"True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
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02-10-2013, 10:31 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(02-10-2013 04:17 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  And everything you've said is mute because it's built upon assumptions.

It's very late here but here goes...

All communication is "built upon assumptions" so that is a vacuous statement. If you believe there are suppressed premises that are significant then state them so that I can can try and address them.

Quote:You are assuming not only omniscience, but that it's your particular version that somehow happens to sidestep the core illogic of the concept itself.

I'm assuming omniscience because that is what your contention invites me to do in order to determine if it is sound. How can I attempt to reason through your argument without making systematic assumptions and testing them?

Quote:Before anything else, you need to overcome some problems; such as an omniscient being has no way of authenticating it's own omniscience to itself.

An omniscient being--by virtue of the definition of omniscience--knows everything that can be known about itself so that isn't a problem. If you think that is a problem then you will have to justify it.

Quote:Your argument also starts with the big 'if' of contra-casual freewill, then fails to substantiate it.

The only species of free will that would be consistent with omnipotence would be contra-causal free will. Determinism and compatibilism are inconsistent with omnipotence.

Quote:You've posited an A that gets you to your desired B, without showing that either A or B are true beyond your personal preference for them to be so.

No, I haven't done that.

Quote:Also, that blog does nothing at all to define 'contra-casual' freewill. All the guy in the post does is deny and disagree with the articles that he cites, but never gives any substance to why he disagrees other than to say "I do not believe it. I believe that people do have the free will to make choices, unless I see some very convincing evidence otherwise." But he doesn't put forward any positive case for or definition of 'contra-casual' freewill, and actually says instead "Fine. There is no contra-causal free will.There is only the kind of free will that allows us to make choices and decisions. For this to be a scientific matter, there needs to be some experiments that are strong enough to imply his conclusions. I do not see any." Fine, so he's not happy that all the articles he cites don't live up to his desired conclusion. I fail to see how that is at all persuasive.

Oh for fucks sake, I didn't invent the concept of contra-causal free will. It was once called libertrarian free will but has fallen out of fashion in some parts because it was confused with libertarian political philosophy. I'm using the standard conception of libertraian free will and so is that blogger, namely:

Person P has contra-causal free will if it is possible for P to breach causal continuity such that behaviour B of P is disocciated from all antecedent influences on B.

As I stated above, contra-causal free-will is the only type of free will that is consistent with omnipotence because both compatibilism and determinism compromise omnipotence.

There is no contradiction in a divine person having contra-causal free will and omniscience and omnipotence.
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02-10-2013, 11:39 AM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(02-10-2013 08:49 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Precisely, and I'm not sure Chippy sees this. Even as he is tries to argue, that his god has a 'menu' to choose from and can plan for all contingencies because of his perfect knowledge; that doesn't solve the paradox.

If that is what the others are trying to state then you have stated the argument most clearly.

I believe I understand the argument but I have not explicitly stated a premise which I presumed was shared.

A divine person possessing omnipotence must also possess contra-causal free will. I know of no other conception of agency that would be consistent with omnipotence; both compatbilism and determinism would rob the divine person of omnipotence. With contra-causal free will the volition of the divine person is uninfluenced by all antecedent causes--that is the definition of contra-causal free will--including its knowledge.

Quote:Even in this scenario, a being with all knowledge would by definition already know what it would do out of all possible options (which 'menu' choices it was going to make). Now knowing this, does this being have the power to do otherwise? His argument simply doesn't solve this paradox.

The traditional monotheistic deity is not only "omnimax" it is also transcendent, it stands outside of space and time because it is the supposed creator of space and time. An originary monotheistics deity must be outside its creation. In the absence of time there would be no temporal separation between the deity's volition and its knowledge. There would be no state of merely knowing what it was going to do because such a state is predicated on the existence of time. The possibility of the deity contradicting itself--by choosing differently from what it knows it is going to do--only arises if the volition and cognizance are temporally separated, i.e. it knows at time T1 and decides and time T2. If the volition and knowing are unified then there is no paradox as far as I can tell and they can't be anything but unified for a transcendent "omnimax" deity.

