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Does your god deserve to be called god?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Fluffy, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. Fluffy

    Fluffy A fool

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    The site www.philosophersnet.com has a game called Do-It-Yourself Deity which asks 8 questions about the attributes of your deity and then sees if they are internally consistent. You will either have internal logic problems or you will be forced to choose options that create a rather meague deity, in some people's eyes, therefore asking the question, does it really deserve the title of god?

    Here are the attributes which the game asks you about:
    Omnipotent
    Omnibenevolent
    Omniscient
    The Creator of all that exists
    The Sustainer of all that exists (ie Everything in existance is reliant on the continued existance of god)
    Perfectly free
    Eternally existing
    A personal god ie a being with whom you can have a personal relationship

    Which of these attributes does your god have? Do you consider any of these attributes more important than others regarding their significance to making this being god?

    If you are an atheist, then you could list the attributes necessary for a being to be called god, perhaps in order of importance.

    Please remember that I am using the term "god" to talk about any deity , not just the Christian one :).
     
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  2. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    The survey is limiting and the results just restate the typical atheist viewpoint.

    I like "games" but this one was dissappointing.
     
  3. Fluffy

    Fluffy A fool

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    I found it very insightful. It is not an atheist viewpoint at all but an analysis of beliefs using pure logic. It even suggests ways of getting around it.
     
  4. john63

    john63 titmouse

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    I agree! That sucked! The metapsycotic engineers found a problem with every aspect I chose. What the....:mad: And they kept calling my God "her" and "she".Knockout
     
  5. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Here's what I got. I clicked the first seven leaving the last choice )I can have a personal relationship with God, was left unchosen.
    The Report


    Plausibility Quotient

    Plausibility Quotient = 0.3

    The metaphysical engineers have determined that your conception of God has a plausibility quotient (PQ) of 0.3. A PQ of 1.0 means that as far as the metaphysical engineers can determine your conception of God is internally consistent and consistent with the universe that we live in. A PQ of 0.0 means that it is neither internally consistent nor consistent with our universe. More than likely, your PQ score will be somewhere between these two figures. But remember that this is your PQ score as determined by the metaphysical engineers. The editors of TPM have no control over their deliberations, so don't blame us!

    *******************
    The problem of suffering

    Your God is omnipotent (all-powerful, able to do anything), omnibenevolent (all-loving) and omniscient (all-knowing).

    The metaphysical engineers have found it hard to model this God in a universe like our own. The problem is this: our universe contains vast amounts of suffering, much of which seems either entirely unnecessary or unnecessarily severe. Although some of this is the result of human action, and thus may be seen as an inevitable consequence of human free will, much is not. Plagues, floods and famines are not all the result of human action. Even the idea that human free will explains the existence of much suffering is hard to accept, since God, if all-powerful, could surely limit our capacity to harm others or suffer at their hands (after all, there are many other limits on what we are able to do).

    So why is there all this suffering? If God cannot prevent it, it would seem she is not all-powerful. If God doesn't want to stop it, it would seem she is not all-loving. If God doesn't know about it, she can't be all-knowing.

    The metaphysical engineers are continuing to study theodicies, which are attempts to resolve this difficulty, known as the problem of evil.

    *******************
    The problem of loving too much

    Your God is omnipotent (all-powerful, able to do anything), omnibenevolent (all-loving) and a perfectly free agent.

    The metaphysical engineers have confronted a difficulty modelling this God. If perfectly free, then God could choose whatever she wants. Nothing could stop this because God is omnipotent. But this God is also all-loving. It seems to the engineers that such a God could never choose to do something which is unloving. It is not that God just chooses not to do such things, rather that God's nature as omnibenevolent constrains what she can do. In other words, God does not have the freedom and/or the power to do something unloving.

    One possible response is that God isn't necessarily omnibenevolent, but, as a matter of fact, since she never chooses to do something which is unloving, is omnibenevolent. However, if this is true, then the metaphysical engineers can't see how omnibenevolence can be a necessary characteristic of a God.

    The metaphysical engineers suggest that this whole issue may hinge on a problem with their understanding of "a perfectly free agent". It cannot mean what it seems to mean, namely, that God can choose to do literally anything.

    *******************
    God the sustainer?

    Your God is the sustainer of all that is. This means that if God ceased to exist so would everything else.

    The metaphysical engineers are finding it hard to model this God in our universe. The laws of physics do not seem to require that the universe has anything outside of itself to continue to exist. Therefore, they can't quite see what kind of evidence it would be possible to point to in order to come to the belief that God is required for the universe to continue.

