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What essentially is Good and Evil?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Justme, May 6, 2012.

  1. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    If the deity doesn't know everything then he is not all knowing and all powerful. Which means the deity is not perfect and has limits to their knowledge.

    If the deity is not perfect and has limits to their knowledge then any morality they dictate could be flawed and the deity would not know it, so wouldn't that mean that any morality dictated by said deity would be subjective to them?

    I'm not a Calvinist. I actually don't even know what that means. I'm just someone who's recalling various things from philosophy courses taken many years ago through an imperfect memory and understanding.

    Foreknowledge does not necessitate predetermination... After googling up a little about Calvanism, isn't this statement dependent on which definition of free will is being used?


    Well then, he isn't all good then either. :p
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  2. Fnord

    Fnord Troubadour

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    Free will AND omnipotence can't exist side by side. If you know what's going to happen before it does, then that's deterministic. For humans to have free will then future events cannot be known.

    I think everything can be broken down and explained scientifically (eventually). Again, this goes back to my point that just because we can't explain it yet, doesn't mean it can never be explained scientifically. For us to embrace metaphysical forces means that all science is inherently wrong because it can simply be "broken" by supernatural forces. If we as a species simply settled for the metaphysical explanation of things, we would have made very little advance in the areas of physics, medicine, and even mathematics. So the supernatural isn't something we witness empirically but rather is something people fall back to describe that which has not witnessed empirically.

    This is why religion is not studied as a science--we really can't experiment with it (and those things that have been tried, such as analyzing the effects of prayer, for example, turn out to be statistically insignificant) and we therefore cannot use it to produce evidence. After all, if there was evidence then there wouldn't be so many religions today (and sects within those religions) nor the thousands of religions that existed before. Philosophy wouldn't even be a field of study (for the objective basis for morality and human purpose would be explicitly known) and there wouldn't be any wars over whose religion (or version of it) is correct.

    But we have none of those things. And even with the pervasiveness of religion in our everyday lives, anyone who comes out and says "a god has spoken to me" is immediately dismissed as delusional or even insane--yet many religions are based on just those very claims (they just happened in the past when these deities apparently were arbitrarily more engaged in the lives of everyday people).

    Without a deity as an objective force for morality, where else would we get it from other than spontaneous emergence through the actions of millions of individuals acting in concert over a period of time? As Steerpike has pointed out, we can't empirically prove that this objectivity does or does not exist (and Ayn Rand types would say it does, even without religion), but we can certainly reason that it likely doesn't.
     
  3. Catherine

    Catherine Dreamer

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    I was going to suggest the pendulum swinging between good and evil is intent, but then I thought more about this and I realised that the old addages of "even the best intentions..." and "...paved with good intentions" may have their points.

    So my second suggestion is consideration IE the consideration of the other person and the effects your actions will have on that person. Caring whether one is hurt, angry, or experiencing any other negative emotion, versus not caring at all how your actions will make them feel. This will also cover people who are perceived to be considerate of others, but in their very core, don't really give a flying hoot. The other side of that coin of course includes those that are perceived to be evil, but in their very core do actually care. It is about what is in a person's core - their heart, their soul, their essence, their being - whatever you wish to call it.

    PLEASE NOTE: This is just my opinion and in no way should be taken by others in a negative light. My opinions are not meant to cause harm or offence to any person or persons in any way and you have my sincerest apologies if my words have been taken in any negative light. :D
     
  4. Fnord

    Fnord Troubadour

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    Well, that's a fine point to bring up. Intent *is* pretty important but, as Adam Smith wrote in the Theory of Moral Sentiments, we have to take into account all parties--not only the benefactor or the beneficiary, but also other parties who bear witness to the act or are otherwise affected by it. These issues certainly come up again and again when discussing public policy in economic and social issues; many people might have the best intentions but look at the end goal in a very myopic way. If, for example, you feel people should be paid a much higher wage than they are and thus advocate raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour because you feel that is a wage that most people can live on, your heart might be in the right place but you have to account for the effects on the intended beneficiary (likely the poor and unskilled who will suddenly find themselves priced out of the labor market) and third-party effects (a slowdown of productivity, an sharp increase in the general price level, etc).