I'm just reasoning on the basis of the theists premises; the deity I have described is consistent with Yahweh, Allah and the Trinity; I haven't invented a special god just to make my case. As far as I can determine the apparent paradoxes emerge when you smuggle materialist assumptions into the theistic worldview; and that I think is illegitimate. If you are trying to engage theists on their own terms then you are obligated to play their language game.

It has been a few years since I was at university but from memory it was only a minority of atheistic philosophers of religion that maintained that the omnimax deity was logically incoherent. It is a common idea on internet fora and atheist websites but I don't think it has currency amongst atheistic professional philosophers. I will check tomorrow if it has any exponents amongst contemporary atheistic philosophers of religion.
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02-10-2013, 12:20 PM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
How is it we know what hypothetical omnipotent beings "MUST" do since they CAN do anything including things you say they musn't?

And I'll ask again--how omnipotent (I have infinite power) means I cannot share power or give humans some power on a free will basis. I have nuclear weapons and diplomats, I send diplomats to ask for you to come to a decision before I send the nukes.
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02-10-2013, 12:28 PM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
PleaseJesus, . . . how can an entity KNOW they are omni-anything? How would they even test that? What if they actually weren't, but were full of selfish pride to where they wouldn't admit to not being "omni________"?

Or, . . . isn't it far more likely that the idea of "an omni________ god" is a human construct, giving something [a god figure] "the absolute ultimate" in characteristics? Perhaps as a way to say "my god is better than your god"? I would hope you can admit this as a very real possibility. I happen to see it as the obvious explanation to this topic and why it can be quite paradoxical.
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02-10-2013, 12:57 PM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(02-10-2013 12:28 PM)DeavonReye Wrote:  PleaseJesus, . . . how can an entity KNOW they are omni-anything? How would they even test that? What if they actually weren't, but were full of selfish pride to where they wouldn't admit to not being "omni________"?

Or, . . . isn't it far more likely that the idea of "an omni________ god" is a human construct, giving something [a god figure] "the absolute ultimate" in characteristics? Perhaps as a way to say "my god is better than your god"? I would hope you can admit this as a very real possibility. I happen to see it as the obvious explanation to this topic and why it can be quite paradoxical.

Yes, I see your point. It's a human made-up something, perhaps, like infinity or eternity and so on--a philologic contrivance to express a "biggest dad in the universe concept".

UNLESS a god made space-time for this universe when he made this universe and synthesized its matter, etc. Then we would both say, "He may not be omnipotent where he comes from, but he sure as heck is omnipotent around these parts."

In the same way, let's not say Hell lasts "forever". Let's say it lasts only 1 trillion years. Then we could see where the Greek author who lacks even the word for trillion could either say "thousands myriads of thousands of myriad thousands" or just the simple and elegant "forever".

Of course, if Hell and Heaven are outside this space-time continuum or inside a black hole where light cannot escape, with all time rooted in the speed of light it would last for how long?

--Poobs
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02-10-2013, 01:20 PM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
I have an issue with "something that can make space-time". I'm not a theoretical physicist, . . . but as I see it, anytime something moves from one point to another, regardless of how small that movement is, it necessarily requires the aspect of 'time'.

I understand how these concepts came together. Creating the ultimate "superbeing" may have required that it must best any and all possible scenarios. Thus even space and time itself "bows the the power of this being". But I would say that even the most powerful being is bound by 'time' because 'time' MUST exist before anything else. So a god entity couldn't be omnipotent over it. The moment it tires to, . . . it has already failed.
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02-10-2013, 01:34 PM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(02-10-2013 11:39 AM)Chippy Wrote:  If that is what the others are trying to state then you have stated the argument most clearly.

I believe I understand the argument but I have not explicitly stated a premise which I presumed was shared.

A divine person possessing omnipotence must also possess contra-causal free will. I know of no other conception of agency that would be consistent with omnipotence; both compatbilism and determinism would rob the divine person of omnipotence. With contra-causal free will the volition of the divine person is uninfluenced by all antecedent causes--that is the definition of contra-causal free will--including its knowledge.

