God’s will may not be done

To do evil is to act against God’s will.

If we live in a deterministic universe then everything that happens is God’s will.

If everything that happens is God’s will then there is no evil.

We do evil.

Therefore we do act against God’s will and we do not not live in a deterministic universe.

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66 Responses to God’s will may not be done

  1. Terry says:

    So according to your logic our will is stronger and greater than that of God’s, and, what is more, the will of evil men is greater than the will of God.

    I submit that either hold this to be true or you have contradicted yourself.

  2. Tim says:

    I concur with you Reed!

    Christ clearly teaches us here that God’s will is not being done on Earth as it is in heaven.
    We are free agents… we sin against the will of God.

    The Angels in heaven dont sin.
    Yet this does not mean the angels don’t have free will. It means they voluntarily live Holy lives.
    The Bible also teaches us that after God’s restoration of the world and creation of Mankind that he rested on the 7th day.
    Yet the universe do not stop working while he rested.
    This show us that he set up the universe itself to function ‘autonomously’/ deterministically via the Laws of physics.
    ie it is not dependent upon the constant ‘work’ of God, though it obeys Laws he established.
    When God first created the universe and Adam and Eve it was Ideal, and as he ‘willed it to be’, yet after the fall God ‘cursed’ the Earth, and this it is no longer the ideal place he willed, but was obliged to ‘judge the world’ and thus it became less than Ideal… for mans sake… not Gods.
    It is difficult to express these distinctions without apparent contradiction… yet it is clear that God does allow things to go against his personal desires, even though he is Lord of all.
    The way I see it the bible says the current turmoil and rebellion to the will of God is a temporary condition whith ultimately shall be ‘justified’ by God.
    We will still have freewill in eternity, and the potential for evil will still exist and yet we will willingly conform to righteousness… having learned what happens when we forget that God is rightfully sovereign.

  3. Richard says:

    Trust in God … because my brain hurts.

  4. Terry says:

    Richard, your last comment is a cop out, and thus a capitulation. Especially since my points on the free will thread have been ignored.

  5. Tim Wikiriwhi says:

    “Doubt God because his doctrines dont fit tidily with my assumptions.”

    http://blog.eternalvigilance.me/2011/12/1613/

  6. Richard says:

    Terry, please take my last comment as a compliment, not a cop-out!

    Reed’s argument is logically valid, and persuasive, but I think you demolished it with your first comment. My brain hurts because I’m checking Reed’s premises. 🙂

  7. reed says:

    Terry
    I don’t think our wills are stronger and greater than God’s. I don’t see why you think that would follow. I think God allows evil out of kindness.

    I submit that either hold this to be true or you have contradicted yourself.

    I don’t see any contradiction.

  8. Richard says:

    Reed

    If everything that happens is God’s will then there is no evil.

    God allows evil out of kindness.

    I see a contradiction.

  9. reed says:

    Richard
    I can’t see a contradiction there.

    Do you think that allowing something to happen is the same as it being your will?

  10. Tim Wikiriwhi says:

    Richard God Created Mankind with the ability to disobey him so that their obedienece was a real value of the heart!
    Ie he wanted *real love* not ‘Robot love’.
    Plus You know morality falls over without free wil, ie it is rediculous to ‘punnish someone for murder if the had no choice… it is silly to teach your children ethics if they have no choice… etc etc.
    In fact when someone has ‘no choice’ they are deemed to me mentaly ill and not responcible for their actions… *By Law*
    The whole problem is you materialists demand to sterilize reality of all things spiritual.
    Computors cant Love. Computors cant value.
    You are not an automation but a spirit being.
    End of debate.

  11. Richard says:

    Do you think that allowing something to happen is the same as it being your will?

    Yes, it’s an act of omission. An act of omission is an act of will.

    Hence, there’s a contradiction.

  12. Terry says:

    Apologies Richard, I thought you posted all articles on this blog, and have only just realized others do too.

  13. Terry says:

    >>”God allows evil out of kindness.”

    I see a contradiction also. Your one liner would make a great Tui ad.

    This is the same kind of contradiction as governments taking away people’s freedoms to make society “safer” (Safer from what???)

    You are essentially claiming that God (if you accept He exists) acts malevolently so that he may demonstrate his supreme benevolence.

    I concur with Richard that “An act of omission is an act of will.” Using your logic, if your wife does not resist another man’s advances, she can morally claim she never cheated on you, since she only “allowed it to happen”, it was never against her will.

    If God does not will the existence of evil, and must stand by and let evil happen, then logically evil – or, more accurately, man’s will to do evil – is more powerful than God’s will.

  14. Terry says:

    Last comment was for Reed.

  15. reed says:

    Terry
    You are evil.

    Should God allow you to exist?

