Author Topic: "nothing greater can be conceived"  (Read 2228 times)

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Offline Volnutt

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #45 on: December 27, 2014, 05:09:46 PM »
Since both the ancient Greco-Roman and Japanese religions asserted an afterlife, I'm not sure the value of your examples in excusing modern atheism.
NickMyra is closer to an authority, but from what I understand of the Shinto-Buddhist afterlife, things are pretty murky. The best hope is to be a relatively contented ghost with no memory of one's former self. Both this and the Roman Elysium are a far cry from the Christian hope in the restoration of all things.

And even if one asserts an afterlife, that doesn't mean this one is entirely without pathos. Note all the disagreements among Christians on the eternal fates of animals, marriages, unbaptized babies, righteous un-believers, and the un-evangelised. Not to mention the prospect that many will be lost eternally. I think coming to terms with impermanence is an imperative for all, no matter what they believe.

Offline JamesR

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2014, 05:26:00 PM »
I have ...

Pardon me, but you can't possibly have if you can make a blooper the size of your previous post.

Just because I've read it doesn't mean I agree with it.

Anselm isn't taken seriously by anyone save the religious, for better or for worse. Most irreligious people find him laughably bad, which I can't say I don't agree with, at least from a theological standpoint.
Who do you know who still takes the ontological argument seriously?

A few Protestant friends and big Protestant speakers like William Lane Craig.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #47 on: December 27, 2014, 05:28:43 PM »
The ancient Japanese belief was in 'yomi,' a place much the same as Hades. At any rate, the atheist dogma is still much different from anything you've discussed and has always, anciently or modernly, come as a superior criticism of cultural reactions to death. I don't agree with James that cowardice enters into it, but neither does normal human sentiment. The recent atheist attempt to attach human sentiment to the dogma is, much as attempt to attach sentiment to, say, being nothing but "star dust," polemical and forced.
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Offline JamesR

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2014, 05:44:07 PM »
From a Christian point of view this is all suboptimal, yes. But if one is convinced that there is nothing beyond this life then it would seem to be the worthiest of possible responses. I would definitely not call it "cowardice."

I would.

It's submitting to something we hate--glorifying something evil that brings about tears and suffering. You don't need religion to know that. Anyone who would romanticize it or submit to it has lost any respect from me. I believe that people should fight and resist what they hate up until their very last breath. The most honorable thing in my opinion is to resist death for as long as possible and not go out easily. Even an atheist who chooses to be a scientist to try and cure death (as unlikely as it is) is more worthy of respect than one who throws in the towel and submits to the foreign evilness of death. Whatever happened to "no fate but what we make for ourselves"?

Quote
I'm sorry, but I'm just no longer convinced that the supernatural is so self-evident that it's denial must indicate some level of willful ignorance or failure of astuteness, as James seems to be saying.

I don't believe in the supernatural. Technically anything that exists or happens is natural by virtue of it happening or existing. I believe the same applies to Christianity and the spiritual realm--that its existence isn't supernatural but is the natural completion of the human being if he would drop the materialist facade for a moment and really contemplate his existential needs. For me it came from my need to beat Death.
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Offline Papist

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2014, 07:52:30 PM »
I have ...

Pardon me, but you can't possibly have if you can make a blooper the size of your previous post.

Just because I've read it doesn't mean I agree with it.

Anselm isn't taken seriously by anyone save the religious, for better or for worse. Most irreligious people find him laughably bad, which I can't say I don't agree with, at least from a theological standpoint.
Who do you know who still takes the ontological argument seriously?

A few Protestant friends and big Protestant speakers like William Lane Craig.
Interesting. Most Thomists I know believe that Anselm's argument has been dicredited.  In fact even St. Thomas thinks the ontological argument is unsound.
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Offline JamesR

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #50 on: December 27, 2014, 07:55:41 PM »
I have ...

Pardon me, but you can't possibly have if you can make a blooper the size of your previous post.

Just because I've read it doesn't mean I agree with it.

Anselm isn't taken seriously by anyone save the religious, for better or for worse. Most irreligious people find him laughably bad, which I can't say I don't agree with, at least from a theological standpoint.
Who do you know who still takes the ontological argument seriously?

