graffiti wrote: ↑Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:59 pm

It seems that believing rocks exist independently of us
Having a justified true belief of this is propositional knowledge
How is the belief justified and true when referring to things that are not a person and the experience of a person?
is 'knowing' of mind-independent rocks
Here you're switching to the knowledge-by-acquaintance sense of knowledge, thus conflating the two senses again.
To avoid conflation, one must say 'know' but mean 'believe? I used quotations to delineate between knowing by experience and 'knowing' by belief. Perhaps 'belief' in parentheses might suffice.
We have propositional knowledge that mind-independent rocks exist. That is knowledge. It's just not knowledge-by-acquaintance. It's propositional knowledge. A lot of what we know is via propositional knowledge rather than knowledge by acquaintance.
That is "we believe that mind-independent rocks exist" because we can't experience mind-independent rocks. I might add, the belief is unsupported by evidence, as existence only manifests in the form of a person and that which the person experiences, and mind-independent rocks are not persons or the rocks experienced by a person (the brain, for those believing brains create and maintain consciousness, can attest to this).

Can something exist or be known to exist simply by believing it exists, despite the fact it may not exist? Propositional knowledge (belief) is certainly not proof or evidence of something's existence, as only experience proves something exists. If propositional knowledge (belief) proves something exists, propositional knowledge of God should prove God exists.
I don't think belief in mind-independent rocks reveals or indicate the objective existence of mind-independent rocks
Justified true belief does.
How?
(or anything that is not or is not composed of subjective experience).
It seems like you only accept knowledge-by-acquaintance as knowledge and you don't accept propositional knowledge in general. But you'd have to try to give a good reason why.
I only accept knowledge-by-acquaintance as knowledge and as evidence something exists. Why? Because existence only manifests in the form of a person and that which the person experiences; it does not manifest any other way. Everything that appears appears only when a person is present and appears only to that person.
One can assert it does, but this is a matter of one saying "yes they irrefutably exist"
Why in the world are you bringing up the idea of "irrefutable"?
Most, when asserting that something exists, either explicitly or implicitly imply their belief is "irrefutable".
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.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Terrapin Station » February 4th, 2020, 12:49 am

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 9:46 pm

How is the belief justified
Justification obtains when one feels there are good reasons to believe that P.
and true
Truth obtains when one judges a proposition to have a particular relation (depending on one's preferred truth theory) to something else (such as states of affairs)

To avoid conflation, one must say 'know' but mean 'believe?
Propositional knowledge is justified true belief. You can just use "know/knowledge." That we're talking about propositional knowledge and not some other sense of knowledge should be clear from context.
That is "we believe that mind-independent rocks exist" because we can't experience mind-independent rocks.
It's not just belief, it's justified, true belief. And propositional knowledge isn't based solely on phenomenal experience.
I might add, the belief is unsupported by evidence
That's it the case.
as existence only manifests in the form of a person and that which the person experiences,
There's no good reason to believe that.
and mind-independent rocks are not persons or the rocks experienced by a person


Which is irrelevant to propositional knowledge.
Can something exist or be known to exist simply by believing it exists, despite the fact it may not exist?
It's starting to seem like you're incapable of learning. It has to be justified, true belief to be knowledge. It can't be just belief.
Propositional knowledge (belief) is certainly not proof
Proof is irrelevant. It's a red herring to worry about it.

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