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Passions in Poetry

How can omniscience exist independently of a predetermined future?

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Ron
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25 posted 02-26-2002 11:04 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron



If the future is predetermined, Allan, wouldn't that be even more true of the past? You made your choices, they can't be changed? Therefore, everything you just wrote was forced upon you by time. It's not even your own thoughts, but was the result of everything that went before it. It was predetermined. No free will.

Geesh, you started out trying to disprove omniscience and ended up showing us there's no free will. How's that for a touch of irony?    

Forget all about past and future, Allan. Forget about Now. Think outside the box. You're already accustomed to moving through three-dimensional space, freely and without restriction. Indeed, there's every mathematical reason to believe that your very movement through space (acceleration) determines your relative time. If you could go fast enough, time would effectively stop for you (though not your perception of it). Go even faster (or do it within a sufficiently intense gravitational field), and time reverses its flow. We've known the math for a hundred years. We've seen it in action countless times, if only on a micro scale. And it's still completely non-intuitive, a truth so far removed from our every day experience as to be invisible to us. But, still, it is a truth. Time is not limited to what we perceive.

There's a delightful book called Flatland, by Edwin A. Abbott, that details a mathematical fantasy about life in a two-dimensional world. The inhabitants of this world are unable to even think about the possibility of moving in a third dimension. Imagine living on a piece of paper, unable to perceive anything outside that tiny world. Now, imagine someone pressed their finger against that paper. What you would perceive would be something miraculously appearing, not from the left, nor from the right, not from any direction you could perceive. Very, very non-intuitive. You should see if you can find a copy, Allan.

Or just watch a couple episodes of Star Trek?    

No one really knows, of course, whether past or future exist as entities, as destinations we might one day visit. The math is there, but the power source is very elusive. When you walk down a hallway you don't normally think in terms of what's behind you, what's in front of you, or give any special significance to that point where you currently stand. If time turns out to not be a one-way street, then the terms "past" and "future" and "present" really won't have any more meaning than those corresponding spots in the hall.

Of course, that's where things will really get messy. I see no conflict with omniscience and free will as long as I'm on only one side of that fence. Straddling that fence changes things, and the thought of knowing what I'm going to do before I do it gives me a headache. But then, as I think Brad pointed out, that's where you've been trying to be all along.

(Adding or subtracting one from infinity is still infinity, not a circle. Maybe you're think of pi?)    


Allan Riverwood
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26 posted 02-26-2002 11:21 PM       View Profile for Allan Riverwood   Email Allan Riverwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Allan Riverwood

I'll take a look at it.  Thanks for the reference, Ron.  
Silver Streak
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27 posted 02-26-2002 11:24 PM       View Profile for Silver Streak   Email Silver Streak   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Silver Streak's Home Page   View IP for Silver Streak

Ron, I think you're getting closer to the truth. I have a theory that all time and space are concentrated at a single point and all of our perceptions are only frequencies emanating through a set of mirrors giving us our own perceptions. And that all information exists perfectly in frequency bands whereby everyone can know what everyone else knows in any time or space dimension, by receiving and decoding frequencies. And there is really only one life form, God, and we are all just little jig saw piece workstations, cells in God's body, which can peek into a very narrow band of frequencies. And as we do we can link thoughout God-space and select and filter the light energy from a very small portion of the God-space frequency band.

Given this were true, then omnicescience would allow all knowledge of all future determination. But then free choice only becomes free choice of observation not detemination.  And as we observe the illusion that we create, we think that we have free choice, and are fooled into thinking that what we perceive is what we are responsible for.  

Like I said, it's just theory.

Any comments?

-newell
    

Sharing God's Love through perfectlovepoetry.com

Copyright: 2002 Newell Elsworth Usher


[This message has been edited by Silver Streak (02-26-2002 11:25 PM).]

hush
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28 posted 02-27-2002 12:16 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I'm confused as how to actually see "thinking outside the box" as a reality. Yeah, I can imagine... instead of:

"Fifteen minutes ago I was writing a reply to a thread about adolescence. Now I am writing a reply to a thread about omniscience. In ten more minutes I will be turning off my computer and going to bed."

It would be:

"Fifteen minutes ago I am writing a reply to a thread about adolescence. Now I am writing a reply to a thread about omniscience. In ten more minutes I am turning off my computer and going to bed."