  16. Tim says:

    God willed you to be a free agent Terry, yet not for you to commit evil acts… thats your will, not his.

  17. Tim says:

    For You Richard… “Excerpts from the following article say it all!
    http://www.physorg.com/news186830615.html Free will is an illusion, biologist says
    March 3, 2010 By Lisa Zyga
    Quote: (PhysOrg.com) — When biologist Anthony Cashmore claims that the concept of free will is an illusion, he’s not breaking any new ground. At least as far back as the ancient Greeks, people have wondered how humans seem to have the ability to make their own personal decisions in a manner lacking any causal component other than their desire to “will” something. But Cashmore, Professor of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, says that many biologists today still cling to the idea of free will, and reject the idea that we are simply conscious machines, completely controlled by a combination of our chemistry and external environmental forces.

    To put it simply, free will just doesn’t fit with how the physical world works.

    In a recent study, Cashmore has argued that a belief in free will is akin to religious beliefs, since neither complies with the laws of the physical world. One of the basic premises of biology and biochemistry is that biological systems are nothing more than a bag of chemicals that obey chemical and physical laws. Generally, we have no problem with the “bag of chemicals” notion when it comes to bacteria, plants, and similar entities. So why is it so difficult to say the same about humans or other “higher level” species, when we’re all governed by the same laws?

    Can’t Be Held Responsible

    Perhaps the most obvious impact of this paradigm shift will be on our judicial system, in which the notions of free will and responsibility form an integral component. Currently, in order to be found guilty, a criminal must be considered responsible for his actions; otherwise, he can be found not guilty by reason of insanity. Cashmore disagrees with these rules, noting that psychiatric research is finding its way more and more into the courts and causing time-wasting debates. (For example, is alcoholism a disease? Are sex crimes an addiction?)

    “Where is the logic in debating an individual’s level of responsibility, when the reality is that none of us are biologically responsible for our actions?” he said.

    http://www.physorg.com/news186830615.html

    Read more Here: http://blog.eternalvigilance.me/2011/12/1613/

  18. Terry says:

    Reed –

    “Terry
    You are evil.
    Should God allow you to exist?”

    I couldn’t disagree more on both counts.

    Putting aside the fact there is no evidence for God’s existence, how am I ‘evil’, and, how do you know it?

  19. Richard says:

    how am I ‘evil’, and, how do you know it?

    Original sin. 🙂

  20. Terry says:

    Tim –

    “God willed you to be a free agent Terry, yet not for you to commit evil acts… thats your will, not his.”

    Again, the logic is either that my will is greater than God’s will in certain respects, or else God willed a contradiction to exist. If my will is greater than Gods will in certain respects, then He cannot be all-powerful. Contradictions don’t exist (or if they do, then my mind cannot not compute them).

    So I suppose it boils down to whether you choose to have “faith” in the existence of contradictions or not, right?

  21. Tim says:

    Not at all, God places your liberty as a paramount value… because he wills you to be free…. because he wanted to create beings to have real fellowship with… not robots, not slaves… but loving, and faithful children.
    To get this required the potential for sin.

    And Richard have you read the above quotes in my previous post?…Written by Freewill denying materialists….how your materialism undoes our entire system of Law and justice? By getting rid of free will you absolutley destroy our entire moral foundations upon which western civilisation stands, and infact you vindicate Hilerian type eugenics programs!

  22. Terry says:

    >>”Original sin.”

    Good one Richard.

    Of course, an absurdity such as Original Sin may only be concocted by following a chain of deductive reasoning based on a false premise (i.e. an incorrect induction) to it’s logical conclusion. By their very nature such concepts are severed from reality.

    Reality (truth) can only be identified inductively (it is deduced deductively). To deduce truth one must have made a correct identification to start with. ‘God’ cannot be induced, He can only be deduced, and since He is meant to be the starting point – an axiom – all of one’s deductions based upon Him are severed from reality.

    An analogy I came up with today:

    One’s eyes must look outwards in order to ‘see’ reality. Deductive logic is akin to turning one’s eyes inwards to ‘see’. It is each person’s choice whether or not they want to focus their eyes outward or inward. If you were facing a group of people whose eyes were all white and their pupils turned inwards, and you trying to have them accept what you can see, how would you go about convincing them? Without their looking outward, i.e. accepting that ‘existence exists’, that reality is absolute, and that their only means to knowledge is with their inductive reasoning, you couldn’t. It is each person’s decision in which direction they have their eyes (inward or outward), but the reality that we all share with one another – the only reality there is – may only be communicated amongst us by using inductive logic which requires that we all have our eyes facing outwards.

    Do you ‘see’ what I am saying?