    Does the benefactor's desire then become less moral? The intention was there (doing good) but the outcome made everyone involved worse off (doing "evil"). Lots of gray area there.
     
  5. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    That's not quite correct. Foreknowledge does not necessitate determinism, if for no other reason than the cause/effect chains our choices create are unknown to us, which some would argue is what really matters. In order for predestination to be in effect here, God would have to be actively constraining human choice. He doesn't do that, and there is no cause/effect relationship between knowing an event will take place and the event actually happening. One must also take into account that the reason the outcomes of our choices is unknown to us is because we have limited perspective. God has infinite perspective, so he can see and think "farther down the road" than we can. Also, your scientific reductionist way of viewing things actually WILL produce determinism if you carry it to its ultimate conclusion according to your own logic. If science evolves to the place where every outcome of every event can be calculated with perfect accuracy given the proper number of variables, does that also disprove human free will?

    This is strong naturalism in its rawest form. And it's somewhat self defeating. The very statement that everything can be explained scientifically is an assumption that cannot be empirically proven. So would that not be invalidated on its own terms? And if such assumptions, which form the bedrock of all human thought, are not invalidated, then that means we have identified at least one thing that cannot be empirically determined, which means we must accept the possibility that there might be others. To deny the probability of the supernatural existing is reasonable. To deny the possibility is overreaching the bounds of science. As I stated earlier, science can only examine natural phenomena anyway. To deduce from that that the supernatural cannot exist is a logical leap. And furthermore, you seem to be using a different definition of "supernatural", or else not to understand its nature. The supernatural is by definition "beyond" us. Think of the universe as a Venn diagram with only one circle. That which is within the circle is natural perception, that which is without is the supernatural. The physical laws inside the circle do not necessarily apply outside of it. But that does not make them "wrong", it only means they have limitations, in the same way that American laws not applying in Norway does not invalidate the American laws in America. And anyway, if a being has the power to create reality, surely it takes somewhat less power to fiddle with it for a few moments.
     
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  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    You're making a leap here and not connecting the dots. We're talking about a lack of knowledge of every future event that will occur. I don't believe you've shown that a lack of knowledge of every future event will occur precludes an absolute morality.
     
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I'm going to agree with Mindfire on this. I don't think omniscience and free will are mutually exclusive when you are talking about a deity. One thing we believe about time is that it is intertwined with space. It is a 'thing' that was formed along with the creation of the universe. If you believe a deity created the universe, then that deity is necessarily outside of time (i.e. must have existed before it). If you put the deity in a frame of reference outside of time, you could have a situation where the deity is simply able to perceive all points in time simultaneously. Treating the deity as though he is necessarily part of the stream of time and bound by a human frame of reference is a mistake. As humans, we can know what someone did in 1960. It is the past to us, and our knowing what they did doesn't preclude their freewill. For the deity, it is essentially all the past, though the deity is different in that he can presumably interfere at points in the timeline if he so desires.
     
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  8. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    Science has already arrived at determinism in the idea of Laplace's demon. Basically it suggests that if there was a being that could track the position and speed of every atom in the world it could predict everything that would happen with perfect accuracy just like how in billards you can predict how if you hit one ball it'll bounce into another ball, causes it to go and hit another ball, which goes and hits another ball, etc and so on. Of course, this would require an atomic system to the universe, I'm not sure if it's still valid in the latest quantum waveform whatsits model of the universe.

    Well........................ If everything does get proven empirically, wouldn't that empirically prove that statement? It'd be the last thing in the universe to be proven, but it's still possible. ^^

    I do agree that there are things that human minds simply can't comprehend.... Time paradoxes (paradoxi?) immediately come to mind. Just because we can't comprehend them though doesn't necccesarily mean that they can't be explained with science, just that we can't grasp the answer.

    I don't neccesarily agree that it'd take less power to mess with something that's already started. Imagine you have a stone wheel at the top of a hill. It might take a good amount of force to get the wheel rolling, but it'll take a lot more to stop it. Modifying the course might take less power, but it risks the whole thing going out of control.

