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  1. #61
    PEST that STEPs on PETS stellar renegade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Quite simply, "reality" is the sum of all existents. Nothing can exist outside of reality. To rephrase this, approaching the point from the opposite angle, non-reality does not exist. Reality, as the sum of all existents, encompasses all that exists - it is not suspended within non-reality.

    Let's start with an infinite, all-encompassing God. The mythos of most monotheistic religions posits that God is infinite - that He has no beginning and no end. So long as God is all that exists and He is infinite, there is no problem with this assertion. At this point, "God" is interchangeable with "reality" - the two terms are redundant. However, this is an issue of semantics and not ration, so we'll leave that aside.

    Now, this infinite God, in the tradition of most monotheistic religions, one day sets himself to creating a universe. Here is where the problem arises - the moment He creates a universe - or anything for that matter - separate from Himself, he is no longer infinite.
    I don't know what you're talking about in the rest of that post, and I don't have time to try to figure it out right now, but suffice to say that what I quoted from you is not a problem in the least for a panentheist.
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  2. #62
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    I don't see why it has to expand into anything. When you talk about my minds eye, it makes it sound like I need to be visualizing it, and of course to visualize the whole of reality I'd have to abstract out and see it in where it exists in a larger context. So essentially, it seems to me that the space or whatever that it's expanding into is more a construct of our process of abstraction than something that needs to 'be' in some sense.

    I don't see why something can't increase in size without there needing to be some existing thing outside of it into which it's expanding, but on some level it could just be that we're talking about what-is differently. I guess I think my way is at least valid enough that I wouldn't feel obligated to accept conclusions coming from your way.
    Anything finite in any sense -- be it spatially, temporally, or any other sort of manner we can imagine -- would have an end, a boundary. Consequently, it would need to adhere within something, as even an endless expanse of nothingness would exist.

    Really, it comes down to whether one is able to synthesize a single concept: non-reality, non-existence, cannot exist.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

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  3. #63
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Dammit Scott I wanted to post this first! (Well you're whole post is very well written, so I guess it's better that you did.) Yeah the OP confuses the ideas of "infinite" and "all-encompassing". The initial premise is flawed, so the whole argument is pointless.
    Liquid, you may find one of my previous objections to this formulation of interest.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

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  4. #64
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Liquid, you may find one of my previous objections to this formulation of interest.
    I believe you are still combining the ideas of "infinite" and "all-encompassing" together. While some types of faiths would hold that God is all-encompassing (and actually there is not a problem here either), the majority simply require that God is infinite, but not necessarily all-encompassing. For example a line is infinite. It is not bounded in either the positive or negative direction. However a line is properly contained within a plane. The line is infinite but not all-encompassing with regard to the plane.


    Most belief systems only describe God as infinite, i.e. infinite power, beyond time, omniscient, etc.... God is not required to be all-encompassing. (And even those who believe God is all-encompassing do not actually have a problem either, although they need to explain things differently.)
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  5. #65
    Sniffles
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    Should I even bother with this discussion?

  6. #66
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Should I even bother with this discussion?
    Nope. I wouldn't waste my time if I were you. You're not going to change anyone's mind, and no one's going to change your mind, it's clear that we're all pretty set in our ways at this point.

    We know what you believe. Well, sort of, anyway. It's hard to understand or value the nuances in the different theological beliefs people have if you're not even in the same category, so our interpretations of what you believe are probably incredibly vague and painted with a broad brush. We could probably place you into the right quadrant out of four, though, assuming you divide religious beliefs into four quadrants.

  7. #67
    Sniffles
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    Touche. In that case, carry on folks - if nothing else this thread will provide me with a great source of amusement.

  8. #68
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I believe you are still combining the ideas of "infinite" and "all-encompassing" together. While some types of faiths would hold that God is all-encompassing (and actually there is not a problem here either), the majority simply require that God is infinite, but not necessarily all-encompassing. For example a line is infinite. It is not bounded in either the positive or negative direction. However a line is properly contained within a plane. The line is infinite but not all-encompassing with regard to the plane.


    Most belief systems only describe God as infinite, i.e. infinite power, beyond time, omniscient, etc.... God is not required to be all-encompassing. (And even those who believe God is all-encompassing do not actually have a problem either, although they need to explain things differently.)
    Again, this brings us back to the issue of eternal regress. If God is finite in the sense that things other than Him exist, then He and these other existents must adhere within something. Together they must add up to reality. Who or what created this reality?
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  9. #69
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I believe you are still combining the ideas of "infinite" and "all-encompassing" together. While some types of faiths would hold that God is all-encompassing (and actually there is not a problem here either), the majority simply require that God is infinite, but not necessarily all-encompassing. For example a line is infinite. It is not bounded in either the positive or negative direction. However a line is properly contained within a plane. The line is infinite but not all-encompassing with regard to the plane..)

    Note: The definition of infinite is endless or unlimited. A line is only partially infinite as it stretches endlessly only into one direction and not in all. Hence, it is finite in all directions but one.

    The crux of Mycroft's argument is this: Most Judeo-Christian faiths describe God as distinct from the universe. This is incoherent because the universe is traditionally taken to be all that exists. God is maintained to exist and to be distinct from the universe. Hence, simultaneously two incompatible claims are made. God exists and God is nothing (outside of all things that exist). You have not yet furnished a refutation of this view.

    On that note, we may drop the argument about the infinity of the universe. The main question is about the separability of God from the universe. If he is infinite (has no limits), then how is it possible for his nature to not include the world? Would you reply with a claim that he is infinite but not all encompassing? Exactly how a line is infinite, that is God stretches infinitely in only one direction and therefore does not occupy all of the universe? In that case, he goes through the universe, but then where does he go after he has gone through his creation? Into nothingness, or ceases to exist? In that case he is not infinite like a line, he is a segment. Or not infinite at all. If he is infinite like a line (partially infinite), then he must proceed infinitely into the endless (infinite) universe that he created. Perhaps, exactly like a line he occupies only a part of the infinite plain. But in that regard, his nature must be coterminous with at least part of the universe and not completely distinct from it as many Judeo-Christian theologies maintain. At best, they would have to concede that God is only partially infinite, rather than completely.

    Supplemental Note: Theologians may respond that it is not the case that God exists outside of the universe. He exists within the universe but outside of our universe. He resides in a realm that is radically different from ours. That is, one outside of time, space and matter. In that case we cannot talk about his existence meaningfully. When we claim that something exists, we assume that it has some characteristics relevant to our sensual perceptions. Such as for example, occupying space (being finite or infinite, that is occupying some space or all). If we say that something exists outside of space (God), we claim it occupies no space, or it is nothing by definition.

    On that note, the talk of God existing in a different universe must be dismissed as hopeless non-sense. It means the same thing as God existing outside of the universe or in nothingness.
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  10. #70
    Senior Member Sacrator's Avatar
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    Are you guys arguing over that book again? I told you its just a game! Why dont you discuss things like why miracles happen and how old fashioned sorcery brought results. Did you know just by focusing intent on matter you can manipulate it at a quantum level?!

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