God is not complex

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Re: God is not complex

#61  Postby scott1328 » Jan 03, 2014 11:29 pm

Mick wrote:Sometimes the Latin has no clear and good English translation. Other times, for whatever reason, the Latin is preserved in the scholarship, and we use it without much thought. It is the jargon of Thomism.

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Re: God is not complex

#62  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jan 04, 2014 8:38 am

Mick wrote:
Shrunk wrote:
Matthew Shute wrote:
Mick wrote:Thus, we say his omniscience is his omnipotence which is his omnipresence, etc..


They're all conceptually distinct, though. Without some theological humpty-dumptyism, those imagined qualities can't be referred to interchangeably. You can't say "omnipotence" if you want to talk about God's all-knowing, since omnipotence doesn't mean that. You can't say "omnipresence" to refer to omni-benevolence - "being" doesn't mean the same as "being goodness". It's an incoherent wibble to claim they're all one "simple" essence. You might as well say: perfect hottness is perfect tallness is perfect hairiness is perfect shininess.


You can always tell you have a killer argument when the person you're arguing against tries to pretend it just doesn't exist. :whistle:

Haha. No, it would just require me to teach and explain Aquinas' analogical predication. From here, ungrateful for his education, he'll just dismiss it as wibble or whatever else. I've grown tired of that non-response, so I sometimes choose not to respond myself, at least to his posts. Saving myself the effort wasted, I refer those who are truly interested in the topic to this: http://www.unomaha.edu/esc/2008Proceedi ... dition.pdf

Still operating under the illusion that Aquinas produced anything but wibble in defense of his god.
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Re: God is not complex

#63  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 12:13 pm

Aquinas is one of the greatest and most prolific philosophers in the entire history of the West. :)
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Re: God is not complex

#64  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Jan 04, 2014 12:19 pm

We call that an "opinion".
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Re: God is not complex

#65  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 12:32 pm

Rachel Bronwyn wrote:We call that an "opinion".


So is that.
Christ said, "I am the Truth"; he did not say "I am the custom." -- St. Toribio
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Re: God is not complex

#66  Postby hackenslash » Jan 04, 2014 12:34 pm

No, that's a fact, mate.
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Re: God is not complex

#67  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 12:46 pm

Yay, we are "mates". That's a totally non-gay thing, right? British slang confuses me.
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Re: God is not complex

#68  Postby Shrunk » Jan 04, 2014 1:06 pm

Mick wrote:Aquinas is one of the greatest and most prolific philosophers in the entire history of the West.
:)


Not incompatible with his having produced nothing but wibble in defense of his god.

So is that article that Thommo linked an accurate summary of Aquinas' arguments?
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Re: God is not complex

#69  Postby Animavore » Jan 04, 2014 1:22 pm

I read recently that, although it's true Aquinas was largely influential in philosophy, most of it was in arguing against him.

Can't remember where I read that. It was only a couple of weeks ago.
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Re: God is not complex

#70  Postby hackenslash » Jan 04, 2014 2:17 pm

Mick wrote:Yay, we are "mates". That's a totally non-gay thing, right? British slang confuses me.


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Re: God is not complex

#71  Postby Rumraket » Jan 04, 2014 2:43 pm

Mick wrote:Aquinas is one of the greatest and most prolific philosophers in the entire history of the West. :)

And yet the vast majority of believers, even chrisitans, aren't actually thomists. What happened? :whistle:

You like to deride people like Richard Dawkins and his The God Delusion for being an unsophisticated book that doesn't deal with all your "sophisticated philosophical theology" crap, yet the book succeeded in targeting the many stupid and silly reasons for believing the average godbotherer goes through.
It really doesn't matter then, that the book didn't deal with the topics you thought it needed to, when the vast majority of believers believe for different reasons entirely. Maybe you should ask yourself why only an insignificant minority of believers in the form of hardcore wibbletheologyfetishists take thomism seriously?
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Re: God is not complex

