Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions



good point, let me go back and refine, the model that I perceive Eliezer talking about. I think you are the one confused but only because i was confusing. my original point was that spending time working on proving or disproving a religion is a waste of time because of what I pointed out above, either we have a regular and consistent universe to discover or we are having the wool pulled over our eyes at every turn and which ever way it is, it's meaningless to worry about it until we find any sort of solid evidence in either direction. I wasn't even referring to a particular religion, just the general religious concept of an all powerful deity or deities of any sort. I was just trying to point out the irrationality of going about disproving something that (if we take a religious source at its word) can exists beyond the bonds of logic. Thanks for the reply and the criticism though, if you haven't caught on, I'm new to here and looking for the help to improve.


as i post this i realize it stinks of a mysterious answer along the lines of lord kelvin. To clarify, i do not glory in this, i don't even like it. But if I am to stay dedicated to rationalism, I must look for ways to disprove my postition and it so far has informed me that to do battle with an almighty creator or the delusions of him, we must first find solid ground to work from, and we have yet to find it. I also recognize that the flying spaghetti monster argument is used to make the exact opposite statement of what i used it for, but thats what makes it good. Its not just a satire, its an observation of what things would look like in the presences of an all powerful god.


an atheist argument in support of an almighty god. this is not meant to be a straw argument but rather a (hopefully) rational aspect on the futility of disproving religion and god.
To set out what i currently think i understand about Eliezer's argument, He conceives as god as the programmer. our reality is akin to the matrix and God is they guy who has total control. He can rewind his scenario, review it as a whole, and can basically do anything he wills. With this definition in mind, Eliezer takes roughly two or three methods of disapproval. 1) disapproval by confirmed falsification of observed events. ie: our world is not in fact, riding on four elephants standing on a turtle swimming through the great unknown. (disapproval by photo of earth quite clearly hanging in the darkness of the universe suspiciously absent of turtle) 2) this one i am shakier on his use of, but I would call it disapproval by logical impossibility. ie: questions such as can god create a rock that he cannot lift? or the simple proof by non appearance, if he proves himself through non interference then miracles are proof of his non existence ( I will note that i have heard my first example to be flawed) 3) proof by Ethical observation. Using rationally derived ethics as a prior, we compare those to God's observed actions (ie killing first born sons to make a point) and compare to see where they do not match.

Unfortunately, all of these disproofs (with the exception of the third to a certain degree) are all based on a simple prior that is on shaky ground itself, which is my (hopefully correct) assumption of Eliezer's model of God. I'm not entirely sure at which point all powerful lost its meaning, but I'm relatively sure that from a strict assumption of "all powerful" i would anticipate seeing an entity that is more than capable of bypassing logical impossibility IE: god can preform acts that under Bayesian reasoning come out to more that 100% and on top of that can preform them in our reality without breaking it (yet another case of over 100%). In the end it leads back to the original Descartes questions of doubt, how can we be sure of anything and the answer turns out, we can't. All powerful means all powerful. For a lesser illustration of what i mean, see the flying spaghetti monster, who changes experimental results as they happen so that everything we have ever tried has been systematically falsified to make it look like we live in an ordered and structured universe when we don't.


Again, please help me and let me know if I am wrong, badly wrong, or very badly wrong but a little right, but Eliezer's argument seems to suffer from a couple basic flaws, the use of replacing emergence with magic being the first. It certainly serves its point to draw the parallel's between the current use of emergence and magic, but i could just as easily say, A: The car moves because of (combustion being directed into useful kinetic energy that causes parts to move and the car to run) B: the car moves because of magic as you noted, magic fails to explain everything because it is so general, and so can be compared to anything, in which lies the fallacy. You could make your point about magic and anything just as easily because magic isn't a real explanation, nor is it a good comparative point for anything. and the other point i guess is one that every college freshman knows, "wikipedia is not a liget source of anything. dont use it" though i will say that the comparisons to an engine and go earlier do not serve the purpose of those who support the hypothesis that emergence is a legitimate concept because as I noted above, the individual pieces of an engine do posses the property of motion, the oil and the fire, should you heap all the pieces of a car in a pile atop a bucket of oil and apply fire you will find that each individual piece will gain the property of motion quite rapidly and in your general direction.


You will have to forgive me, as i am over three years late to get here since inception, and about six months late since the last comment, but surely rationality waits for all. I seek the help of rationalists more advanced then me because something still seems very flawed with the argument when I account for my previous understanding of emergence. As I understood it, emergence most recently came about when psychology hit a serious recursive (is that the right word?) question, that is namely "where is consciousness located in the mind?". To frame my objection and not to patronize those who are familiar, the basic search before recent time consisted of the search for the homunculus, the little man in our head who would take in our sensory information and respond in kind. various candidates were found and rejected due to the simple fact that once you choose and individual structure to possess the properties of consciousness you must then answer how it in turn perceives and understands everything and get caught in an eternal loop of ever smaller integrative centers (because the little man in your head must also have internal structure that allows it do it's job). On top of that, even setting the recursive(?) problem aside, none of the brains structures seem to posses the property of consciousness. The eventual hypothesis submitted was emergence. Because it