Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
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07-05-2010, 08:52 PM
 
Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
The Transcendence-vs.-Omnipresence Argument

Here the incompatibility is between properties {c} and {f}. The argument may be formulated as follows:

1. If God exists, then he is transcendent (i.e., outside space and time).
2. If God exists, then he is omnipresent.
3. To be transcendent, a being cannot exist anywhere in space.
4. To be omnipresent, a being must exist everywhere in space.
5. Hence, it is impossible for a transcendent being to be omnipresent (from 3 and 4).
6. Therefore, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 5).

The usual place at which this argument is attacked is premise 3. It is claimed that to transcend space does not entail being totally outside space. A being could be partly inside space and partly outside. Consider the Flatland analogy: a three-dimensional object transcends Flatland, and yet it exists within the Flatland dimensions (as well as outside). So, God could be like that. He exists within space (and, indeed, everywhere in space!) but he also exists outside space, the latter feature being what warrants calling him "transcendent."

My only objection here is that the Flatland analogy does not quite make the idea of transcendence intelligible. We understand perfectly well how a three-dimensional object might "transcend" Flatland while still being (partly) within it. However, this is still talking about objects in space. To try to extend the analogy so as to talk about something that is "outside space as well as within it" is unsuccessful. That is something that we are totally unable to comprehend. In the end, the very concept of transcendence that is appealed to here is incoherent. This illustrates the point that defenses against incompatible-properties arguments may very well lead to incoherence or other objections to theism.

{Courtesy of Theodore Drange}
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08-05-2010, 11:03 PM
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
How can be affect our world, without being part of our material world? If he was part of our material world, then he could be scientifically tested, yet he is not. I think all this is is that theists like to use fancy words when describing god without truly thinking what they are saying. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing, transcendent, spiteful, merciful, angry, forgiving, jealous, and loving. This are all common terms to describe god, yet there several paradoxes in it. I agree, you cannot be everywhere while being nowhere(like you can't be eternal while outside of time). It seems like an either or situation. Not that I believe in god at all, but transcendent would make a lot more sense than omnipresent, since he is nowhere to be found. But I don't think the description of god is thought out at all. I think people just assign god properties that sound cool.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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09-05-2010, 08:22 AM
 
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
"I think people just assign god properties that sound cool."

I did love this line. ^_^
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09-05-2010, 04:34 PM
 
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
"In religion, transcendence is a condition or state of being that surpasses physical existence and in one form is also independent of it. It is affirmed in the concept of the divine in the major religious traditions, and contrasts with the notion of God, or the Absolute, existing exclusively in the physical order (immanentism), or indistinguishable from it (pantheism). Transcendence can be attributed to the divine not only in its being, but also in its knowledge. Thus, God transcends the universe, but also transcends knowledge (is beyond the grasp of the human mind)." (from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendence_(religion))

So, prayer kills any thought of god being transcendent. If he transcends the universe, then answering the prayers of his 'children' should be easy. Since prayer doesn't work, god doesn't exist or chooses to pick and choose which prayers he answers, making him sadistic, which eliminates his benevolence. He has also proven himself contradictory (at least in the bible), so his knowledge is not trascendent, so he's not all knowing either.

The only place he exists is in between the ears of theists. Period.
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10-05-2010, 11:34 PM
 
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
I think the best argument against someone of this degree of idiocy is to just say, well hey The Flying Spaghetti Monster is also omnipresent and transcendent.

In fact the flying spaghetti monster purposely changes scientific measurements to prevent his discovery. He is logically more sound than a Christian God.

My religion, pastafarianism, can account for evolution, the size of the universe as well as all previously found scientific theories and all future theories. Where as your religion instantly degrades with the most subtle scrutiny.
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11-05-2010, 07:36 AM
 
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
As solid of an argument as that is, it will undoubtedly fail. Why? Because pastafarianism isn't a real religion...

Actually, I once asked that theist friend of mine whom loves to engage in philosophical debate, what it would take for her to acknowledge a religion as being a 'real' religion; since she obviously didn't have problems with Hinduism or Islam; even though they contradicted her own faith.

According to her, they would need to be over 1500 years old, as well as possessing a holy book.

I brought up the point about the orally based continuum of certain faiths and that was okay, so a fair share of Africa's faiths are good.