#72  Postby Rumraket » Jan 04, 2014 2:46 pm

It really is quite laughable how if thomism is the best thing since sliced bread, that idea has yet to sink in even within circles of apologetics and philosophical theology. Even within christianity and even within catholicism, the ideas of thomism find plenty of resistance. Once again, even the supposed same-brand of god botherers can't agree amongst themselves just what the fuck all their delusions mean and why they should be believed.
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Re: God is not complex

#73  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 3:12 pm

Rumraket wrote:
Mick wrote:Aquinas is one of the greatest and most prolific philosophers in the entire history of the West. :)

And yet the vast majority of believers, even chrisitans, aren't actually thomists. What happened? :whistle:

You like to deride people like Richard Dawkins and his The God Delusion for being an unsophisticated book that doesn't deal with all your "sophisticated philosophical theology" crap, yet the book succeeded in targeting the many stupid and silly reasons for believing the average godbotherer goes through.
It really doesn't matter then, that the book didn't deal with the topics you thought it needed to, when the vast majority of believers believe for different reasons entirely. Maybe you should ask yourself why only an insignificant minority of believers in the form of hardcore wibbletheologyfetishists take thomism seriously?


Well, sure, most believers aren't Cartesian, Kantian or whatever else. What's that have to do with the point?

I am not sure what sort of justification the simple man in the pews has for his belief, but it makes little sense to attack them. Instead, intellectual attacks should be mounted towards the sophisticated defences, since they lead the way or stand at the beachfront. It would be as if I assaulted the average Liberal or Tory is his political knowledge as a way to show something about the status of one such belief. It is silly and cowardly.

What is more, Dawkins assaulted many of the classical arguments for God's existence, and he did so with remarkable ignorance and dullness. That attack is more than addressing the man in the pews-he is attacking the justification of theism per se. On the basis, I claim that he has failed miserably.
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Re: God is not complex

#74  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 3:17 pm

Rumraket wrote:It really is quite laughable how if thomism is the best thing since sliced bread, that idea has yet to sink in even within circles of apologetics and philosophical theology. Even within christianity and even within catholicism, the ideas of thomism find plenty of resistance. Once again, even the supposed same-brand of god botherers can't agree amongst themselves just what the fuck all their delusions mean and why they should be believed.



I didn't say Thomism has such a status. I spoke of Thomas.
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Re: God is not complex

#75  Postby hackenslash » Jan 04, 2014 3:36 pm

Mick wrote:he is attacking the justification of theism per se.


Begs the question of theism having any justification. Good luck with that.

On the basis, I claim that he has failed miserably.


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Re: God is not complex

#76  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jan 04, 2014 3:57 pm

Mick wrote:Aquinas is one of the greatest and most prolific philosophers in the entire history of the West. :)

So you keep asserting.
Or as Blood put it, that's your opinion.

Being prolofic is rather besides the point. One can be a very prolofic writer of all kinds of nonsense, it'll still be nonsense.
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Re: God is not complex

#77  Postby Teuton » Jan 04, 2014 3:59 pm

"According to the classical theism of Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas and their adherents, God is radically unlike creatures in that he is devoid of any complexity or composition, whether physical or metaphysical. Besides lacking spatial and temporal parts, God is free of matter/form composition, potency/act composition, and existence/essence composition. There is also no real distinction between God as subject of his attributes and his attributes. God is thus in a sense requiring clarification identical to each of his attributes, which implies that each attribute is identical to every other one. God is omniscient, then, not in virtue of instantiating or exemplifying omniscience—which would imply a real distinction between God and the property of omniscience—but by being omniscience. And the same holds for each of the divine omni-attributes: God is what he has. As identical to each of his attributes, God is identical to his nature. And since his nature or essence is identical to his existence, God is identical to his existence. This is the doctrine of divine simplicity (DDS). It is represented not only in classical Christian theology, but also in Jewish, Greek, and Islamic thought. It is to be understood as an affirmation of God's absolute transcendence of creatures. God is not only radically non-anthropomorphic, but radically non-creaturomorphic, not only in respect of the properties he possesses, but in his manner of possessing them. God, we could say, differs in his very ontology from any and all created beings."

