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Author Topic: The first _good_ argument for god  (Read 10254 times)
Elvish Pillager
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #45 on: December 17, 2007, 11:36:33 pm »

Strictly speaking, I disagree: they can't wonder because they don't exist. (To do is to exist.)
Well, sure, they can't do it from our frame of reference. From their frame of reference, they do exist, and they can wonder.
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #46 on: December 18, 2007, 02:01:34 pm »

So what is this relative existence, actually? Every definition of it I can think of implies some kind of absolute existence.

1. X exists with reference to Y if and only if Y exists (in an absolute reference frame). Which is merely a different way of expressing a biconditional.

2. X exists with reference to the conscious agent Y if and only if X is a figment of the imagination of Y. What does the "is" mean, though? It can't refer to relative existence, because this is the very concept we're defining. Therefore, it can only refer to absolute existence. That is, products of imagination do have absolute existence.

intelligence is defined by the ability to process information

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

You should give a better definition for "information". "Information is the result of processing, gathering, manipulating and organizing data in a way that adds to the knowledge of the receiver" implies an intelligent being (the receiver), and since you defined intelligence as the ability to process information (the ability of acting as a receiver for information), you have thus entered the otherworldly realm of circular logic.

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.

Hee-llooo!? To exist is to be detectable by a tool that can tell whether or not something exists? Isn't your definition *a little* circular?
« Last Edit: December 18, 2007, 02:17:41 pm by Valaggar Redux » Logged
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #47 on: December 18, 2007, 03:10:33 pm »

Except that would be intelligence emerging from a non-intelligent source, and thus falls outside of the definition.

Doesn't the "it's either intelligent" part imply that intelligence does not have to be created by intelligence?

The problem with his definition is that it implies computers are intelligent... Tongue

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.

But there are... natural selection. Evolution is merely a "chaotic" product of the laws of physics.

Strictly speaking, I disagree: they can't wonder because they don't exist. (To do is to exist.)
Well, sure, they can't do it from our frame of reference. From their frame of reference, they do exist, and they can wonder.

My point is that not only does that person not exist, but also their ability to wonder. Hence "a character in a novel can wonder" does not imply that any actual wondering is possible.

That is, products of imagination do have absolute existence.

My point exactly, they exist as products of imagination.

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Hee-llooo!? To exist is to be detectable by a tool that can tell whether or not something exists? Isn't your definition *a little* circular?

That's not exactly what I actually said. Tongue But I've come up with a better definition: "That which can be described, exists."
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #48 on: December 18, 2007, 05:31:13 pm »

The new "that which can be described, exists" definition is way too broad. I can describe, say, a black whiteness. That is, I can say "X is a black whiteness". Yet "black whiteness" does not exist. Or, even better, I can also describe a valaggosaurus as "a giant reptiloid being with two sockpuppets and posting diarrhea", yet that doesn't mean that valaggosauri truly exist. I can describe an infinity of things, yet that doesn't mean that all of them exist. I can describe a set of mutually exclusive things, yet they can't all exist by definition.

Yes, all these things exist as concepts, but that's a different thing altogether. Your definition is not sufficient.

(Another, weaker criticism would be that it is possible that there are things that exist, yet can't be described. Things that cannot be comprehended. Thus, your definition might not be necessary)
« Last Edit: December 18, 2007, 05:35:30 pm by Valaggar Redux » Logged
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #49 on: December 18, 2007, 05:47:43 pm »

But a valaggasaurus does exist. It is a product of your imagination. By the logic that ANYTHING exists at all, so too must ideas and theories.
If they don't exist, why would anything else exist? Or maybe ideas exist and we don't.

No one has any solid evidence that ideas do or do not exist, nor is there
any evidence that anything we percieve exists. There is no evidence that we exist. It is theoretically possible that we are not having this discussion at all, because we aren't there to have it.

The entire universe could actually be just the dream of a parasite living in a chinchilla's left nostril. But maybe that parasite doesn't exist and is actually the dream of a drunken valaggasaurus. And on and on it goes..
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #50 on: December 18, 2007, 07:14:07 pm »

Yes, all these things exist as concepts, but that's a different thing altogether.

I disagree. A "valaggosaurus" does not exist in the way you described it, but it still exists as a product of your imagination - hence you were able to describe it.

It is theoretically possible that we are not having this discussion at all, because we aren't there to have it.

How could you possibly be discussing the existence of this discussion without it existing?

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The entire universe could actually be just the dream of a parasite living in a chinchilla's left nostril.

No way. I can't say anything about you guys, but between me and me, I know that I really am conscious. It is possible, however, that I am that parasite having that dream. Undecided
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #51 on: December 18, 2007, 07:50:53 pm »

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A "valaggosaurus" does not exist in the way you described it, but it still exists as a product of your imagination - hence you were able to describe it.
How do you know that a valaggosaurus doesn't exist? Perhaps there are armies of them roaming around on a strange planet somewhere in another dimension, or even in a different solar system. Have you been to every nook and cranny of the universe on a holy quest for valaggosauri?