All happening at once. Hmm. But supposing that is a real possibility outside the real of speculative fiction, we suppose the scenario is possible from and point in time:

"Fifteen minutes prior to 12:13 AM EST I will be writing a reply to a thread about adolescence. At 12:13 AM EST I will be writing a reply to a thread about omniscience. Ten minutes past 12:13 AM I will be turning off my computer and going to bed."

Of course, the data left out in this version is, am I writing this at 12:02 AM EST? Tonight? A year ago? Obviously it's in the past, but with the knowledge of what will be happening in the future. I could use "was", and speak from the future, or screw things up more and say "will have been," and project myself into a future me who is reflecting on what has become the past.

I'm just trying to make this "outside of linear time" idea work in my brain, and it won't. If somebody doesn't mind toddling along with someone whose brain isn't quite as efficient with abstract (or maybe just inadequately explored?) ideas... could you clarify?

"Love is a piano
dropped from a four story window
and you were in the wrong place
at the wrong time." -Ani DiFranco

Ron
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29 posted 02-27-2002 02:06 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

hush, I've been thinking inside the box a whole lot longer than you have. I'm pretty much stuck in here, I'm afraid. Sometimes, I think Einstein was the only scientist truly able to get out of the box, or at least to lift the lid high enough to see past the obvious. Except he called them thought experiments. I think even Hawking, for all his mathematical genius, can't match Einstein's mental flexibility.

Part of the deficiency, of course, is language. Ignoring the trite, we can't seem to talk about people without referencing gender, and we can't talk about events without referencing time. But I don't know if we're limited BY language, or if language is limited because that's just the way we think. One of the nice things about mathematics is that there are no past participles to dangle and no present past tense to drop. Math is at once more and less descriptive, at once more and less imaginative. More, because it allows us to work in dimensions we can't possibly perceive, and less because it leaves little room for Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" or Silver Steak's "God-space frequency band."

Mathematically, we know it's possible to reverse the flow of time. Given sufficient energy (and we're talking about enough to make our sun look like a feeble match stick), we could travel into the past. So far, there's no corresponding math to move in the other direction, though quantum particles suggests there might be one someday. (The infamous quantum jump, moving from point A to point C without ever going through point B, is synonymous with time travel. But at a pretty miniscule level.) From a scientific standpoint, I can't be sure, but from an ascetic standpoint, I'm convinced the math will eventually happen. After all, if there's any discernible pattern to our Universe, it's symmetry. For every particle there's an anti-particle, for every spin there's a counter-spin, for every positive charge there's a negative charge, and I think for every past there must be a future. But maybe that's just the poet speaking.

I'm also convinced, however, that we will never go any farther than a mathematical understanding of time. We won't ever travel into the past, or the future, because the amount of energy required will always be prohibitive. But maybe that's just the skeptic speaking.

Omniscience, however, would have little trouble finding energy and even less utilizing it. And contrary as it might sound, that's the pragmatist speaking.


Silver Streak
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30 posted 02-27-2002 09:40 AM       View Profile for Silver Streak   Email Silver Streak   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Silver Streak's Home Page   View IP for Silver Streak

Ron, you say:

After all, if there's any discernible pattern to our Universe, it's symmetry. For every particle there's an anti-particle, for every spin there's a counter-spin, for every positive charge there's a negative charge, and I think for every past there must be a future. But maybe that's just the poet speaking.

Wow! Do I ever agree with this!!! And I believe it is the poet's responsibility to write about it all. And all truth is verifiable. And mathematics is the language of God's chosen poets.

This is why, in answer to some who think I am a religious freak, I shout with all of my being, NO! All doctrine is man-made to control us. Be free! Seek God in freedom of choice! Observe God's reality. skies, birds, dirt, bugs, plants, all matter, all imaginations, all thoughts. Use all SEVEN senses, sight, hearing,  touch, smell, taste, intuition, and Gifts from the Comforter, The Holy Spirit, promised by Christ to the Apostles, language, interpretation, knowledge, wisdom, and healing Remember the true message of Christ that goes with His Command, LOVE:

NIV Mathew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

And Passions and this forum is a wonderful place to do learn both Love and seeking.  

