Artificial Intelligence News

AI will make religion obsolete soon?

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Within our lifetimes, according to Daily Dot’s Dylan Love:

Neal VanDeRee, officiator at the Church of Perpetual Life: I believe that it is inevitable that the arrival of a superintelligence is bound to happen, and when looking at the current course of AI, this should be within our lifetime. I would imagine that it could very nearly replicate life as we know it now, but without pain, suffering, and death.

Naturally, time will tell.

Lincoln Cannon: For practical and moral reasons, I trust in our opportunity and capacity as a human civilization, to evolve intentionally into compassionate superintelligence. I don’t think it’s inevitable, and I do think there are serious risks. But I do trust it’s possible, particularly if we put aside passive, escapist, and nihilistic attitudes about our future and work to mitigate the risks while pursuing the opportunities.

What about sin?

John Messerly: Thinkers disagree about this. [Founder of the Transhumanist political party] Zoltan Istvan thinks that we will inevitably try to control SIs and teach them our ways, which may include teaching them about our gods. Christopher J. Benek, co-founder and chair of the Christian Transhumanist Association, thinks that AI, by possibly eradicating poverty, war, and disease, might lead humans to becoming more holy. But other Christian thinkers believe AIs are machines without souls and cannot be saved.

Of course, like most philosophers, I don’t believe in souls, and the only way for there to be a good future is if we save ourselves. No gods will save us because there are no gods—unless we become gods. More.

Become gods? Been tried. See also: sin 😉

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71 Replies to “AI will make religion obsolete soon?

  1. 1
    Silver Asiatic says:

    If a computer is 10,000 times smarter than a human, then won’t it already have deduced with certainty which, if any, religion is true?

    Computers do not possess knowledge as such. Computers receive human inputs and perform calculations/comparisons more quickly and consistently than humans.

    But computers do not have a reason for their own existence. Therefore, they cannot recognize a simple distinction between what is good and what is bad, unless they’re programmed with a human philosophy to distinguish that.

    Given most futurists are materialists, most computer intelligences are built on materialist understandings of good and evil (therefore incoherent understandings).

    I would imagine that it could very nearly replicate life as we know it now, but without pain, suffering, and death.

    This assumes that pain, suffering and death are things that should be eliminated. Computers cannot know that unless someone tells them. And without God, humans cannot know that either.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    I think we have a long way to go before that happens – if it ever does.

    Definition of SIN

    1 a : an offense against religious or moral law

    […]

    2 a : transgression of the law of God

    No God, no God’s law, no sin.

    That whole story of the Fall just makes no sense at all, in any case.

    If God didn’t want Adam and Eve to have knowledge of good and evil, why put the tree there in the first place? As a test? That makes no sense either. You run a test because you don’t know what the outcome might be. God is omniscient by definition. He would have know exactly what Adam and Eve would do. For certain. In advance. He had no need of a test.

    He also created Adam and Eve. A perfect God doesn’t make mistakes. If they behaved in a certain way, that is how He designed them to behave, that is how He intended them to behave, that is how He knew they would behave?

    So how was it their fault if they did what He designed them to do?

    And even if it was an offense against His law, while it might be just to punish the offenders, how is it just to punish their descendants? In perpetuity?

  3. 3
    Virgil Cain says:

    God is omniscient by definition.

    1- Which means God knows ALL possible outcomes

    2- God is not beholden to our definitions

    A perfect God doesn’t make mistakes.

    1- God is not beholden to our definitions

    2- It doesn’t follow that even if God is perfect that did not mean God had to make a perfect creation

    And even if it was an offense against His law, while it might be just to punish the offenders, how is it just to punish their descendants?

    By allowing them into Heaven if they led a proper life. IOW the reward justifies everything.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    As to this claim from the article in the OP:

    “The singularity is a hypothesized time in the future, approximately 2045, when the capabilities of non-living electronic machines will supersede human capabilities. Undismissable contemporary thinkers like Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Ray Kurzweil warn us that it will change everything.”

    As Twain would have said, the reports of the death of our God given human capabilities is greatly exaggerated.
    Godel proved as such with his incompleteness theorem.
    This following video is very interesting for revealing how Godel’s incompleteness theorem was brought about:

    BBC-Dangerous Knowledge – Part 1
    https://vimeo.com/30482156
    Part 2
    https://vimeo.com/30641992

    Georg Cantor’s part in incompleteness is briefly discussed here in this excerpt from the preceding video

    Georg Cantor – The Mathematics Of Infinity – video
    http://www.disclose.tv/action/....._Infinity/

    Kurt Godel’s part in bringing the incompleteness theorem to fruition can be picked up here in this excerpt:

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821

    A bit more solid connection between Cantor and Godel’s work is illuminated here:

    Naming and Diagonalization, from Cantor to Godel to Kleene – 2006
    Excerpt: The first part of the paper is a historical reconstruction of the way Godel probably derived his proof from Cantor’s diagonalization, through the semantic version of Richard. The incompleteness proof-including the fixed point construction-result from a natural line of thought, thereby dispelling the appearance of a “magic trick”. The analysis goes on to show how Kleene’s recursion theorem is obtained along the same lines.
    http://www.citeulike.org/group.....le/1001747

    An overview of how Godel’s incompleteness applies to computers is briefly discussed in the following except of the video:

    Alan Turing & Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8516356/

    As to the implications of his incompleteness theorem, Godel stated it bluntly as such:

    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind, or the human mind is more than a machine.”
    Kurt Gödel – As quoted in Topoi : The Categorial Analysis of Logic (1979) by Robert Goldblatt, p. 13

    Here are a few more notes in extension to Godel’s incompleteness theorem:

    The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006
    Excerpt: Unlike Gödel’s approach, mine is based on measuring information and showing that some mathematical facts cannot be compressed into a theory because they are too complicated. This new approach suggests that what Gödel discovered was just the tip of the iceberg: an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.
    http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~chaitin/sciamer3.pdf

    Conservation of information, evolution, etc – Sept. 30, 2014
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel’s logical objection to Darwinian evolution:
    “The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components. The complexity of the living things has to be present within the material [from which they are derived] or in the laws [governing their formation].”
    As quoted in H. Wang. “On `computabilism’ and physicalism: Some Problems.” in Nature’s Imagination, J. Cornwall, Ed, pp.161-189, Oxford University Press (1995).
    Gödel’s argument is that if evolution is unfolding from an initial state by mathematical laws of physics, it cannot generate any information not inherent from the start – and in his view, neither the primaeval environment nor the laws are information-rich enough.,,,
    More recently this led him (Dembski) to postulate a Law of Conservation of Information, or actually to consolidate the idea, first put forward by Nobel-prizewinner Peter Medawar in the 1980s. Medawar had shown, as others before him, that in mathematical and computational operations, no new information can be created, but new findings are always implicit in the original starting points – laws and axioms.
    http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.u.....ution-etc/

    Evolutionary Computing: The Invisible Hand of Intelligence – June 17, 2015
    Excerpt: William Dembski and Robert Marks have shown that no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search — unless information is added from an intelligent cause, which means it is not, in the Darwinian sense, an evolutionary algorithm after all. This mathematically proven law, based on the accepted No Free Lunch Theorems, seems to be lost on the champions of evolutionary computing. Researchers keep confusing an evolutionary algorithm (a form of artificial selection) with “natural evolution.” ,,,
    Marks and Dembski account for the invisible hand required in evolutionary computing. The Lab’s website states, “The principal theme of the lab’s research is teasing apart the respective roles of internally generated and externally applied information in the performance of evolutionary systems.” So yes, systems can evolve, but when they appear to solve a problem (such as generating complex specified information or reaching a sufficiently narrow predefined target), intelligence can be shown to be active. Any internally generated information is conserved or degraded by the law of Conservation of Information.,,,
    What Marks and Dembski prove is as scientifically valid and relevant as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics. You can’t prove a system of mathematics from within the system, and you can’t derive an information-rich pattern from within the pattern.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....96931.html

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related interest: Computers will never be able to ‘compute consciousness’:

    Consciousness Does Not Compute (and Never Will), Says Korean Scientist – May 05, 2015 (based on his 2007 paper)
    Excerpt: “Non-computability of Consciousness” documents Song’s quantum computer research into TS (technological singularity (TS) or strong artificial intelligence). Song was able to show that in certain situations, a conscious state can be precisely and fully represented in mathematical terms, in much the same manner as an atom or electron can be fully described mathematically. That’s important, because the neurobiological and computational approaches to brain research have only ever been able to provide approximations at best. In representing consciousness mathematically, Song shows that consciousness is not compatible with a machine.
    Song’s work also shows consciousness is not like other physical systems like neurons, atoms or galaxies. “If consciousness cannot be represented in the same way all other physical systems are represented, it may not be something that arises out of a physical system like the brain,” said Song. “The brain and consciousness are linked together, but the brain does not produce consciousness. Consciousness is something altogether different and separate. The math doesn’t lie.”
    Of note: Daegene Song obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oxford
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news.....77306.html

    Song defends his work here:

    Reply to Mathematical Error in “Incompatibility Between Quantum Theory and Consciousness” – Daegene Song – 2008
    http://www.neuroquantology.com.....ad/176/176

    Here is another angle in which computers were, again, shown to be mathematically incompatible with consciousness:

    Sentient robots? Not possible if you do the maths – 13 May 2014
    Over the past decade, Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his colleagues have developed a mathematical framework for consciousness that has become one of the most influential theories in the field. According to their model, the ability to integrate information is a key property of consciousness. ,,,
    But there is a catch, argues Phil Maguire at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth. He points to a computational device called the XOR logic gate, which involves two inputs, A and B. The output of the gate is “1” if A and B are the same and “0” if A and B are different. In this scenario, it is impossible to predict the output based on A or B alone – you need both.
    Crucially, this type of integration requires loss of information, says Maguire: “You have put in two bits, and you get one out. If the brain integrated information in this fashion, it would have to be continuously haemorrhaging information.”,,,
    Based on this definition, Maguire and his team have shown mathematically that computers can’t handle any process that integrates information completely. If you accept that consciousness is based on total integration, then computers can’t be conscious.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....3LD5ChuqCe

    Of related note: Computers have no free will to create new algorithmic information, nor do they have conscious awareness so as to be able to take the overall context of a situation into consideration:

    Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas G. Robertson – 1999
    Excerpt: Chaitin’s Algorithmic Information Theory shows that information is conserved under formal mathematical operations and, equivalently, under computer operations. This conservation law puts a new perspective on many familiar problems related to artificial intelligence. For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomenon: the creation of new information.
    “… no operation performed by a computer can create new information.”
    http://cires.colorado.edu/~dou...../info8.pdf

    The danger of artificial stupidity – Saturday, 28 February 2015
    “Computers lack mathematical insight: in his book The Emperor’s New Mind, the Oxford mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose deployed Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem to argue that, in general, the way mathematicians provide their “unassailable demonstrations” of the truth of certain mathematical assertions is fundamentally non-algorithmic and non-computational”
    http://machineslikeus.com/news.....-stupidity

    What Is a Mind? More Hype from Big Data – Erik J. Larson – May 6, 2014
    Excerpt: In 1979, University of Pittsburgh philosopher John Haugeland wrote an interesting article in the Journal of Philosophy, “Understanding Natural Language,” about Artificial Intelligence. At that time, philosophy and AI were still paired, if uncomfortably. Haugeland’s article is one of my all time favorite expositions of the deep mystery of how we interpret language. He gave a number of examples of sentences and longer narratives that, because of ambiguities at the lexical (word) level, he said required “holistic interpretation.” That is, the ambiguities weren’t resolvable except by taking a broader context into account. The words by themselves weren’t enough.
    Well, I took the old 1979 examples Haugeland claimed were difficult for MT, and submitted them to Google Translate, as an informal “test” to see if his claims were still valid today.,,,
    ,,,Translation must account for context, so the fact that Google Translate generates the same phrase in radically different contexts is simply Haugeland’s point about machine translation made afresh, in 2014.
    Erik J. Larson – Founder and CEO of a software company in Austin, Texas
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....85251.html

    And since computers have no free will to create new algorithmic information, nor conscious awareness so as to be able to take the overall context of a situation into consideration, then a fairly easy way to defeat the Turing test is to simply tell or invent a joke:

    “(a computer) lacks the ability to distinguish between language and meta-language.,,,
    As known, jokes are difficult to understand and even more difficult to invent, given their subtle semantic traps and their complex linguistic squirms. The judge can reliably tell the human (from the computer)”
    Per niwrad
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....artifices/

    For Artificial Intelligence, Humor Is a Bridge Too Far – November 13, 2014
    Excerpt: The article reminded me of an exercise in one of my first programming books that made me aware of the limits of computers and AI. I’ve forgotten the author of the book, but the problem was something like the following: “Write a program that takes in a stream of characters that represent a joke, reads the input and decides whether it’s funny or not.”
    It’s a perfect illustration of Erik’s statement, “Interestingly, where brute computation and big data fail is in surprisingly routine situations that give humans no difficulty at all.” Even when my grandchildren were very young I marveled at how they grasped the humor of a joke, even a subtle one.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....91211.html

    Such as this joke:

    Turing Test Extra Credit – Convince The Examiner That He’s The Computer – cartoon
    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/turing_test.png

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    or perhaps this one:

    Turing Test – cartoon
    http://static.existentialcomic.....ngTest.jpg

    As to this claim from the article in the OP:

    “The simple fact is that the authors of ancient scriptures in all religious traditions obviously knew nothing of modern science. Thus they couldn’t predict anything like a technological singularity.”

    Actually, besides the fact that modern science was born out of the proper epistemological basis that was provided by Christianity, (i.e. rational creatures made in the image of God who could therefore apprehend the rational basis in which God had created the universe), the fact of the matter is that the Bible predicted, i.e. prophesied, ‘knowledge shall be increased’ long ago:

    Daniel 12:4
    But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

    Of related interest to the prophesied ‘knowledge shall be increased’ is this amazing prophesy that was recently fulfilled by Israel last century:

    Daniel 12:4
    And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

    Restoration Of Israel and Jerusalem In Prophecy – Chuck Missler (Doing The Math) – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8598581/

    Entire Chuck Missler video may be viewed here:

    Chuck Missler – Prophecy 101 – 2 of 4 – Prophecy Past – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vZnO6RVmEI

    Although Missler said that he ‘cheated’ and ‘backed into the calculation’, none-the-less, the preceding start date, used in his prophecy calculation, is confirmed by the archaeological record:

    Bible Prophecy Fulfilled – Israel 1948 – article
    Excerpt: Although July 15, 537 B.C. can not be verified by outside sources as the exact day of Cyrus’s proclamation, we do know that 537 B.C. was the year in which he made it. As such, we can know for certain that the Bible, in one of the most remarkable prophecies in history, accurately foresaw the year of Israel’s restoration as an independent nation some two thousand five hundred years before the event occurred.
    http://brittgillette.com/WordPress/?p=16

    SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
    Excerpt “In late years several cuneiform tablets have been discovered pertaining to the fall of Babylon which peg both Biblical and secular historic dates. The one tablet known as the “Nabunaid Chronicle” gives the date for the fall of Babylon which specialists have ascertained as being October 12-13, 539 B.C., Julian Calendar, or October 6-7, 539 B.C., according to our present Gregorian Calendar. This tablet also says that Cyrus made his triumphant entry into Babylon 16 days after its fall to his army. Thus his accession year commenced in October, 539 B.C. However, in another cuneiform tablet called “Strassmaier, Cyrus No. 11″ Cyrus’ first regnal year is mentioned and was determined to have begun March 17-18, 538 B.C., and to have concluded March 4-5, 537 B.C. It was in this first regnal year of Cyrus that he issued his decree to permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. (Ezra 1:1) The decree may have been made in late 538 B.C. or before March 4-5, 537 B.C.
    In either case this would have given sufficient time for the large party of 49,897 Jews to organize their expedition and to make their long four-month journey from Babylon to Jerusalem to get there by September 29-30, 537 B.C., the first of the seventh Jewish month, to build their altar to Jehovah as recorded at Ezra 3:1-3. Inasmuch as September 29-30, 537 B.C., officially ends the seventy years of desolation as recorded at 2 Chronicles 36:20, 21, so the beginning of the desolation of the land must have officially begun to be counted after September 21-22, 607 B.C., the first of the seventh Jewish month in 607 B.C., which is the beginning point for the counting of the 2,520 years.”
    http://onlytruegod.org/jwstrs/537vs539.htm

    Related video:

    The Miracle of the Restoration of the Nation of Israel – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydwxy9yqhzM

    Verse and Music:

    2 Peter 1:19
    So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

    Mandisa – Waiting for Tomorrow – (lyrics)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ezrFxWjyZQ

  7. 7
    Mapou says:

    God is omniscient by definition.

    This is a lie, the work of the devil, IMO. Worse, it’s not even wrong.

  8. 8
    Mapou says:

    A perfect God…

    This, too, is a lie, the work of the devil. It’s not even wrong.

  9. 9
    Mapou says:

    He also created Adam and Eve.

    He only created their bodies, not their spirits. Bodies (matter) cannot sin because morality is a spiritual concept, not physical. Your spirit is your own. Spirits can neither be created nor destroyed. They just are.

  10. 10
    EvilSnack says:

    AI is itself impossible. We can understand machines, but it’s been proven (via the Halting Problem) that machines cannot understand machines.

    You cannot get around this by claiming that humans are merely very sophisticated machines; that is an unproven assertion.

  11. 11
    Mapou says:

    EvilSnack @10,

    Of course, AI is possible. We already have many intelligent machines all around us, even if they are only intelligent in narrow domains. Even the lowly thermostat has a modicum of intelligence. And yes, I agree that humans are very sophisticated machines, the result of advanced design. It’s just that they have something else that machines will not have, a soul.