  23. Terry says:

    Tim –

    “God places your liberty as a paramount value… because he wills you to be free”

    If my ‘liberty’ is such a paramount value for Him, then why does he simultaneously will the existence of billions of other innately evil free-willed agents (99.99999999% of whom I will I have no chance of ever having “real fellowship with”) to restrict my “freedoms”?

    Another contradiction?

  24. Tim says:

    Your question displays your distain for his soverignty Terry, and a lack of faith/ disbelief in his goodness.
    Thus though you are free, you are still unworthy of communion with him, because for the fianite being to have a loving relationship with the infinite being… you must trust him in the things which are beyond the limits of your own understanding.
    The reality is we are all ‘unworthy’.
    Yet when we realise that we are sinners (morally guilty) and deserve judgement, and yet we hear that God is rich in mercy and has moved to redeem us, to forgive us, and to restore us in fellowship with himself because he loves us…. then this most vital relationship can be formed…. out of love.
    We realise God is Good! and worthy of our love and trust in matters which are far beyond our means of aprehension.
    We will behold him face to face.
    As ‘time’ goes by our relationship with our loving Father will grow stronger and our understanding will increase many magnitudes yet the fundamental basis of our relationship will never alter. *We must have faith in his Goodness*, and trust him.
    This is what the lesson of ‘the Fall’ of Adam is all about.
    Even though Adam walked with God…. he still had to have faith in God’s goodness… yet he chose to doubt God’s good character and disobey him.
    Read what I have said here:
    http://blog.eternalvigilance.me/2012/08/seether-know-thyself-how-can-a-good-god-exist-when-there-is-so-much-evil-in-the-world-part-5/

  25. Tim says:

    In eternity we will have plenty of ‘time’ to get to know everyone!
    That’s quite a mind numbing idea in itself…. yet thats what eternity in Haeven means.

  26. Terry says:

    Tim –

    “Your question displays your distain for his soverignty Terry”

    Actually I have a disdain for His existence, to be precise.

    But I would give Him more consideration if there were a shred of evidence for Him. But there isn’t. None that I have encountered anyway, only some illusionary evidence as a result of my own imaginations when I was younger.

    I agree with you that we all sin at some point in time. But I differ with you about what constitutes sin, on what one must do to atone for one’s sins, and on Original Sin. I hold that we are all born morally perfect, which means: without our ever having chosen to evade reality. We all invariably choose at some point in our lives (if we live long enough) to try and see which is more powerful, our consciousness or (the laws of) reality. This ‘test’ involves an act of evasion, i.e. irrationality. Some people learn the lesson early that reality’s laws cannot be overpowered by one’s consciousness and go on to be successful and happy in life. Others learn the lesson later, and must work hard to atone for all of their evasions with lots of introspective thinking to identify one’s evasions and correct them. Some never learn the lesson, continue to evade truth, and never achieve happiness, true happiness. They suffer. The longer one leaves it to embrace reality as being the only absolute, and reason as one’s only means of knowing reality, the more difficult and painful it is to for one to atone for one’s sins.

    As I have said before: There is not many Gods, nor is there one God; there is only God. Only I name Him by the correct name: ‘reality’.

  27. Terry says:

    “In eternity we will have plenty of ‘time’ to get to know everyone!”

    Eternal means outside of time. i.e. timeless. The concept of time does not apply to eternity.

    The only thing that is eternal is the now. It is your task to find heaven in *it*.

  28. Tim says:

    Terry,
    I know eternity is ‘outside’ Time.
    A child is born perfectly innocent, but not moral… they are like a cat or a dog… capable of nasty actions yet have no conception of good or Evil.
    As for distain for God’s existence… that speaks volumes about you.
    No Proof you say? A blind man cant see.
    I agree faking reality is Evil….. That’s exactly what you are doing when you conclude your own existence is best explained by pure chance!
    And you have constructed your own whimsical subjectivist excuse for morality so that you can hide the reality that your cosmology is Amoral. It is whimsical because it’s only validity is that it suits your inclinations.
    I can honestly say that the Bible does not suit my personal inclinations.
    I accept it because it is Objectively true… in spite of my many feelings which recoil at certain aspects.
    Yet The Bible aligns perfectly with Reality…. which also contains things which I must accept that I don’t like.

    That you admit to the concept of sin just goes to prove you cant live by the logical ramifications of Atheism. And you prove the validity of the Bible. This is also true in respect to your belief in free will which is also incompatible with Materialism/ Naturalism.
    And your Blindness is admitted when you write off what your mind reasons to be evidence of God by disregarding it all as ‘illusory’. A ghost could walk up to you and shake your hand, and two minutes later you would say to yourself it never happen.
    You would go to the shrink and get some prozac and feel much better as you slipped back into your comfortable delusion that ghosts are not real.
    I am actually interested to know if you have had any such ‘spooky’ experiences in your life? If not, by induction do you believe it is impossible for others to have had any such *Real* encounters?

