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Bonzai's Avatar Joined about 7 years ago
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Go to: Attempted rescue of pro-life poster child is deeply misguided

Bonzai's Avatar Jump to comment 89 by Bonzai

The article said the parents had another child who had died of the same disease before, so it has to be genetic. I don't believe that the doctors hadn't warned them the first time around. I hope they won't try to have babies again, Since they expect the baby to be kept alive, it is like they knowingly bring in an innocent live to suffer (that is if it can feel suffering). I find that despicable.

Wed, 23 Mar 2011 04:18:29 UTC | #606090

Go to: Attempted rescue of pro-life poster child is deeply misguided

Bonzai's Avatar Jump to comment 88 by Bonzai

I really have a problem with the pro-lifers. If they really believe in God should they ask why why the child is suffering like this in the first place? A God who did this, or failed to prevent this, even if exists, doesn't deserve to be worshiped or obeyed.

Wed, 23 Mar 2011 04:12:29 UTC | #606088

Go to: Dawkins and Grayling: can there be evidence for god?

Bonzai's Avatar Jump to comment 127 by Bonzai

Comment 129 by Steve Zara :

What is the difference?

Believers claim moral authority based on the nature of God. God is either the definition of goodness or he is not. If he is just a clever alien, then he is not and he has no moral authority.

A significant justification, for me, for insisting that believers simply cannot back up their claims about god is to show that their insistence that they have moral authority in this world is groundless.

I don't see that, whether God is the true "alpha" or a gamma or just the cyber programmer the argument of Euthyphro still applies.

Also if we are in a cyber make believe world morality and moral authority are also illusions. So an illusory God having illusory moral authority over illusory beings, there can be no real objections to that anymore than the Holodeck Moriaty being tricked into taking a cyber grand tour of the universe. It would be as real as it can possibly be.(Edited: and in this scenario the theologians themselves would agree since they too live in this illusory world and wouldn't be able to peek out of it to notice that their God is a "fake", I put "fake" in quotations because for all intent and purposes he is the real thing! The cyber programmer is the foundation of reality for the little universe he created)

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 14:01:25 UTC | #603950

Go to: Dawkins and Grayling: can there be evidence for god?

Bonzai's Avatar Jump to comment 124 by Bonzai

Again these are not taken to be part of a definition of 'god' but as properties of an actual existent object.

Definitions are attempts to capture the essence of supposedly existent objects/relationship. The empirical sciences (physics, say) use definitions as well.

Even in math, the working mathematicians' idea of definitions are closer to that of the empirical scientists than that of arm chaired philosophers. Many mathematicians think of mathematical relationship as having an "objective" existence (say magnitudes and shapes and their relationships) while formal definitions are device to capture these relationships. The natural and real numbers were known long before people such as Peano , Frege and Dedekind attempted to formalize them. They arose from studying relationships and rules concerning magnitude and counting quite independent from the formal theory (engineers and scientists use these concepts in very sophisticated way without ever studying the Peano axioms or Dedekind's cut). So these logicians were working on some formal models of a priori existent objects/relationship (I am simplifying a bit but I think you get my main point)

Philosophers and logicians often exaggerate the formal aspect of mathematics and they like to use set theory as an example, but Set theory is actually very far from the mainstream of mathematics. For most "interesting" mathematics naive set theory is quite sufficient and paradoxes can be avoided quite easily by limiting the discourse appropriately. Formal ZFC seldom comes up.

So I agree with Bethe123 regarding definitions. The theologians are trying to describe "God" in a formal way by coming up with a list, that is their attempt at a definition, but the list is inconsistent so their definition fails. But it doesn't mean that there is no being which would qualify to most believers as God.

Honestly, do you think it would make a difference if there is a being who is almost like God in the way that theologians describe except that he cannot square the circle or eat himself for breakfast ? (but Jesus could actually eat himself for breakfast if he drops by a Catholic Mass and takes the communion!) To most people, the alpha -omega thing is just a way of saying "really big" I don't think that needs to be taken literally, as beyond a certain point it is just difficult to imagine the fine difference like whether it is alpha or actually alpha 3 or a beta, so i think Steve is just nitpicking semantics.

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 12:43:51 UTC | #603930

Go to: Dawkins and Grayling: can there be evidence for god?

Bonzai's Avatar Jump to comment 122 by Bonzai

An illusion of eternity is not eternity. We aren't talking about a trickster being. We are talking about a real Wizard of Oz, not a puppeteer behind a curtain. A being that gives the illusion of eternity is not the God that theists claim exists.

What is the difference? In my scenario existence is an illusion, reality is an illusion. An illusory eternal life is as good as anything one can hope for, and hope is also an illusion. In this scenario, we are all illusory beings.

I remember an episode of StarTrek where the holodeck character Professor Moriaty became self conscious, he held the crew hostage demanding that he be freed to explore space. In the end they tricked him and his lover into an electronic circuit where they could explore eternity forever. It was an illusion but it was as real as an illusionary being could possibly experience, so Captain Picard did hold up his end of the bargain. It was the best offer the Captain could make and Moriaty could possibly get, there was nothing shady about it.

Finally, a cyber-programmer isn't an ultimate creator. It's not a "necessary being" it's not an "uncaused cause", it's not a "ground of being", it doesn't inject a transcendent soul into a zygote.

We aren't talking about beings that could convince believers that they are god, we are talking about beings that have the attributes that believers believe in.

But you know that stuffs like "uncaused cause" were not even part of Christian theology until theologians clumsily trying to attach Christianity to Greek philosophy.

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 07:42:10 UTC | #603883

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