...So, ya, apparently pastafarianism has a better chance of being acknowledged if you wait for 1400 more years, and randomly compile its writings into a mangled holy book.
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13-05-2010, 02:08 AM
 
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
There have been more forums like this but this is what i loved.
Regards
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09-08-2010, 09:44 AM
 
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
(10-05-2010 11:34 PM)Enginseer Wrote:  I think the best argument against someone of this degree of idiocy is to just say, well hey The Flying Spaghetti Monster is also omnipresent and transcendent.

In fact the flying spaghetti monster purposely changes scientific measurements to prevent his discovery. He is logically more sound than a Christian God.

My religion, pastafarianism, can account for evolution, the size of the universe as well as all previously found scientific theories and all future theories. Where as your religion instantly degrades with the most subtle scrutiny.
Enginseer, I love your idea, cool........Thanks!
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09-08-2010, 10:19 AM
 
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
(07-05-2010 08:52 PM)Ceryle Wrote:  My only objection here is that the Flatland analogy does not quite make the idea of transcendence intelligible. We understand perfectly well how a three-dimensional object might "transcend" Flatland while still being (partly) within it. However, this is still talking about objects in space. To try to extend the analogy so as to talk about something that is "outside space as well as within it" is unsuccessful. That is something that we are totally unable to comprehend. In the end, the very concept of transcendence that is appealed to here is incoherent. This illustrates the point that defenses against incompatible-properties arguments may very well lead to incoherence or other objections to theism.

{Courtesy of Theodore Drange}

Well, in the Flatland analogy, a 3 dimensional object transcends a 2 dimensional space. God would not have to be outside space (whatever this means). He simply would have to transcend a 3 dimensional space (our universe). M Theory predicts the existence of 10 spacial dimensions. Perhaps each dimensional level has its own omniscient transcendent overlord that inhabits the next spacial dimension. Obviously not (or to be correct, most likely not), just throwing out an idea here.

It also should be mentioned that although there are theories emerging to the contrary, time is also a dimension. God would then have to transcend the temporal dimension as well. Being outside time may well be incomprehensible. Although new physics theories can often be more fantastical than the notion of a God (there is a new theory that time does not exist).
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09-08-2010, 11:19 AM
RE: Transcendence vs. Omnipresence
Hey, Ceryle.

This is interesting. But as Chevy Chase once said, "it was my understanding that their would be no math."

I'm not a physicist. Not even close. I can't even pretend to understand. Could you do a version of this that a layman could understand?

Quote:If he was part of our material world, then he could be scientifically tested, yet he is not.

This flatland stuff might wind up crushing my objection but until that info comes in, I would say, not necessarily.

By definition, that which is supernatural is above or beyond or or outside the power of or has power over the natural. So even if God existed within the natural universe (whether he lives here or sojourns here) he is necessarily beyond the natural. Science's usefulness ends at the limits of the natural universe. So there's every chance that the supernatural cannot be scientifically tested. Personally, I don't see how it could be.

Quote:Since prayer doesn't work, god doesn't exist or chooses to pick and choose which prayers he answers, making him sadistic, which eliminates his benevolence.

How does prayer not work? Do you mean in the sense of people say "me wantie" then don't get that thing? Like gimme a bike, I don't get a bike, proof that prayer doesn't work?

Also, would it be impossible for God to have the same sort of duality that humans have? Ie, could he not be both cruel and kind?

Quote:I think the best argument against someone of this degree of idiocy is to just say, well hey The Flying Spaghetti Monster is also omnipresent and transcendent.

There's a difference between the Flying Spaghetti Monster and, say, the God of Catholicism. The spaghetti monster was clearly created by a human within the last, what, 20 years, out of spite. It's funny and all, but that's pretty much the deal. I met a man who was doing his PhD in Catholic philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He pointed out to me the fact that Catholic theology states that God revealed himself a couple thousand years ago. I honestly don't know enough about it (or believe it) but there are accounts of it occurring. This, of course, isn't proof in and of itself, but certain people are trying to prove that it didn't happen by trying to prove that there is no God. So comparing something that was intentionally created to make a point and that is essentially a joke, versus something that is viewed as an historical occurrence is not a reasonable comparison.

Also, what degree of idiocy would that be? 5.9734?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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