    And Richard. The very Idea that God wills Rapists to rape children is Repugnant to Religion. Thus without freewill it is you (and Martin Luther) whom make God into a Moral monster!

    Read this Blogpost Terry:
    http://blog.eternalvigilance.me/2012/06/how-can-a-good-god-exist-when-there-is-so-much-evil-in-the-world-part1/

    And this one next: http://blog.eternalvigilance.me/2011/10/we-are-not-robots-ayn-rand-we-are-moral-agents/

  29. reed says:

    Terry

    … how am I ‘evil’, and, how do you know it?

    According to God’s standards everyone has done wrong.

    Have you ever done anything wrong by your own standards?

  30. reed says:

    Richard and Terry
    If what I wrote causes a contradiction for you – because it contradicts some premise you hold – that doesn’t mean it causes a contradiction for me.

    I don’t have a contradiction but you guys think I should adopt some premise(s) which would cause me to have a contradiction. 🙂

    [Edit: You should make your arguments formally. This would clarify where our premises differ.]

  31. Terry says:

    Tim –

    >>”I know eternity is ‘outside’ Time.”

    Time is a measure of motion. If nothing moves, there can be no time. If something moves, time exists in respect of it. If heaven is eternal, which means there is no motion to speak of there, then what kind of existence do you purport it to be?

    >>”A child is born perfectly innocent, but not moral… they are like a cat or a dog… capable of nasty actions yet have no conception of good or Evil.”

    OK, I concede this point to you, although newborn babies can’t engage in ‘nasty actions’ yet – maybe when they reach two or three.

    >>”I agree faking reality is Evil….. That’s exactly what you are doing when you conclude your own existence is best explained by pure chance!”

    Where did I write that my own existence is the result of chance? My parents chose for me to exist. That set the wheels in motion. The Law of Identity was at work the whole way through my coming to be. I am not an accident. I am not faking reality. Nor am I ‘evil’.

    >>”And you have constructed your own whimsical subjectivist excuse for morality so that you can hide the reality that your cosmology is Amoral. It is whimsical because it’s only validity is that it suits your inclinations.”

    There is nothing whimsical nor subjectivist about my morality. It is entirely objective and arrived at through the use of my reasoning. Morality only applies to me and my life, not to cosmology. As for my inclinations, I have the power of “free won’t” not to act on them, as well as the power to influence my inclinations for the better through the use of my reason.

    >>”I accept it because it is Objectively true… in spite of my many feelings which recoil at certain aspects.”

    Other than the testimonies of other supposedly ‘innately evil’ men, what proof do you have that the Bible is the word of God? God Himself (if one accepts He exists) did not write a word of it. Without proof, it cannot be “Objectively true”. Also, I am curious, what aspects of the Bible causes you to recoil most? What aspects of reality causes you to recoil most?

    >>”That you admit to the concept of sin just goes to prove you cant live by the logical ramifications of Atheism.”

    Why ever not? Religion/theology has no monopoly on the concepts of sin and virtue. There is a perfectly valid secular dictionary definition for sin: “Something regarded as being shameful, deplorable, or utterly wrong”.

    >>”And you prove the validity of the Bible. ”

    How so?

    >>”This is also true in respect to your belief in free will which is also incompatible with Materialism/ Naturalism”

    I am not a materialist. How is free will incompatible with naturalism? I agree free will is not a material phenomenon, but it is most certainly in our nature to have it.

    >>”And your Blindness is admitted when you write off what your mind reasons to be evidence of God by disregarding it all as ‘illusory’. A ghost could walk up to you and shake your hand, and two minutes later you would say to yourself it never happen.”

    What I identified as “illusionary evidence” was my juvenile *desire* to be more powerful than reality and my mind’s being lured toward the idea that my believing in a God would make me so. It was pure emotionalism. Was I wrong to reject such a notion as being false, or was it, as you hold, “evidence of God”?

    Oh, and Ghosts don’t exist. It is interesting that you choose to equate God to being a ghost.

    >>”I am actually interested to know if you have had any such ‘spooky’ experiences in your life?”

    No, I’ve never has such an experience. In a moment of temporary madness I once thought that someone had broken into my home and written something on my bottom while I was sleeping, but then I realized I had simply sat on a CD and the ink had rubbed off on my bum cheeks.

    >>”If not, by induction do you believe it is impossible for others to have had any such *Real* encounters?”

    One can induce the existence of anything. For it to be *real* though, it must not contradict any of one’s prior inductions. To arrive at the concept “ghost” one must introduce and accept a contradiction, namely, that the dead may be alive at the same time. If you permit your mind to accept such an absurdity, you permit your mind to believe anything.