  12. 12
    Mapou says:

    And EvilSnack, what’s with the nonsense of the Halting problem proving that “machines cannot understand machines”? Where does that come from?

  13. 13
    Dr JDD says:

    Seversky – how can you have free will without choice?

    How can you have love or relationship when there is no choice?

    So there is no tree there is no choice to not love through obedience. Then the created humans are mere machines.

  14. 14
    goodusername says:

    Seversky – how can you have free will without choice?

    How can you have love or relationship when there is no choice?

    So there is no tree there is no choice to not love through obedience. Then the created humans are mere machines.

    I don’t think you realize it but I’m pretty that all you did was merely rephrase the very questions that Seversky just asked. Indeed, how can you have free if we were created by an all-powerful God who knows the future with certainty? What sense does it mean to “choose” (if by that we mean to select from a set of different possible choices) if the future was already determined the instant God created?

  15. 15
    Mapou says:

    goodusername:

    Indeed, how can you have free if we were created by an all-powerful God who knows the future with certainty?

    You are absolutely correct and this is a legitimate and solid refutation of the omniscient/omnipotent God heresy one hears so much among Christians of all stripes. I say this as a Christian.

  16. 16
    dl says:

    Seversky,

    I’m not an expert in this by any means, so please don’t misinterpret my questions as disagreement. I’d just like to get some clarification.

    Would free will remove God’s ability to to know for a certainty what is going to happen? My (limited) understanding of Christian philosophy is that free will would be a variable that God has chosen not to control. From my perspective (obviously that would not apply to anybody who could create the universe) it seems like creatures with free will would be more useful than creatures without free will. Of course I don’t want to speak for God, but the “free will” thing does seem consistent with God not knowing what would happen.

    Mapou, I’m interested in your beliefs. You’ve probably explained them in other posts, but I’m way too lazy to look that up. Do you have any web pages that describe your beliefs?

    Thanks.

  17. 17
    EvilSnack says:

    Mapou @ 11

    Your definition of intelligence applies to machinery only because you set the threshold low enough so that anything with switches or moving parts qualifies; in other words, you are attacking a straw man. In the examples you cite, the machines show nothing like intelligence; they merely follow a set of instructions that a human has already programmed into them.

    As for the Halting problem, it proved that no algorithm can answer, for every possible combination of algorithm and input, whether that algorithm will eventually halt or continue indefinitely. Humans who have the proper learning can do this; some of us do it as part of our jobs.

    As for free will and omniscience being contradictory: If there is no God, then the materialist standpoint is true; if the materialist standpoint is true, then we are nothing but the materia known to science; and if we are nothing but the materia known to science, then free will is illusory. So it is not a case that they are contradictory; one is in fact dependent on the other, and not contradicted by it.

  18. 18
    Dr JDD says:

    Mapou Can you explain to me the 5th dimension?

    How about the 10th?

    So you claim that because your human brain cannot reason how a God outside of our space-time (I.e. For all intents and purposes in another dimension) can know the future yet we still have free will therefore you say it can’t be true?

    I would expect nothing less though – after all you deny the Trinity and have made comments that hint you deny the incarnation and Jesus being God in human form. Yet you constantly protest you are a “Christian”. I fear for your true spiritual state if I’m honest, and Galatians 1 springs to mind.

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    So how was it their fault if they did what He designed them to do?

    Because He designed them with the capability of taking responsiblity for their free choices.

    And even if it was an offense against His law, while it might be just to punish the offenders, how is it just to punish their descendants? In perpetuity?

    Life and all of its qualities, including the possibility of eternal happiness, is purely a gift. Justice has to be measured against that. The inherited sin is a limitation on that gift and doesn’t represent (or function like) a punishment for the individual inheritor’s actions.

  20. 20
    Mapou says:

    dl:

    Mapou, I’m interested in your beliefs. You’ve probably explained them in other posts, but I’m way too lazy to look that up. Do you have any web pages that describe your beliefs?

    Not on these topics. My research (search and you shall find) consists mainly of deciphering the metaphorical books and passages in the Bible. My thesis is that they contain scientific knowledge and revelations that will shake the foundation of civilization.

  21. 21
    Mapou says:

    EvilSnack:

    Your definition of intelligence applies to machinery only because you set the threshold low enough so that anything with switches or moving parts qualifies;

    IMO, intelligence is a mechanical phenomenon. Why? Because it deals with causes and effects.

    in other words, you are attacking a straw man. In the examples you cite, the machines show nothing like intelligence; they merely follow a set of instructions that a human has already programmed into them.

    You don’t think that the brain follows a bunch of instructions as well according to its programming? If intelligence is not in the brain, why do you use it?

    As for the Halting problem, it proved that no algorithm can answer, for every possible combination of algorithm and input, whether that algorithm will eventually halt or continue indefinitely. Humans who have the proper learning can do this; some of us do it as part of our jobs.

    The halting problem is irrelevant to computing because computers are not Turing machines. I’m a software engineer and I can assure you that programmers never think about either Turing or his halting problem while programming.

    As for free will and omniscience being contradictory: If there is no God, then the materialist standpoint is true; if the materialist standpoint is true, then we are nothing but the materia known to science; and if we are nothing but the materia known to science, then free will is illusory. So it is not a case that they are contradictory; one is in fact dependent on the other, and not contradicted by it.

    This is incoherent. The illogic of omniscience does not prevent the existence of Gods. In fact, I believe in the existence of billions upon billions of Gods starting with just Yahweh Elohim (plural). I also believe in the existence of the Gods of the Sumerians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Mayans, etc. Your insistence that God must be omniscience is not based on logic but on various human illogical doctrines and dogmas. Furthermore, the book of Genesis refutes it by revealing that Yahweh Elohim regretted having created mankind on earth.

  22. 22
    Mapou says:

    Dr JDD:

    Mapou Can you explain to me the 5th dimension?

    How about the 10th?

    Certainly. A dimension is a degree of freedom. I believe there are only four dimensions, all of them spatial. A time dimension is nonsense.

    So you claim that because your human brain cannot reason how a God outside of our space-time (I.e. For all intents and purposes in another dimension) can know the future yet we still have free will therefore you say it can’t be true?

    You have no clue what a dimension is and you don’t know what my brain can comprehend. I believe in logic and wisdom and so does Yahweh. Yahweh knows the future up to a point and he can make the future happen as he predicted because he has that kind of power. But if he knew the entire future of the universe, there would be no point in creating it. Besides, if you know everything, you cannot change your mind. What a boring life that would be.

    I would expect nothing less though – after all you deny the Trinity

    Yes I do because it’s stupid. I don’t park my brain in a closet when I read the Bible or anything else.

    and have made comments that hint you deny the incarnation and Jesus being God in human form.

    You are putting words in my mouth. Don’t do that.

    Yet you constantly protest you are a “Christian”.

    I protest? Not at all. I affirm.

    I fear for your true spiritual state if I’m honest, and Galatians 1 springs to mind.

    Don’t preach to me, goddamnit. I refuse to be preached to by anybody unless the preacher can walk on water or fly around like Superman or something. Until then, adios.

  23. 23
    dl says:

    Mapou,

    Are your posts on this forum, or other places? I tend to have a no traditional understanding of the Bible, so I’d like to hear what you have to say

    Thanks.

  24. 24
    Mapou says:

    dl, you can click on Mapou above. It’s a link to my personal blog.

  25. 25
    dl says:

    Mapou, thanks, I’m on my way!

  26. 26
    Mapou says:

    dl,

    BTW, I write a lot about artificial intelligence (and the brain) and physics because I have uncovered several metaphorical passages in scripture that explain fundamental and revolutionary aspects of both.

  27. 27
    Mapou says:

    AI will make religion obsolete soon?

    I just love the irony of the title of this post, not only because the answer is a resounding NO, but because I happen to know that true AI will come from the one place that nobody suspects: religion. The Christian religion, to be exact.

    I don’t mean “true AI” in the materialist sense of a conscious machine but of a generally intelligent but unconscious machine that will learn like a child and eventually behave as if it had an accurate and advanced understanding of its environment. This will happen in your lifetimes, much sooner than you think. Wait for it.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky at 2 tries to say that God’s omniscience and man’s free will are irreconcilable with each other. Therefore, I take it, he concludes that if God exists then man has no free will.
    That his own preferred atheistic/materialistic philosophy itself rules out free will from the get go is a given.
    Thus, I guess that Seversky is stuck trying to argue for the position that given either atheism or theism, then there is no such thing as free will.

    Trouble with his complete denial of the existence of free will, no matter what philosophy, is that Seversky ends up denying that he is capable of rational thought so as to make the argument in the first place:

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

    (1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts.
    (2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain.
    (3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2)
    (4) no effect can control its cause.
    Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality.
    per Box UD

    To say there are a few bugs to work out in his argument against free will would be a drastic understatement.

    But let’s try anyway.

    From what I can tell, Seversky’s main gripe with the omniscience of God and man having free will is the presence of evil in the world. i.e. ‘if God exists there should be no evil’ if I get the gist of his argument right.

