Wizard
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Wizard
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
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October 25th, 2010 at 10:51:04 AM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

So go ahead and pray for that hard four: it's not likely to make much difference one way or the other.



Reminds me of an old joke:

Q: What is the difference between praying in church and praying in a casino?
A: In the casino, you really mean it.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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October 25th, 2010 at 11:08:08 AM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

Quote: Paigowdan

Quote: Wizard

Shouldn't a bible-believing theist believe that every outcome in the casino is divinely determined?



No. Some outcomes are just play, but other results are critical. HE decides which is which.
Likewise, on some days we avoid a car accident on skill. Other days his hand is involved.



So good outcomes are the result of divine intervention, but bad outcomes are not? If I get in a fatal auto accident, couldn't an omnipotent and omniscient God have seen it coming, and done something to prevent it? Therefore, by his failure to act, God killed me just as surely as if he had hit me with a lightning bolt.



Never said that, MKL. Hopefully, good outcomes are the results of people, and all too often bad outcomes are.

As for your auto accident scenario, sometimes He will just let us hang ourselves - or crash and burn by our own hand. In such a scenario, He did not" fail to act;" He acted, and He allowed you to hang yourself. When it comes to saving ourselves or hanging ourselves, the "divine action" is that it is often allowed to happen, in a "let it come to be" sense, no matter how horriffic it seems. And it does.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
JerryLogan
JerryLogan
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October 25th, 2010 at 11:08:26 AM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

So good outcomes are the result of divine intervention, but bad outcomes are not? If I get in a fatal auto accident, couldn't an omnipotent and omniscient God have seen it coming, and done something to prevent it? Therefore, by his failure to act, God killed me just as surely as if he had hit me with a lightning bolt.



I could post something really funny here, but if I do and he gets wind of it I'm afraid the guy's gonna come up with his latest thesis in response.
mkl654321
mkl654321
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October 25th, 2010 at 11:21:54 AM permalink
Quote: Paigowdan

No. Some outcomes are just play, but other results are critical. HE decides which is which.

Never said that, MKL. Hopefully, good outcomes are the results of people, and all too often bad outcomes are.



Actually, you DID say exactly that. If God has the power to intervene--and most religions say that he does--then failure to intervene is the exact same thing as actively causing an event: in either case, it happens because God wants it to happen. If the thesis is that ALL events are under God's control, then it logically follows that everything that happens is God's will.

The problem with saying that God "just lets us hang ourselves" is that constructing us fallible mortals, and then allowing us to destroy ourselves by our own foolishness, is the exact same thing, from the standpoint of an omniscient and omnipotent God, as simply killing us at his whim. In either case, the outcome is controlled by God, and any "free will" we have is just an illiusion.

I personally reject this whole line of thinking, but it's worth noting that if God does exist, and is as Christian mythology says he is, then there's no point whatsoever in praying, going to church, or behaving well, decently, or lawfully. Whatever we will do in our lives has already been determined by God; if we decide to do something evil, it will be because God has decreed that we do that. Without personal agency, there can never be personal responsibility.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
mkl654321
mkl654321
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October 25th, 2010 at 11:26:16 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Reminds me of an old joke:

Q: What is the difference between praying in church and praying in a casino?
A: In the casino, you really mean it.



What's more, there is a huge amount of empirical evidence that prayers in casinos are answered much more often than prayers in church!

Sounds like a no-brainer for a new themed casino. Such a place could also feature Vegas' coolest wedding chapel.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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October 25th, 2010 at 1:45:20 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321


The problem with saying that God "just lets us hang ourselves" is that constructing us fallible mortals, and then allowing us to destroy ourselves by our own foolishness, is the exact same thing, from the standpoint of an omniscient and omnipotent God, as simply killing us at his whim. In either case, the outcome is controlled by God, and any "free will" we have is just an illiusion.



No, the thing is, if we hang ourselves by our own hand, then that's our free will completing its own action, regardless if God chooses to stand aside - because we took that course of our choosing which got completed, by our intentions, even though there was a chance it might have been foiled by God or man. So We did it, and completed it - when we could have taken any number of other courses. That Is Free Will.

And no, if we decide to do something evil, it's because we as people took that action - NOT that God or anyone else decreed it - and God may or may not let it stand. We have a TON of choice in our actions: we decree, we choose, we take action, we decide, and God approves or disapproves, with or without action that he decides, and with a report card on the other side/the next life/etc. MKL, Please note that I did not mention the Booleans "Heaven" and "Hell."

