God is not complex

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

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Re: God is not complex

#81  Postby Teuton » Jan 04, 2014 4:26 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/


According to theism, God is a spiritual substance (a pure spirit or soul). A spiritual substance is spatially unextended, zero-dimensional, and thus it lacks both substantial and spatial parts. That is, it is both mereologically simple and spatially simple. All theologians agree that God does not exist anywhere in space, but they disagree over the question whether he exists in time. If he does, he can be said to have temporal parts at least.

As for the denial of "potency/act composition", it doesn't even make theological sense to say that all of God's powers (dispositional properties) are manifested (activated) all the time, so that there's nothing that he can do but doesn't do (now). For example, God has the power to destroy the earth, but obviously he doesn't do so (now).

As for the assertion that the divine substance is identical with the divine attributes, the identification of a property-bearer (substrate) with (the sum or set of) its properties is ontologically unintelligible to me. Substances or objects necessarily have/possess/exemplify/instantiate attributes but they are not identical with their attributes. They are not ontologically reducible to bundles/clusters/sums/sets of properties.
If God were identical with the bundle of his properties and his properties were all different from one another, then God would not be mereologically simple, because his properties would be his proper parts, his components.

As for the assertion that all of God's properties are identical with one another, it is utterly implausible to say that e.g. being all-knowing = being all-powerful = being all-good. For there seems to be a clear and real distinction between these properties. For example, by calling someone omnibenevolent, I really don't mean to say that he is omniscient. Nor does omnibenevolence logically entail omniscience.
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Re: God is not complex

#82  Postby Matthew Shute » Jan 04, 2014 4:28 pm

Mick wrote: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.


At best, the more sophistic defenses reassure theists that they have something clever in their corner. Those defenses don't so much stand as wriggle and slither; but lacking the internal substance of greased eels, trying to pin them down is much like attempting nail watery jelly to a wall.

Get back to us when your God is logically coherent, let alone demonstrable.
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Re: God is not complex

#83  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 4:30 pm

Teuton wrote:
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/


According to theism, God is a spiritual substance (a pure spirit or soul). A spiritual substance is spatially unextended, zero-dimensional, and thus it lacks both substantial and spatial parts. That is, it is both mereologically simple and spatially simple. All theologians agree that God does not exist anywhere in space, but they disagree over the question whether he exists in time. If he does, he can be said to have temporal parts at least.

As for the denial of "potency/act composition", it doesn't even make theological sense to say that all of God's powers (dispositional properties) are manifested (activated) all the time, so that there's nothing that he can do but doesn't do (now). For example, God has the power to destroy the earth, but obviously he doesn't do so (now).

As for the assertion that the divine substance is identical with the divine attributes, the identification of a property-bearer (substrate) with (the sum or set of) its properties is ontologically unintelligible to me. Substances or objects necessarily have/possess/exemplify/instantiate attributes but they are not identical with their attributes. They are not ontologically reducible to bundles/clusters/sums/sets of properties.
If God were identical with the bundle of his properties and his properties were all different from one another, then God would not be mereologically simple, because his properties would be his proper parts, his components.

As for the assertion that all of God's properties are identical with one another, it is utterly implausible to say that e.g. being all-knowing = being all-powerful = being all-good. For there seems to be a clear and real distinction between these properties. For example, by calling someone omnibenevolent, I really don't mean to say that he is omniscient. Nor does omnibenevolence logically entail omniscience.


Great. Now interact with the link I gave earlier. The 14 page one. Otherwise, I am going to repeat content
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Re: God is not complex

#84  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 4:31 pm

Matthew Shute wrote:
Mick wrote: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.


At best, the more sophistic defenses reassure theists that they have something clever in their corner. Those defenses don't so much stand as wriggle and slither; but lacking the internal substance of greased eels, trying to pin them down is much like attempting nail watery jelly to a wall.

Get back to us when your God is logically coherent, let alone demonstrable.


You too. Engage the link. Show some effort.
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Re: God is not complex

#85  Postby Teuton » Jan 04, 2014 4:39 pm

Teuton wrote:As for the assertion that the divine substance is identical with the divine attributes, the identification of a property-bearer (substrate) with (the sum or set of) its properties is ontologically unintelligible to me. Substances or objects necessarily have/possess/exemplify/instantiate attributes but they are not identical with their attributes. They are not ontologically reducible to bundles/clusters/sums/sets of properties.


By the way, Berkeley, a substance spiritualist, agrees with me: Spirits have ideas, but they aren't (collections of) ideas. (But I disagree with Berkeley's immaterialism, according to which all material substances or objects are nothing but collections of ideas in immaterial minds.)

"Besides all that endless variety of ideas or objects of knowledge, there is likewise something which knows or perceives them; and exercises divers operations, as willing, imagining, remembering about them. This perceiving, active being is what I call mind, spirit, soul or myself. By which words I do not denote any one of my ideas, but a thing entirely distinct from them, wherein they exist, or, which is the same thing, whereby they are perceived ; for the existence of an idea consists in being perceived."

