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Nature of God

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Adito

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A trickster God?
« on: January 23, 2010, 05:36:33 pm »
I'd say there are many points were only uncertainty can be achieved in the arguments for or against the existence of God. Generally these gaps are bridged on the theist side with trust/faith. But I'm curious whether there's a response to the following argument.

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2010/01/based-on-this-argument-alone-best-any.html

Has anyone really been far as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

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JohnBee

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A trickster God?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 12:24:37 pm »
Perhaps its at the most fundamental part of the issue that we assume that a being with the capacity and intelligence to create life(as advertised) couldn't possibly eprove to be so unstable as to trick humans into thinking he was good.  I mean... it doesn't really take much to assess that the very thought of such a thing under human conditions would quickly be dismissed as messed-up.

Having said that... the bible does a pretty good job of convincing people that God truly is good in nature and that he would have gone through great lengths to prove his righteousness and sovereignty as a just and loving creator.

So for me it's not just a matter of faith but a case of applied reasoning as well.



N.B. Trolls are neither interested nor committed to the truth!

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afunugsamongus

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A trickster God?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2010, 08:58:19 pm »
@johnB: your reasoning is very sloppy, really no better than faith. What do "the capacity and intelligence to create  life (as advertised)" have to do with stability? What does stability have to do with tricking humans? What does being "messed-up" have to do with truth? What does convincing people of God's goodness have to do with God's goodness?

I too am curious why Christianity is more plausible than "trickster-ism". I don't think you can get from "properly basic" beliefs to divine benevolence, but I'd love to see somebody attempt it.
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JohnBee

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A trickster God?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2010, 01:30:13 am »
afunugsamongus wrote: @johnB: your reasoning is very sloppy


Off the top of my head, I can think of three sloppy things that happen to be quite good.

Having said that... the article really doesn't seem to do much past the  following statement:
"For even if some kind of god exists the  believer has no reasonable way  to know anything about such a  god"


Having identified that, you can rest easy knowing that everything to come out of this would be nothing but classic textbook material. Which isn't exciting at all when you think about it.
N.B. Trolls are neither interested nor committed to the truth!

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brent arnesen

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A trickster God?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2010, 09:43:53 pm »
The believer really has no way of knowing, and the argument is sound.

Worse, God himself wouldn't even know if he were ultimately a trickster God.

There is no way God could know that he is omnipotent!  HE could believe it, and test it in every way possible, but always wonder if there was one test he wasn't thinking of.

He would then have to be open to the possibility that he is a trickster God, so devious that he had even fooled himself.
God is not maximally powerful if he lacks the ability to provide the proper evidence of His existence to me.  If I, a mere mortal, can overcome His desire to know me, then He is not God. God the Father? He's not apparent to me!

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Robert Harris

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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2010, 09:03:09 pm »
Because He came to this earth to die for our sins and in that He demonstrated His love for us.

We are sinners and need a savior. How is there anything tricky about this?

Who needs cable when you can watch Dr. Craig all day long on YouTube?
-ebeatworld

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afunugsamongus

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A trickster God?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2010, 01:44:33 am »
JohnB wrote: I can think of three sloppy things that happen to be quite good.
What are you talking about. Are you serious.

Because He came to this earth to die for our sins and in that He demonstrated His love for us.

We are sinners and need a savior. How is there anything tricky about this?
Santa Claus comes to your house every Christmas and he rewards you if you've been nice. We aren't all nice so we need incentives. How is there anything tricky about that?
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Matt

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A trickster God?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2010, 02:13:42 am »
One question that I have for religious believers is how they would distinguish between the following:

(1) An all-powerful deity created and guides the universe ultimately towards a good purpose;

and

(2) An all-powerful deity created and guides the universe ultimately towards an evil purpose, but have chosen to maliciously presented himself as benevolent to play a trick on created beings.


How could one refuse (2)? Only based upon one's religious beliefs that (1) must be true. The problem is that one's beliefs that (1) must be true could be part of the cosmic joke in scenario (2), and thus there is no real way to differentiate between (1) and (2) for a religious believer.


