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Author Topic: The first _good_ argument for god  (Read 10202 times)
Valaggar Redux
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2007, 06:03:49 pm »

Hm... I'd say that something exists if it could be witnessed with a theoretical, boundless measuring tool. With this general definition, everything I imagine exists in some form, because one could witness it in my brain.

Besides the impracticality of your definition, what constitutes a "theoretical, boundless measuring tool"? A tool which can tell you what exists and what doesn't with 100% accuracy?
(Also, you should use "if and only if" and not just "if" because a definition needs to be both necessary and sufficient)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2007, 06:09:55 pm by Valaggar Redux » Logged
Elvish Pillager
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2007, 06:22:11 pm »

If I understand correctly, you're defining space as the sum of the locations of all particles (relative to one another), rather than some different physical entity that may or may not contain particles.
I'm not. I'm not defining space, it would be a significant effort do come up with a definition for it, and if I did, that wouldn't be it.
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2007, 06:22:39 pm »

Hm... I'd say that something exists if it could be witnessed with a theoretical, boundless measuring tool. With this general definition, everything I imagine exists in some form, because one could witness it in my brain.

exist - as defined above
So how do you know that your measuring tool exists?

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intelligent - able to produce thought
Define "thought".

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know - realize that a true statement is indeed so
Define "realize".
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2007, 08:13:42 pm »

Besides the impracticality of your definition, what constitutes a "theoretical, boundless measuring tool"? A tool which can tell you what exists and what doesn't with 100% accuracy?

Yes, a tool that could measure anything with no limit or error, a sensor that could sense God. Anything this tool *smells* exists; anything else does not. I realize that picking such an imaginary tool seems to be "too convenient", but this is just a definition we're talking about. It's not meant to be practical, only accurate.

So how do you know that your measuring tool exists?

I don't... It's just an abstract definition for an abstract concept.

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Define "thought".
Define "realize".

I knew you'd say that... Will this ever end? Cry

thought - err... high-level data processing? Let's just require an intelligent being to be able to ask questions.
realize - be certain that something is true.
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2007, 03:38:00 am »

So how do you know that your measuring tool exists?
I don't... It's just an abstract definition for an abstract concept.
Ok... so your definition needs someone to be able witness it. So if no intelligent being (whatever that is) exists (whatever that is), nothing else would exist either, by your definition.
And some fun cases: Does the number "2" exist? Does "fear" exist? Does "blue"? How about "a hole"?

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Define "thought".
Define "realize".
I knew you'd say that... Will this ever end? Cry
Nope, this is philosophy.

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thought - err... high-level data processing? Let's just require an intelligent being to be able to ask questions.
My computer asks me questions all the time. "Where do you want to install this program?"
Are you sure you want to include my computer in your definition? It's not running Windows, but still.

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realize - be certain that something is true.
Define "be certain". It involves some kind of thought process, so I suspect you still need to define "thought".
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2007, 09:18:16 am »

Ok... so your definition needs someone to be able witness it. So if no intelligent being (whatever that is) exists (whatever that is), nothing else would exist either, by your definition.

I disagree. That's only needed in order to actually find out what exists and what doesn't, not in order to define the word "exists".

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And some fun cases: Does the number "2" exist? Does "fear" exist? Does "blue"? How about "a hole"?

I would say these things exist whenever a person fears something, something reflects the m/colou?r/ blue, or there is a hole somewhere. Our omni-sensor would detect all these things.

Of course, it's also a matter of how you specifically define them. "Blue" could be based on how the human eye perceives light, a hole could be defined with certain geometrical criteria, etc.

If you think of 2 as a quantity of objects, then it might indeed not "exist" (though that specific quantity is easy to find). I suppose this would mean that quantities with an imaginary part do not exist. And perhaps most "real" quantities too, unless there are no fundamental particles or something. I'm not good at m/maths?/. Tongue

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Nope, this is philosophy.

But don't any of these definitions bring you closer to seeing my point?

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My computer asks me questions all the time. "Where do you want to install this program?"
Are you sure you want to include my computer in your definition? It's not running Windows, but still.

How about...
Devises questions out of curiosity?
Able to learn through m/analy[zs]ing/ patterns of any kind?

(And at least Windows does not require its users to go through this. Tongue)

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Define "be certain". It involves some kind of thought process, so I suspect you still need to define "thought".