    Which I find to be a strange argument for him to make since free will and the existence of evil are directly correlated with other in the bible. i.e. Man freely chose to disobey God and brought evil into the world!

    Perhaps Seversky has never heard of the free will defense against the problem of evil

    The Free Will Defense:
    Is God Good? (Free will and the problem of evil) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfd_1UAjeIA

    If God, Why Evil? (1 of 4) – Norm Geisler – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSTzJ-kbfkc

    Does God Control Everything – Tim Keller – (God’s sovereignty and our free will, how do they mesh?) – video (12:00 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkQ6ld8dn7I

    But, aside from philosophical argumentation, what does the evidence from physics itself tells us about the existence of free will? Certainly, that should shed much more light on the matter.

    In the following experiment, the atheistic claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is directly falsified by the fact that our present conscious choices are, in fact, effecting past material states:

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    In other words, if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) how in blue blazes are my choices instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past? This experiment is simply impossible for any coherent atheistic/materialistic presupposition!

    In the following video, at the 37:00 minute mark, Anton Zeilinger, a leading researcher in quantum teleportation with many breakthroughs under his belt, humorously reflects on just how deeply determinism has been undermined by quantum mechanics by saying such a deep lack of determinism may provide some of us a loop hole when they meet God on judgment day.

    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw

    Just how deeply the materialistic notion of determinism is undermined by quantum mechanics is captured here:

    People Keep Making Einstein’s (Real) Greatest Blunder – July 2011
    Excerpt: It was in these debates (with Bohr) that Einstein declared his real greatest blunder:
    “God does not play dice with the Universe.”
    As much as we all admire Einstein,,
    ,, don’t keep making his (real) greatest blunder. I’ll leave the last word to Bohr, who allegedly said,
    “Don’t tell God what to do with his dice.”
    ,,, To clarify, it isn’t simply that there’s randomness; that at some level, “God plays dice.” Even local, real interpretations of quantum mechanics with hidden variables can do that. It’s that we know something about the type of dice that the Universe plays. And the dice cannot be both local and real; people claiming otherwise have experimental data to answer to.
    http://scienceblogs.com/starts.....nsteins-g/

    Personally, I feel that such a deep undermining of determinism by quantum mechanics, far from providing a ‘loop hole’ on judgement day as Dr. Zeilinger stated, actually restores free will to its rightful place in the grand scheme of things, thus making God’s final judgments on men’s souls all the more fully binding since man truly is a ‘free moral agent’ to fullest ‘infinite’ extent possible.
    That ‘infinite non-local randomness’ is (by necessity) associated with quantum mechanics prior to measurement does not negate the fact that free will can override that ‘infinite randomness’ and choose the most desirable of only two options.

    Steering by peeking: Physicists control quantum particles by looking at them – Feb 17, 2014
    Excerpt: By varying the strength of the coupling between the nucleus and the electron, the scientists could carefully tune the measurement strength. A weaker measurement reveals less information, but also has less back-action. An analysis of the nuclear spin after such a weak measurement showed that the nuclear spin remained in a (slightly altered) superposition of two states. In this way, the scientists verified that the change of the state (induced by the back-action) precisely matched the amount of information that was gained by the measurement.
    Steering by peeking
    The scientists realised that it is possible to steer the nuclear spin by applying sequential measurements with varying measurement strength. Since the outcome of a measurement is not known in advance, the researchers implemented a feedback loop in the experiment. They chose the strength of the second measurement depending on the outcome of the first measurement. In this way the scientists could steer the nucleus towards a desired superposition state,,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2014-02-p.....icles.html

    In other words, if you don’t like that the cat might be dead (nucleus pointing down), you back off the strength of your measurement until you get a reading telling you that the cat might be more alive than dead (nucleus pointing up) and then once you get that reading you increase the strength of the measurement, as long as the measurement continues to give you the desired more alive than dead state, until you finally have complete knowledge that the cat is fully alive (nucleus pointing up). The preceding experiment is obviously another strong confirmation of free will’s axiomatic position within quantum mechanics.

    Also of note: since our free will choices figure so prominently in how reality is actually found to be constructed in our understanding of quantum mechanics, I think a Christian perspective on just how important our choices are in this temporal life, in regards to our eternal destiny, is very fitting:

    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”
    – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    And exactly as would be expected on the Christian view of reality, we find two very different eternities in reality. There is found to be an ‘infinitely destructive’ eternity associated with General Relativity and there is also found to be an extremely orderly eternity associated with Special Relativity:

    Special Relativity, General Relativity, Heaven and Hell
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Also of note to the ‘problem of evil’ and free will, both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on the same day and shared many strange similarities in their lives,

    “Both men lost their mothers in early childhood, both suffered depression and both struggled with religious questions. The two also had poor relations with their fathers and each lost a child in early childbirth. Lincoln and Darwin both share “late bloomers” disease: Neither found real success until their middle years — Darwin published The Origin of the Species at 50 and Lincoln was elected President one year later.”
    http://www.tressugar.com/Linco.....nk-1757730

    ,,,but the one thing in common that they shared that separated the two men drastically was the way they in which they chose to handle the evil that happened within their lives.
    Darwin, though drifting away from God for a long while, was permanently driven away from God because of what he perceived to be the ‘unjust’ death of his daughter,,

    “The death of his daughter was a significant event in Darwin’s life, and certainly consolidated his belief that a bad world is incompatible with a good God.”
    http://askjohnmackay.com/quest.....ristianity

    (In fact, Origin of Species, instead of relying on any compelling scientific evidence, relies heavily on the faulty Theodicy of the argument from evil to try to make its case for evolution).

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 6, 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    Whereas Lincoln, on the other hand, was driven from his mild skepticism about God into a deep reliance upon God because of the death of his son.

    Abraham Lincoln’s Path to Divine Providence
    Excerpt: In 1862, when Lincoln was 53 years old, his 11-year-old son Willie died. Lincoln’s wife “tried to deal with her grief by searching out New Age mediums.” Lincoln turned to Phineas Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington. Several long talks led to what Gurley described as “a conversion to Christ.” Lincoln confided that he was “driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I have nowhere else to go.”
    Similarly, the horrors of the dead and wounded soldiers assaulted him daily. There were fifty hospitals for the wounded in Washington. The rotunda of the Capitol held 2,000 cots for wounded soldiers. Typically, fifty soldiers a day died in these temporary hospitals. All of this drove Lincoln deeper into the providence of God. “We cannot but believe, that He who made the world still governs it.”
    His most famous statement about the providence of God in relation to the Civil War was his Second Inaugural Address, given a month before he was assassinated. It is remarkable for not making God a simple supporter for the Union or Confederate cause. He has his own purposes and does not excuse sin on either side.
    “Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war might speedily pass away…. Yet if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago so still it must be said, “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.”
    http://www.christianity.com/th.....99728.html

    Verse and Music:

    Luke 23:39-43
    One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
    But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
    Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
    Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

    Held- Natalie Grant – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk_y9204TBM

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note: I like the following attitude from a cancer survivor in regards to the evil and suffering that happened in his life:

    “We are His masterpiece. The greatest creation he has ever made. See what God has to offer you. See what He can do and you will be amazed. When something hits you hard, don’t put that blame on God put that weight on God. Say, “God, take that weight off me.” And He will and He will carry you through the shadow of death, because He wants you to come out on the other side.”
    – Mark Herzlich – The Linebacker Who Couldn’t Be Stopped by Cancer – video
    http://www.cbn.com/tv/3775240000001

  31. 31
    Dr JDD says:

    Mapou – you cannot use your strawman trick of saying because someone disagrees with you that they are preaching at you. That is a fallacy and is side stepping the issue. Your tone and the things you say as evidenced above is in no way different to how others and myself speak when questioning you or anyone if your beliefs. You preach yourself my friend yet you constantly attack those who you claim different to your view of the Bible and do so in an even more preachy way as you claim special I also personal revelation that others don’t have.

    By the way there was a man who could walk on water and He claimed that if you had seen Him you had seen the Father. But I’m sure you already know this having read your Bible.

  32. 32
    Mapou says:

    Dr JDD:

    Mapou – you cannot use your strawman trick of saying because someone disagrees with you that they are preaching at you. That is a fallacy and is side stepping the issue. Your tone and the things you say as evidenced above is in no way different to how others and myself speak when questioning you or anyone if your beliefs. You preach yourself my friend yet you constantly attack those who you claim different to your view of the Bible and do so in an even more preachy way as you claim special I also personal revelation that others don’t have.

    Preachy? This is funny because I go out of my way not to sound like a preacher man. And I don’t claim to have special knowledge. I take pains to specify that what I have is a hypothesis. I will provide a falsification method and a demo program when I publish my work on sensory learning and speech recognition. You’ll hear about it when it comes out.

    By the way there was a man who could walk on water and He claimed that if you had seen Him you had seen the Father. But I’m sure you already know this having read your Bible.