  32. Terry says:

    Reed –

    “According to God’s standards everyone has done wrong. Have you ever done anything wrong by your own standards?”

    Sure, I’ve done wrong. But I submit that having committed past wrongs is not a rational standard of one’s being evil *now*.

    The fact is that all evil acts involve a willful suspension of reason. So long as one refuses to suspend one’s reasoning faculty, one is moral. Past suspensions of reason can be undone by using reason now. The only acts that need to be undone are those where you have wronged other individuals. To the best of my ability, I have undone such acts. These ‘undoings’/atonements once again makes me a moral person.

  33. Terry says:

    Reed –

    “I don’t have a contradiction but you guys think I should adopt some premise(s) which would cause me to have a contradiction.

    [Edit: You should make your arguments formally. This would clarify where our premises differ.]”

    I did demonstrate out your contradiction formally. You capitulated by not replying to my concluding points:

    http://blog.eternalvigilance.me/2012/11/delusions-of-randeur-the-missing-link/#comments

  34. Terry says:

    “So long as one refuses to suspend one’s reasoning faculty, one is moral.”

    should read

    “So long as one refuses to willfully suspend one’s reasoning faculty in the apprehension of reality, one is moral.”

  35. Terry says:

    Another correction: ‘Time is a measure of motion’ should read ‘Time is the measure of change’.

  36. Tim Wikiriwhi says:

    I accept that definition of time Terry.
    By saying Eternity is ‘outside’ means that even if ‘inside’ time has ceased (the universe has been absolutely anihilated or full entropy has occured) that we redeemed souls will still be rockin and jiving in heaven.
    “Ghosts dont exist” says you.
    Must I take your word for it?….as I said a Ghost could walk right up to you and shake your hand and you would not believe it!
    *You are a ghost*
    You are not mere chemicals.
    When you die you ‘give up the ghost’… and will appear before ‘The Holy Ghost’ God, and he will judge you for your *sins*.
    As for your definition of evil… what bunk! You dont ‘give up’ your Reason when you cooly murder someone for personal advantage!
    Thats a silly Religious superstition!
    Plenty of people… including atheists *have had spooky/ inexplicable things happen to them*. It is a demonstration of your blinding Rationale to write off the Millions for recorded experiences as mere illusions, or delusions, or ignorance! You have blinders on. As Christ said… “One could rise from the dead yet you will still not believe.”

  37. Tim Wikiriwhi says:

    And Terry…..as for your denyal that Atheism is Amoral…. what have you to say to George Carlin?
    Or Bert Russell?

  38. Terry says:

    Tim –

    >>”By saying Eternity is ‘outside’ means that even if ‘inside’ time has ceased (the universe has been absolutely anihilated or full entropy has occured) that we redeemed souls will still be rockin and jiving in heaven.”

    The universe, i.e. everything that exists, is not in time, it is inextricably tied to time; time is a measure of change within it. The universe cannot be ‘annihilated’ – it’s form/composition can change. Just as something cannot come from nothing, something also cannot turn into nothing – it can only turn into something else. The ‘turning into’ is measured by time.

    >>”*You are a ghost*”

    No I’m not. Nor can I ever be.

    >>”You are not mere chemicals.”

    I agree. I am an inseparable entity of matter and consciousness. I cannot exist without both attribute existing.

    >>”When you die you ‘give up the ghost’… and will appear before ‘The Holy Ghost’ God, and he will judge you for your *sins*.”

    When you die, you die.

    >>”You dont ‘give up’ your Reason when you cooly murder someone for personal advantage!”

    Yes you do, because murdering someone can never be to your personal advantage if assessed rationally.

    >>”And Terry…..as for your denyal that Atheism is Amoral…. what have you to say to George Carlin? Or Bert Russell?”

    Atheism per so *is* amoral. I never once claimed that atheism as one’s philosophy on life was a moral code. It is not. I am an atheist as the *result* of my moral code, namely, Objectivism.

  39. Mark says:

    So…..Latecomer to the conversation, but…

    What is “evil,” exactly?

  40. reed says:

    Evil is to oppose God’s will.

  41. Is it evil because it opposes God’s will, or is it evil because God’s will is always good?

  42. reed says:

    God’s will is what good is.

    Opposing God’s will is what evil is.

  43. Terry says:

    Tim –

    You wrote above that “A child is born perfectly innocent, but not moral… they are like a cat or a dog… capable of nasty actions yet have no conception of good or Evil”

    The definition of innocent is: “Uncorrupted by evil, malice, or wrongdoing; sinless: an innocent child.” [American Heritage Dictionary]

    How do you reconcile your statement with your belief in Original Sin?