(Berkeley, George. Principles of Human Knowledge. 1710. Part 1, §2)
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Re: God is not complex

#86  Postby Teuton » Jan 04, 2014 4:53 pm

Mick wrote:You too. Engage the link. Show some effort.


Show some politeness and quote the statements you deem relevant!
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Re: God is not complex

#87  Postby Matthew Shute » Jan 04, 2014 4:58 pm

Teuton wrote:
Mick wrote:You too. Engage the link. Show some effort.


Show some politeness and quote the statements you deem relevant!


Mick can't even summon that much effort. Some intellectual warrior for God!
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Re: God is not complex

#88  Postby Rumraket » Jan 04, 2014 5:06 pm

Mick wrote:
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?

What point? I had my own point, which was that you in your usual criticism of Dawkins et al missed the point of what they're doing.

What the hell is the use of all your philobabble if noone but diehard apologists actually bother with it? It exists entirely to reassure believers who are confronted with doubts when everything from the real world tells them their faith is irrational. Dawkins and those like him is the "real world" part of that equation, so once a believer has come face to face with that they have two choices. Either they can co scouring for apologetics to reassure themselves, which is really just an exercise it building grand metaphysical castles into thin air, or they can open their mind and see that it's all really quite ridiculous. So that's how we find out who belongs where, those that go scouring for apologetics and don't immediately see through the smokescreen of wordbabble probably remain theists, at least for a while. On the other hand, those that do see through it eventually become atheists.

Mick wrote: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.

Of course it makes sense to attack them, if those are the people you want to show that they have been believing for silly reasons.

Mick wrote:Instead, intellectual attacks should be mounted towards the sophisticated defences, since they lead the way or stand at the beachfront.

Clearly they don't, they're relegated to a tiny minority. Most believers simply don't read this crap. They just go to church and hear sermons by their preacher on sundays. Most of the time, the reason they believe in the first place is that they were raised to and it has sort of become ingrained in their lives.

Mick wrote: 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.

It is neither. :roll:

Mick wrote:What is more, Dawkins assaulted many of the classical arguments for God's existence, and he did so with remarkable ignorance and dullness.

And yet it worked pretty well, there's plenty of testimony to that. Once again you missed the point. You're the die-hard guy who can't see through the wordbabble smokescreen. Fuck, you left reality so long ago you forgot how it looks like. All words is what you have.

Mick wrote: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.

The justification of theism that the average guy tends to have is enough. Most people don't spend their time reading apologetics and theism-atheism debates. Most people don't study philosophy and they never will.
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Re: God is not complex

#89  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 5:24 pm

Teuton wrote:
Mick wrote:You too. Engage the link. Show some effort.


Show some politeness and quote the statements you deem relevant!


It is not that easy. The bulk of the paper gives you the background machinery into the religious language theory. Only from that can we get the upshot. You'll have to work for that understanding, I'm afraid. Or you can just continue to quote Priest, though I'm unsure if you gave that up or not.
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Re: God is not complex

#90  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 5:31 pm

Rumraket wrote:
Mick wrote:
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?

What point? I had my own point, which was that you in your usual criticism of Dawkins et al missed the point of what they're doing.

What the hell is the use of all your philobabble if noone but diehard apologists actually bother with it? It exists entirely to reassure believers who are confronted with doubts when everything from the real world tells them their faith is irrational. Dawkins and those like him is the "real world" part of that equation, so once a believer has come face to face with that they have two choices. Either they can co scouring for apologetics to reassure themselves, which is really just an exercise it building grand metaphysical castles into thin air, or they can open their mind and see that it's all really quite ridiculous. So that's how we find out who belongs where, those that go scouring for apologetics and don't immediately see through the smokescreen of wordbabble probably remain theists, at least for a while. On the other hand, those that do see through it eventually become atheists.

Mick wrote: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.

Of course it makes sense to attack them, if those are the people you want to show that they have been believing for silly reasons.

Mick wrote:Instead, intellectual attacks should be mounted towards the sophisticated defences, since they lead the way or stand at the beachfront.

Clearly they don't, they're relegated to a tiny minority. Most believers simply don't read this crap. They just go to church and hear sermons by their preacher on sundays. Most of the time, the reason they believe in the first place is that they were raised to and it has sort of become ingrained in their lives.

Mick wrote: 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.

It is neither. :roll:

Mick wrote:What is more, Dawkins assaulted many of the classical arguments for God's existence, and he did so with remarkable ignorance and dullness.

And yet it worked pretty well, there's plenty of testimony to that. Once again you missed the point. You're the die-hard guy who can't see through the wordbabble smokescreen. Fuck, you left reality so long ago you forgot how it looks like. All words is what you have.