"I'm also convinced, however, that we will never go any farther than a mathematical understanding of time. We won't ever travel into the past, or the future, because the amount of energy required will always be prohibitive. But maybe that's just the skeptic speaking."

I respectfully disagree.  

I believe that all God's Power is available to us, through us, in Christ. And so in God through Christ we have free access to all God's energy to discover and enjoy all things. And matter is nothing more that converted energy. (Spirit Residue) As we are merely cells living in God awaiting the opening and cleansing of our windows to receive pure Love. And this is what true Salvation is all about. Seeking God in Love to receive gifts of all good things.

Silver Streak.

Sharing God's Love through perfectlovepoetry.com

Copyright: 2002 Newell Elsworth Usher


[This message has been edited by Silver Streak (02-27-2002 09:48 AM).]

Ron
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31 posted 02-27-2002 12:10 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
And all truth is verifiable.

Heisenberg would disagree. And therein, perhaps, lies the true secret of free will.

quote:
I believe that all God's Power is available to us, through us, in Christ. And so in God through Christ we have free access to all God's energy to discover and enjoy all things.

Then you just saved me about 20 minutes of typing. With that kind of power available to you, you already know my response.

Faith can never be dependent on logic. But I personally believe it need not be divorced from logic, either.
Silver Streak
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32 posted 02-27-2002 01:10 PM       View Profile for Silver Streak   Email Silver Streak   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Silver Streak's Home Page   View IP for Silver Streak

Your wisdom is showing! God bless you.
I love you, Ron.
((Ron))
-newell

Sharing God's Love through perfectlovepoetry.com

Copyright: 2002 Newell Elsworth Usher

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33 posted 02-27-2002 04:29 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

Allan,

You said, in part, "God already knows whether or not he will, however, so the choice is not his."

As Brad alluded to this I will only say that this sentence is the total fallacy of your argument.  

Knowledge by another has nothing whatever to do with one's choice as long as you do not know what the other knows.
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34 posted 02-27-2002 04:32 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

Ron,

If you want "thinking outside the box," read Napoleon Hill.  You might find it interesting
Silver Streak
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35 posted 02-27-2002 04:45 PM       View Profile for Silver Streak   Email Silver Streak   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Silver Streak's Home Page   View IP for Silver Streak

Allan, yesterday, in my impatience, I neglected to properly address some of your remarks. I apologize and will attempt to do so now.  

""and Silver Streak...

"Omniscience is man's term for an infinity of means. Infinity is another term invented by man for something beyond man's ability to understand."

If all worldly concepts are simply imperfect and unreliable conclusions of the flawed human logic, what makes you so accepting of the teachings of your doctrine? Whether you like it or not, those things all exist as concepts as well. While you propose that they exist "in reality", the concepts of them exist in your mind, they are human concepts.

So if you willingly reject inconvenient concepts due to unreliability, why do you so willingly accept anything you are taught from scripture? The scriptures were written by hands as human as yours. ""

End of Allan's quote.

You rightly point out that concepts are important.

And I believe that it is useful to work with two domains in the universe of our discourse. First we have the domain of truth which I call reality, which leads to spirit freedom. And secondly we have the domain of selfish illusion" The use of misinformation to create illusions for selfish purposes. This leads to an enslaving of spirits in man's bondage.
A loss of freedom.  

And life on earth, as I perceive it is a spirit living in a flesh (matter) container seeking a destiny being forced to choose between truth, and selfish illusion. Wallowing in bondage, searching for freedom and purpose. And the war of good and evil, I see is the war between freedom and selfish illusion.

And concepts, I believe are a gift from God, which help us visualize ways to look at Creative Wonders receiving magnificent joys and pleasures by receiving and relishing beautiful musical/poetic frequencies of Love and beauty, in full freedom of spirit.  

So, for the record, please understand that I do not accept any teaching of any doctrine. If you read my writings you will soon find that I suggest that all doctrine is flawed, written by men, and is always to be distrusted! I do however study many Scriptural writings and use many scriptural references to validate my hypotheses of understanding, and I freely use Scripture to illustrate, emphasize and complement my thoughts and writings in poetry.