  44. I find that very un-descriptive.

    Are there principles you can look to as being consistent with good/evil, or does God operate according to whim?

  45. reed says:

    Mark

    Is it evil because it opposes God’s will, or is it evil because God’s will is always good?

    Your question was intended to be a variation of the Euthryphro Dilemma wasn’t it?

    Consider the following to bring the faulty thinking to light…

    Is there light because there are photons
    or, are there photons because there is light?

  46. reed says:

    Are there principles you can look to as being consistent with good/evil…?

    Sure…

    Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
    Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
    This is the first and greatest commandment.
    And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
    All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

  47. Terry says:

    Reed –

    >>”Is there light because there are photons or, are there photons because there is light?”

    Light is an effect, photons are the cause. If there is no being with eyes to sense the photons, there can be no light.

    Euthryphro’s Dilemma is no dilemma at all, this is because it assumes the existence of God. The existence of God must be established first for the dilemma to be a valid one. His existence can’t be established, not by any rational standard.

  48. Reed:

    It’s just a question that leaps out at me in this discussion. If you don’t establish concrete meanings of concepts, then the discussion loses connection with reality.

    Apparently, I’m not the first one to whom this has occurred.

    I agree with Terry…sort of. I’m not an atheist, but I do have a firm conviction that God must be a rational being. So, you should be able to come up with a sensible explanation of good and evil without having to resort to the concept of God — or else God’s reasoning is circular — and I give Him more credit than that.

    I think Rand was onto something with her ethical system. I’m not saying it was perfect — but it was much closer to the truth than simplistically saying “Good = God,” which ultimately says nothing — because you first have to define God. And if you can’t define God, then “good” (and, by extension, “evil”) refer to nothing in this premise.

    And saying “Love God,” and “Love your neighbor” also ultimately refer to nothing, because love always has an object — and to love an object carries with it the necessity to hate its antecedent with equal vehemence.

  49. Terry says:

    Mark –

    >”I’m not an atheist, but I do have a firm conviction that God must be a rational being.”

    I’m interested to know how do you reconcile this statement?

  50. The Universe is rational.

    I believe that God and the Universe are identical.

  51. Also, it is logically absurd to posit that God is not rational. You can not create something which is rational if you are in a state of irrationality (which, really, is a humanist term which amounts to an inability to assert awareness of one’s mental processes [or, in exceptional cases, a mental disability — but either way, it is absurd to apply the term to God]).

  52. Terry says:

    >”The Universe is rational.”

    Define “rational”.

    I submit that you are applying an epistemological concept to that which is metaphysical. I.e. you are dropping context.

    >”I believe that God and the Universe are identical.”

    How does that not make one of them redundant? If you agree, then why choose the word ‘God’ with all of it’s connotations as opposed to ‘Universe’ which simply means “all that exists”?

    >”Also, it is logically absurd to posit that God is not rational. You can not create something which is rational if you are in a state of irrationality”

    Define “create”.

    I submit that, like with the concepts of time and space, creation does not apply to the Universe itself (and since God is identical, God), only to that which is in the Universe.

  53. reed says:

    Mark and Terry

    Do you guys know what the topic of this thread is?

  54. “I submit that you are applying an epistemological concept to that which is metaphysical. I.e. you are dropping context.”

    That would be true except that if you ascribe to the idea that the universe is an integrated intelligence, then it makes sense to use epistemological terms in a metaphysical context.

    “How does that not make one of them redundant? If you agree, then why choose the word ‘God’ with all of it’s connotations as opposed to ‘Universe’ which simply means “all that exists”?”

    Because I hold that the universe is not merely a collection of objects operating according to physical laws within space-time; I hold that the universe, as a whole, is a personality. The term which most closely captures this concept is “God.”

    You are right that “create” is an insufficient concept, here. It implies time sequence. Perhaps “birth” would be closer.

  55. Terry says:

    Mark –

    “You are right that “create” is an insufficient concept, here. It implies time sequence. Perhaps “birth” would be closer.”

    I submit that the concept of birth, as you have used the term, means “to come into being”. How can something come into being from a state of not being, without an act of creation taking place? How does your argument not lend itself to an infinite regress without one conceding a primacy of consciousness metaphysics? How can you claim that *you* are “rational” if you subscribe to a primacy of consciousness metaphysics?

    I look forward to reading your answers to each of these questions.

    “The basic metaphysical issue that lies at the root of any system of philosophy [is] the primacy of existence or the primacy of consciousness.

