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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:14 am 
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Themis wrote:
Sure lets redefine God to something even more vague. :wink:


We're pretty vague about quantum gravity, and if there's a God then God made quantum gravity. Jumped-up apes who have to think with little lumps of grey meat kind of have to be vague about God.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:44 am 
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Physics Guy wrote:
Themis wrote:
Sure lets redefine God to something even more vague. :wink:


We're pretty vague about quantum gravity, and if there's a God then God made quantum gravity. Jumped-up apes who have to think with little lumps of grey meat kind of have to be vague about God.


Some are less vague then others, but I agree that ideas of God are just extensions of human thoughts and concerns. Looks like in the beginning Man created God.

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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:36 pm 
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That's not what I meant. My experience is that vagueness, crudeness, and clumsiness are features of human thoughts even when the human thoughts are trying to describe real things—and are succeeding well enough to be worthwhile.

If something seems obviously sensible, in contrast, that is often a sign to me that it is a fiction tailor-made to appeal to human intuition.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:53 pm 
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huckelberry wrote:
DoubtingThomas wrote:

Yea, but it seems to contradict the laws of logic.


What law of logic are you thinking of here?
,,,,,

I can add this sounds like an arithmetic problem. How can one person have one head two eyes ten fingers? How can you have one flag and three colors? these common illustrations do not explain the trinity itself but they do illustrate the arithmetic involved.


As you said the illustrations do not explain the trinity itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:38 pm 
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DoubtingThomas wrote:
huckelberry wrote:

What law of logic are you thinking of here?
,,,,,

I can add this sounds like an arithmetic problem. How can one person have one head two eyes ten fingers? How can you have one flag and three colors? these common illustrations do not explain the trinity itself but they do illustrate the arithmetic involved.


As you said the illustrations do not explain the trinity itself.


The Trinity is straightforward and logical.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:37 pm 
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huckelberry wrote:
The Trinity is straightforward and logical.


Watch "TRINITY (Christian God) Analogies DON'T work. Here's why..."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvj87QCF0lg

and read "Rules of Inference and Logic Proofs"
http://sites.millersville.edu/bikenaga/ ... rence.html

https://www.amazon.com/Logic-Discrete-M ... 1118751272


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:20 pm 
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Thomas, you said the Trinity contradicted the laws of logic so I asked how so. So far you have given me no clues. Yes it is clear analogies to not explain the Trinity. An egg is entirely unlike God. In fact nothing is exactly like God because there is only one God.

What do laws of proof have to do with it? Are you expecting a proof? The Trinity depends upon the idea that Jesus was divine. There is no way to prove that.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:08 pm 
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Most analogies that Christian apologists have introduced in connection with the Trinity are only supposed to show that something can be three in some sense while also being one in a different sense. The analogies are not supposed to show precisely the same senses of threeness and oneness that are involved in the Trinity.

The analogies work great for what they can do. It's obvious that threeness and oneness are not mutually exclusive if they are counting different things, and everything from a triangle made of three lines to a shamrock with three leaves is a fine illustration of that trivial fact. So to just say, "The Trinity is absurd because nothing can be both three and one" is itself absurd.

The main critique of the Trinity is not that it's an oxymoron but that it's meaningless, because nobody can pin down what specific kinds of threeness and oneness are supposed to be involved in the Trinity. With a triangle or a shamrock, we can see precisely how the threeness and oneness work. With the Trinity, not so much.

Worse still, most of the analogies that seem to come closest to making sense have been explicitly ruled out as heresies. For example, you can't say that God is like H2O and the three persons are like ice, water, and steam. That's the heresy of modalism.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Physics Guy wrote:
Most analogies that Christian apologists have introduced in connection with the Trinity are only supposed to show that something can be three in some sense while also being one in a different sense. The analogies are not supposed to show precisely the same senses of threeness and oneness that are involved in the Trinity.

The analogies work great for what they can do. It's obvious that threeness and oneness are not mutually exclusive if they are counting different things, and everything from a triangle made of three lines to a shamrock with three leaves is a fine illustration of that trivial fact. So to just say, "The Trinity is absurd because nothing can be both three and one" is itself absurd.

The main critique of the Trinity is not that it's an oxymoron but that it's meaningless, because nobody can pin down what specific kinds of threeness and oneness are supposed to be involved in the Trinity. With a triangle or a shamrock, we can see precisely how the threeness and oneness work. With the Trinity, not so much.