So the argument is that any argument for (1) equally functions as an argument for (2). This is basically asking, "what if the evidence is all a trick?" Juvenile tactic, if you ask me, and it doesn't spare empiricism either. The most obvious objection is that an argument for (1) does not function as an argument for (2), since, though the truth of (2) entails that apparent evidence for (1) ought to exist, for something to be evidence of the truth of (2) rather than (1) there would have to be evidence for the trick itself.

This seems in particular aimed at the moral argument, since most of the other arguments for God's existence don't say anything about His character.

So let's go with the moral argument, which reasons from the observable fact of moral values, to the conclusion that, since there must be some being whose will is the law that moral value consists in, that a perfectly good being must exist as moral values' source. Whatever this being's will is, it is what is moral. So, no matter what it wills, a God entity whose existence is proved by a Moral Argument cannot have evil designs on the universe. Therefore, scenario (2) is ruled out. Thus, this argument provides me with good reason to suppose that (1) exists and (2) does not.

I don't think, even in absence of a moral argument for God's existence, that this argument could succeed anyway, since a similar argument, asking "what if it's all a trick?" applies equally to all our epistemic faculties, resulting, if it's successful, in a crippling agnosticism about all the reliability of all of them. However, such an agnosticism removes our justification for such agnosticism, because the agnosticism is justified in the first place by the very faculties it affects. Therefore, since consistently applying this standard of agnostic doubt results in the undermining of the agnosticism itself, such a standard cannot be applied to anything.



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Robert Harris

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A trickster God?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2010, 07:13:15 am »
afunugsamongus wrote:
Quote from: JohnB
I can think of three sloppy things that happen to be quite good.
What are you talking about. Are you serious.

Because He came to this earth to die for our sins and in that He demonstrated His love for us.

We are sinners and need a savior. How is there anything tricky about this?
Santa Claus comes to your house every Christmas and he rewards you if you've been nice. We aren't all nice so we need incentives. How is there anything tricky about that?


Except he does not. Please be substantive.
Who needs cable when you can watch Dr. Craig all day long on YouTube?
-ebeatworld

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afunugsamongus

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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2010, 12:09:45 pm »
Since you missed the point I will spell it out for you. RobertH made claims about God's behavior and our nature without giving any evidence. I mocked this by giving analogous claims that are more obviously false. My post was itself a request for substantive argument.
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Robert Harris

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A trickster God?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 02:10:59 pm »
afunugsamongus wrote: Since you missed the point I will spell it out for you. RobertH made claims about God's behavior and our nature without giving any evidence. I mocked this by giving analogous claims that are more obviously false. My post was itself a request for substantive argument.


Your post failed on several accounts but since you do not even attempt to understand or actually dialogue I will spell it out for you. The reason your post was neither substantive or contributed in any way is because a) there are reasons for God, b) people try to defend those reasons, c) Santa has nothing to do with these discussions, d) using him as an analogy shows that you are not even trying.

At least pretend to care.
Who needs cable when you can watch Dr. Craig all day long on YouTube?
-ebeatworld

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afunugsamongus

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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2010, 06:51:26 pm »
@SilentMatt: a quick glance at our other discussions reveals the frailty of the moral argument. Inference from felt values to an external (not to mention personal and perfectly good) source, is totally illogical. A metaphysically cheaper explanation, of moral feelings as attitudes, undermines the whole affair. Our epistemological faculties (5 senses + memory) form a mutually supportive structure which explains all moral, aesthetic, and logical phenomena. No combination of these latter 'perceptions' begins to explain the 5 senses or memory. God is susceptible to doubts from which our perceptual faculties are immune.
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Matt

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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2010, 08:17:29 pm »

Inference from felt values to an external (not to mention personal and perfectly good) source, is totally illogical.

Just like inference from felt perception to an external world is illogical, right? Or the inference from the apparent logicality of certain statements to an external, objective reality to which that appearance refers, is also totally illogical, yes?

A metaphysically cheaper explanation, of moral feelings as attitudes, undermines the whole affair.