A few Protestant friends and big Protestant speakers like William Lane Craig.
Interesting. Most Thomists I know believe that Anselm's argument has been dicredited.  In fact even St. Thomas thinks the ontological argument is unsound.

Yeah that's why it's mostly the Protestants. Alvin Plantinga still believes in it as well.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #51 on: December 27, 2014, 09:29:20 PM »
And I have a question for you: How much room in the contemporary academy is there for the serious contemplation of God in any fashion?
When was the last time you were exposed to the contemporary academy?  :police: :police: :police:
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 09:30:21 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #52 on: December 27, 2014, 09:55:38 PM »
And I have a question for you: How much room in the contemporary academy is there for the serious contemplation of God in any fashion?
When was the last time you were exposed to the contemporary academy?  :police: :police: :police:

That answers my question how?
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #53 on: December 27, 2014, 10:39:24 PM »
And I have a question for you: How much room in the contemporary academy is there for the serious contemplation of God in any fashion?
When was the last time you were exposed to the contemporary academy?  :police: :police: :police:

That answers my question how?
Because it's rhetorical.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #54 on: December 27, 2014, 11:10:53 PM »
And I have a question for you: How much room in the contemporary academy is there for the serious contemplation of God in any fashion?
When was the last time you were exposed to the contemporary academy?  :police: :police: :police:

That answers my question how?
Because it's rhetorical.

Even if your question was meant to say, You know nothing about philosophy and science as taught in colleges at the moment, that's not an answer to my question.
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Offline nothing

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #55 on: December 28, 2014, 04:52:36 AM »
I have ...

Pardon me, but you can't possibly have if you can make a blooper the size of your previous post.

Just because I've read it doesn't mean I agree with it.

Anselm isn't taken seriously by anyone save the religious, for better or for worse. Most irreligious people find him laughably bad, which I can't say I don't agree with, at least from a theological standpoint.
Who do you know who still takes the ontological argument seriously?

A few Protestant friends and big Protestant speakers like William Lane Craig.
Interesting. Most Thomists I know believe that Anselm's argument has been dicredited.  In fact even St. Thomas thinks the ontological argument is unsound.

Yeah that's why it's mostly the Protestants. Alvin Plantinga still believes in it as well.
It's astonishing people still pretend that the ontological argument has any worth whatsoever. I certainly don't take it seriously and I wonder how many times it will have to be refuted before people stop using it. Like Anselm, Plantinga is equivocating and his argument is worsened because omnipotence is introduced.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 04:53:34 AM by nothing »
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Now all that’s left are fruitless fires
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #56 on: December 28, 2014, 12:33:30 PM »
I have ...

Pardon me, but you can't possibly have if you can make a blooper the size of your previous post.

Just because I've read it doesn't mean I agree with it.

Anselm isn't taken seriously by anyone save the religious, for better or for worse. Most irreligious people find him laughably bad, which I can't say I don't agree with, at least from a theological standpoint.
Who do you know who still takes the ontological argument seriously?

A few Protestant friends and big Protestant speakers like William Lane Craig.
Interesting. Most Thomists I know believe that Anselm's argument has been dicredited.  In fact even St. Thomas thinks the ontological argument is unsound.

Yeah that's why it's mostly the Protestants. Alvin Plantinga still believes in it as well.
It's astonishing people still pretend that the ontological argument has any worth whatsoever. I certainly don't take it seriously and I wonder how many times it will have to be refuted before people stop using it. Like Anselm, Plantinga is equivocating and his argument is worsened because omnipotence is introduced.

Or you could just say "I prefer post-modernist theology of the kind that arises when nihilism is tacitly admitted, and have made a mission out of promoting it on this forum." Hyperventilating obvious rhetoric is unlikely to further that cause.
One hides amid pornography, angry music, television that shows the worst of mankind, misanthropic politics, an internet populace led by all the passions: and then one asks, "Where is God?"