Worse still, most of the analogies that seem to come closest to making sense have been explicitly ruled out as heresies. For example, you can't say that God is like H2O and the three persons are like ice, water, and steam. That's the heresy of modalism.


Physics Guy, Meaningless??
Perhaps if you are looking for a biological or physics explanation it provides zero information. After all we have zero biological or physics information about God to start with.

Perhaps Nicene creed can remind that the Trinities meaning lies in the relations of the persons to us and to each others. Atonement by Jesus has limited meaning if Jesus is not understood as God suffering for our sins. If Jesus is just a superior person the atonement turns into that ugly cartoon of a father punishing son Billy because son John drove the car into the garage door. With the Trinity the atonement is God taking on the portion of restitution which is beyond human capacity. (the father in the analogy pays for the garage door and fixing the car)

I can go along with lets not modal. I doubt that a perfectly clear dividing line between Orthodox and modal can be made. I am also unaware of a reason to worry about that.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:13 pm 
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I don't find the Trinity meaningless. I'm just saying that that's the significant criticism, that it's really just an insistence on certain words without any way of unpacking them into any particular meaning that isn't some kind of heresy.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:27 pm 
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Physics Guy wrote:
I don't find the Trinity meaningless. I'm just saying that that's the significant criticism, that it's really just an insistence on certain words without any way of unpacking them into any particular meaning that isn't some kind of heresy.


What do you think about the claim that God is outside space and time? You are a physicist, can you please explain to us how (theoretically) a God can exists outside of time?


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:59 pm 
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huckelberry wrote:

What do laws of proof have to do with it? Are you expecting a proof? The Trinity depends upon the idea that Jesus was divine. There is no way to prove that.


I Jesus is God
II The Father is God
therefore ,
Jesus is the Father.

Or Hypothetical Syllogisms
http://beisecker.faculty.unlv.edu//Cour ... ogisms.htm

If Jesus (p), then God (q).
If God (q), then Father (r)
(So) if Jesus (p), then Father (r)

I guess it is okay to believe that the Trinity is a mystery, after all our limited human brain can't grasp many things, but it is clear that Christian doctrine isn't somehow superior to Mormon doctrine.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:56 pm 
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DoubtingThomas wrote:
I Jesus is God
II The Father is God
therefore ,
Jesus is the Father.


Christians who maintain that the ancient creeds as a basic standard for orthodoxy are going to respond that there is a false equivocation being masked in the argument. The Son, The Father, and The Holy Spirit are examples of a category Christians from Late Antiquity called "ὑπόστασις" (hypostasis) which in the Latin West was understood as "persona/personae". On the other hand, God is being understood by those same creeds as "οὐσία" (ousia) which is considered a distinct category, according to Christians anyways.

What makes the topic rough going for anyone is that in a lot of ancient contexts, hypostasis and ousia can often be interchanged. Christian Bishops, monks, and lay theologians adopted those terms from the larger Hellenistic world and used them during those theological controversies that gave us those creeds. So I don't really know what it means to say three distinct persons can be unique while sharing an identical substance, because I couldn't really tell you the how or why, but I'm fairly confident is is logically consistent.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:15 am 
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On the one hand that kind of argument can sometimes be valid.

Meghan Markle is the Duchess of Sussex.
The wife of the Duke of Sussex is the Duchess of Sussex.
Therefore Meghan Markle is the wife of the Duke of Sussex.


On the other hand an argument that looks just the same can be invalid.

Barack Obama is alive.
Donald Trump is alive.
Therefore Obama is Trump.


See? You can't shoot down the Trinity with a trivial syllogism, because the syllogism only works if you assume that being God is like being the Duchess of Sussex, which only one person can do at a time, rather than like being alive, which many different people can all do at once. But the question of whether God can be multiple persons is precisely the issue in the concept of the Trinity. So your syllogism begs the question. It only shows that the Trinity is inherently illogical if you first assume that the Trinity is inherently illogical.

As to God existing outside of time, I don't see how being a physicist can give any special insight into that. Time is part of the natural world that we know, but we have no particular reason to think that time as we know it is any kind of necessary aspect of all possible kinds of existence. We only know about life as we know it.

We can certainly imagine existence outside of one kind of time. Just consider the timeline of a work of fiction. A reader might take a break of three weeks between two pages, when for the characters in the story the action continues without pause. Or three years might pass, for the characters, in a sentence that takes the reader only moments to read: "Three years later ...".