    So? Did I say otherwise? He also said “I and the Father are ONE” and “let them be ONE with us as we are ONE together”. I see no Trinity in the picture. I see yin and yang, I see duality, I see master-servant, that’s what I see.

  33. 33
    Box says:

    Goodusername,

    Goodusername: Indeed, how can you have free if we were created by an all-powerful God who knows the future with certainty?

    Knowing the future can be explained by an outside-time-perspective. Knowing something is not the same as causing something. We know at what time the sun will rise tomorrow, but we don’t cause it to rise.
    Similarly an omniscient God knows which free choices we are going to make without Him doing the choosing for us.

    Goodusername: What sense does it mean to “choose” (if by that we mean to select from a set of different possible choices) if the future was already determined the instant God created?

    We humans, by means of our free choices, are co-determining reality. There is nothing incoherent about that. Which means that, although God may have known the future the instant He created, the future was not (fully) determined the instant He created the initial conditions — at that ‘time’ our input and His future input is lacking.

  34. 34
    Box says:

    Mapou: intelligence is a mechanical phenomenon. Why? Because it deals with causes and effects.

    That is an utterly unhelpful criterion. A doorbell deals with causes and effects.
    How about “understanding” as a criterion for intelligence? Now explain to me in what way a computer understands anything. Explain to me in what way there is a person who understands anything — in the context of AI. And explain in what way something is understood.
    Also I would like to read your comments on Searle’s Chinese Room Argument.

  35. 35
    Dr JDD says:

    Hi Mapou,
    I apologise if I sound preachy as that is not my intent. Clearly we differ in our interpretation of the Bible and I am more than happy to be corrected concerning the Scriptures if someone can show me from the Scriptures and by it where I err. However mans pure logic and reasoning does not appeal to me because it is fallable.

    I think throughout the history of the Church there have been very clear doctrines because the bible clearly teaches them despite their difficulty to grasp with human minds. The Trinity is one, another is the incarnation, another is omniscience…I would be careful attributing such things as works of the devil and you can only expect provocation when you do (and do so in such a dismissive manner).

    At the end of the day it does not matter what you or I “see”: what matters is truth and truth is not different depending on who interprets what. The genuine concern I have is many in that day of final judgement will say Lord, Lord did we not do X, Y and Z in your name and they are told to depart. Of course that fundamentally applies to me and enduring I am not in that group but it frightens me that there will be many who are. That’s my main concern especially with those who claim to be of the faith as actually the greatest judgement I believe is not for those who live say a very hedonistic lifestyle apart from God but rather those who are so close to the truth yet never fully embrace it.

    I’m not saying that is you I am merely stating my concerns for those who may believe errant doctrine which is doctrine that is uncompromisable.

  36. 36
    mike1962 says:

    Mapou: So? Did I say otherwise? He also said “I and the Father are ONE” and “let them be ONE with us as we are ONE together”. I see no Trinity in the picture. I see yin and yang, I see duality, I see master-servant, that’s what I see.

    Moreover, given the Greek verb, the “oneness” is a unity of individuals, not an absolute numerical one. Clunky perhaps, but the best rendering into English would be, “I and my father, we are (esmen) one.”

  37. 37
    ppolish says:

    Religion obsolete by 2045. That is sillier than flying cars by the 1980s.
    http://www.pewresearch.org/fac...../#comments

    Although AI will most likely spawn new religions and electronic AI “televangelists” lol.

  38. 38
    Mapou says:

    BA77:

    Seversky at 2 tries to say that God’s omniscience and man’s free will are irreconcilable with each other. Therefore, I take it, he concludes that if God exists then man has no free will.

    Seversky is 100% correct if one assumes that God knows everything. There are two possible answers to the problem:

    1. God is not omniscient and there is free will.
    2. God is omniscient and there is no free will.

    The correct answer is 1. Deal with it or don’t. It’s up to you.

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually Mapou, I disagree with you for very principled reasons, but, I find you impossible to reason with.

    That is why I no longer respond to your arguments of ‘truth is now established by mapou’s personal declaration’ any longer. It simply is a waste of my time.

  40. 40
    ppolish says:

    Omniscient God and Free Will are perfectly compatible. Perfectly compatible. Thank BA77 for this explanation….
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bkQ6ld8dn7I

    Omniscient God destroys the idea of “Many Worlds”. God knows if the cat is alive or dead. Lets us decide when to observe.

  41. 41
    goodusername says:

    box,

    Knowing the future can be explained by an outside-time-perspective. Knowing something is not the same as causing something.

    I agree that knowing doesn’t mean the same as causing something – but it does, in principle, mean that the future is determined.

    Again, it goes to the definition of “choice”. I haven’t chosen what to have for dinner yet, and it “feels” like there are several real possibilities. If the future is known than it’s already determined what I’ll have for dinner. Such “choice” is therefore an illusion.

    One neednt invoke God to run into this problem. Many philosophers claim, for the same reason, that if time travel is possible than free will doesn’t exist. But they aren’t claiming the the time travelers themselves caused anything.

    Hawking references this in A Brief History of Time:
    “The reason we say that humans have free will is because we can’t predict what they will do. However, if the human then goes off in a rocket ship and comes back before he or she set off, we will be able to predict what he or she will do because it will be part of recorded history. Thus, in that situation, the time traveler would have no free will.”

    (In the case of God, however, I would say that if he is omnipotent and omniscient than he did cause, well, everything. He created with pefect knowledge of what the results would be, and so if he wanted things to be different than he would have just created things differently in the beginning. But as I said, that’s a completely separate issue.)

    We know at what time the sun will rise tomorrow, but we don’t cause it to rise.

    Indeed, the sun’s prospects of having free will doesn’t look good.

    We humans, by means of our free choices, are co-determining reality. There is nothing incoherent about that. Which means that, although God may have known the future the instant He created, the future was not (fully) determined the instant He created the initial conditions — at that ‘time’ our input and His future input is lacking.

    There’s only nothing incoherent about it if you redefine all the terms.
    If the future is known with absolute certainty than it’s “determined”, that is if the term has any meaning at all.

    And it makes no sense to say our free choices are determining reality when that reality was determined before we made our choices.

  42. 42
    Mapou says:

    Dr JDD @35,

    Here’s what I believe. I believe that all one needs to do in order to be saved is to believe that God died for your sins and will give you eternal life. That’s all.

  43. 43
    Mapou says:

    BA77:

    Actually Mapou, I disagree with you for very principled reasons,

    No you don’t. You are a dogmatist.

    but, I find you impossible to reason with.

    Yeah, well. Life goes on.

    That is why I no longer respond to your arguments of ‘truth is now established by mapou’s personal declaration’ any longer. It simply is a waste of my time.

    I think I argue with logic on my side, not just with personal opinions. The logic of omniscience is fatally flawed and the atheists are correct to point it out. IMO, you are doing the work of the Devil, causing intelligent people to doubt God on the basis of your illogical doctrines. So by all means, do not respond to my comments.

  44. 44
    Box says:

    Goodusername #41,

    Goodusername: I agree that knowing doesn’t mean the same as causing something – but it does, in principle, mean that the future is determined.

    Yes, but I argue that the future is — will be — determined by our free choices. Just like the past is — has been — determined by our free choices. Suppose a being who can look in the future as easily as in the past. How is that incompatible with free choice?

    Goodusername: Again, it goes to the definition of “choice”. I haven’t chosen what to have for dinner yet, and it “feels” like there are several real possibilities. If the future is known than it’s already determined what I’ll have for dinner. Such “choice” is therefore an illusion.

    It is determined by your free choice what you will have for dinner. Suppose that God — from an outside of time perspective — can see you choosing from the menu. What is the problem? Why would your free choice be an illusion?

    Goodusername: One neednt invoke God to run into this problem. Many philosophers claim, for the same reason, that if time travel is possible than free will doesn’t exist. But they aren’t claiming the the time travelers themselves caused anything.
    Hawking references this in A Brief History of Time:
    “The reason we say that humans have free will is because we can’t predict what they will do. However, if the human then goes off in a rocket ship and comes back before he or she set off, we will be able to predict what he or she will do because it will be part of recorded history. Thus, in that situation, the time traveler would have no free will.”

    In my opinion, unpredictability has little or nothing to do with free will. Free will implies that an action stems from within a person. IOW the free action doesn’t trace back to a cause external to the actor. Secondly, a choice is free when it is done consciously — with knowledge of the consequences.

    Goodusername: In the case of God, however, I would say that if he is omnipotent and omniscient than he did cause, well, everything.

    This is not your claim, but just for the record: omnipotence doesn’t imply ‘causing everything’. God can choose not to intervene, although He can.

    Goodusername: He created with perfect knowledge of what the results would be, and so if he wanted things to be different than he would have just created things differently in the beginning. But as I said, that’s a completely separate issue.

    You have a point here.

    //
    BTW it’s a pity you left the other thread. Our discussion there is an important one.

  45. 45
    Mapou says:

    Box:

    Mapou: intelligence is a mechanical phenomenon. Why? Because it deals with causes and effects.