    I agree though that having knowledge of the future doesn't affect free will, just so long as you have reasons for your choice besides simply knowning you'll make that choice due to predicting the future then it's still free will. I'm reminded about Dr. Manhattan in the Watchmen, he described seeing time as a gem, where most people just look at one facet of the gem at a time, he sees it as a whole, but just because he knows he'll feel shocked when he finds out his girlfriend has been cheating on him in advanced doesn't stop him from feeling shocked when he finds out his girlfriend has been cheating on him.
     
  9. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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  10. Fnord

    Fnord Troubadour

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    Right, this was sort of what I was getting at. Given certain conditions (and an unfathomable amount of social engineering and computation) we can theoretically predict the outcome of a situation. Probability and game theory are attempts to make very broad predictions about this sort of thing in regards to human behavior and choice-making. If we believe in a pure form of free will (which we obviously cannot prove one way or the other at this point), then we assume that there is a great deal chaos in the human psyche. I'm not convinced of that though. Theoretically, if you ran experiments where you had perfect genetic human clones with perfectly identical environmental experiences and placed them in separate but identical rooms and ran a decision experiment, you would produce identical results (twin studies have attempted this, which is as close to these conditions as we can get and they've had illuminating results. Being that I have identical twin girls on the way myself, and given my particular field and accompanying interest in game theory, I have all kinds of curiosities I want to look into).

    But I still can't see where one can reconcile free will with knowledge of future events. For example, if a person is given a battery of decisions to make:

    [​IMG]

    And I, as an omniscient entity, know already that CDDC will be the choices this person makes with absolute certainty, then how have I bestowed free will on this person? If we look at it from the "past" standpoint (as in the entity in question exists ahead of the event and is looking back on it), we still can't reconcile actual free will in the decision-maker. I, the omniscient entity, already exist in a deterministic universe. If people have free will, I cannot know their decisions with 100% certainty ahead of time; if I'm omniscient then people cannot exercise free will. So either I'm not perfectly omniscient or people are not perfectly free-willed. If we acknowledge some sort of middle ground between the two, then something between those two possibilities is imperfect. That, in itself, is interesting to think about but that means our concepts of deities and the religion that surrounds them is deeply flawed.

    When talking about an entity that exists outside of space-time, it certainly gets messy. A Venn diagram of an "inner core" that operates within certain physical laws and an "outer boundary" that exists outside of these laws is certainly an interesting philosophical position. And being we're all here united under the common banner of fantasy fiction, I'm sure we can all agree that it's fun to think about these sorts of things in a creative sense. But I run into inconsistencies when attempting to reason out such an environment. There is certainly the possibility (for thinking purposes at least) of physical laws being different someplace else but it gets messy when these two places, or entities from these two places, interact. If the godly entity from the "outer world" exerts force on the inner world in such a way that it violates the physical laws of that inner world, then that inner world wasn't operating under those laws to begin with and we're back to where we started.

    As an aside to this discussion, this is a little article/blog/journal entry I always found interesting in stretching the imagination of how we think about these sorts of things:

    Ragged Trousered Philosopher
     
  11. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    I'm afraid they are–whether talking about a deity or not–if omniscience includes the certain knowledge of all future events.

    There is one fairly simple, and a second more complicated, way out of this. (1) The future simply cannot be "known," period: the omniscient being can only know everything that has already taken place or is taking place concurrently. (2) The omniscient being can know all possible futures arising from all possible choices made by freely acting beings–making each possible future its own deterministic line–but cannot know with absolute certainty which specific choice a freely acting being will make prior to it actually making the choice.

    In either case, especially in the second, the omniscient being may be able to predict with a high degree of accuracy what choices will be made along any given trajectory, since the overwhelming majority of such choices will be curtailed by circumstance, and will follow from some form of rational assessment of those circumstances… but this is not the same as "knowing," and surprises are still possible. In neither case does the future actually exist: the limit is not on the omniscient being's ability to know anything that can be known–that ability remains unlimited; rather it is a limit on what can be known.

    Which, unfortunately, generally runs up against simultaneous claims that the being also be omnipotent, the argument being that if the deity can't know the future, there is a power it does not possess, and therefore the being is not omnipotent. In other words, omnipotent beings must be capable of doing the impossible as well as the possible, according to such proponents.

