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by guenther
Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:08 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=34911&start=4640#p3247431 Notice that it also says to a deity. Not from a deity, which is the subject of argument. I don't contest that giving something to a deity is a sacrifice; I do contend that a deity with an infinite amount of something giving...
by guenther
Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:57 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

You said that Jesus' death wasn't offered up to God. This is wrong. It's offered to God in the same way that the Old Testament animal sacrifices were.
by guenther
Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:26 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Irrelevant — I'm addressing the argument "If God has infinite wealth, He sacrifices nothing by sharing that wealth. Because no matter how much wealth He gives, His total wealth will always be the same: Infinite." This is just the easiest summary of an exchange that was going on between ou...
by guenther
Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:32 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

"Looking free" and "being free" are not the same thing. ... then what exactly is "being free"? I contend, for the reasons you said above, that there's no such thing. It's all "looking free". But that's good enough for most purposes. If we define free will as ...
by guenther
Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:22 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Notice that it also says to a deity . Not from a deity , which is the subject of argument. I don't contest that giving something to a deity is a sacrifice; I do contend that a deity with an infinite amount of something giving some finite amount of it away is not a sacrifice, as it doesn't meet eith...
by guenther
Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:58 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

He was brought back to life, a couple days later. His life restored, what was sacrificed was a couple days of his life, not the entirety of it. It was restored on a whim, what is precious about something that was able to be replaced so quickly and easily? I'm not trying to convince you to consider ...
by guenther
Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:22 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Are you questioning whether Jesus is precious within Christianity? I'd say he fits the bill.
by guenther
Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:49 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

If we allow the dictionary to guide us on the legitimate use of words, then loss is not required. In fact, the dictionary uses the word "offering".
by guenther
Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:17 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

My thoughts on omnipotence: Maybe God can do the logically impossible. We only conclude he can't because when we work through the logic, we find it's, well, impossible. Maybe God can't do the logically impossible, but if he can do everything that is logically possible, then he has all the power that...
by guenther
Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:42 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

But to what benefit to anyone was the whole charade then? Just a nice sentimental/sensational/S&M story to help sell the brand maybe, but with no real sacrifice of anything to pay any real or imagined debt, or has demonstrated any measurable long term benefit? Again, where's the actual logical ...
by guenther
Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:04 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

the usage of the word, for giving an offering to a deity of something precious still requires there to be loss for it to be a sacrifice. that's the point of it being precious. If someone raises up their best cow and ritualistically kills it on an altar, but then get the cow back three days later, w...
by guenther
Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:12 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

It might be splitting hairs, but my problem is with describing the death of Jesus as a sacrifice in the sense that life itself was sacrificed. Jesus' death is supposed to be a validation of life eternal--that death is not the end. How can Jesus' death both be a validation of life eternal and a sacr...
by guenther
Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:37 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Sacrifice : an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially : the killing of a victim on an altar Jesus is something precious and was offered up to God to pay the price for sin. It's a bit symbolic since it wasn't done by a priest on an altar, but otherwise if an animal went through th...
by guenther
Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:30 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Do you believe in Heaven? What does your conception of Heaven look like? Are you wondering if I imagine Heaven to be a place without knee-scrapes, etc? And if God can make us free from suffering there, why not here? That's a good question (though my pardons if that's not where you were going). When...
by guenther
Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:58 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

So just some good ol'e fashioned indoctrination, peer pressure and social conformism. Or in another way. "The completely baseless assumption of a benevolent God - its not even my own thought! So therefore it must not be arbitrary." Something like that. I did conform to the religion in whi...
by guenther
Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:18 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Suppose for a moment that the opposite case were true. God's true nature is omnimalevolence. Any "good" thing that happens in your life is actually just God setting you up, somehow, in some way, for a bigger fall later in life, or in the afterlife, and everything that happens to you is ha...
by guenther
Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:45 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

But He must optimize our existence based on metrics that we would feel are important--if we knew what God knew. I can buy this. And I'm reminded of something that, I think, you said in either the circumcision or the raising religious children debate. It was that if parents are making choices for th...
by guenther
Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:25 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

I know this isn't your intention, but I honestly feel that saying these types of things greatly trivializes the sufferings of people who have experienced things that are truly terrible. On the contrary, I was quite explicitly trivializing. I compared the absolute worst suffering to a skinned knee. ...
by guenther
Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:45 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

A brain damaged child falls from a cliff, you are a precognitive magician who predicted he was going to fall and let him out there anyway. You still catch his arm and dislocate it. An act motivated at least in part by cruelty or apathy, but most certainly not out of love. I don't understand why you...
by guenther
Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:25 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

There is a difference between creating a world in which people can starve versus ordering people to starve. I don't insist that a good God must create a world without suffering; I merely insist that He must not make it worse. If God almighty shall not abstain from calling for violence, then who on ...
by guenther
Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:55 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