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Offline nothing

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #57 on: December 28, 2014, 02:06:26 PM »
Or you could just say "I prefer post-modernist theology of the kind that arises when nihilism is tacitly admitted, and have made a mission out of promoting it on this forum." Hyperventilating obvious rhetoric is unlikely to further that cause.
Just because I think inherent, absolute values don't exist doesn't make me a nihilist. However there is another part to nihilism that I reject, that is existence is meaningless because there is no absolute value. In fact quite the contrary, existence is even more meaningful because there are no inherent values; you can't avoid deriving meaning from your own existence even if claiming meaninglessness.

As to "post-modernist theology", well I find it meaningful that God is transcendent and making any sort of truth statements about such a transcendent God is impossible. But eventhough we can't say anything true about God, we can say something meaningful about God, like stories that are told. Stories are always meaningful and cannot help but be interpreted, and interpretation always involves meaning. The issue however is what stories persuade interpretations to how they affect us, more distinctly how they make who we are (ie asking existential questions). And the gospel is one of those very fruitful stories that can transform us, which by the way doesn't make any truth statements/claims about God anyway. Yes I know that requires a deconstruction of doctrinal theology thankfully.
“I’ve lived to bury my desires,
And see my dreams corrode with rust;
Now all that’s left are fruitless fires
That burn my empty heart to dust.”
― Alexander Pushkin

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Offline lovesupreme

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #58 on: December 28, 2014, 03:17:46 PM »
Welp, "nothing" just appeared in this very thread!

Offline Peter J

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #59 on: December 28, 2014, 03:20:15 PM »
It's astonishing people still pretend that the ontological argument has any worth whatsoever. I certainly don't take it seriously and I wonder how many times it will have to be refuted before people stop using it. Like Anselm, Plantinga is equivocating and his argument is worsened because omnipotence is introduced.

This strikes me as guilt-by-association: believing in God's omnipotence is completely different from using Anselm's "ontological argument", which a number of us here agree is worthless.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 03:20:44 PM by Peter J »
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Offline nothing

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #60 on: December 28, 2014, 04:09:48 PM »
It's astonishing people still pretend that the ontological argument has any worth whatsoever. I certainly don't take it seriously and I wonder how many times it will have to be refuted before people stop using it. Like Anselm, Plantinga is equivocating and his argument is worsened because omnipotence is introduced.

This strikes me as guilt-by-association: believing in God's omnipotence is completely different from using Anselm's "ontological argument", which a number of us here agree is worthless.
There are a range of meanings for "greater" and Anselm moves among them, just as there are for "omnipotence" as Plantinga uses it. If "God" means an omnipotent being, then God can and cannot exist simultaneously. An omnipotent being can't be limited, so anything can happen. But again this is just equivocating by extracting from the various meanings of "omnipotent".

The correct answer to the omnipotence paradox (could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even he could not lift it?) is yes God can create a stone heavier than he can lift and then lift it while not lifting it. God is beyond logic and Being; nothing is certain. See the problem of ascribing omnipotence into an arrangement that has logical and physical constraints?

As with all the variants of the ontological argument it doesn't take seriously transcendence.
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And see my dreams corrode with rust;
Now all that’s left are fruitless fires
That burn my empty heart to dust.”
― Alexander Pushkin

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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #61 on: December 28, 2014, 05:02:29 PM »
Or you could just say "I prefer post-modernist theology of the kind that arises when nihilism is tacitly admitted, and have made a mission out of promoting it on this forum." Hyperventilating obvious rhetoric is unlikely to further that cause.
I think James is an exemplar of the anasophian school. His crypto-anti-paleognostic proclivities are well known to those of us who deny moderno-seculepiphenomenalism.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #62 on: December 28, 2014, 05:38:30 PM »
Or you could just say "I prefer post-modernist theology of the kind that arises when nihilism is tacitly admitted, and have made a mission out of promoting it on this forum." Hyperventilating obvious rhetoric is unlikely to further that cause.
Just because I think inherent, absolute values don't exist doesn't make me a nihilist. However there is another part to nihilism that I reject, that is existence is meaningless because there is no absolute value. In fact quite the contrary, existence is even more meaningful because there are no inherent values; you can't avoid deriving meaning from your own existence even if claiming meaninglessness.