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How could you possibly be discussing the existence of this discussion without it existing?

Wouldn't that depend on what you believe exists and what doesn't?

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I can't say anything about you guys, but between me and me, I know that I really am conscious.
Do you know that for certain or do you simply believe you do?
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #52 on: December 18, 2007, 09:19:17 pm »

Whether multiple "dimensions" exist or not is beyond the scope of this. The idea is that I can also describe things that cannot possibly exist (things that violate the laws of logic, for example); I can even describe, say, "a red dog that is sitting right now in front of me". But my senses don't tell me that there is indeed a dog there. Yes, it's possible that my senses are fooling me, but, if we accept alephresh's definition, we'd have to make the unjustified logic leap that there is indeed such a dog there. We'd actually have to accept that everything we can conceive of, exists. This is why his definition doesn't work too well - it's a slippery slope.

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I disagree. A "valaggosaurus" does not exist in the way you described it, but it still exists as a product of your imagination - hence you were able to describe it.
Let's narrow the description of the valaggosaurus then. "a giant reptiloid being with two sockpuppets and posting diarrhea and which is an actual object - made of atoms - in the world".
It's describable, yet it doesn't necessarily exist. Not to mention that a dialethosaurus ("a 0.2 cm tall and 2 m tall reptiloid being which is both an animal and a non-animal") necessarily doesn't exist.
We can even describe things that don't exist by description: A no-saurus is a "reptilian creature that doesn't exist".
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #53 on: December 18, 2007, 10:15:30 pm »

How do you know that a valaggosaurus doesn't exist?

I assumed it doesn't for the sake of the argument. Tongue

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How could you possibly be discussing the existence of this discussion without it existing?

Wouldn't that depend on what you believe exists and what doesn't?

I'm not sure what you mean... Here's my reasoning:
1. It is not possible for you to perceive this discussion if you don't exist.
2. If you perceive this discussion, then it must exist in some form (e.g. your imagination).

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I can't say anything about you guys, but between me and me, I know that I really am conscious.
Do you know that for certain or do you simply believe you do?

I know that for certain, because I wouldn't be able to ponder it otherwise. We've gone through this already. Tongue

It's describable, yet it doesn't necessarily exist.

I disagree, you were describing an existing imaginary concept.
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #54 on: December 18, 2007, 11:42:57 pm »

I think, therefore I am.
Or do I just think that I am?
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #55 on: December 19, 2007, 04:53:56 pm »

Quote
1. It is not possible for you to perceive this discussion if you don't exist.
How do you know this to be true? Perhaps, somehow in some strange way, you and I do not exist, but our perceptions do exist. Things that do and do not exist do not necessarily need to be connected.
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2. If you perceive this discussion, then it must exist in some form (e.g. your imagination).
But what if things do not exist, but we can still percieve them?
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #56 on: December 19, 2007, 10:25:42 pm »

Perhaps, somehow in some strange way, you and I do not exist, but our perceptions do exist.

I feel fail to see how there could be perceptions without perceivers.

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But what if things do not exist, but we can still percieve them?

But to be perceived is by definition to exist (at least as an imagined thing).
« Last Edit: December 20, 2007, 10:39:21 am by alephresh » Logged

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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #57 on: December 20, 2007, 01:34:19 am »

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You should give a better definition for "information". "Information is the result of processing, gathering, manipulating and organizing data in a way that adds to the knowledge of the receiver" implies an intelligent being (the receiver), and since you defined intelligence as the ability to process information (the ability of acting as a receiver for information), you have thus entered the otherworldly realm of circular logic.

Hmm, you have a point. in hindsight, that isn't the best description for information because physicists often refer to information as a tangible thing that exists throughout the universe. For example, Stephen Hawking referring to information being lost or not inside a black hole. He refers to any data being information.

So there are three fundamental properties of our known universe, energy, matter and information. It's the ability to process information that defines intelligence or the product of intelligence. (and computers are the product  of intelligence alephresh Wink )
 
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #58 on: December 20, 2007, 09:21:53 am »

So now you're including physical information in your definition of information?
But a lot of things process information, and most of them are neither intelligent nor a product of any intelligent being. If a cold raindrop falls into a thermal spring, then the raindrop-spring system is going to process some information - more specifically, the spring is going to transfer some heat to the raindrop, thus "cutting" some information from the spring and "pasting" it to the raindrop.
Nearly every physical system processes information. Yet to call all of them "intelligent beings" would be to stray *a little* too much from what is generally accepted as "intelligence".
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Re: The first _good_ argument for god
« Reply #59 on: December 20, 2007, 11:28:51 am »

(and computers are the product  of intelligence alephresh Wink )

Oh, I see what you mean now. But still, your definition of intelligence (by the ability to process information) is too general, because it defines both intelligence and computers.

Anyway, it seems like "data processing" (or a "data processor") has to be defined as a whole, not by defining both words separately, because "data" (or "information") is only meaningful in the context of intelligence and computers. It is the fuel for data processing - any media which can be processed by a certain processor, i.e. its compatible input and memories.
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