The reader can start in chapter one with the main character as an adult and then read about their childhood in a later flashback. Or the reader can flip to the end and see how things turn out before reading the rest. The reader exists outside the time of the story.

Of course in that case the reader still exists within real time, outside the story. So conceivably God is like that, living in a time that is just a different time from ours. Alternatively, the example of fictional time versus real time may simply be an inaccurate analogy because God's existence does not involve anything like what we know as time.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:22 pm 
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Physics Guy wrote:
Barack Obama is alive.
Donald Trump is alive.
Therefore Obama is Trump.


See?


But I think there is only one God in Christian doctrine, so if Jesus is the One True God, and if the Father is the One True God, then it logically means Jesus is the Father.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:32 pm 
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MrStakhanovite wrote:

What makes the topic rough going for anyone is that in a lot of ancient contexts, hypostasis and ousia can often be interchanged. Christian Bishops, monks, and lay theologians adopted those terms from the larger Hellenistic world and used them during those theological controversies that gave us those creeds. So I don't really know what it means to say three distinct persons can be unique while sharing an identical substance, because I couldn't really tell you the how or why, but I'm fairly confident is is logically consistent.



Sounds like Mormon doctrine, you have three persons, but one Godhead.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:01 pm 
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Is God a person?


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:39 am 
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DoubtingThomas wrote:
Physics Guy wrote:
Barack Obama is alive.
Donald Trump is alive.
Therefore Obama is Trump.


See?


But I think there is only one God in Christian doctrine, so if Jesus is the One True God, and if the Father is the One True God, then it logically means Jesus is the Father.


What did it seem to you that I was saying, in my last post? I must have been unclear. Can you help me out as to how, by telling what you got from what I wrote?


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:17 pm 
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Physics Guy wrote:
See? You can't shoot down the Trinity with a trivial syllogism, because the syllogism only works if you assume that being God is like being the Duchess of Sussex, which only one person can do at a time, rather than like being alive, which many different people can all do at once. But the question of whether God can be multiple persons is precisely the issue in the concept of the Trinity. So your syllogism begs the question. It only shows that the Trinity is inherently illogical if you first assume that the Trinity is inherently illogical.


If many persons are God, then it logically means the Father is 1/3, the son is 1/3, and the Holy Ghost is 1/3. Or we have three Gods. But okay, I guess the Trinity is a mystery.

Physics Guy wrote:
Of course in that case the reader still exists within real time, outside the story. So conceivably God is like that, living in a time that is just a different time from ours. Alternatively, the example of fictional time versus real time may simply be an inaccurate analogy because God's existence does not involve anything like what we know as time.


Interesting, but wouldn't a god-like extraterrestrial be more interesting?


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:23 am 
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About the Trinity: I was asking you to paraphrase me, not just quote me—to put what you thought I said, and what you thought it meant, into your own words. What I actually meant to say doesn't seem to have come through at all, so I'm trying to track down what went wrong.

Superhuman extraterrestrials would be interesting—and no doubt frightening. They would not be God any more than Galactus is Stan Lee. From a mainstream Christian viewpoint, Mormonism is an atheism because as an exalted former mortal the Mormon Heavenly Father is really just a superhuman extraterrestrial.


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 Post subject: Re: Daniel C. Peterson to Debate Michael Shermer on Faith
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:58 pm 
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Physics Guy wrote:
About the Trinity: I was asking you to paraphrase me, not just quote me—to put what you thought I said, and what you thought it meant, into your own words. What I actually meant to say doesn't seem to have come through at all, so I'm trying to track down what went wrong.


You said I can't shoot down the Trinity with a trivial syllogism and that God can be multiple persons. Did I misread what you said? Saying that God can be multiple persons is like saying that 185 degree Triangles exists. Sure, it is possible a three-in-one God exists, and it is also possible 185 degree Triangles exists, but it is not reasonable to make such a big assumption.

Physics Guy wrote:
Superhuman extraterrestrials would be interesting—and no doubt frightening. They would not be God any more than Galactus is Stan Lee. From a mainstream Christian viewpoint, Mormonism is an atheism because as an exalted former mortal the Mormon Heavenly Father is really just a superhuman extraterrestrial.


How do you define God? What if an extraterrestrial civilization created our Universe with the Big Bang? It is more likely that Type V civilizations exists than three in one gods. I wouldn't put my money on a three in one god. Now, I don't believe in god-like extraterrestrials, but I am open to the possibility.


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