As to "post-modernist theology", well I find it meaningful that God is transcendent and making any sort of truth statements about such a transcendent God is impossible. But eventhough we can't say anything true about God, we can say something meaningful about God, like stories that are told. Stories are always meaningful and cannot help but be interpreted, and interpretation always involves meaning. The issue however is what stories persuade interpretations to how they affect us, more distinctly how they make who we are (ie asking existential questions). And the gospel is one of those very fruitful stories that can transform us, which by the way doesn't make any truth statements/claims about God anyway. Yes I know that requires a deconstruction of doctrinal theology thankfully.

You continue to show yourself capable of an astonishing certainty that you're the inventor of existentialism and its heirs. You're nearly a century too late for that. (And yes existentialism presupposes the "cold, gemlike truth" of the general nihilism that informed high modernism before it. When experience seemed rich enough to cast doubt on that credo ["I believe I come from nothing and return to nothing"], existentialism banished metaphysics from the salon to enjoy its breakfast. You need to read more primary sources.)
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #63 on: December 28, 2014, 06:43:04 PM »
It's astonishing people still pretend that the ontological argument has any worth whatsoever. I certainly don't take it seriously and I wonder how many times it will have to be refuted before people stop using it. Like Anselm, Plantinga is equivocating and his argument is worsened because omnipotence is introduced.

This strikes me as guilt-by-association: believing in God's omnipotence is completely different from using Anselm's "ontological argument", which a number of us here agree is worthless.
There are a range of meanings for "greater" and Anselm moves among them, just as there are for "omnipotence" as Plantinga uses it. If "God" means an omnipotent being, then God can and cannot exist simultaneously. An omnipotent being can't be limited, so anything can happen. But again this is just equivocating by extracting from the various meanings of "omnipotent".

The correct answer to the omnipotence paradox (could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even he could not lift it?) is yes God can create a stone heavier than he can lift and then lift it while not lifting it. God is beyond logic and Being; nothing is certain. See the problem of ascribing omnipotence into an arrangement that has logical and physical constraints?

As with all the variants of the ontological argument it doesn't take seriously transcendence.

The fact of the matter is that you're doing what you accuse Anselm of doing, imposing on his exercise an assumption that he did not mean to be transcendent. God's being, and reality as we comprehend it or even conceive it can be compared only, as it were, asymptotically, and so any exercise of comparison or contrast could expect to be helpful only by guiding the mind along those asymptotic lines until there might be some flash of vision of their ultimate in the nous. There are three responses I can presently think of to this uncomfortable state of mortal man: ( 1 ) to add to all comprehension humility and prayer; ( 2 ) to avoid any exercises to comprehend God as anti-intellectual or immoral; or ( 3 ) to suppose, or pretend to suppose, that since God cannot be comprehended there is no God. The last is the zeitgeist (wave your hands if you will).
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 06:44:22 PM by Porter ODoran »
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Offline nothing

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #64 on: December 28, 2014, 10:20:58 PM »
It's astonishing people still pretend that the ontological argument has any worth whatsoever. I certainly don't take it seriously and I wonder how many times it will have to be refuted before people stop using it. Like Anselm, Plantinga is equivocating and his argument is worsened because omnipotence is introduced.

This strikes me as guilt-by-association: believing in God's omnipotence is completely different from using Anselm's "ontological argument", which a number of us here agree is worthless.
There are a range of meanings for "greater" and Anselm moves among them, just as there are for "omnipotence" as Plantinga uses it. If "God" means an omnipotent being, then God can and cannot exist simultaneously. An omnipotent being can't be limited, so anything can happen. But again this is just equivocating by extracting from the various meanings of "omnipotent".

The correct answer to the omnipotence paradox (could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even he could not lift it?) is yes God can create a stone heavier than he can lift and then lift it while not lifting it. God is beyond logic and Being; nothing is certain. See the problem of ascribing omnipotence into an arrangement that has logical and physical constraints?

As with all the variants of the ontological argument it doesn't take seriously transcendence.