Close examination of the notion of moral oughts quickly dispels this, I feel. When one says that one ought not to do something, one means something very different from having some attitude towards that thing. You have to sacrifice part of the meaning of the notion to jam it into a naturalistic explanation.

The question is whether this intuition has a referent, and I see no reason to suppose that it doesn't which does not equally destroy my trust in my logical or perceptive faculties.

Our epistemological faculties (5 senses + memory) form a mutually supportive structure which explains all moral, aesthetic, and logical phenomena.


You have to at least assume belief in the genral reliability of your logical faculties in order to justify anything at all. The structure is built on logic, it does not justify logic. If there are such basically trustworthy faculties, why not admit conscience, which seems similar?

No combination of these latter 'perceptions' begins to explain the 5 senses or memory.


Not sure what this means. Why should my moral sense have to explain my other senses to be justifiably part of my worldview?

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afunugsamongus

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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2010, 10:17:55 pm »
Just like inference from felt  perception to an external world is illogical, right? Or the  inference from the apparent logicality of certain statements to an  external, objective reality to which that appearance refers, is also  totally illogical, yes?
First of all I'd like to clarify a possible point of confusion: I deny that ethical and logical properties are directly sensed, leaving  open the possibility that they refer to or reflect some aspects of  reality.

Ordinary perceptions explain why you'd believe in moral perception even if there were no such thing; moral perception is superfluous in ethics and impotent elsewhere. So if we accept Occam's Razor as an axiom, then moral realism is illogical while ordinary perceptual realism is not.

Close examination of the notion of moral oughts quickly dispels this, I feel. When one says that one ought not to do something, one means something very different from having some attitude towards that thing. You have to sacrifice part of the meaning of the notion to jam it into a naturalistic explanation.
Close examination of the notion of heat quickly dispels physics, I feel. When one says that fire is hot, one means something very different from describing vibrational motion of particles. You have to sacrifice part of the meaning of the notion to jam it into a physical explanation.

Lemme hammer out the skeleton of this analogy. Attitudes explain morality just as vibrations explain heat. A theory of moral facts is as empty and obsolete as caloric theory in physics: these extraneous concepts get Razored away because the entire explanatory burden is already carried by familiar, scientifically demonstrable concepts (attitudes, and vibrations). However, one may routinely and correctly moralize or use the notion of heat without understanding the true nature of underlying phenomena.

Your argument is ad populum, because you infer the truth of X from the fact that 'one' speaks as though X is true. Any number of people can believe X and speak as though X is true, when in fact they are all mistaken.

You have to at least assume belief  in the genral reliability of your logical faculties in order to justify  anything at all. The structure is built on logic, it does not justify  logic. If there are such basically trustworthy faculties, why not admit  conscience, which seems similar?
Occam's Razor. Ordinary sight/smell/etc. plus memory collectively explain the surface phenomena of logic and ethics. What evidence supports the hypothesis of direct perception?

The whole idea of "reliability of your logical faculties" presupposes the existence of logical perceptions which track real properties of the world. Logic is just a system for analyzing beliefs/statements; and using a system doesn't commit us to any perceptual explanation of that system. We happen to have wound up in a mental state containing that system, perhaps because it is a purely intellectual construct which suits our needs. Any acceptable explanation, of why we use logic, must be based on logic, but that's fine. Within the system we'd like to know how the system came about and what kind of system it is (in this case, perceptual or projected). Doubts about the reliability of logic do nothing for you, since they hurt the hypothesis of direct logical perception far more than they hurt logical projectionism.
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14

Matthew Young

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A trickster God?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2010, 07:04:48 am »

To say God is objectively evil is ridiculous. How could a being who preceded all and is more powerful, intelligent, and knowledgeable than all and who created all (but Himself) ever be deemed objectively evil? To say something is evil is to say it doesn't coincide with the moral standard by which it is measured. However, if the objective moral standard is God, then how could contingent beings ever claim that their maker is objectively wrong? Wrong by the standards of contingent beings? Good luck with that.