    The primacy of existence (of reality) is the axiom that existence exists, i.e., that the universe exists independent of consciousness (of any consciousness), that things are what they are, that they possess a specific nature, an identity. The epistemological corollary is the axiom that consciousness is the faculty of perceiving that which exists—and that man gains knowledge of reality by looking outward. The rejection of these axioms represents a reversal: the primacy of consciousness—the notion that the universe has no independent existence, that it is the product of a consciousness (either human or divine or both). The epistemological corollary is the notion that man gains knowledge of reality by looking inward (either at his own consciousness or at the revelations it receives from another, superior consciousness).

    The source of this reversal is the inability or unwillingness fully to grasp the difference between one’s inner state and the outer world, i.e., between the perceiver and the perceived (thus blending consciousness and existence into one indeterminate package-deal). This crucial distinction is not given to man automatically; it has to be learned. It is implicit in any awareness, but it has to be grasped conceptually and held as an absolute.”

    [Ayn Rand in “The Metaphysical Versus the Man-Made,” Philosophy: Who Needs It, 24]

  56. “I submit that the concept of birth, as you have used the term, means “to come into being”. How can something come into being from a state of not being, without an act of creation taking place? How does your argument not lend itself to an infinite regress without one conceding a primacy of consciousness metaphysics? How can you claim that *you* are “rational” if you subscribe to a primacy of consciousness metaphysics?”

    My understanding of physics is not sufficient to answer this question. How do you think the Universe came to exist?

    “The primacy of existence (of reality) is the axiom that existence exists, i.e., that the universe exists independent of consciousness (of any consciousness), that things are what they are, that they possess a specific nature, an identity.”

    I agree with this. It is not that the universe is subjective, but that it is self-aware. To say that I have consciousness is not to say that I do not objectively exist. In the same way, to say that the universe has consciousness is not to say that it does not objectively exist. IOW, if the universe were not conscious, it would still exist, objectively. In the same sense that if I were no longer conscious (e.g., if I died), my body and organs would still, objectively, exist.

    The objective vs. subjective reality dialectic does not capture my premise.

  57. Terry says:

    Mark –

    “How do you think the Universe came to exist?”

    To ask how the universe came to exist is an invalid question. As I wrote in the other thread:

    “The purpose of a rational philosophy is to explain what is in the world, not to explain the nature of the world itself as a whole. To attempt to explain the world in it’s totality – i.e. what it is and how it got there – is to sever one’s mental connection to the world one is *in* – i.e. to introduce a contradiction.”

    >”It is not that the universe is subjective, but that it is self-aware”

    And how do you know this?

    >”IOW, if the universe were not conscious, it would still exist, objectively. In the same sense that if I were no longer conscious (e.g., if I died), my body and organs would still, objectively, exist.”

    You *are* your consciousness. If you lose it (as opposed to merely suspend it), you cease to exist. You are not your “body and organs” – your body is a necessary component of your “being”, a fact that makes *you* an indivisible entity of matter and consciousness. The existence of the universe has no such pre-condition in reverse.

  58. Terry:

    ‘“The purpose of a rational philosophy is to explain what is in the world, not to explain the nature of the world itself as a whole. To attempt to explain the world in it’s totality – i.e. what it is and how it got there – is to sever one’s mental connection to the world one is *in* – i.e. to introduce a contradiction.”’

    I disagree. By your argument, the field of human anatomy would be an irrational field, as we are studying the means by which we are able to study it. Yet clearly this is not the case. Also, tell it Einstein, Hawkings, and Green; people who have dedicated their lives to understanding the nature of existence and how it came to exist — and have discovered many different things about the universe in the process.

    Also, as I said, I don’t attempt to tackle the question myself. Not because I don’t think it’s possible to comprehend, but simply because the latest developments of the field are outside the scope of my knowledge at present.

    “And how do you know this?”

    I don’t.

    It’s a philosophical model.

    ‘You *are* your consciousness. If you lose it (as opposed to merely suspend it), you cease to exist. You are not your “body and organs” – your body is a necessary component of your “being”, a fact that makes *you* an indivisible entity of matter and consciousness. The existence of the universe has no such pre-condition in reverse.’

    Biologists now believe that consciousness is an emergent property of human biology.

    I think that is analogous to the Universe and the God consciousness.

  59. Terry says:

    Mark –

    >>”By your argument, the field of human anatomy would be an irrational field, as we are studying the means by which we are able to study it. Yet clearly this is not the case”

    You misread me. You missed that I wrote “as a whole” and “in it’s totality”. Studying any phenomena or existent within the universe is perfectly rational and is in fact the only type of legitimate investigation, both philosophically and scientifically.

    >>”Also, tell it Einstein, Hawkings, and Green; people who have dedicated their lives to understanding the nature of existence and how it came to exist — and have discovered many different things about the universe in the process.”

    This is an appeal to authority, i.e. a logical fallacy. Quote another person’s arguments, not only their names.

    >>”“And how do you know [that the universe is self-aware]”?” I don’t. It’s a philosophical model.”