The fact of the matter is that you're doing what you accuse Anselm of doing, imposing on his exercise an assumption that he did not mean to be transcendent. God's being, and reality as we comprehend it or even conceive it can be compared only, as it were, asymptotically, and so any exercise of comparison or contrast could expect to be helpful only by guiding the mind along those asymptotic lines until there might be some flash of vision of their ultimate in the nous. There are three responses I can presently think of to this uncomfortable state of mortal man: ( 1 ) to add to all comprehension humility and prayer; ( 2 ) to avoid any exercises to comprehend God as anti-intellectual or immoral; or ( 3 ) to suppose, or pretend to suppose, that since God cannot be comprehended there is no God. The last is the zeitgeist (wave your hands if you will).
This is incoherent gibberish.

I'm not "assuming" that by Anselm saying "greater" he didn't mean transcendent, he does, but he also draws from different meanings of "greater" (that God is some bigger, better, stronger man). And it's his confusion about God that he equivocates, thus leads his argument to fallacy. God isn't some other thing within the universe but goes beyond it.

As I already said, a transcendent being is not limited/constrained by the physical universe nor by laws of logic. God can indeed exist and not simultaneously. God can be a four-sided triangle and lift that stone he created to be too heavy for him to lift.

In short we cannot be certain of any feature we could ascribe to a transcendent being, therefore all bets are off.
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And see my dreams corrode with rust;
Now all that’s left are fruitless fires
That burn my empty heart to dust.”
― Alexander Pushkin

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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #65 on: December 28, 2014, 10:28:05 PM »
All you are saying with that is that God is, to intellectual purposes, nil.

And I'd invite you to expand on what usage of "transcendent" precludes any description or consistency.

This is incoherent gibberish.

Thank you.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #66 on: December 28, 2014, 10:35:28 PM »
It's astonishing people still pretend that the ontological argument has any worth whatsoever. I certainly don't take it seriously and I wonder how many times it will have to be refuted before people stop using it. Like Anselm, Plantinga is equivocating and his argument is worsened because omnipotence is introduced.

This strikes me as guilt-by-association: believing in God's omnipotence is completely different from using Anselm's "ontological argument", which a number of us here agree is worthless.
There are a range of meanings for "greater" and Anselm moves among them, just as there are for "omnipotence" as Plantinga uses it. If "God" means an omnipotent being, then God can and cannot exist simultaneously. An omnipotent being can't be limited, so anything can happen. But again this is just equivocating by extracting from the various meanings of "omnipotent".

The correct answer to the omnipotence paradox (could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even he could not lift it?) is yes God can create a stone heavier than he can lift and then lift it while not lifting it. God is beyond logic and Being; nothing is certain. See the problem of ascribing omnipotence into an arrangement that has logical and physical constraints?

As with all the variants of the ontological argument it doesn't take seriously transcendence.

Well, on pretty  much any topic there are going to be "amateurs" (or what ever term who want to use ... Note that I do not mean literally those who do something without being paid for it) who go running their mouths about it. (One of my personal "favorites" is when someone says "Well of course Blank is true. I learned it in elementary school!" Or there's "Well of course Blank is the Catholic teaching. I read Blank on catholic.com!")

But regardless, in an intelligent conversation about whether there is an omnipotent God, one has to hope that all the parties realize that even "omnipotence" implies logical restrictions, like not being able to create something which contradicts its own nature (e.g. The famous "square circle").
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Offline Peter J

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #67 on: December 28, 2014, 10:45:08 PM »
As I already said, a transcendent being is not limited/constrained by the physical universe nor by laws of logic.

Where does your definition of transcendent come from?
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Offline Peter J

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #68 on: December 29, 2014, 09:41:26 AM »
It's astonishing people still pretend that the ontological argument has any worth whatsoever. I certainly don't take it seriously and I wonder how many times it will have to be refuted before people stop using it. Like Anselm, Plantinga is equivocating and his argument is worsened because omnipotence is introduced.

This strikes me as guilt-by-association: believing in God's omnipotence is completely different from using Anselm's "ontological argument", which a number of us here agree is worthless.
There are a range of meanings for "greater" and Anselm moves among them, just as there are for "omnipotence" as Plantinga uses it. If "God" means an omnipotent being, then God can and cannot exist simultaneously. An omnipotent being can't be limited, so anything can happen. But again this is just equivocating by extracting from the various meanings of "omnipotent".