    That is an utterly unhelpful criterion. A doorbell deals with causes and effects.
    How about “understanding” as a criterion for intelligence? Now explain to me in what way a computer understands anything. Explain to me in what way there is a person who understands anything — in the context of AI. And explain in what way something is understood.

    To understand a phenomenon is to have a representation (model) of it in memory and to be able to make accurate predictions regarding the phenomenon, based on the model.

    Also I would like to read your comments on Searle’s Chinese Room Argument.

    Searle is correct, of course. Did you know that there is huge chunk of your brain that acts exactly like Searle’s Chinese room? It’s called the cerebellum and it is responsible for various automatic functions such as walking, maintaining posture, balance, etc. You could not function without it because you would not be able to stand up while talking. Guess what? The cerebellum acts automatically without you being conscious of its actions. It does so by blindly following rules that it is taught as the brain learns. The cerebellum is trained by the conscious part of the brain. It is essentially a parrot mechanism.

    But the rest of the brain does not learn like the cerebellum. Unlike the cerebellum, it needs no supervision because it can learn on its own. It can learn patterns and sequences; it can make accurate predictions and it can adapt. We can do the same with a machine. Does this mean that our machines will be conscious? Of course not. But I can foresee a great danger in this. I foresee that people will confuse the uncanny understanding of things around them that robots will have with consciousness. In addition, given that intelligence is goal-driven and that robots will be motivated to behave a certain way, people will confuse their reactions with conscious emotions. People will have to be properly educated in how intelligence actually works.

  46. 46
    Mapou says:

    mike1962:

    Mapou: So? Did I say otherwise? He also said “I and the Father are ONE” and “let them be ONE with us as we are ONE together”. I see no Trinity in the picture. I see yin and yang, I see duality, I see master-servant, that’s what I see.

    Moreover, given the Greek verb, the “oneness” is a unity of individuals, not an absolute numerical one. Clunky perhaps, but the best rendering into English would be, “I and my father, we are (esmen) one.”

    Thanks for that clarification. As a student of Biblical metaphors, I have come to understand that the God of the Bible is a Yin-Yang God represented by the Father-Son duality. But I do not believe for a second that God is just two united individuals. Many passages in the Bible have led me to conclude that the Father-Son union actually consists of billions of individuals. This is why God is called Yahweh of hosts, for example.

    I believe that Yahweh is an immense but united civilization with a peculiar organization: they are divided into two distinct but opposite camps: the rulers on one side and the servants on the other side. But, unlike human political systems, both servants and rulers love each other and trust each other completely. They act as ONE. This is why I believe that, when Jesus died on the cross, it was not just one individual who died for humanity but the entire servant side of God consisting of billions of individual Gods. It was a sacrifice of epic proportions, to say the least. This is why ritual sacrifice is such an important metaphor in the old testament. One man’s opinion, always.

  47. 47
    mike1962 says:

    Mapou: I believe that Yahweh is an immense but united civilization with a peculiar organization

    Although some of the details differ between our views, I have come to this conclusion as well. It would be interesting to know how you came to that conclusion. But this is not the place.

  48. 48
    goodusername says:

    box,

    Yes, but I argue that the future is — will be — determined by our free choices. Just like the past is — has been — determined by our free choices. Suppose a being who can look in the future as easily as in the past. How is that incompatible with free choice?

    If the future is already known – than it is already determined. I.e.there is no “will be”.

    It has to do with what one means by “choice”. If it means to choose from a set of possibilities, than there’s a problem. If the future is known, than there was never a “set a possibilities”. The “set of possibilities” is illusory. There was always only the single possibility.

    That’s generally what’s meant when some philosophers/scientists say that “free will is an illusion”. Everybody agrees that it feels like we have free will. But are we really making choices?

    In my opinion, unpredictability has little or nothing to do with free will. Free will implies that an action stems from within a person. IOW the free action doesn’t trace back to a cause external to the actor. Secondly, a choice is free when it is done consciously — with knowledge of the consequences.

    With that understanding of free will it arguably could exist, but it also sounds like you’d have no issue with free will co-existing with materialism as well. (I think this is the ‘compatibilist’ definition of free will, if I understand it correctly.)

    This is not your claim, but just for the record: omnipotence doesn’t imply ‘causing everything’. God can choose not to intervene, although He can.

    Well, many would argue that only a God that either isn’t omnipotent and/or isn’t omniscient would ever need to intervene. (Because it implies that he either didn’t do things right at Creation or that something occurred that he didn’t anticipate.)

    (For the record, I believe that free will probably exists; although there are issues with it that I don’t have good answers for.)

    BTW it’s a pity you left the other thread. Our discussion there is an important one.

    Sorry about that, the discussion didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Just back and forth on what’s a “thing”. I’m not sure but you seemed to be arguing that a thing can’t be composed of things. I believe that there are many things that require the combination of other things.

  49. 49
    Box says:

    Mapou,

    Mapou: To understand a phenomenon is to have a representation (model) of it in memory and to be able to make accurate predictions regarding the phenomenon, based on the model.

    To understand something is to place something in a context. When we look at something without being able to place it in a context we understand zero. Very broad contexts are “space” and “time” — things get really difficult to understand for us when something doesn’t fit these basic contexts. Of course there are countless more specified contexts.

    Mapou: But the rest of the brain does not learn like the cerebellum. Unlike the cerebellum, it needs no supervision because it can learn on its own. It can learn patterns and sequences; it can make accurate predictions and it can adapt.

    If the brain learns ‘on its own’ independent of the “I” — independent of consciousness — then there is no UNITY.
    You don’t seem to be able to grasp that important objection to your yin-yang schizophrenia. If my brain decides to go left when I want to to go right then there is a insurmountable problem.
    And if you say that the brain does all the thinking on its own — purely driven by uncomprehending unaware blind particles in motion — without any conscious intervention / control then rationality is a non-starter.

    This is the point where you leave the thread as per usual. Okay fine, go ahead.

  50. 50
    cornucopian says:

    No. Religion is not dying. The secular folks want to believe that it is happening. The Western world is heading towards secularism but it is only going to last for a while.

    Artificial intelligence is over hyped. It is like those eternal flying cars that we were all supposed to be flying. Are there flying cars? Yes. Who uses them? nobody.

    The future belongs to religion because religion provides a meaning to your existence. Secularism doesn’t answer anything. It is too simple.

    The most secular continent today is Europe. In 25 years, it will be semi Muslim and it will resemble the Middle East in another 50 years.

    Secularism is a silly fantasy. If life has no objective meaning, then why bother living? Why go to Africa and help those poor folks if evil is an illusion?

    Most Europeans are practical atheists and their future isn’t bright at all. They are simply not breeding and they are slowly going extinct.

    http://elpais.com/elpais/2014/.....?rel=rosEP

  51. 51
    Box says:

    Goodusername: If the future is already known – than it is already determined. I.e. there is no “will be”.

    Only for the person with the outside-time-perspective. From our perspective the future is not yet determined. We still have to determine the future with our free choices.

    Goodusername: It has to do with what one means by “choice”. If it means to choose from a set of possibilities, than there’s a problem. If the future is known, than there was never a “set a possibilities”.

    Suppose that God sees ‘today’ that on 20 march 2039 you will choose from a set of possibilities a glass of red wine. Why would that fact prevent the existence of a set of possibilities for you to choose from at that distant date? And why would there suddenly be a set of possibilities if God wouldn’t be able to see it? Why is there even a relationship between God’s ability to see the future and a set of possibilities and free will?
    There isn’t even a connection if we define free will as unpredictable. I argue that God doesn’t have to predict your free choice on 20 march 2039, He only has to watch you do it.

  52. 52
    anthropic says:

    Good 48 “If the future is already known – than it is already determined. I.e.there is no “will be”.

    It has to do with what one means by “choice”. If it means to choose from a set of possibilities, than there’s a problem. If the future is known, than there was never a “set a possibilities”. The “set of possibilities” is illusory. There was always only the single possibility.
    ============================================================

    So if I watch a movie and hence know the ending, the ending is determined? Really?

    The director, actors, producer had no choices? No other endings were possible?

    Perhaps there are some good arguments for the proposition that God’s omniscience is incompatible with free will. This sure isn’t one of them.

  53. 53
    Mapou says:

    anthropic:

    So if I watch a movie and hence know the ending, the ending is determined? Really?

    The director, actors, producer had no choices? No other endings were possible?

    Perhaps there are some good arguments for the proposition that God’s omniscience is incompatible with free will. This sure isn’t one of them.

    Your argument makes no sense whatsoever because it uses a straw man, an assumption that nobody is making. Read your comment again. But then again, maybe you were joking, in which case the humor went over my head.

    Knowing the end of a movie after watching it is not the same as knowing the end of a movie before the actors were even born. Omniscience means knowing everything from the start.

  54. 54
    Smidlee says:

    “Omniscience means knowing everything from the start.’

    This would including multiple paths. I believe one of the things revealed to us by God will be revealing His prefect will for our lives while we continue to choose our own way.

