The Hardest 2 questions you could ever ask a Christian.
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13-12-2012, 04:43 PM
RE: The Hardest 2 questions you could ever ask a Christian.
*Having trudged through the first couple of pages*

Eh, these might be effective points to level at an apologist like WLC. (Actually, I take that back. If this person's like WLC, NO argument would have an effect.) But I don't see it as useful against everyday Christians, because it's too damned abstract, complicated, and rarified. Most people will zone out when you start talking about a universal set of all sets, and then decide, when you conclude that their world view is utterly wrong, that what ACTUALLY happened was a bit of logical sleight of hand mixed in with all the mumbo-jumbo that they couldn't follow. (Honestly, I do this to a lot of apologists too, the first time I hear their arguments, and only go back and try to sort things out after the fact.) I'd guess you'd lose most of them around when you get into the universal set of all sets -- this is where they zone out and figure the trickery's going to happen while they're trying to decide what the hell that means.

(As an aside, they're RIGHT to be worried about arguments including the set of all sets. The set of all sets does appear in the naive set theory, but that theory collapsed under the weight of its own paradoxes about a century ago. Several axiomatic set theories took its place, most popularly ZF or ZFC. The set of all sets is capable of containing itself, and this sort of recursion is forbidden under the more restrictive ZF© axioms, for the very reason that so MANY sets of that sort create paradoxes. Though recursion in naive set theory doesn't AUTOMATICALLY produce paradoxes, it's still a red flag that one should regard the proof in question with extreme suspicion.)

For MOST Christians, God isn't fundamentally the creator or perfection made manifest or the watchmaker or any such. Not at all. For your everyday Christian (and this'll vary by denomination) God is the invisible sky-buddy, the fellow who lends out a helping hand if you ask, the source of comfort and strength and protection... and sometimes judgement and/or forgiveness, especially if you're feeling guilty or ashamed about something. THAT'S God to most Christians, and things like "creator" and "perfect" and "omnipotent" might get grafted on as interesting and important factoids about the sky-buddy, but aren't really part of the core concept. Attack those properties all you want, it will do nothing to the core concept.

I'd even go a step further. It's sort of a strawman argument, like many atheist arguments. (Not that atheists have anywhere near a monopoly on the strawman.) We take the core concept of God for most Christians, which is vague and amorphous and ill-defined and more intuitive than intellectual. We then replace it with an abstract, rarified, well-defined version, which (because it's well defined) is easier to knock down. This is the strawman which we then knock it down. Then we scratch our heads about how the Christians can still be worshiping this thing we've disproven -- when what we've disproven isn't actually what they were worshiping in the first place.

In short, an argument against a Christian's God must be directed towards what they actually believe and worship in order to be effective. Weird constructions about pantheistic existence, universal sets, etc? That isn't aimed in the right direction.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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14-12-2012, 02:12 AM (This post was last modified: 14-12-2012 02:25 AM by TheJackal.)
RE: The Hardest 2 questions you could ever ask a Christian.
Quote:(As an aside, they're RIGHT to be worried about arguments including the
set of all sets. The set of all sets does appear in the naive set
theory, but that theory collapsed under the weight of its own paradoxes
about a century ago. Several axiomatic set theories took its place, most
popularly ZF or ZFC. The set of all sets is capable of containing
itself, and this sort of recursion is forbidden under the more
restrictive ZF axioms, for the very reason that so MANY sets of that
sort create paradoxes. Though recursion in naive set theory doesn't
AUTOMATICALLY produce paradoxes, it's still a red flag that one should
regard the proof in question with extreme suspicion.)
Granted set theory gets complicated and most Christians would zone out, however, the above problem with set theory is avoided when the container itself is infinite.. Hence it avoids the problem entirely.. So its as simple as understanding that nothing, or a literal zero value can't actually literally exist, and we can carry that understanding over to volume and the capacity of to which would mean that no literal zero value can exist for volume.. Hence that means the system would be infinite by consequence of the impossible to exist value. Existence would thus be applicable to being a Universal Set of all sets.. Anything in and of existence would then be a subset of existence.. There is then arguably no paradox here in which collapses under its own weight.


Quote:For MOST Christians, God isn't fundamentally the creator or perfection
made manifest or the watchmaker or any such. Not at all. For your
everyday Christian (and this'll vary by denomination) God is the
invisible sky-buddy, the fellow who lends out a helping hand if you ask,
the source of comfort and strength and protection... and sometimes
judgement and/or forgiveness, especially if you're feeling guilty or
ashamed about something. THAT'S God to most Christians, and things like
"creator" and "perfect" and "omnipotent" might get grafted on as
interesting and important factoids about the sky-buddy, but aren't
really part of the core concept. Attack those properties all you want,
it will do nothing to the core concept.
I would have to disagree from being a Christian once myself.. Yes some of those are core issues, but it's much more in depth than that. Most of them don't even know what they are actually worshiping since most don't actually do any real research on their religion or actually critically read their bibles. And none of that would actually take away from the OP's premises.

What is GOD without existence is a pretty hard question to tackle, and it doesn't matter which definition one may choose to use as they are all applicable. All the OP shows is that the concept of GOD is technically moot..That doesn't stop people from worshiping something as a GOD, but it shows them a very valid reason why others do not.
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