I freely scan a half dozen versions of The Holy Bible, use translations of The Holy Qu'ran, Indian Poetry and writings by people known as Saints and Apostles of God from many sources. To a lessor degree I use writings of philosophers, scientists and men and women of notoriety. And on occasion I may even use sayings, off the street.

But I accept no works of man, no matter how inspired, or pure, the claim! The reason for this is obvious, If God's Word is Omniscient, as I hypothesize, no written human words in any one language, let alone a finite number, could ever accurately translate The Word in completeness and fullness. Infinite Wisdom cannot be forced into a finite space. Also, God is a loving God, as I hypothesize, and most doctrine is used counterproductively by men of cloth to control the minds and souls of man, placing women in bondage, teaching partitioning, hate and favoritism.  As Christ said, they are Pharisees! Vipers!

Secondly, I hypothesize that God is in all life, and have yet to find Scripture, which is inclusive of life forms beyond man. I view this as a necessary requirement to a full understanding of God.

So I fully believe that man's translated, though inspired works can only be a shallow bridge to God's Word. Although I do believe that man has access to God's Full Omniscient Word through what I call the seventh sense, God Sense, in the Holy Spirit spoken of as The Comforter, by Christ. And this Window opens to God's Power and Energy when a spirit (our real existence) is pure enough to receive clear reception.

And I believe that Jesus Christ was the flesh container for The Christ, God's Spirit of Love, which continues to live in all life forms, connecting all life forms together in a spiritually nurturing way as blood, cleansing and purifying God's Body of Life.

I believe that Scripture and much doctrine may have begun with inspiration received from The Holy Spirit, although man has always been quick to corrupt God's purity in True Words of God that would upset the bondage order of man's authority. As man seeks always to use his powers of selfishness to fulfill selfish desires in a world of illusion and deception.  And the churches are man's biggest allies in this ongoing deception. Although the vision of God's Candle of Light is carried and perpetuated by the churches.

So I do believe that concepts and tools of logic and mathematics are highly valuable provide we use them to search for truth and not misuse them to justify opinions that we selfishly cling to.

Forgive me if I came across differently.

Silver Streak.

Sharing God's Love through perfectlovepoetry.com

Copyright: 2002 Newell Elsworth Usher

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36 posted 02-27-2002 07:30 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

What you are talking about, in one word, is predestination. A topic that has been debated for centuries.

Let me see, from what I have read and from what I have been taught by christians is this...

1. The only way to be saved is by repenting from your sins, (which means to quit sinning), accept Christ as your saviour, become baptised with water, then the person will receive the Holy Spirit become born again, and then and only then will they become saved....

yet...

I read on here where christians welcome their Islam (among other religions) brothers and sisters...which therefore leads to them being either hypocrites or misinformed on their own religious dogma/doctrines.

Now God does predestine any person for the fiery torments of hell, yet how many people have died without ever having the chance to accept Jesus as their saviour?  

And yes, I have heard the counterarguments - at some point and time they had the chance or God will not hold them accountable, in which both of those arguments don't hold any water and can be refuted quite easily...

more later.
Brad
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37 posted 02-27-2002 08:31 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Not quite sure where this thread is going anymore (thought it was a philosophical point being made, not a doctrinal one).

Nevertheless, I would argue the exact opposite of this:

"1. The only way to be saved is by repenting from your sins, (which means to quit sinning), accept Christ as your saviour, become baptised with water, then the person will receive the Holy Spirit become born again, and then and only then will they become saved....

yet...

I read on here where christians welcome their Islam (among other religions) brothers and sisters...which therefore leads to them being either hypocrites or misinformed on their own religious dogma/doctrines."

--A Christian, as I understand it, would definitely accept Muslims as brothers and sisters.

--A Christian hypocrite would create an 'us v. them' situation.

--Or a Christian hypocrite would preach love of mankind but not practice it.

--I think this is Ron's point in Serenity's Alley thread: the confusion between people and individuals.

--Interestingly enough academic socialists, quite often, do the same thing. They stand for the working class, but when actually dealing with the working classes, they often become quite classist.

Brad
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38 posted 02-27-2002 09:34 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

This certainly does seem to have strayed way off topic, doesn't it, Brad? I confess that there is much in this thread that I can't even begin to fathom, but I can certainly understand Allan's question as I've heard it argued numerous times in the past, but I find that the basic premise of it is faulty. Foreknoweldge in no way interfere's with free will.