    (A third option, less appealing to most who like to speak of such topics, is that omniscience only includes the ability to know anything, not to automatically know everything: the being must still direct its attention to events in order to actually know them. Even here, however, if the being directs its attention toward the future, then the future must become determined at that point in order for the being to actually "know" it, so this doesn't help much in the present case.)

    Apart from those, you need to change what is meant by "know" to rescue the universe from the determinism of omniscience. Of course, it becomes pretty easy to win any argument once you start changing the meaning of your terms.

    Nor does the (apparent) uncertainty of quantum events salvage the situation: it still falls apart on the definition of "know." No matter how much uncertainty there is in the system, the omniscient being can only be said to "know" the future if it knows what the actual outcome of these events will be once they do take place. If not, the being does not "know" the future. Note too that once more omnipotence creates additional problems: an omnipotent being must be able to know the outcome of theoretically indeterminate to be "omni"potent… i.e. it must be able to do the impossible.

    Of course, it has to be able to do this anyway, since omnipotence is inherently and irremediably paradoxical. Which is why most religious scholars opt for a more limited form of "omnipotence" that allows such beings only to do the possible… as Aquinas put it: "Nothing which implies contradiction falls under the omnipotence of God"; or, more recently, C. S. Lewis: "Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible." (In other words, they changed the meaning of their terms. ;) Though I suppose one could also say they defined them more clearly.) If the future, therefore, is inherently unknowable, then omniscient beings do not know it… and, almost as a side-effect, free will is rescued.
     
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  12. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    But, if a being is omnipotent, doesn't that also give it the ability to structure reality in a way such that omniscience and free-will CAN coexist? And is it not also likely that we cannot fully comprehend the seemingly paradoxical nature of omnipotence because of our limited human understanding?
     
  13. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    I would actually not readily allow most of these. 2 and 3 are unproven, and may well turn out to be incorrect… assuming they are subject to proof at all. I could see 1 being an outgrowth of 4–depending on what is meant by "conscience"–but otherwise I would question it… would, in fact, consider it highly problematic, as it complicates any explanation of "aberrant" behavior. In my experience, 5 is inaccurate more often than it is accurate: most people don't seek justice so much as revenge. I have neither evidence nor reason to accept 6.

    That leaves 4 and 7… both of which I agree with on a personal basis, though I can see where they could be problematic, depending on how terms such as "responsible," "rational" and (especially) "aware" are defined. (I'm happier with "is rational" than "strives to be rational," by the by. Doesn't leave an escape hatch for anyone who wants to claim "I don't strive to be rational!" Perhaps "is capable of reason" would be a better way to put it.) "Self-aware" may be better than "aware."
     
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  14. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Logically, perhaps not—if what you're after is in terms of murder being an inherently illogical act, independent of any other factor. Rationally, yes: it would be irrational for me to believe that the consequences of murder would never include things incompatible with my goals. Such as getting caught eventually, no matter how "perfect" I believe the act to be at the time. I further have internal reasons to believe that committing murder would create consequences incompatible with my goals, insofar as my experience has demonstrated that I am discomforted even by injuring others; therefore, I should wish to avoid incurring such consequences; logic suggests the most reliable way to do this is to avoid murdering people. I also find hypocrisy to be irrational and illogical, in addition to finding it personally repugnant; if I wish to live in a society that does not permit murder, it would be hypocritical of me (and thus irrational and illogical of me) to commit it. (Psychological consequences are nonetheless consequences.) Further, if I discover a way in which I could commit murder with absolutely zero chance of detection, I would fear that someone else might discover it as well, so for my own continued protection I should find a way to close off the possibility rather than risk my own person, or the dissolution of my society—which increases risk to my own person, thereby effectively becoming the same thing. Even if I have good reason to believe my method cannot be replicated, I would still be concerned that the existence of an unsolvable murder of any sort would encourage others to believe they could likewise act with impunity, whether they are correct in this belief or not; again, this increases risk to my own person—whether or not there is even any evidence a murder has been committed in the first place: the assumption, even speculation, that one has taken place is all that need be present to potentially increase that risk.