Mick wrote: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.

The justification of theism that the average guy tends to have is enough. Most people don't spend their time reading apologetics and theism-atheism debates. Most people don't study philosophy and they never will.



The God Delusion didn't attack the belief of the men in the pews alone. It was an assault on theism per se. That is why he attacks some of the classical arguments. Thus, even if he managed to show that the average Joe believes to "silly reasons", it wouldn't matter one bit to the case for theism at large. But if he is going to attack theism, then he needs to take these arguments seriously. He didn't. If I am going to attack Liberalism, I'll go after its founders, not the Liberal voter.

Dawkins is a bully.
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Re: God is not complex

#91  Postby Matthew Shute » Jan 04, 2014 5:37 pm

Teuton wrote:[T]heologians agree that God does not exist anywhere in space


Is that so? Then I wonder how they'd reconcile the above with a belief in omnipresence without adopting a position of theistic idealism/monopsychism (something a million lightyears from Mick's borrowed philosophy and Catholic teaching, for example)?

If there is a spacial extent somewhere, and God doesn't exist there, we can easily point to somewhere that God isn't. So much for omnipresence.
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Re: God is not complex

#92  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jan 04, 2014 5:39 pm

Mick wrote:

Dawkins is a bully.

:roll:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: God is not complex

#93  Postby Paul » Jan 04, 2014 5:51 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Mick wrote:

Dawkins is a bully.

:roll:


More :rofl: I'd say. Coming from a Catholic that really is rich.

I'm tending towards Animavore's view here, and as I alluded to in another thread recently, I'm really not impressed by all this theistic philosowibble and pseudo-intellectual snobbery. It doesn't take a trained philosopher to spot bullshit, even when it is dressed up as 'smart thinking' and, like Animavore, I'm finding it increasingly tiresome and dull.
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Re: God is not complex

#94  Postby Rumraket » Jan 04, 2014 5:59 pm

lol

just... lol.
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Re: God is not complex

#95  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 6:01 pm

And like Amnivore, Paul, you won't tell us what's wrong with it. It's a secret, Amiright? You atheists and your secret understandings. So profound.
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Re: God is not complex

#96  Postby Mick » Jan 04, 2014 6:06 pm

Rumraket wrote:lol

just... lol.
see. More of it.

Just pat yourselves on the back, fellas. You all did well. Who needs to "show" you are right when you can just smirk, point and nod at each other--it is soooo much more satisfying, and it provides a good carapace from theists and their "philosophy", since that is really hard to keep up with and stuff, cuz you hafta, like, read.
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Re: God is not complex

#97  Postby hackenslash » Jan 04, 2014 6:09 pm

Mick wrote:And like Amnivore, Paul, you won't tell us what's wrong with it. It's a secret, Amiright? You atheists and your secret understandings. So profound.


What's wrong with it is the assumption that this preposterous entity actually exists, in the face of what scant evidence exists on the question.

Yes, I know you think your umbilicus is a source of information about the world, insofar as you think at all. No matter how sophistic the argument is, it doesn't constitute robust evidence.

Mick wrote:see. More of it.


What utter hypocrisy! This is precisely the 'content' of your entire fucking posting history.
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Re: God is not complex

#98  Postby hackenslash » Jan 04, 2014 6:11 pm

Mick wrote:Dawkins is a bully.


Matthew 7:3
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Re: God is not complex

#99  Postby Calilasseia » Jan 04, 2014 6:20 pm

It's really amusing to see grand assertionist castles in the air presented as "sophisticated" theology.
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Re: God is not complex

#100  Postby Teuton » Jan 04, 2014 6:22 pm

Matthew Shute wrote:
Teuton wrote:[T]heologians agree that God does not exist anywhere in space

Is that so? Then I wonder how they'd reconcile the above with a belief in omnipresence without adopting a position of theistic idealism/monopsychism (something a million lightyears from Mick's borrowed philosophy and Catholic teaching, for example)?


God cannot consistently be said to be omnipresent in the literal sense that he is personally present everywhere in space, because he is located nowhere. So to say that God is omnipresent can only mean that he notices everything happening in space and is able to exert his divine power everywhere in space. So God's omnipresence is not to be interpreted literally. In this nonliteral sense, you could say e.g. that the Basic Law of Germany is omnipresent in Germany.

"Thomas Aquinas held that God's presence is to be understood in terms of God's power, knowledge and essence. (In this view he followed a formula put forth by Peter Lombard (late 11th C.-1160) in his Sentences, I, xxxvii, 1.) He writes, “God is in all things by his power, inasmuch as all things are subject to his power; he is by his presence in all things, inasmuch as all things are bare and open to his eyes; he is in all things by his essence, inasmuch as he is present to all as the cause of their being” (Summa Theologica I, 8, 3)."

Omnipresence: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/omnipresence/
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