In the interest of not taking this further off topic, I will start a new thread to address some pressing issues on my heart.
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39 posted 03-02-2002 12:02 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Allan,

Interesting that you brought up omniscience...

I assert that anyone who claims to be an atheist must be omniscient.  You would have to know everthing in order to say with complete honesty "There is no God".  For isn't it possible that you having finite knowledge have missed him somewhere, or that he has hidden himself from you?  The more honest answer is "I don't know", which is basically the position of the agnostic.


But even the agnostic isn't quite as honest as seems.  His favorite saying is "God is unknowable".  But how can he know this unless he himself is omniscient?  He would have to be capable of entering the minds of every person who ever lived throughout the past, present, and future, and determine by direct experience that they did not know God.  And even if they did not, does this equate that they might not have?  

The best he can say here is "I do not know God".  Seeing that he is stripped of feigned knowledge concerning everyone else (including God)...  I interpret this ultimately as "I need God".  And this place of humility is the best place any of us can Get... I know it's true of me.


Perhaps more on the free will thing later.

Stephen .
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40 posted 03-02-2002 12:08 AM       View Profile for Allan Riverwood   Email Allan Riverwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Allan Riverwood

Stephanos

Nice argument... so because our knowledge is finite, we cannot disbelieve in the existence of God?  By your very logic, we cannot disbelieve in the existence of anything.  Nor can we truly believe in the existence of anything.

Human logic is inherently flawed, therefore any proposition made cannot be refuted or disproven.

I propose that the Invisible Hamburger-Man from the Abyss is real.  Now, using your human logic, can you disprove his existence?  No.

Does that mean you cannot disbelieve in him?  Of course it doesn't.

Nothing can be disbelieved 100%.  But that doesn't mean it can't be disbelieved.

~Allan

All images begin in mirrors and end inside our subconsious.
~Genesis P-Orridge, "Thee Reversal of Fate"

[This message has been edited by Allan Riverwood (03-02-2002 12:08 AM).]

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41 posted 03-02-2002 12:29 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Allan,


I never meant that you do not disbelieve in God...

I'm just trying to penetrate something... I think God has given much more credence to belief than the "hamburger man from the abyss".  The reasons to even suspect his existence are myriad.   It's funny isn't it that millions and millions believe in God (who are sane and intelligent), but not many believe in "hamburger man".  Just saying that to say there is a difference between the assertion of God's existence, and the absurdly implausible.  

Another point here... I myself know this to be true from personal experience ... No one wholly doubts God's existence.  The most rigid atheist doubts his doubts.   Sure these intimations of God may get calloused over and painted into a corner as the years go by... But they will always come out eventually in one form or another.   There is a deep and inescapable knowledge in every individual that we will face him.  You may say that I'm resorting to scare tactics, but it's just the truth.   I just believe that everyone knows...  Romans 1:19 bears this out, saying "what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them".  

That's why often my plea is not so much "Believe", as "Be honest".  Don't get me wrong, I do think the knowledge of God can be buried so deep that a person has decieved even himself... but this is a temporary situation with everyone.

Not trying to be rude or argumentative, becuase I was self deceived for a long time myself.  

Stephen.
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42 posted 03-02-2002 12:39 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Stephan,

That's just a strange way of looking at things. Initial assertions and assumptions are necessary for thought, not for God. You're confusing certainty and possibility.

Brad
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43 posted 03-02-2002 12:42 AM       View Profile for Allan Riverwood   Email Allan Riverwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Allan Riverwood

Yeah, "Scare Tactics" came to mind.  

Stephen, my example wasn't meant to be applied literally.  I meant theoretically, if you were to use the argument that you gave, you couldn't disprove the existence of anything proposed.  And that's isolating the argument that disproving of anything is impossible.  You can't use that argument to support any single standpoint above any other.

And as for your statement that everyone believes, deep down inside, in the existence of God?  Well, the thing is, there are people who aren't intelligent enough to realize that nothing is concrete.  Many atheists or agnostics lack the mental capacity or capability to doubt themselves, because they don't understand the concept of 100% sureness being an impossibility.

I don't agree that everyone is willing to doubt themselves, because not everyone knows that they should.

