The Usual with a Twist

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the_believer's picture
The Usual with a Twist

The following is based on an epistemological dualistic construction created by a friend of mine. It has proffered a great deal of entertainment for us two, so for those who enjoy debate for its own sake, I messily present it here:
There exists an Abrahamic God who is practically, though not practicably omnibenevolent, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.
Of omnibenevolence: God is omnibenevolent in that what He declares to be benevolent, is necessarily so by definition, if not in physical reality before declaration.
Of omnipresence: God, by means direct or indirect, enacts, as a child does in the play of his own imagination, the movements of all conscious beings, whereby we ourselves are granted to behave. In this regard, the passage of time in the realm in which we exist is imperceptibly discontinuous.
Of omnipotence: God alone exists in the realm in which He resides; thus, God can do naught but to imagine in His own realm, by which means he can do aught in all others.
Of omniscience: God knows none of the nature of His own realm, as it is physically devoid. Thus, He knows nothing of His own future actions with certainty. His practical omnipotence lends that He can know all in any realm He creates by making it so. This rules out the ability to prove that we are predestined, but it grants that it is improbable that we are.

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charvakheresy's picture
The logical conclusion of

The logical conclusion of your construction is that the Abrahamic God is Obviously flawed. His own definition of himself is flawed and also his ability to live upto it.

omnibelevolent in what he declares as benevolent is not benevolence.
Omnipresence in ones own imagination is not significant
omnipotence well thats just nonsense.

the_believer's picture
I found it interesting to toy

I found it interesting to toy with. The construction presupposes a system of 'nested' 'levels of reality' not dissimilar to common multiverse theories. In any given level, the conscious beings who therein reside 'construct' the level 'beneath' by imagining its details and enacting its conscious beings. Scaled up, this implies, assuming that consciousness and computation power is finite in all knowable spaces, that there exists a single such level on which there exists a single conscious being. Since all levels beneath are forged and 'played' through imagination, this being would be onmipotent. By the same token, he would be omnipresent, presuming that only one means of being perceptively conscious were possible. Finally, benevolence would be completely arbitrary, as in any action, the being would enact all conscious agents and patients, thereby only performing deeds of evil and good upon fragments of his own conscious self. It's a neat idea in that it feels like fringe science and it draws analogy to the unusual ratio of matter to antimatter in our universe, such that benevolence and malevolence are matter and antimatter and their meeting forms a semantic 'annihilation' at which point the concept of benevolence is arbitrated. It feels very pseudorationalistic.

the_believer's picture
I'll redact the claim for

I'll redact the claim for omnibenevolence, as their are other implications in the system that speak for it more rigorously.

mykcob4's picture
I dismissed the whole thing

I dismissed the whole thing because it is nothing but myth.

the_believer's picture
And we can tell that you in

+ 5 pts. for the paradox. Glad you had fun, anyway.

the_believer's picture
"The infamous double post:"

"The infamous double post:"

Does anyone remember playing pretend as a child? You would have assumed character, like an actor, and, if you were of especially active imagination, you would have imagined a sort of world populated beyond what we adults see as real. If you try this now, I expect that you will find that you still feel conscious in this 'enactment.' Therefore, in doing this, you have caused a being that is not physically real (the character enacted, among what physical environment in which he is imagined) to be able to consider itself conscious: moreover, you've become aware and certain that you are no longer the only inherently conscious being that exists, per Descarte's famous 'cogito ergo sum' by substitution. This is the only consciousness transfer method of defined validity of which I am aware, so unless another is presented, it is safe to assume that our own consciousness is presented to us in a similar fashion, tying the above arguments together. By that argument, science is limited to teaching us of the physical reality that bears us, but not of the realities from which ours may have been created. In fact, by that argument, it is not possible to rationally derive a source of our physical existence. Asking how all was created, then, would be like God asking himself the same question, which would be unanswerable to even him, as his physical level is necessarily, by his own definition, empty.