I wouldn't say it requires thought when you're already certain of something. Definition: unconditionally believe in something. I suppose now you'll want me to define "belief"...

I really don't see the point in all this. I didn't say anything shocking, only that if you are wondering whether you exist or not, then you are indeed wondering whether you exist or not.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 11:42:02 am by alephresh » Logged

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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2007, 12:32:25 pm »

A character in a novel can also wonder whether they exist or not, but they still aren't wondering whether they exist or not because they don't exist.

Also, you're trying to define thought using other words that are practically synonyms. Try defining it in terms of the material interactions on the brain.

Meep-Eep: I was expecting you to ask him to define "question". Tongue
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2007, 04:12:52 pm »

Intelligence isn't that hard to define.

If it processes information, it's either intelligent, or the product of intelligence. So intelligence is defined by the ability to process information.

SO how do we define information?

Wiki:"Information is the result of processing, gathering, manipulating and organizing data in a way that adds to the knowledge of the receiver. In other words, it is the context in which data is taken."

ANd we define data is anything in our known universe that can be detected, energy,matter, time space by a biological entity.
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2007, 04:18:02 pm »

Defining information, hmm? It's probably harder to define the act of "processing" it.
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2007, 05:29:16 pm »

A character in a novel can also wonder whether they exist or not, but they still aren't wondering whether they exist or not because they don't exist.

According to my definitions, the character does exist: it's a character in a novel. But I disagree that it can wonder - it can only be described as doing so.

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Also, you're trying to define thought using other words that are practically synonyms. Try defining it in terms of the material interactions on the brain.

Which words do you mean? And I didn't want to limit myself to the human brain, nor do we know that much about it anyway...

If it processes information, it's either intelligent, or the product of intelligence.

Yeah, that's why I said "high-level data processing". But "high-level" needed explanation too, so I added the pattern thingie.
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2007, 07:45:14 pm »

If it processes information, it's either intelligent, or the product of intelligence. So intelligence is defined by the ability to process information.

That definitiion is intrinsically false, because it makes an assumption about what's at the core of this debate: The existence of a higher intelligence. If anything that processes information is intelligent or the product of it, then by this definition it must have either been created by something intelligent, or simply exists as an intelligent being with no explanation (AKA: God, and let's not mince words over the definition of existence right now). Your definition starts with an assumption on which side of this discussion is "correct," and is thus biased and unusable.
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #41 on: December 17, 2007, 09:13:37 pm »

A character in a novel can also wonder whether they exist or not, but they still aren't wondering whether they exist or not because they don't exist.
Granted, the character who exists can't wonder. The person who doesn't, can.
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2007, 11:00:08 pm »

If anything that processes information is intelligent or the product of it, then by this definition it must have either been created by something intelligent, or simply exists as an intelligent being with no explanation (AKA: God, and let's not mince words over the definition of existence right now).

He didn't say "with no explanation". Apparently natural selection can do the trick.

Granted, the character who exists can't wonder. The person who doesn't, can.

Strictly speaking, I disagree: they can't wonder because they don't exist. (To do is to exist.)
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2007, 11:18:09 pm »

If anything that processes information is intelligent or the product of it, then by this definition it must have either been created by something intelligent, or simply exists as an intelligent being with no explanation (AKA: God, and let's not mince words over the definition of existence right now).

He didn't say "with no explanation". Apparently natural selection can do the trick.

Except that would be intelligence emerging from a non-intelligent source, and thus falls outside of the definition.
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2007, 11:33:52 pm »

If it processes information, it's either intelligent, or the product of intelligence. So intelligence is defined by the ability to process information.

That definitiion is intrinsically false, because it makes an assumption about what's at the core of this debate: The existence of a higher intelligence. If anything that processes information is intelligent or the product of it, then by this definition it must have either been created by something intelligent, or simply exists as an intelligent being with no explanation (AKA: God, and let's not mince words over the definition of existence right now). Your definition starts with an assumption on which side of this discussion is "correct," and is thus biased and unusable.

No, no.. It's a scientific observation. Whenever we witness the processing of information it's cause is always, without exception, intelligence or intelligence derived.  There are no known material, natural forces in our universe that process information or produce somthing that can process information. At least not that we are aware of. That doesn't mean there are not theories to the contrary, I'm just sticking with scientific observation of cause and effect. What we know tommorow.. Well we'll just have to wait and see. Smiley
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