Furthermore, just because a notion is popular, doesn't mean I'm going to adapt to it.  Millions and millions of people worldwide are Christians, so how could they possibly all be wrong?  Well, millions and millions of people worldwide are also rascist and sexist.  It doesn't make it the most logical selection of lifestyle, nor does it even make either option seem more plausable.  

I'm intelligent enough to realize that I cannot be 100% sure of anything.  But that doesn't mean I should be skeptical of absolutely every aspect of my life.  

The reason I disbelieve is that I refuse to accept things as fact just because they are indesputable notions.  If you told me there was a dinosaur waiting outside of my house to eat me... despite the fact that I can neither prove nor disprove your statement, I would still disbelieve you.  

If there's room for reasonable doubt, I will make it.  If it outweighs reasonable proof, I will disbelieve.  That's just how it works, at least for me.

~Allan

All images begin in mirrors and end inside our subconsious.
~Genesis P-Orridge, "Thee Reversal of Fate"

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44 posted 03-02-2002 12:53 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

The whole issue of humanity's free-will and God's sovereignty has been wrestled with for centuries.  

Impossibly we have tried to comprehend the data of God (who BTW as Ron mentioned is not limited to time, as he created it) within a mortal mind.  So what do we get?  One or the other.  But God affirms both, his foreknowledge, and man's choice.  Two sides of a coin that we cannot hold in order to turn it...  So we see it as an enigma and have no understanding of it's worth.

Debates like this always have an underlying current leading somewhere else.  Not saying that this is the case here, but I've seen the Justice of God as the real issue.  If God is all-knowing and all sovereign, then he is to be blamed for all of this evil, and also for my rejection of him (denying my freewill).  Or if God was all-knowing why did he allow all of this bad stuff to happen?  Or He can't be all knowing in light of all humankind has done... so he's not really God. (denying his sovereignty).

Not saying this is the case here, but I have seen people more than ready to question his benevolence and goodness, but slow to question their own intents.

God is love, and if we could only see his perfect design (which we will someday) we would be at peace about his character, despite such mind-boggling questions.

(I still have to admit they can be great fun to ponder!)

Stephen.
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45 posted 03-02-2002 01:02 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad,

I'm talking on a couple of different levels here.  When I speak of assertions... yes I am speaking on the human plane of thought, reason, and concept.  But when I speak of everyone deep down believing in God... I am speaking of HIS work in the humanity that he created.  He has placed a seal of ownership in everyone.  This transcends "assertion".  He himself will confirm that He "is".  However, in our finite, imperfect, and sinful state, he condescends into to the realm of thought and reason, and urges us toward himself.  "Come let us reason together saith the LORD".  So yeah, I am dealing with "possiblity" in the mind of those not yet sure, but from the eternal mind of God, there is absolute "certainty".  

Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (03-02-2002 01:05 AM).]

Stephanos
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46 posted 03-02-2002 01:20 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Allan,

You said...

"Furthermore, just because a notion is popular, doesn't mean I'm going to adapt to it.  Millions and millions of people worldwide are Christians, so how could they possibly all be wrong?"


I wasn't even implying that you should believe in Christ because of numbers.  Actually most of the world at present doesn't believe.  I just mentioned the "millions" to contrast your example of a totally implausible assertion (the hamburger man from hades) with that of God.  Very few believe in this hamburger man and those who do are incarcerated.
I never urge anyone to believe just because others do... You must know it's true for yourself... we are in agreement here.


You also said...

"the thing is, there are people who aren't intelligent enough to realize that nothing is concrete.  Many atheists or agnostics lack the mental capacity or capability to doubt themselves, because they don't understand the concept of 100% sureness being an impossibility."


First of all,  I don't believe this statement... that nothing is 100% knowable.  I've heard it many times, but I see no basis to actually believe it.  First of all if nothing is knowable, then doubt is cast on the fact that "nothing is knowable".  How are you so sure that "nothing is 100% sure".  If that's true, then it's probably not true.  I know the lame sort of answers that come... well we can be 99.94% sure like Ivory Soap.  Well isn't that saying the same thing as 100%?  This type of thinking is more widespread in recent years.  And there are many intelligent men and women who don't believe it.  