    Most of these considerations apply to any form of killing I might perform, not just murder, unless the consequences of not killing are more incompatible with my goals than those of killing… as, for instance, in self-defense. Similar considerations can be applied to nearly any other act we normally criminalize; thus, I avoid doing unto others that which I would not have done unto me.

    Which, I think, arrives at something resembling an axiom. If I accept it as one, then it follows logically that I should not commit murder.

    (I am, of course, ignoring your use of the word "want" in this discussion: there have been plenty of times I've wanted to kill someone. I got over it. ;) )
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  15. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    If a being is omnipotent, can it create another omnipotent being? Either the answer is no, in which case it is not omnipotent—there is something it cannot do; or the answer is yes, in which case neither being is omnipotent, because each is capable of imposing a limit on the omnipotence of the other… or if they cannot, there is a power that each of them lacks, and they're still not omnipotent. Sorry, but it isn't seemingly paradoxical; it is, as I said, inherently paradoxical.

    I have also pointed out, the last time this question arose, that this doesn't mean omnipotence cannot exist. Deities might simply be immune to paradox. That would, in fact, have to be one of the powers of an omnipotent being, after all: immunity to paradox. If it is not so immune, it isn't omnipotent… not on that reading of the term. Right?

    Which still leaves you with two options: either you can surrender a bit on the omnipotent part, as many theologians have done… or you can not get worked up about paradoxes. Nothing says the rules of logic have to constrain deities—indeed, they cannot constrain an omnipotent being, or else, once again, the being is not omnipotent. The rules of logic do, however, have to apply to logic. I think far too many people get upset over the notion that "illogical" somehow equates to "wrong." It does not. Just ask a logician. (Well, another one, that is. ;) )

    It may be appealing to think that omniscience doesn't preclude free will—in one way of looking at it, it may appear that the two are completely unrelated. Freely acting beings still make their own choices; omniscience merely reveals what that choice will be in advance. But think about that: if the choice which will be made is known—is known, not can be known—then the "choice" has already been determined, prior to it ever being made. A being capable of knowing the future is comparable to (I'm tempted to say indistinguishable from) a being standing at the end of time and looking backward: all choices have already been made, all events have already taken place, all the quantum indeterminacies have already been resolved. Everything already happened that one way, and no other: it's the past, it's history. It is not free to occur any other way at that point. Take all that knowledge of what has happened, move it into some earlier point in time, and give it to some being looking forward into the future: it must still remain immutable, if it is to remain accurate. Where does the "freedom" enter in, if there is only one possible outcome to any given "choice"? I'm only "free" to make the choices that, from the point of view of the omniscient being, I have already made. That's where the problem lies.

    I doubt I can offer a rigorous proof that future-looking omniscience and free will are mutually exclusive… but I can't see how they could be compatible, either.
     
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  16. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    You know, I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally hate terms like infinity, eternity, and yes, omnipotent. By defining these things we're... well, we're defining things that are undefinable. Even if we're not doing it conciously, we're putting a limit on these things that are inheirantly unlimitable. When you hear those words what do you think of? THAT is only the smallest of small specks in the face of how stupidly big those things are. They are so big we litterally can not comprehend them.

    I also don't see a problem with Paradoxes (Paradoxi?) Those are simply things that our feeble human minds can't comprehend. Our brains are physically unable to understand them. That doesn't mean that there isn't a way to resolve paradox, simply that we can't comprehend them. At the level of a being considered omnipotent, he simply might not care about paradoxi.

    I still don't see the problem with knowing everything and free will. It doesn't matter if you know what you're going to choose beforehand if, when the time comes, that choice is still the one that makes the most sense to you. Since my Dr. Manhattan example was ignored, then what about Odin? Thanks to drinking from Ymir's Well (I think that's what it was) He gained knowledge of everything that was going to happen. He knew that all his efforts to stop Ragnarok were going to fail, but He tries it anyways because that's what makes sense to him.

    Finally, there's the fact that only the god knows everything that's going to happen, even if you know what somebody else is going to do, if they come to that choice on their own due to their own reasons, that's free will.
     