    When they have previously confronted this problem, it has been suggested that a law-giver or law-enforcer is required in order to sustain the laws of physics. But this response seems to rest on a misunderstanding of the nature of physical laws. Laws in the legal sense do require law-givers and law-enforcers. But physical laws are simply descriptions of the nature of reality. So the idea that a law-giver is needed to sustain the rules of physics seems to confuse the legal and scientific senses of laws.

    *******************
    Can God do the illogical?

    The metaphysical engineers request clarification of what you mean when you say God is able to do anything.

    In the model, God was asked to make 2 + 2 = 5 (where all the terms hold their common meanings). She could not do so and the model broke down. It seems that no being can ever do what is logically impossible. It is not just beyond the wit of humanity to make 2 + 2 = 5, such a thing is a contradiction in terms.

    So the metaphysical engineers seek your permission to understand by all-powerful that God can do anything which is logically possible. Before accepting this, however, you should understand that by accepting the limits of logical possibility on God, you are leaving open the possibility that, if some characteristics you attribute to God turn out to entail logical contradictions, you must give these up. It means, in effect, accepting that rationality is a constraint on God (though it is a moot point exactly what the word constraint means in this regard).

    *******************
    Why this universe?

    Your God is omnipotent (all-powerful, able to do anything), omnibenevolent (all-loving), omniscient (all-knowing) and the creator of all that exists.

    The metaphysical engineers have run up against a problem. When your God created the universe, being all-knowing, she must have known about all the suffering there would be in this world. Yet God still created it, as it is. She did not create a more benign version of the universe, or simply choose not to create the universe. Why is this?

    It could be that God did not know about all the suffering which would occur. But that would make God not all-knowing. It could be that God doesn't mind all the suffering, but that would make her less than all-loving. It could be that God could not have created a more benign world than this one. But that would seem to make God less than all-powerful. The only way we can resolve this problem is to conclude that God can only do what is possible and that this really is the best of all possible worlds. The metaphysical engineers find it hard to model this resolution as they think they can make a better world quite easily. For example, they are able to make human brains more hardy and thus reduce the incidence of psychopathology, resulting in an immediate decline, in their model, of crimes of sadistic murder. Are they mistaken in some way?

    *******************
    For eternity?

    The metaphysical engineers request clarification of what you mean when you say God exists eternally.

    You may mean that God exists through all space and time. But according to our best physics, space and time exist only within the confines of a universe. This would seem to constrain God's existence to within a universe.

    You could mean that God exists "outside" space and time. But the metaphysical engineers find it hard to understand what you mean by "eternally", if that's the case. Doesn't the concept "eternally" require some notion of time to make sense? The metaphysical engineers are still puzzling over these issues.
    ------------------------

    I find their arguments infantile and obviously inconsistent.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  6. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    I've always had a problem with the Omni-attibutes of "God". All knowing, all loving, all powerfull... blah, blah, blah...sounds like someone with ego issues. The idea that 'your God' has to be absolutely more powerful than everything elce and everyone has to know it.

    wa:do
     
  7. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    Omni this and omni that are just human desire to have for themselves. When that cannot be achieved, human just created the creator (or God in another word) that has all these desired properties. However it then defeat the logic of normal existing way.....
     
  8. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    I have questioned the logic of the three omni claimed by Christians and also the Personal and Eternality aspect, and the answer is just what I have learned and concluded. So basically, this philosophy page is just a very challenging testing of faith versus your normal daily experience logical reasoning conclusion regarding the existence of a 'God'.

    This is very frequently brush aside by Christians with simple answer such as human being limited wisdom can never understand God's infinite knowledge.:biglaugh:



    Good post, frubals to you, Fluffy.
     
  9. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    Does your god deserve to be called god?

    Nope. Because my view is so very different it is unfair for me to refer to my concept of "god" as God. I wouldn't want to limit that concept with existing preconceptions. When I speak of "god", I do so only so folks will have an idea of what I am babbling about. Terms of reference, really.
     
  10. Fluffy

    Fluffy A fool

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    The being who I call Jesus, the god or the goddess is more powerful, more loving and more knowledgeable than myself. However, I do not believe that she is "omni" any of these things because the inherent problems with reconciling these things with the universe as is. Saying that she is able to do the illogical does not resolve these difficulties. However, I do not feel that on this alone, she deserves the title of god. I am arguably more powerful, more loving and more knowledgeable than my cat but this does not make me a god. Even if we increase the degree to which all of these are true, at no point will I reach a difference wherein I could be described as a god to a particular other entity.