Here's one for you...  Don't you know for certain that you exist Allan?

Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (03-02-2002 01:22 AM).]

Allan Riverwood
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47 posted 03-02-2002 12:15 PM       View Profile for Allan Riverwood   Email Allan Riverwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Allan Riverwood

quote:
First of all if nothing is knowable, then doubt is cast on the fact that "nothing is knowable".  How are you so sure that "nothing is 100% sure".  If that's true, then it's probably not true.


Probably not true?  Try possibly not true.  Just because something is possibly not true, doesn't mean that we can't believe it for ourselves.  

quote:
For isn't it possible that you having finite knowledge have missed him somewhere, or that he has hidden himself from you?


You say this of God like it's not true of anything else.  The impossibility of 100% sureness goes far beyond just God.  What we see in the world is a product of our own interperetation of sensory stimulus, which means that everything that we see and hear is translated in our brain.

And the human brain is imperfect.  Were it perfect, all of our brains would have to be identical (as to differ from perfection is to be imperfect).  Basically, human reasoning is flawed.  And as such, no, we can't be 100% sure even that we exist.  

There is no such thing as absolute sureness, except for in people too idiotic to doubt themselves.

~Allan

All images begin in mirrors and end inside our subconsious.
~Genesis P-Orridge, "Thee Reversal of Fate"

[This message has been edited by Allan Riverwood (03-02-2002 12:16 PM).]

Brad
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48 posted 03-02-2002 08:59 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Allan and Stephan,

Guys, play nice. No doubt everyone knows that I side with Allan in this, but I have to point out that Stephan is not idiotic and he's absolutely sure of his beliefs.

Allan,

We are taking a position but there are people smarter than you or I (and smarter than you and I combined) who absolutely believe in absolute certainty.

The weakness of our position is that we can't simply assert we are right (because that would be a contradiction); no, the only thing we can do is keep talking, keep looking, keep thinking that there might be something better out there. The only way we can do this is to apply it and see what happens.  

It's easy to throw this into the mix (the against certainty argument), it's hard to keep it up.

Brad
Stephanos
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49 posted 03-04-2002 12:35 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Thanks Brad,

that needed to be said.  I appreciate the honesty.


Allan,

I never said I didn't doubt anything.  I just don't doubt everything.  I do believe in absolute certainty.  It is possible, and in the pragmatic sense, inevitable.  You can say from some philosophical/ metaphysical standpoint that nothing is certain, but as you yourself said, you don't live that way.  You at least "pretend" that some things are certain for practical reasons.  But what I am saying turns this concept... I believe there are things that you believe absolutely  (your own existence being one example), but you "pretend" it isn't absolutely certain only in a metaphysical sense.  But You see that this is completely theoretical.  Never do you practically doubt your existence in every day life... do you?  And logic says that for you to doubt your existence, you MUST exist.  Any argumentation against this is merely metaphysical pedantics... no matter how "enlightened" it sounds.  If we disagree here, this is no big thing... I am still glad you practice day to day as if you surely believed certain things to be true.


The subject of God comes to this in my mind...  If a life preserver is thrown to you while drowning,  I don't think you will doubt the need of it, much less the existence of it.  God is kind of like this ... it is not ridiculously implausible that he may exist  (to some it is quite implausible, even unthinkable that he does not), so when a moment of spiritual crisis arises, and the need for salvation presents itself (and it will for everyone), he is sometimes called upon and sought.  And it has been the testimony of many that he turned out to be very real indeed.  

And yet this is a matter of faith... until he is revealed to a person's heart by faith, he remains a stumbling block, an enigma, and something to be shunned.  But the testimony of God's reality is merely a witness to the truth by those who have seen it.  I can no sooner prove God to you than make the moon disappear by wishing it to be gone.  Even logic cannot prove God to anyone.  Though I believe that logic lends to the credence of God's existence, the best it can do is make it seem worthy of serious consideration... to suggest it is plausible.  That's why Christianity is ultimately based upon faith and then revelation.  A revelation that will be given for those who honestly seek (with no self-dictation) the truth.  


Jesus says to Peter "Who do you say that I am?".  Peter answers "The Christ, the son of the living God".  Jesus replies, "Blessed are you Peter... for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you".

Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (03-04-2002 12:41 AM).]

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