Nyarlathotep's picture
M. V. Reeves - "In this

M. V. Reeves - "In this regard, the passage of time in the realm in which we exist is imperceptibly discontinuous."

Since you've been practically begging someone read this, I figured I would. This was first thing that caught my attention. Is this a postulate or a conclusion?

the_believer's picture
A conclusion by analogy. As a


The section is a conclusion by analogy. As a child makes pretend, he can enact a myriad of characters inhabiting the same reality space. He may therefore choose to either begin enacting the new character by suddenly changing scenes, as though no time had passed respective to the enacted character's allowed perceptions, or the child may begin to enact the character by presuming that on the basis of the personality bestowed to the character, the character had performed actions without enactment in reasonable proportion to the amount of imagined time elapsed. If we assume that free will exists, then the latter of the child's choices would mean that we do not notice the child's jump in enactment (which would produce a discontinuity in the rate of passage of time relative to events) because we are not fully conscious as it occurs, but if we choose to reject the notion of free will, then the former of the child's methods would mean that time were severely discontinuous, but we were not to notice it for want of the ability to perceive it as the child himself.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I don't see how that

I don't see how that conclusion follows.

Also, what is the difference between something that is "imperceptibly discontinuous", and something that is continuous?

the_believer's picture
So if we induct and

So if we induct and substitute upward that consciousness is passed on to new beings through imagination, then the imagined beings must be enacted. This enactment cannot be smooth in time relative to the enactors, as they may too have a physical environment that places demands on their behaviors. Therefore, they may not be capable of enacting us continuously. If this were true, the time in which our timeline were created would be discontinuous, but we would only be able to perceive the discontinuity when actively enacted. Thus, the timeline is discontinuous, but only imperceptibly so from our perspective.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I hate to repeat myself, but:

I hate to repeat myself, but: what is the difference between something that is "imperceptibly discontinuous", and something that is continuous?

Also you said "we would only be able to perceive the discontinuity when actively enacted". So now you are describing a situation where we can perceive something that you said is imperceivable. I just don't know what to say.

You told us that "This enactment cannot be smooth in time relative to the enactors", then you came to the conclusion "Therefore, they may not be capable of enacting us continuously."

Your conclusion is just a watered down version of your postulate; you are begging the question.

the_believer's picture
I realize that I begged the

I realize that I begged the question there. Put it down to unnecessary redundancy. "Imperceptible discontinuity" differs from "continuity" in transitive object. That is, the two can differ only by *to whom* something appears to be (dis)continuous. Taking from what I have said to other users on this post about multiple realities, you have to understand that I am coming from a model where two separate realities are assumed: one contains the Enactor. The other contains the Enacted. Both realities necessarily have matter, physics, and other guiding natural mechanics. As defined in another part of the post, the reality in which exists the Enacted is purely imagined by the Enactor. The Enactor enacts, or, in stranger terms, pretends to be, the Enacted, and as such, follows the rules and guidelines set by the mechanics of the reality in which the Enacted exists (the mechanics which were of course themselves devised by the Enactor to start). When the Enactor enacts the Enacted, the Enacted can report to other imagined or enacted beings in his own level of reality that he his extant and conscious. However, he can do this honestly only when he is being enacted. Since the Enactor exists in his own physical reality, he has physical demands, which may be analogous to sleep, and which require him to cease to enact the Enacted periodically. In other words, the Enactor cannot 'play pretend' continuously, at least with respect to the passage of time in his own physical reality, over which he has little bearing. However, if the Enactor for this reason periodically ceases to enact the Enacted, the Enacted still exists as a memory to the Enactor, but the Enacted can no longer confirm that he himself is conscious, as his no longer being enacted prevents him from identifying his own thinking. Therefore, the reality in which exists the Enacted only necessarily experiences a passage of time when an Enacted person who exists in that reality is enacted by an Enactor in the next reality 'up.' So the Enactor knows, since he ceases to enact in order to do such things as sleep, that time, in the realm of the Enacted must not be continuous, as the realm still exists in the mind of the Enactor, but the physical beings in the realm no longer necessarily change in an way. Since the Enacted, who is conscious only when being enacted, does not even necessarily move about or change in the mind of the Enactor when not being enacted, the Enacted cannot perceive this discontinuity in time independently of the Enactor.