    Omniscience would conflict with free will only if there is only one path which future must follow. I think Dr.Who has a interesting way of dealing with this , some points are fixed while others can cause the future to go in a different path.

    For example I believe Judas could have been the apostles to the gentiles instead of Paul or maybe they could work as a team was God perfect will for their lives.
    This is what Mordecai told Esther , that God will find someone to deliver His people if she refused to act but her family would likely be destroyed.

  55. 55
    Mapou says:

    Smidlee:

    Omniscience would conflict with free will only if there is only one path which future must follow.

    I’ll let you think about it some more and figure out on your own why this is not omniscience. Omniscience is impossible without a deterministic future.

  56. 56
    goodusername says:

    box,

    Only for the person with the outside-time-perspective. From our perspective the future is not yet determined.

    From our perspective, the future is not yet known, but that isn’t the same as saying it isn’t determined.

    Suppose that God sees ‘today’ that on 20 march 2039 you will choose from a set of possibilities a glass of red wine. Why would that fact prevent the existence of a set of possibilities for you to choose from at that distant date? And why would there suddenly be a set of possibilities if God wouldn’t be able to see it? Why is there even a relationship between God’s ability to see the future and a set of possibilities and free will?

    Language can sometimes be difficult in these discussions (and is probably one of the issues in our last discussion). If I think I’m throwing a 12 sided die and it’s really an 8 sided die, than throwing a 9 or 10 seem like possibilities from my perspective – but are they really? My ignorance doesn’t make rolling a 10 an actual possibility.
    When I was speaking of a “set of possibilities” I meant “actual real possibilities.” If God knew before I was born that I would choose the red wine, was anything else really in the “set of possibilities”?

    This is why time travel, psychics, or an omniscient God all have implications on the existence of free will.

  57. 57
    Mapou says:

    Box:

    Mapou: To understand a phenomenon is to have a representation (model) of it in memory and to be able to make accurate predictions regarding the phenomenon, based on the model.

    To understand something is to place something in a context. When we look at something without being able to place it in a context we understand zero. Very broad contexts are “space” and “time” — things get really difficult to understand for us when something doesn’t fit these basic contexts. Of course there are countless more specified contexts.

    And what makes you think context is something that is beyond mechanical computation? A model or representation of a phenomenon also includes the contexts.

    Mapou: But the rest of the brain does not learn like the cerebellum. Unlike the cerebellum, it needs no supervision because it can learn on its own. It can learn patterns and sequences; it can make accurate predictions and it can adapt.

    If the brain learns ‘on its own’ independent of the “I” — independent of consciousness — then there is no UNITY.
    You don’t seem to be able to grasp that important objection to your yin-yang schizophrenia. If my brain decides to go left when I want to to go right then there is a insurmountable problem.
    And if you say that the brain does all the thinking on its own — purely driven by uncomprehending unaware blind particles in motion — without any conscious intervention / control then rationality is a non-starter.

    The brain does all the work, IMO, including giving the spirit/soul important things to pay attention to. The spirit simply makes the final decisions on what to attend to and directs motor behavior. It’s a master-slave, yin-yang relationship. If our spirit did any learning whatsoever, we would be able to explain how it does it. We can’t.

    It is possible to design a computer that is conditioned to pay attention to certain goals. As an example, I believe that animals have no spirits and they are just intelligent but unconscious meat machines that are genetically conditioned to seek certain goals (eat, sleep, procreate, etc.). I believe that our intelligent machines can do the same and more because we can condition them to pursue any goal we want them to.

    This is the point where you leave the thread as per usual. Okay fine, go ahead.

    I almost did. LOL. I admit that I’m mentally ill but to use that against me during a debate is an ad hominem. Unless you have a very high disregard for my point of view, which would be understandable. But we would be wasting our times.

  58. 58
    bornagain77 says:

    “The emergence of modern science with a repudiation of the rationalism of Greek philosophers who pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to finding out how the how the world in fact did behave.”
    Henry Schaefer – Quoted at 23:35 minute mark of the following video:
    The Theological Roots of Modern Science – Henry Schaefer – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqgM1JYILNc

    And as to ‘finding out how the how the world in fact does behave’, and contrary to what some people have ‘pronounced’ as to how the world should behave in this thread thus far, as far as science can tell us God is indeed omniscient in knowledge.

    This ‘omniscience inference’ for God is warranted by noting that a quantum wave state of a single photon is mathematically defined as infinite information:

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (photon) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    Wave function
    Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....ctor_space

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....tcomp/#2.1

    Thus every time we observe, (i.e. collapse a quantum wave of), a single photon we are actually seeing just a single bit of information that was originally created from a very specific set of infinite information that was known by the consciousness that preceded material reality. i.e. information that was known only by the infinite Mind of omniscient God!

    Job 38:19-20
    “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?”

    As well, and also as far as science can tell us, man is completely free, i.e. undetermined, in his choices that he makes in quantum experiments.

    Loophole-free Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen experiment via quantum steering – April 2012
    Tests of the predictions of quantum mechanics for entangled systems have provided increasing evidence against local realistic theories. However, there still remains the crucial challenge of simultaneously closing all major loopholes – the locality, freedom-of-choice, and detection loopholes – in a single experiment. An important sub-class of local realistic theories can be tested with the concept of “steering”. The term steering was introduced by Schrodinger in 1935 for the fact that entanglement would seem to allow an experimenter to remotely steer the state of a distant system as in the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) argument. Einstein called this “spooky action at a distance”. EPR-Steering has recently been rigorously formulated as a quantum information task opening it up to new experimental tests. Here, we present the first loophole-free demonstration of EPR-steering by violating three-setting quadratic steering inequality, tested with polarization entangled photons shared between two distant laboratories. Our experiment demonstrates this effect while simultaneously closing all loopholes: both the locality loophole and a specific form of the freedom-of-choice loophole are closed by having a large separation of the parties and using fast quantum random number generators, and the fair-sampling loophole is closed by having high overall detection efficiency. Thereby, we exclude – for the first time loophole-free – an important class of local realistic theories considered by EPR. As well as its foundational importance, loop-hole-free steering also allows the distribution of quantum entanglement secure from an untrusted party.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.0760

    also see post 28 for reference to “Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012”

    Thus, as far as empirical science itself can tell us right now, God is omniscient in his knowledge and we also have completely undetermined free will.

    Please note that this not me pronouncing my beliefs as to whether God is omniscient or as to whether we have free will. This is what the scientific evidence itself is saying, not me.

    Though some may adamantly claim that God’s omniscience and our free will is an irreconcilable contradiction, yet as Keller clearly pointed out in the video I referenced earlier, God’s omniscience and our free will is only an ‘apparent contradiction’ and is not an irreconcilable contradiction as some seem to believe in this thread:

    Does God Control Everything – Tim Keller – (God’s sovereignty and our free will, how do they mesh?) – video (12:00 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkQ6ld8dn7I

    Verse and Music:

    Job 38: 4-21
    “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
    Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
    On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone—
    while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels shouted for joy?
    “Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
    when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
    when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
    when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?
    “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
    or shown the dawn its place,
    that it might take the earth by the edges
    and shake the wicked out of it?
    The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
    its features stand out like those of a garment.
    The wicked are denied their light,
    and their upraised arm is broken.
    “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?
    Have the gates of death been shown to you?
    Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
    Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know all this.
    “What is the way to the abode of light?
    And where does darkness reside?
    Can you take them to their places?
    Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
    Surely you know, for you were already born!
    You have lived so many years!

    Laura Story – Keeper Of The Stars (Official Live Video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krRQGGu898k

  59. 59
    bornagain77 says:

    correction:

    “The emergence of modern science was associated with a repudiation of the rationalism of Greek philosophers who pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to finding out how the how the world in fact did behave.”
    Henry Schaefer – Quoted at 26:49 minute mark of the following video:
    The Theological Roots of Modern Science – Henry Schaefer – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqgM1JYILNc

  60. 60
    anthropic says:

    Mapou 53 “Your argument makes no sense whatsoever because it uses a straw man, an assumption that nobody is making. Read your comment again. But then again, maybe you were joking, in which case the humor went over my head.

    Knowing the end of a movie after watching it is not the same as knowing the end of a movie before the actors were even born. Omniscience means knowing everything from the start.”
    =============================================================

    I’m afraid the joke’s on you, Mapou. For God, the great self-proclaimed “I AM”, past, present and future are one. He exists timelessly and hence His knowledge is not subject to the constraints you assert.

    This shouldn’t be so hard to understand. Whatever began the Big Bang also created space-time, matter-energy. Thus, it must be something outside of space-time and matter-energy. Heck, time doesn’t pass for light, so why would time bind the One who proclaimed, “Let there be light!” (Genesis 1:3) in the Old Testament and “I AM the light of the world” (John 8:12) in the New Testament.

  61. 61
    Mapou says:

    anthropic @60,

    First off, you did not address my objection to your nonsense. Second, you are just throwing stuff at the wall, stuff that you made up or read somewhere (probably from BA77), stuff that is essentially gobbledygook because it means absolutely nothing. See you around.