    And there we have it, your confession to holding an irrational premise, and thus to your irrationality. The logical fallacies you commit are that of Begging the Question, Shifting the Burden of Proof, Mind Projection and Reification. That’s the bad news. The good news is that your error is easily fixed – by adopting a rational premise. A rationally valid philosophical model does not permit one to think in contradictions.

    >>”Biologists now believe that consciousness is an emergent property of human biology. I think that is analogous to the Universe and the God consciousness.”

    Even if true, which I would be perfectly comfortable with, the 4 fallacies I list above would all still apply.

  60. “This is an appeal to authority, i.e. a logical fallacy. Quote another person’s arguments, not only their names.”

    It’s also a moot point. I may have appealed to authority, but this portion of your argument was a Red Herring to begin with.

    “And there we have it, your confession to holding an irrational premise, and thus to your irrationality.”

    Not at all. It’s an explanation for the way things work which does not contradict itself or my observations.

    I.e., it’s a model.

    It’s entirely rational.

  61. Terry says:

    >>”I may have appealed to authority, but this portion of your argument was a Red Herring to begin with.”

    My argument?? You are the one positing a ‘self-aware’ universe and tried to support your argument by appealing to authority.

    >>”It’s an explanation for the way things work which does not contradict itself or my observations. I.e., it’s a model.”

    You contradict itself by employing the four other fallacies I have listed in the other thread.

  62. Tim Wikiriwhi says:

    Terry.

    The definition of ‘innocent’ you supplied….
    “Uncorrupted by evil, malice, or wrongdoing; sinless: an innocent child.” [American Heritage Dictionary]

    And your question in respect to me saying children are born ‘innocent’…

    “How do you reconcile your statement with your belief in Original Sin?”

    My answer is that Original sin pertains to these children in the sence that they ‘inherit’ the world and the Nature of their parents, as they became after the Fall of Adam, as opposed to how God originally created mankind.
    Thus though they are innocent they are born mortal… physically imperfect.
    They are born into a world which in which Sin, lies, and evil abound, and has lost communion with God.
    They are born into a world in which God has taken away its ‘ideal blessed conditions’.
    Etc.
    Thus the moral repicussions of Adams actions have had dire consequences for his children… even the innocent babes….
    And there is nothing strange about this.
    This is how why morality is important.
    because our actions can affect innocent people for good or ill.

    Today if you are Good parents you will strive honnestly to provide for your children (whom are your moral responciblity as they result from your actions… until they are of age to become independent and self-responcible) If you are prudent with your money your children will not want because of any lack of responciblity or effort on your part, yet if you neglect your responciblities and piss your money against the wall, your innocent children will suffer… and their suffering is a crime against them for which you are morally culpible before God.
    Thus by the nature of reality Children reap the benifits of the virtues of their parents, or they suffer because of their vices.
    Thats how reality works, and it is in perfect alignment with the Scriptual record

    Thi

  63. Richard says:

    For my birthday I got a humidifier and a de-humidifier … I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.

    — Steven Wright

  64. Terry says:

    Tim,

    Your explanation of Original Sin was extremely euphemistic. Let’s get to the heart of it. Do you hold that children are born a) morally imperfect; b) morally perfect ; or c) Tabula Rasa in respect of their morality?

    If b) or c), then according to you, what event must occur to one fall into (first) sin?

  65. Tim Wikiriwhi says:

    They are born innocent. Ie They are blameless before God. It is only after they have become conscious of Moral reality and willfully put their own self interest ahead of what they know to be Good that their ‘sin’ are imputed against them… ie As infants they will display a natural ‘Lawless self centered will’ and will start to tell lies to deceive others (without being taught to lie), they may steal (That’s my iceblock!), yet just as is true of our legal system… we don’t convict tiny children for theft, or fraud… until we believe that have a ‘Real knowledge of wrong doing’.
    Thus I believe the Bible teaches that young children go straight to heaven if they die before they reach this Cognition, and that it is only after this that they are morally culpable, and then require to receive Christ for forgiveness of their sins and Salvation from the wrath of God.
    Yet The reality is unless they are mentally retarded, they will all reach that point of moral culpability, and they will all violate the Moral laws of God. and thus they will all loose their innocence and become sinners.

  66. “For my birthday I got a humidifier and a de-humidifier … I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.

    — Steven Wright”

    LOL!!

    I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to do battle. Thank you.

    Terry:

    “My argument?? You are the one positing a ‘self-aware’ universe and tried to support your argument by appealing to authority.”

    I’ve addressed this on the other post.

    “You contradict itself by employing the four other fallacies I have listed in the other thread.”

    Those “fallacies” tend to be related to twisted interpretations of my lexicon on your part.

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