There's your problem. You've opted to solve the paradox by simply defining your way out of it. Okay, so according to you only contra-causal freewill can work because by it's definition it can circumvent the contradictions. Now, is there any reason to believe or any evidence to support that it can actually work or exist in our apparently deterministic/probabilistic reality? Or must you posit it simply by fiat? It might fix the problem, but is there any reason to think it's true?



(02-10-2013 11:39 AM)Chippy Wrote:  The traditional monotheistic deity is not only "omnimax" it is also transcendent, it stands outside of space and time because it is the supposed creator of space and time. An originary monotheistics deity must be outside its creation. In the absence of time there would be no temporal separation between the deity's volition and its knowledge. There would be no state of merely knowing what it was going to do because such a state is predicated on the existence of time. The possibility of the deity contradicting itself--by choosing differently from what it knows it is going to do--only arises if the volition and cognizance are temporally separated, i.e. it knows at time T1 and decides and time T2. If the volition and knowing are unified then there is no paradox as far as I can tell and they can't be anything but unified for a transcendent "omnimax" deity.

Without time, there is no temporal field in which it can 'do' anything, including creating time itself. Positing that it exists outside of time is great in that it fixes the problem, but once again, is there any reason to think it's true? Or is it simply a definitional word game?


(02-10-2013 11:39 AM)Chippy Wrote:  I'm just reasoning on the basis of the theists premises; the deity I have described is consistent with Yahweh, Allah and the Trinity; I haven't invented a special god just to make my case. As far as I can determine the apparent paradoxes emerge when you smuggle materialist assumptions into the theistic worldview; and that I think is illegitimate. If you are trying to engage theists on their own terms then you are obligated to play their language game.

It's a pity their word games are built around creating definitional exceptions to sidestep the paradoxes their own assertions create. Assertions built upon assertions prove less than nothing, and it's why the theistic worldview is so vacuous.


(02-10-2013 11:39 AM)Chippy Wrote:  It has been a few years since I was at university but from memory it was only a minority of atheistic philosophers of religion that maintained that the omnimax deity was logically incoherent. It is a common idea on internet fora and atheist websites but I don't think it has currency amongst atheistic professional philosophers. I will check tomorrow if it has any exponents amongst contemporary atheistic philosophers of religion.


And only a minority of New Testament scholars advocate the Jesus Myth theory proposed by Richard Carrier; that doesn't mean his argument is any weaker than those who choose to side with the 'traditional' view of Jesus' historicity.


But here's a fun one for you. How can an omniscient being know it's omniscient? The claim is unfalsifiable, and so the only thing it would have to go on would be to rely on it's own omniscience. If the being is omniscient, or mistaken/deceived into thinking it's omniscient, it will still think it's omniscient if it were to attempt to verify it's own omniscience. Herein lies the problem, the reasoning is circular. Not only that, but anything even remotely close to being omniscient would recognize this fatal flaw in logic, and upon realize that it is not able to absolutely trust in it's own omniscience and being unable to test it, it must therefore doubt it's own omniscience and is therefore not-omniscient by default. Therein is the paradox of omniscience. It is unfalsifiable and unverifiable, no matter whatever type of freewill or omnipotence you try to throw at it. The only way you can get 'true' omniscience is by definitional fiat, a simple declaration that somehow your version of omniscient is 'true' omniscience and doesn't trip the paradox. Such definitional word games however are specious.

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02-10-2013, 03:01 PM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
Just to clarify, we are arguing the attributes of a being for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, right?

I just want to be clear on that.


Next on the program we will discuss Bigfoot's shoe size. Drinking Beverage

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02-10-2013, 03:40 PM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(02-10-2013 03:01 PM)Chas Wrote:  Just to clarify, we are arguing the attributes of a being for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, right?

I just want to be clear on that.


Next on the program we will discuss Bigfoot's shoe size. Drinking Beverage
Fool!

Bigfoot is outside space time and therefore beyond shoes. His is transcendent therefore shoes, even as paradox, is a moot point. He can wear them if he so chooses... or not.

Bigfoot = omnifoot.

Get with it. Dodgy sheesh

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02-10-2013, 10:54 PM
RE: "True" omnipotence invalidates theodicy
(02-10-2013 03:40 PM)kim Wrote:  Bigfoot is outside space time and therefore beyond shoes.

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