    Fluffy
     
  11. Feathers in Hair

    Feathers in Hair World's Tallest Hobbit

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    How dare they?! :149:

    (But maybe now you know how it feels when those of us who percieve god as primarily feminine feel every day? *grin*)
     
  12. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    You have my vote on that Feathers.
    In the most literal sense, to my pea-brain, God can only be described as an "It"... as female, male distinctions have so little real meaning. Male/female distinctions are highly egotistical symbols, that fortunately, have no bearing on reality, or so it would seem to this infidel. An "It" can do or be anything, a male or female cannot.

    Sadly, it is harder to cozy up to an "it" than to the mommy's and daddy's of our religious thought. That mode of thought make us all warm and fuzzy, and so we easily relate, thereby allowing them to treat us a toddlers before their divinity.

    Oh well, at least some are not fooled.
     
  13. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    I tend to agree with nutshell on this. It is relating to Man's knowledge and limitations, Not taking into account that we, man, are not the greatest thing there is. I was disappointed into the lack of thought that actually went into their answers.
     
  14. pandamonk

    pandamonk Active Member

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    Please explain in what way you find their arguments infantile and obviously inconsistent.

    What is wrong with these arguments:

    So why is there all this suffering? If God cannot prevent it, it would seem she is not all-powerful. If God doesn't want to stop it, it would seem she is not all-loving. If God doesn't know about it, she can't be all-knowing. The only logical conclusion being that because suffering or evil exists, God does not.

    If perfectly free, then God could choose whatever she wants. Nothing could stop this because God is omnipotent. But this God is also all-loving. It seems to the engineers that such a God could never choose to do something which is unloving. It is not that God just chooses not to do such things, rather that God's nature as omnibenevolent constrains what she can do. In other words, God does not have the freedom and/or the power to do something unloving.

    The laws of physics do not seem to require that the universe has anything outside of itself to continue to exist. Therefore, they can't quite see what kind of evidence it would be possible to point to in order to come to the belief that God is required for the universe to continue.

    Personal relationships appear to depend on a number of things. Sufficient similarity between the persons in the relationship is one. Another is that both are persons, or are, at least, person-like, as some higher primates, for example, appear to be. The problem is that in our universe there seem to be no genuine personal relationships between things of great difference. And God, as you have described her(or him), is vastly different from human beings.

    Can God do the logically impossible? If you think he can, it is up to you to explain how. But I suspect that you wont be able to as you will need to do with the use of logic, or none of us will understand.

    When your God created the universe, being all-knowing, she(or he) must have known about all the suffering there would be in this world. Yet God still created it, as it is. She(or He) did not create a more benign version of the universe, or simply choose not to create the universe. Why is this?

    God exists through all space and time. But according to our best physics, space and time exist only within the confines of a universe. This would seem to constrain God's existence to within a universe. You could mean that God exists "outside" space and time. But the metaphysical engineers find it hard to understand what you mean by "eternally", if that's the case. Doesn't the concept "eternally" require some notion of time to make sense?


    Please explain what is infantile and obviously inconsistent about these arguments
     
  15. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

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    i didn't need to read there ways of getting round the problems they threw up, i was sat at my monitor almost shouting arguments at it :eek:
     
  16. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Same score as Popeye. PQ o.3


    The problem of suffering

    Your God is omnipotent (all-powerful, able to do anything), omnibenevolent (all-loving) and omniscient (all-knowing).

    The metaphysical engineers have found it hard to model this God in a universe like our own. The problem is this: our universe contains vast amounts of suffering, much of which seems either entirely unnecessary or unnecessarily severe. Although some of this is the result of human action, and thus may be seen as an inevitable consequence of human free will, much is not. Plagues, floods and famines are not all the result of human action. Even the idea that human free will explains the existence of much suffering is hard to accept, since God, if all-powerful, could surely limit our capacity to harm others or suffer at their hands (after all, there are many other limits on what we are able to do).

    So why is there all this suffering? If God cannot prevent it, it would seem she is not all-powerful. If God doesn't want to stop it, it would seem she is not all-loving. If God doesn't know about it, she can't be all-knowing.

    I guess I could answer them back - to point out why, to me, their logic is flawed.:D
     
  17. pandamonk

    pandamonk Active Member

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    Answer it in here, cause we're all (at least i am) dying to hear it.
     
  18. Fluffy

    Fluffy A fool

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    Its too much for one thread and I didn't really intend this thread for discussion of that site at all, I was just using it to exemplify my point. I would like to debate the points as well but another thread is best I think.
     
  19. Radar

    Radar Active Member

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    I would think that some gods would like to be called by their name. Like Zeus, I think he would like to refered to as Zeus beside just a generic word like god. It would be like saying "hey you" in a crowd of people.
     
  20. turk179

    turk179 I smell something....

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    I got a Plausibility Quotient of 0.9. They say that my god is very plausible. How the heck did that happen? For the longest timeI myself had a hard time believing that it was plausible.:D
     
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