  62. 62
    anthropic says:

    Mapou 61

    I said that the notion that God exists outside of time shouldn’t be hard to understand, as evidenced by the Big Bang, the behavior of light, and repeated scriptural references. If God does exist outside of time as the great I AM, then He is perfectly able to see past,present, and future simultaneously without necessarily dictating them.

    Again, for a self-proclaimed Christian this should be easy to understand. Jesus died for all our sins, those in the past, those in the present, and those in the future.

    Handwaving about “strawmen”, “nonsense”, and “throwing stuff against the wall” is not an impressive response. Given that, I too see no reason for further discussion on this topic.

  63. 63
    Mapou says:

    anthropic, the point is that, if God can see all past, present and future, there is no free will. It’s already determined. But since there is free will, God cannot see all past, present and future. It’s one or the other. There is no getting around this. It’s trivial logic and no one has to be a propeller head in order to understand it.

    Besides, the entire concept of God existing outside of time is nonsense. It means nothing. This is especially true since the Biblical Yahweh calls himself the ancient of time (days).

  64. 64
    Box says:

    Goodusername, Anthropic, Mapou.

    Goodusername: From our perspective, the future is not yet known, but that isn’t the same as saying it isn’t determined.

    I hold that the future isn’t determined yet.
    God doesn’t see the future in a crystal ball today. He sees the future at the moment it happens.

    Goodusername: When I was speaking of a “set of possibilities” I meant “actual real possibilities.”

    Me too.

    Goodusername: If God knew before I was born that I would choose the red wine, was anything else really in the “set of possibilities”?

    Yes. Why not? Explain the difficulty here, because I don’t get it.
    God having an outside-time-perspective doesn’t change the fact that you have a free choice to make from a set of possibilities. God watches you making a free choice on 20 march 2039 from a real set of possibilities.
    What am I missing here?

    Anthropic: (…) the notion that God exists outside of time shouldn’t be hard to understand, as evidenced by the Big Bang, the behavior of light, and repeated scriptural references. If God does exist outside of time as the great I AM, then He is perfectly able to see past, present, and future simultaneously without necessarily dictating them.

    Exactly. Seeing doesn’t imply causing.

    Mapou: if God can see all past, present and future, there is no free will. It’s already determined.

    Why is it already determined? You seem to hold that God must determine the future if God sees the future. It doesn’t follow.
    Or, just like Goodusername, you may think that there is no set of possibilities to choose from. Again, that doesn’t follow from God seeing us choose.

  65. 65
    Mapou says:

    Box:

    Mapou: if God can see all past, present and future, there is no free will. It’s already determined.

    Why is it already determined? You seem to hold that God must determine the future if God sees the future. It doesn’t follow.
    Or, just like Goodusername, you may think that there is no set of possibilities to choose from. Again, that doesn’t follow from God seeing us choose.

    Okay. I’m out of this discussion. I can’t deal with this orgy of infantile logic anymore. It has to be the work of the devil. LOL. Goodbye and stay away from me, por favor.

  66. 66
    Box says:

    Mapou #57,

    Mapou: The brain does all the work, IMO, including giving the spirit/soul important things to pay attention to.

    So the brain decides what is important. And the brain is controlled by uncomprehending unaware blind particles in motion, right? How could that possibly work?

    Mapou: The spirit simply makes the final decisions on what to attend to and directs motor behavior.

    Making “final decisions” based on WHAT? According to you the spirit doesn’t think. Without thinking one cannot understand anything. So, how does one make “final decisions” without thinking?

    Mapou: It’s a master-slave, yin-yang relationship.

    An “un-thinking-master” – “controlled-by-blind-forces-slave” relationship? How does this relationship work? Why would the brain listen to this stupid master? And why would this master have anything to say if he cannot think nor understand?

    Mapou: If our spirit did any learning whatsoever, we would be able to explain how it does it. We can’t.

    This statement doesn’t make any sense to me. For me it’s obvious that my spirit is learning. But I’m not bound by the belief that I — my spirit — cannot think.

  67. 67
    Box says:

    Mapou: Okay. I’m out of this discussion. I can’t deal with this orgy of infantile logic anymore.

    Why not point out where I go wrong?

    Mapou: It has to be the work of the devil. LOL. Goodbye and stay away from me, por favor.

    You forgot to mention that you say all this as a Christian.

  68. 68
    Box says:

    Mapou: And what makes you think context is something that is beyond mechanical computation? A model or representation of a phenomenon also includes the contexts.

    Consciousness and rationality — specifically meaning — is interwoven with context at the most fundamental level. Consciousness’ ability to be, to choose and control and to look at something through a context — all at the same time — is beyond mechanical computation IMO.
    The following text by E. F. Kelly seems to support my view:

    I must also acknowledge here that I myself initially embraced the computational theory practically without reservation. It certainly seemed an enormous step forward at the time. Fellow graduate students likely remember my oft-repeated attempts to assure them that the CTM would soon solve this or that fundamental problem in psychology. But all was not well.
    Any scheme based on atomization of meaning would necessarily fail to capture what to me had become the most characteristic property of word-meaning, a felt Gestalt quality or wholeness, at a level of generality that naturally supports extensions of usage into an indefinite variety—indeed whole families—of novel but appropriate contexts. The existing proposals could only represent the content of a general term such as “line” by some sample of its possible particularizations, and in so doing rendered themselves systematically unable to distinguish between metaphorical truth and literal falsehood.
    The importance of incorporating more general knowledge of the world into language-processing models, for example, had already begun to be recognized, and new formal devices were being introduced to represent what the computer needed to know (what we ourselves know) about various sorts of “typical” situations it might encounter. But it seemed clear to me that all of these knowledge-representation devices, such as “frames” (Minsky, 1975), “scripts” (Schank & Colby, 1973), and “schemata” (Neisser, 1976), suffered essentially the same problems I had identified in the Katz and Fodor account of word meaning. Specifically, they required the possible scenarios of application to be spelled out in advance, in great but necessarily incomplete detail, and as a result ended up being “brittle,” intolerant of even minor departures from the preprogrammed expectations.
    [Edward F. Kelly, Irreducible Mind, ch. 1]

  69. 69
    JimFit says:

    @Seversky

    If God didn’t want Adam and Eve to have knowledge of good and evil, why put the tree there in the first place?

    There was no physical tree for God to put there, its an allegorical story..The fruit of knowledge translates to the sweetness of knowing, its an expression, you can see that knowledge was described as something sweet aka as something good but also as something with consequences and these consequences didn’t came from God but from humans, when humans obtained this kind of knowledge, the innocence was destroyed and as a result they lost paradise. The paradise isn’t a beautiful place inside space and time (what is beautiful is subjective by the way), the paradise is when you are peacefull, without worries or doubts.

    He also created Adam and Eve. A perfect God doesn’t make mistakes. If they behaved in a certain way, that is how He designed them to behave, that is how He intended them to behave, that is how He knew they would behave?

    He designed their bodies not their choices. God created us out of unconditional love, He doesn’t ask anything from us, our mistakes are ours and the consequences come from our actions, paradise is the result of our actions, God doesn’t put us in Hell or in Paradise, we do this because Hell and Paradise are inside us.

    And even if it was an offense against His law, while it might be just to punish the offenders, how is it just to punish their descendants? In perpetuity?

    No one was punished, we can return to paradise if we renounce egoistical materialism and embrace unconditional love.

  70. 70
    EvilSnack says:

    Mapou,

    I also am a software engineer. Your claim that computers are not Turing machines is like someone, claiming to be a biologist, stating that cats are not mammals. The fact that the concept of the Turing machine is not used in day-to-day development in no way alters this.

    You claim to be a Christian, and to study the Scriptures. Yet you believe in the pagan deities of several extinct cultures, and then have the audacity to accuse others of adhering to illogical doctrines of men.

    And I observe that in spite of whatever amounts of time you have spent studying the scriptures, your understanding of them is shockingly sophomoric. Seriously, if you think that Genesis’ report that God regretted making man is a QED against omniscience, you fail at elementary logic.

    But then, you, being not omniscient, claim to know enough about how omniscience should work so as to feel justified in concluding that it’s impossible; if the inherent self-contradiction of that position does not make you burn with shame, then your grasp of logic lacks an opposable thumb.

  71. 71
    Seversky says:

    JimFit @ 8

    There was no physical tree for God to put there, its an allegorical story..

    I would tend to agree but you’ll find plenty of Christians, some here, who’ll give you an argument on that. What they don’t like about the allegorical interpretation is that allegories are open to interpretation. They don’t want interpretation, they want certainty.

    He designed their bodies not their choices. God created us out of unconditional love, He doesn’t ask anything from us, our mistakes are ours and the consequences come from our actions, paradise is the result of our actions, God doesn’t put us in Hell or in Paradise, we do this because Hell and Paradise are inside us.

    An eternal, necessary being, such as God is presumed to be, is entirely self-sufficient. He is not contingent or dependant on anything outside Himself. As such, He has no need – and, hence, no reason – to create any other creatures in order to have a loving relationship with them.

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