Divine Simplicity: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/divine-simplicity/
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#78  Postby THWOTH » Jan 04, 2014 4:03 pm

igorfrankensteen wrote:[...] Here's my guess: Clive remembers reading somewhere that some theists claim that god isn't complex, and Clive takes issue with that, on the grounds that he doesn't think that a simple god concept can answer all questions about a complex universe....

Maybe this involves one of Wolfram's basic ideas; that simple, random starting conditions can, under certain circumstance, lead to complex and seemingly ordered results. The theist may take this a a kind of founding principle (in the way they often do when scrabbling for justification) in order to say that <nominated deity> could itself comprise a set of simple conditions from which all else flows necessarily. How this might square with the God of Abraham, an powerful entity with creative intent and a moral mind, is not clear, but that isn't important if the point is simply to cast doubt on the apparent reasonable assumption that a creative, intentioning, cosmos-creating entity must itself be a complex (and therefore perhaps an evolved) being itself.
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Re: God is not complex

#79  Postby Animavore » Jan 04, 2014 4:04 pm

If Dawkins failed miserably it's because he bothered in the first place. Arguing about gods with believers is like nailing jelly to the wall. If you argue against one type of version of god it's, "Oh well that's not what I believe." or "You're ignorant of the writings of such and such" or "That's a caricature" or "Almost, but not quite, because what if I just change what we mean by the terms ever-so-slightly so god is pushed back again conveniently just outside of our current investigation and understanding." The god you argue never seems to be the one anyone believes, which makes you wonder what they're even talking about any more when they're talking about "gods".

Cito was right on that other thread. The only justification we need is "go away and don't annoy me" (and not in those words). Those that just simply close the door in the face of Jehovah's Witness rather than debate them have the right idea. By justifying our atheism against the many tiresome, trite and clearly made up and self-serving justifications theists come up with we make it look like we actually need a justification. We don't. Theists do.

I don't think I can do this internet atheism thing any more, and this was the epiphany I referred to earlier in the thread. It's the same thing over and over and I'm not even sure why I'm doing it. I can understand the eagerness of Christians and other religious types to debate and 'win' and be seen to win because, that's all they have. They don't have the evidence, the data, the methodology or the work put in. All they have are just words. And an awful lot of them. And they use them dishonestly.

So I think I'm done with gods. I'm going to pack them up into a box marked "pending evidence" and simply kick them under my bed. I'm done talking about imaginary and completely stupid beings. I think my New Year's resolution is to read less books on god debates and religion and more on something that's real like history and science and maybe talk more about them and possibly even block the Theism section off altogether.

You can PM me when theists come up with something tangible, objective and verifiable with clear, visible work done through experimentation, discovery and observation with clearly defined terms.
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Re: God is not complex

#80  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 4:23 pm

Teuton wrote:"According to the classical theism of Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas and their adherents, God is radically unlike creatures in that he is devoid of any complexity or composition, whether physical or metaphysical. Besides lacking spatial and temporal parts, God is free of matter/form composition, potency/act composition, and existence/essence composition. There is also no real distinction between God as subject of his attributes and his attributes. God is thus in a sense requiring clarification identical to each of his attributes, which implies that each attribute is identical to every other one. God is omniscient, then, not in virtue of instantiating or exemplifying omniscience—which would imply a real distinction between God and the property of omniscience—but by being omniscience. And the same holds for each of the divine omni-attributes: God is what he has. As identical to each of his attributes, God is identical to his nature. And since his nature or essence is identical to his existence, God is identical to his existence. This is the doctrine of divine simplicity (DDS). It is represented not only in classical Christian theology, but also in Jewish, Greek, and Islamic thought. It is to be understood as an affirmation of God's absolute transcendence of creatures. God is not only radically non-anthropomorphic, but radically non-creaturomorphic, not only in respect of the properties he possesses, but in his manner of possessing them. God, we could say, differs in his very ontology from any and all created beings."

Divine Simplicity: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/divine-simplicity/



Right, by being (identical with) omniscience. Nothing suggests that he is a being in and of itself.
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