Does that make more sense?

Nyarlathotep's picture
Your explanation explains why

Your explanation explains why you said "imperceptibly discontinuous". I already got that, but it was nice for you to lay it out explicitly. But it does not address my question. Let me try a different approach.

Let's say objects have a property called "floobieness". It either has floobieness or anti-floobieness as a property. Now when you tell me a certain object is imperceptibly anti-floobie, how does that differ from telling me it has the floobie property?
I'd also still like you to address how "we would only b̲e̲ ̲a̲b̲l̲e̲ ̲t̲o̲ ̲p̲e̲r̲c̲e̲i̲v̲e̲ ̲t̲h̲e̲ ̲d̲i̲s̲c̲o̲n̲t̲i̲n̲u̲i̲t̲y̲ when actively enacted", when you have told us repeatedly that we can't perceive the discontinuity.

The whole thing seems to contain a ton of postulates, and wild assertions, but nothing convincing. Take just this phrase as an example:

M. V. Reeves - "In other words, the Enactor cannot 'play pretend' continuously"

I see no reason to accept that postulate, and its logical complement seems just as likely (Enactor CAN 'play pretend' continuously); and what you have written is filled with such statements.

the_believer's picture
Then I shall attempt to

Then I shall attempt to defend each as it is challenged. Then, perhaps, we can get somewhere.

Regarding the conflicting properties of objects:

I see your point. I use that method of describing time because it implies a separation of realities. It also concisely confers the idea that beings in different realities have different perspectives, such that realities are hierarchical in nature, rather than parallel or adjacent. Telling you that an object is "imperceptibly anti-floobie" tells you that it is, in fact, floobie, but that it cannot be rationally (only dualistically) proven to be so from the perspective of a being who occupies the same physical reality as that object. I do this to acknowledge the dualistic gap between the object and the subject in the discourse of conscious observation. This is important to recognize early in an argument that regards, in part, the philosophy of science, to account the existence of objective uncertainty as produced by the phenomenon that is subjective consciousness.

Regarding how "we would only be able to perceive the discontinuity when actively enacted:"

When the Enactor enacts the Enacted, the Enactor summons knowledge of the reality of the Enacted so as to successfully navigate the reality in which the Enacted exists. The Enactor, however, retains his knowledge regarding his own reality, permitting his conscious return. An Enactor is capable of communicating to the Enacted, then, simply by deciding what the Enacted suddenly knows. So it is practicable that the Enactor allow the Enacted to become subjectively aware of details about the reality of the Enactor, such as the relatively discontinuous nature of time between the two realities.

Regarding how "the Enactor cannot 'play pretend' continuously:"

In the case of the human child in our own reality who makes believe a story, the Enactor (the child), as we ourselves can observe, has a need to cease to play resultant to the physical conditions of his reality (to sleep, to eat, to defecate, &c.). Since we humans all have this restraint, all enactment conditions that we can scientifically observe (e.g. those performed by humans on Earth) suggest that it is quite probable that the same condition applies elsewhere, to other physical beings of consciousness. Moreover, when a child imagines into existence a new enacted reality, all the beings therein (the Enacted) are very improbable to produce new realities of their own, as that would tax the human child's memory and ability to process information. So the child's Enacted do not only Enact discontinously: they almost never Enact whatsoever! So we can see that under conditions of limited computation, the 'deeper' the reality, the less continuous the enactments. What is more is that there are fewer possible consistent realities in which physical beings might be able to enact continuously, as a reality in which physical beings do not need to cease to enact requires very specific physical conditions whereas a great number of conditions, and therefore, an exponentially greater number of possible realities, could contribute to the need to cease to enact. So based on what we know of our own reality and what we perceive ourselves, it is very probably that the conscious beings that inhabit the majority of realities cannot enact and imagine other realities continuously.

. . .

How did you underline "be able to perceive the discontinuity?"

Also, thank you very much for taking the time to help to work through this proof, as it's both large and messy.