It's not that I can't imagine such a God; it's that such a God doesn't strike me as being Godly. If God is all-powerful, He has no need of violence to achieve His ends. And I'm opposed to violence--particularly when it is unnecessary. I'm opposed to starvation, particularly when it's unnecessary. B...
by guenther
Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:52 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

This is a problem for me, because I believe no one is worthy of punishment. Punishment is only a tool we use to protect others--I do not think anyone deserves it. Well, that's a difference of moral opinion. I'm not making a case here that you should agree with God's morality. But isn't part of love...
by guenther
Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:59 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

If you interpret it so that it changes from "what the phrase means" to "what it might mean if I want it to have a specific meaning" you're doing a disservice to divine word. In essence, you're claiming you know what God meant better than he knew himself, or at least better than ...
by guenther
Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:37 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Rather than in terms of reasonable people, I think I would rather put it this way: If you say that God is loving, and also say that God has earnestly said things like "I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation o...
by guenther
Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:12 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

The whole point of a standard definition is that it removes the "because I say so" aspect completely. Besides -- love is an act, and beauty is a state of being. The two aren't exactly comparable, and it's a lot easier to agree upon the nature of actions than something merely existing. The...
by guenther
Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:21 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Apologies for using common and referenced definitions to aid in communication. Apparently all-knowing, all-powerful, and good don't mean what I think they do. Next time I'll use my unique, personal dictionary that uses the same words but defines them differently when I try and explain how something...
by guenther
Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:46 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

By your own moral standards of what Gods should and should not do, then sure fine. As I said, we don't all see through the same lens. My point was that you were presenting opinion as fact. But you are certainly welcome to keep your own opinions.
by guenther
Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

Intuition can play against us when trying to imagine what actually is, but at the same time it's the final arbiter of what words "really mean". I think that a definition that identifies the external behaviours that characterise free will has to be intuitive, but then no counterintuitivene...
by guenther
Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Neither is pain, but a god that deliberately inflicts pain on either himself, or to any human for any amount of time (see: Flood, Plagues of Egypt) cannot be classified as either "loving" or "merciful". Clearly this is wrong since a lot of people do classify just such a God as b...
by guenther
Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:59 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

But for the reasons outlined above I don't think it's possible to do that strictly rigorously, sorry guenter. The point isn't strict rigor, but practical rigor. The claim is that free will is as real as baseballs. Well, we can device an objective test to measure whether something is a baseball or n...
by guenther
Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:42 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

You've been avoiding the devil, and that is considered good by a certain set of people. If it's a needless confrontation, then I am certainly within that set. :) It need not be framed in the context of "free will", but the essence is the same. If it's not framed in the context of "fr...
by guenther
Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:21 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

I am asserting that "you" is one of those words. It is necessary to define "you" rigorously in order for a rigorous "free will" definition to hold - at least one that works in opposition to "driven and inevitable responses". Agreed. The reason to look at the ...
by guenther
Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:26 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

There is no question in my mind that higher cognition allows us to make better choices (relating to the survival of the species), and this grants us a significant benefit elsewhere also. But higher cognition (the ability to make better choices) is not the same thing as the sense we have of ourselve...
by guenther
Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:37 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

It's there because our ancestors had it, and they were more likely to survive because of it. This is a reason, but it is not a purpose. I'm quite happy to call that purpose, but we can call it a reason if you want. I'm not trying to get into a semantics debate. My point is that the higher order cog...
by guenther
Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:36 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

@Jose, no problem, and thanks for the response! If we look at the computer as a whole, we only see that the computer, when presented with some (specified) input, delivers some (observed) output (which could consist of doing nothing). How it makes those choices are not visible. If there are several s...
by guenther
Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:52 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 499159

Re: Religion: The Deuce

No, it only bothers me that others presume that because I lack that belief, I am somehow 'worse off' or 'weaker'. I can understand the bother. I get the converse where people feel that my belief is a crutch that keeps me from fully embracing reason, rationality, reality, etc. But, really, this just...
by guenther
Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:52 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

@Jose, In a message board, I can understand the need to limit what you respond to since discussions can exponentially tangent. And conversing with two people means twice as much time you have to devote. So no worries there. But the fact remains that there's not much more I can contribute if you don'...
by guenther
Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:41 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

...but a baseball is made of stuff, and baseball is not (as you point out later). My point was about "a baseball" not "baseball". "Jumping" however is easily and unambiguously defined. "Deciding" (which is at the heart of free will) is decidedly not so. The f...
by guenther
Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:42 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

Free will is like a baseball in the sense that once we delve down to a deep enough level there is no intrinsic baseball stuff, just like there is no intrinsic free will stuff. They're both abstractions that people have created because it's useful. However, you're right that they differ. A baseball i...
by guenther
Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:06 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 132723

Re: Definition of Free Will

But maybe free will is not a "real brain process". That is my point. How do we figure out if it's a real brain process? Yes, the parts are the same. They are simply bundled conceptually in a different way. But if you describe a person as incapable of doing something because part of his br...

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