  17. Fnord

    Fnord Troubadour

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    You just need to work with mathematics more. :happy:


    I think is kind of a lazy way to think about it. When we start saying things like "our feeble minds can't comprehend X" we put self-created barriers to our thought processes and then dismiss the subjects out-of-hand. Again, if we had always settled for this explanation, we would have never had the advances in physics, medicine, mathematics, and other fields that have made our lives incredibly better, especially in the last 300 years or so. Every time we've made great strides in humanity it is because someone said "We can comprehend this. . . ."


    Because, as Ravana pointed out so eloquently, free will and absolute foreknowledge are inherently paradoxical. Then only way you can argue against that is simply to throw up your hands and say "Well, we just can't comprehend otherwise" which is just an easy and intellectually lazy way to settle the subject. If that's simply a person's answer for everything when they hit a barrier, then there isn't really any point to that person continuing the dialogue.

    The Odin example is more an example of early humans trying to reconcile strange beliefs (if we're operating under the assumption that Odin does not exist). It's not very useful because most people (rightfully) don't believe those events actually happened.

    A better (or at least more modern) example is the eschatological beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses. According to their beliefs, only 144,000 people will ascend to heaven and rule alongside God and yet JWs number in the millions and are aggressively evangelistic. I once posed this question to a couple who came to my door once "If the number of people who will rule in heaven is so few, wouldn't witnessing to others just be decreasing the probability of you being among that number?" The answer I received was that in order to be among those chosen, one has to lead others into the faith. I pointed out that this sounded suspiciously like a pyramid scheme and was met with an awkward farewell.

    And yet the JWs also believe ardently the concept of free will while also not seeming to question that God knows in advance that only 144,000 of their number will ascend to Heaven. To me it just seems that they haven't thought it all through very well or, at best, also subscribe to the "if I can't comprehend it then it must not be comprehendible" fallacy.
     
  18. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I was hoping to avoid this, but . . .

    Both Aquinas, and Lewis, speak without any force of authority behind their statements, and although they're very well-written and insightful, their works are inherently littered with errors. Omnipotence means exactly what it's supposed to mean, but there are two elaborations which could be added: Omnipotence includes the power to create a self-imposed restraint, and the truth which is inherent in creation has been built around those restraints.

    This is true because Omnipotence, Omniscience and Omnibenevolence are properties of God, but even taken together, they are only a simplification commonly used for debating purposes. God possesses other defined qualities, such as being Unchanging, which justifies God's ability to commit Himself to an Oath: He would never, in the absolute sense, change His mind (although He may at times appear to when considered inside the context of time, however God exists now as He will at the end).

    Considering the matter of Omniscience and Omnipotence implying Predestination, I do not agree, but on a more practical matter, there isn't even a point to the debate. The Christian God possesses a further distinct trait which renders the conversation irrelevant:

    He is Triune - that is, He possesses three distinct and divine Wills, acting in perfect harmony, but each of which possesses somewhat separate and distinct properties.

    This is relevant because of two things:

    - All things were created through the Word of God.
    - Omniscience does not extend to the Word of God, but only to God the Father.

    Consequently, Omniscience is not a feature of the Will which created humanity, and the entire debate is moot, a straw man, and argument from ignorance.
     
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  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I don't agree this is necessarily true, for the reasons I stated above. Fnord address those reasons to a degree, but essentially you guys have just waved away the argument without saying much :)

    From what I understand of physics, time and space in our universe are inextricably linked. Before the creation of the latter, it is in a sense meaningless to talk about the former. There simply was no time as we know it. If a deity existed in whatever came before, and created the universe (and therefore also time), then this deity must necessarily exist outside of time (or at least our conception of it). Einstein demonstrated how important frame of reference is. From the deity's frame of reference "has happened" and "will happen" are meaningless, because the deity simply is not constrained by our conception of time.

    I'm not proposing that this is the true state of affairs, merely that it is a logical possibility whereby knowledge of events in our future, by a deity, do not preclude our free will and more than our knowledge of past events precludes the free will of those who came before.
     
  20. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Since we're talking about evil, how about the Problem of Evil:

    1. God is all good
    2. Good is all powerful
    3. God is all knowing
    4. Evil exists.

    Seems to be a paradox in there.
     
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