My general tactic in reasoning here is to extrapolate from the nuances of the experience that is making pretend play in childhood. Every answer I give here is made using that perspective, so if what I say seems unfounded, you may be able to check it against that hypothetical scenario.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Let me explain to you how I

Let me explain to you how I read an argument/proof. When I come to a weasel-word (or worse no justification) linking a conclusion from a postulate, I treat the conclusion as a postulate; because under those conditions, as far as I'm concerned, there is no conclusion. From where I sit, almost everything you have posted is just a postulate.
In fact you just replaced an unjustified conclusion (the Enactor cannot 'play pretend' continuously) with a truckload of more postulates.
It is also odd that you saddle this deity will all kinds of limitations, after stating the deity is omnipotent.

U+0332 is a unicode character that when put into a document underlines the previous character. There are tools that will inject this between your characters for you:

the_believer's picture
Are you willing to address

Are you willing to address this? "My general tactic in reasoning here is to extrapolate from the nuances of the experience that is m̲a̲k̲i̲n̲g̲ ̲p̲r̲e̲t̲e̲n̲d̲ ̲p̲l̲a̲y̲ ̲a̲s̲ ̲a̲ ̲c̲h̲i̲l̲d̲. Every answer I give here is made using that perspective, so if what I say seems unfounded, you may be able to check it against that hypothetical [but producible] scenario." This is my experiment, my evidence, the method, the basest reasoning -- all of it, rolled into one. Beyond this, all is effectively reasoning and conclusion. Without this, it is no wonder that you feel like I am going in circles! All I am doing here is making a mess of extrapolations from this scenario. If you try it, my explanations will be clearer.

I have never taken to "stating the deity is omnipotent." Please, pay attention to the details.

chimp3's picture
MVReeves: Of omnipotence: God

MVReeves: Of omnipotence: God alone exists in the realm in which He resides; thus, God can do naught but to imagine in His own realm, by which means he can do aught in all others.

Which equals omni-impotence.

the_believer's picture
As far as God concerns

As far as God concerns himself, yes. But if we are indirectly projected as a figment of his own imagining, then he is of course omnipotent from our perspective.

Deforres's picture
In talking of a god, our

In talking of a god, our perspective doesn't mean shite.

the_believer's picture
Not necessarily. If there

Not necessarily. If there exists a god who is omnipotent over the only physical realm in which we can consciously reside, then for all matters practical and pragmatic, the god is omnipotent.

Deforres's picture
1.: The physical elem is the

1.: The physical realm is the only realm.
2. If he is omni potent over the physical realm, then it should be possible to physically prove his existence.

the_believer's picture
Can you disprove the

Can you disprove the existence of another realm? After all, I have already shown by induction in wager against what is essentially the modern attempt at A.I. that it is very probable that there are other realms. In the prime example, when the child makes play by imagination, he constructs a mental scene and character, the latter which he plays to manipulate the former. We know that this is processed visually in the greater cortices of the brain, but fewer neurons are excited to populate the realm than would be needed to represent all of the information constructed. I encourage you to try it yourself: simply imagine yourself in a living room with a hearth. Add whatever details you want. What you see you have created has no similar, recognizable representation in our physical world, and we cannot recreate the same phenomenon of imagination artificially, so it is probable that what you have made, in imagining that space, is in fact another 'level' of reality.

Deforres's picture
If two worlds coexist, they

If two worlds coexist, they must be visible, tangible, and have an affect on each other. I don't see or know of any indications of this.

CyberLN's picture
You said, "so it is probable

You said, "so it is probable that what you have made, in imagining that space, is in fact another 'level' of reality."

Since probability can be defined using mathematics, will you kindly show your work in support of the statement above?

the_believer's picture
Mathematics are not necessary

Mathematics are not necessary to assign a magnitude to a probability; propositional induction can be used to quantize it instead, which is by far the norm in conventional philosophical argumentation.

The imagined space meets standards colloquially assigned to our conception of an alternate physical reality:

A. The imagined space can be wrought and regulated to follow rules, laws, and pseudonatural mechanics, as permitted and calculated by its creator.

B. The imagined space, in terms of entropy, is surjective to our own, as its physical representation relative to its inhabitants is controlled by a physically lesser representation in the level of reality in which its creator exists.