And..for most of us here, casinos are our temples, at least to some degree. I admit it.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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October 25th, 2010 at 2:06:34 PM permalink
Quote: JerryLogan

If you were to take off in a ship and go straight up and out assuming no personal or mechanical limitations, where would you be forced to stop....where does it all end? Is there a wall and if so, what's BEHIND that wall, and how far does that go on, then what's after that etc. etc. etc.? And no, those escape explanations saying you'd somehow end up going around in a circle means zero here because you couldn't explain what's on the other outer side of that "circle" and (same question) how far all that goes on for. Black holes lose out too because they have a beginning and an end, and what's behnd their end?



MKL.. Wizard... What do you think is on the "other side"?
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
mkl654321
mkl654321
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October 25th, 2010 at 2:25:55 PM permalink
Quote: Paigowdan

No, the thing is, if we hang ourselves by our own hand, then that's our free will completing its own action, regardless if God chooses to stand aside - because we took that course of our choosing which got completed, by our intentions, even though there was a chance it might have been foiled by God or man. So We did it, and completed it - when we could have taken any number of other courses. That Is Free Will.

And no, if we decide to do something evil, it's because we as people took that action - NOT that God or anyone else decreed it - and God may or may not let it stand. We have a TON of choice in our actions: we decree, we choose, we take action, we decide, and God approves or disapproves, with or without action that he decides, and with a report card on the other side/the next life/etc. MKL, Please note that I did not mention the Booleans "Heaven" and "Hell."

And..for most of us here, casinos are our temples, at least to some degree. I admit it.



That's a real apologia for God, to say that good things happen because of his divine will, but bad things happen because of our human evil natures. Once again, I'll repeat--if something happens that God had the power to stop, then there is no functional (or moral) difference between that and God's directly causing that something to happen.

Let's remove human agency from the equation, to see if I can un-muddle your thinking.

1. Big tsunami. Thousands of people die. God does nothing to stop it, or to warn the victims.
2. God deliberately sends a tsunami, with the express purpose of killing thousands of people.

Is there any functional difference between the two events, or in God's role in their occurence?

Now look at this one:

1. Hitler comes to power. He kills millions of people. God does nothing to stop him, or to save Hitler's victims.
2. God deliberately creates Hitler, who fulfills God's goal of killing millions of people.

Now, in both cases 1. and 2., Hitler may have THOUGHT he had free will, but he really didn't. In one case, God chose not to intervene. In the other case, he chose to directly cause something to happen. Both the scenarios were the direct outcome of God's will, NOT that of the humans involved.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
mkl654321
mkl654321
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October 25th, 2010 at 2:35:54 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

MKL.. Wizard... What do you think is on the "other side"?



The "space is curved" hypothesis is like the Mobius strip--it actually only has one side. Thus, a trip along its curved surface will always end up back at the point of origin. And black holes don't actually HAVE a beginning or end---they are severely curved gravitational distortions of space. The physics is largely theoretical, but it's elegant, and empirical observations have tended to confirm its validity.

So I don't think there IS an "other side". I think it's all the same side. Likewise, time isn't linear, but rather curved, and if extrapolated, forms a loop. This goes to the relativistic theory that says space and time are simply different manifestations of the same thing.

Many people (like JL) reject this explanation because they can't conceive of the space outside this loop. But by definition, what is outside the space-time loop is neither space nor time, so trying to refer to it in those terms (such as: where is it relative to our universe?) is pointless. We won't have a term for what exists outside space and time until we have a way to observe or experience it.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
Joined: Nov 17, 2009
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October 25th, 2010 at 2:43:52 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

The "space is curved" hypothesis is like the Mobius strip--it actually only has one side. Thus, a trip along its curved surface will always end up back at the point of origin. And black holes don't actually HAVE a beginning or end---they are severely curved gravitational distortions of space. The physics is largely theoretical, but it's elegant, and empirical observations have tended to confirm its validity.

So I don't think there IS an "other side". I think it's all the same side. Likewise, time isn't linear, but rather curved, and if extrapolated, forms a loop. This goes to the relativistic theory that says space and time are simply different manifestations of the same thing.

Many people (like JL) reject this explanation because they can't conceive of the space outside this loop. But by definition, what is outside the space-time loop is neither space nor time, so trying to refer to it in those terms (such as: where is it relative to our universe?) is pointless. We won't have a term for what exists outside space and time until we have a way to observe or experience it.



Was there anything before "the loop"?
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci

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