The correct answer to the omnipotence paradox (could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even he could not lift it?) is yes God can create a stone heavier than he can lift and then lift it while not lifting it. God is beyond logic and Being; nothing is certain. See the problem of ascribing omnipotence into an arrangement that has logical and physical constraints?

As with all the variants of the ontological argument it doesn't take seriously transcendence.

Well, on pretty  much any topic there are going to be "amateurs" (or what ever term who want to use ... Note that I do not mean literally those who do something without being paid for it) who go running their mouths about it. (One of my personal "favorites" is when someone says "Well of course Blank is true. I learned it in elementary school!" Or there's "Well of course Blank is the Catholic teaching. I read Blank on catholic.com!")

But regardless, in an intelligent conversation about whether there is an omnipotent God, one has to hope that all the parties realize that even "omnipotence" implies logical restrictions, like not being able to create something which contradicts its own nature (e.g. The famous "square circle").

P.S. In any event, I think the answer to your question is fairly simply: No.

God can create a stone of any size, and he can also lift a stone of any size. He cannot create "a stone so heavy that even he could not lift it" any more than he could create "a stone so blue that even he could not lift it". (Personally I prefer the original form of the question, "Can Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it?" but that's beside the point.)
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Offline primuspilus

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #69 on: December 29, 2014, 10:11:09 AM »
This thread makes me think of my childhood...specifically, the following discourse:

Me: "Your mom is ugly!"
My brother: "Your mom is uglier!"
Me: "Your mom is ugly times infinity!"
My brother: "Oh yeah? Your mom is ugly infinity times infinity!!!!"
Both of us: "Oh....wait...."

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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2014, 01:29:25 PM »
All you are saying with that is that God is, to intellectual purposes, nil.

And I'd invite you to expand on what usage of "transcendent" precludes any description or consistency.

This is incoherent gibberish.

Thank you.
An interesting way to put it. I'd say I disagree profoundly with Augustine's attempt to rationalize God.

I call my view "narrative Christianity". We "know" God through stories about him that relate to who we are and our relationship to the transcendent. And stories are not bound by logic or consistency.

Except for that, God is "wholly Other" as Bultmann says. Whatever we think God is, he is not.

As to transcendence, it can't be bound by logic or reason or empiricism or it wouldn't be transcendence. If it could be stabilized by any these, it wouldn't transcend them but would simply be an object of human thought, and fall into an ontic relationship.

By the way, it seems to me that, taking the cue from Heidegger, our own authentic existence is transcendent, in that we understand the world as the world as a whole, which contains the relations of logic, identity, etc. It is our transcendent condition that makes understanding of our day to day relationships possible, according to Heidegger. But what the significance of that condition's relationship to God, if any, is not something I have pursued, though I think it's something Jean-Luc Marion has discussed.
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Re: "nothing greater can be conceived"
« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2014, 01:54:58 PM »
All you are saying with that is that God is, to intellectual purposes, nil.

And I'd invite you to expand on what usage of "transcendent" precludes any description or consistency.

This is incoherent gibberish.

Thank you.
An interesting way to put it. I'd say I disagree profoundly with Augustine's attempt to rationalize God.

I call my view "narrative Christianity". We "know" God through stories about him that relate to who we are and our relationship to the transcendent. And stories are not bound by logic or consistency.

Except for that, God is "wholly Other" as Bultmann says. Whatever we think God is, he is not.

As to transcendence, it can't be bound by logic or reason or empiricism or it wouldn't be transcendence. If it could be stabilized by any these, it wouldn't transcend them but would simply be an object of human thought, and fall into an ontic relationship.

By the way, it seems to me that, taking the cue from Heidegger, our own authentic existence is transcendent, in that we understand the world as the world as a whole, which contains the relations of logic, identity, etc. It is our transcendent condition that makes understanding of our day to day relationships possible, according to Heidegger. But what the significance of that condition's relationship to God, if any, is not something I have pursued, though I think it's something Jean-Luc Marion has discussed.

Again, as usual, except for your strange insistence that "transcendent" requires obviating every conceivable category, you're not presenting anything not already dusty in textbooks since 1960. How this is going to make you the savior of the forum -- or is it of Orthodoxy? I try not to recall in detail -- remains to be seen.
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