C. The imagined space can be perceived by its creator, and, in parallel situations with a large number of creators doing the same, the result can be shown to be separate from individual delusion by mass subjective consensus. Therefore, insofar as we confer our own existence, we can deduce the existence of the imagined space.

D. The imagined space cannot be physically manipulated externally to the creator within his own level of reality, at least as far as our neuroscience can yet prove. Therefore, the space is probably disjunct from our own reality, apart from through its creator.

The mass of evidence to support the idea that the created space is real but disjuncted (at least mostly) from our own outweighs the evidence to the contrary, so the proposition is strong and cogent, and the idea is probably sound.

Deforres's picture
And I suppose you have this

And I suppose you have this idea either peer reviewed or taken from a peer reviewed source? If not, your wasting our time, and yours. Apologest philosophy is no philosophy at all.

the_believer's picture
If you are here only to

If you are here only to defend your own position, rather than to consider and carefully evaluate the logic of others, then you are here more for public relations and images than for debate, so you should at least ensure that you have correctly spelled each of your words. Not all ideas are formally discovered first through experimentation like laws; most begin as intuitions and curiosities, and are later proven. The purpose of debate is to evaluate known evidence to determine the validity, soundness, cogency, and strength of propositional, categorical, and predicate arguments. Therefore, if you wish to discredit what I have presented as cogent inductive logic by insulting my intelligence and asserting that I am incapable of devising and attempting to support original and unique positions, rather than by debating in a civil manner yourself, I am forced to move on with the discussion to those mature enough to know to want to seek the truth.

If you meant that honestly, then I apologize for the above. I have already mentioned that I made this post is an effort to attract some live minds to help me think about what is yet a completely novel argument to both the atheist and theist alike. If you want to be a part of that, please, do so in debate, not in antic.

CyberLN's picture
"Mathematics are not

"Mathematics are not necessary to assign a magnitude to a probability; propositional induction can be used to quantize it instead, which is by far the norm in conventional philosophical argumentation."

Are you saying, then, that you arrived at a yet un-specified magnitude of probability using no formulae? Even if using philosophic logic as opposed to mathematical logic, the ability to assign a magnitude (by definition, a number) sure seems to me to require a formula of some sort.

So my question still stands. You may see a "mass of evidence to support the idea that the created space is real," but I do not. Your 'mass' would be far more convincing were measurements included.

Perhaps the sticking point is a difference in our definitions of the words 'real' and 'mass'.

the_believer's picture
The evidence to which I

The evidence to which I referred was that which appeared in the very same comment. If you read carefully, and consider the implications of what I said word for word, you will realize that all I have done is present a deductive argument with caveats for what we know that we do not know about our own physical world. This method is called "induction." You, in fact, rely upon this form of logic yourself to discredit the existence of any god, regardless of which stance you take and which approach you use. When an atheist shifts the burden of proof to a theist, indeed, the only valid argument to be presented by the atheist is that it is improbable that there exists a god. Should I expect you, too, to be able to assign a magnitude to the probability that a god does not exist? If you have a specific problem, please, state it, but if you are not willing to think more deeply about exactly what I present in my *argument,* (evidence, propositions, and reasoning directly pertaining to the original post) as opposed to concerning yourself only with my broader tactics and the way in which I choose to present the material, then you are not debating the logic, but rather the presentation.

CyberLN's picture
Okay, I simply find your

Okay, I simply find your induction unconvincing. I consider the logic lacking.

I find it rather curious that you would say that an atheist shifts the burden of proof to the theist. Very curious indeed. That's squarely where it belongs...on the claimant. And, no, I will not assign a magnitude of probability that your god, or anyone else's, does not exist. It's not my responsibility to do so. Despite you saying that I do, I make exactly zero claim to any knowledge concerning the existence of god(s). A person identifying as atheist can also identify as agnostic. The former speaks to believing, the latter to knowing.

Additionally, you have stated that I am unwilling to think deeply about what you have presented. How do you know the extent to which I have thought about your presentation? Do you conclude I have not because I have yet to agree with you?


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