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Posts: 552/1288
(03-Aug-2004 at 01:17)


The logic of a supreme being

This is not to prove that a "god" or higher being deserves worship. This is simply an arguement for the existence of such a being. (Cliche eh?)

There is Always Something Greater:
There are few (if any) limits to scale in this universe. Whatever you think of there is always something smaller, or bigger, or stronger, or weaker, or nearer, or further. Whenever someone says "this is all there is," it is a safe bet that they will ultimately be proven wrong. So, it is probably arrogant foolishness to assume that the humans we see are the most intelligent and powerful beings in the universe or beyond. The numbers in cosmology and metaphysics are mind-boggling. If there is one superior race, then given all the billions of planets in each of the endless galaxies, in endless history and infinite possible universes, there must be vast numbers of such races.


There must be vastly superior beings:
So, it is reasonable to assume that there are more intelligent beings than us somewhere. How much more intelligent? Well, just look at the present acceleration of progress in our technology. If a task is sufficiently important, how long does it take to find a solution? A year? A hundred years? A thousand? One obvious task is "overcoming death." Like time travel, if only a single intelligent race solves this one, the potential for accelerated development is fantastic. Another obvious task is "increasing intelligence." Somewhere in the infinite possibilities of reality, this has almost certainly happened. If we see "the big bang" as the boundary of time and space, then another obvious task is to somehow overcome that as well.


Can a superior being progress?
A suspicious reader may be saying "this is approaching blasphemy he is going to say that God is an evolved and evolving (i.e. limited) being." No. I am not. I am simply saying at this stage that there must be vastly superior beings. No more, no less. But there is the question of "What do you do if you can do anything?" Some people might take this as an argument for pessimism that life must be ultimately pointless. But that is not a rational conclusion. Just as (from our perspective) there is always some greater intelligence, so there is always some greater purpose. Supreme beings would have their own view on what was needed.


What is meant by progress?
Does progress in this context mean "getting better" or "doing more things"? The idea of a superior being "getting better" is plainly false (see the next point). But the idea of progress as "achieving more and more things" is unavoidable. Intelligence, by its definition, means making things better. And this is probably the clue. A supreme being cannot make himself or herself better. But they can make inferior beings better.


They Are Infinite and Eternal:
Do vastly superior and deathless equate to infinite and eternal? Yes:


To all intents and purposes, how could we tell the difference? For us to worry over a vastly superior being is illogical our mental concepts just cannot cope. Whenever you double your intelligence, you radically change how you see things. Imagine doubling your intelligence a thousand times. For you or I to judge such a being is foolish in the extreme.
The very idea of limited intelligence is probably a bi-product of our own limited intelligence. This is a big topic, so I will just leave it at that.
If someone's development is accelerating continually, it is absurd to speak of them in terms of limitations. Compare intelligence to velocity. Once you approach the velocity of light, all the normal assumptions either break down or become irrelevant. To say a vastly superior being could make a mistake is like saying that someone traveling at the speed of light might be overtaken by someone else. They won't.


What is Intelligence?
Up to now, I have not defined intelligence. I will now do so. Intelligence means the efficient use of resources where a) "efficient use" means resources can be used for more to go further, create more, obey our will more closely, or whatever and b) "resources" mean pretty much anything that can be used objects, knowledge, or whatever. If two people have the same information, the more intelligent one makes better use of it. So, for example, where you or I see random chaos, a more intelligent being sees a pattern and can predict its future behaviour. Where you or I can make flour and eggs and sugar into a nice cake, a more intelligent person can make the most delicious thing you have ever imagined, or use it to attract and develop a wild bird colony, or treat it chemically to create a life saving drug, or rocket fuel, or whatever.


One Supreme Being or Many?
At this point we should maybe stop using the plural. The most intelligent beings will of course work together in perfect harmony (because conflict is inefficient). Also, an intelligent being will not have two leaders where one will do (because duplication is inefficient). So, from our point of view, we need only refer to one supreme being. N.B. Those brought up in a market economy may answer that conflict and duplication are essential to competition, and competition is essential to progress. But a little thought will show that competition is only a useful strategy where knowledge (and hence choices, desires, etc.) is limited. This is another big topic, so I will leave it for now.


A White Male Supreme Being?:
This level of detail is irrelevant to the big issues, and cannot be predicted purely from logic. If a supreme being chooses to reveal his or her presence as male, female, white, black, or blue with three heads, that does not change their nature as supreme. It is tempting to say that "a supreme being is beyond such things, even if they choose to reveal themselves as human that does not mean they really are." But that position is not logical. There is no rational reason for believing that an abstract force is somehow superior to a being with a fixed form. If a supreme being chooses to reveal himselves as a certain form, then by definition that is the intelligent thing to believe. If a supreme being does not reveal such details, that is the end of the matter.


The Supreme Being Has a Plan For Us:
We cannot say exactly what a vastly superior being would do, because we do not see things as they do. But we can draw some general conclusions.


First, destroying is far easier than creating (and has less potential), so it is fair to assume that superior beings would tend to create rather than destroy.
Second, manipulating lifeless forces is no big deal. To achieve even more (e.g. to be more intelligent) they must work with other intelligent beings.
Third, if being intelligent is itself intelligent, then so is making others become more intelligent.


So, supreme beings probably create, they deal with other intelligent beings, and they help these others to become more intelligent. But are they interested in us? Of course. By definition, an intelligent being does not waste resources. Humans have potential and are therefore a resource.


The Supreme Being Loves Us:
Given that a supreme being could choose to do anything, they must enjoy what they do. And they choose to help us to become intelligent like them. Think about that. They are happy. They want us to be happy. They are very interested in us. Making us happy makes them happy. Sounds like a good definition of love.

(\ /)
( . .)
c('')('')

Last edited by MAPS, 03-Aug-2004 at 01:18.
#1  
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(03-Aug-2004 at 01:49)


"To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today." ~ Issac Asimov

God can neither be proven, nor can he be disproven.

In all reality, nothing can be proven or disproven, everything is reletive. There is a story that the first Native Americans to meet with Colombus and his crew, at first, could not even see his boat. All they could see were unfamiliar ripples in the ocean. A Shaman stood on the shore examening these for many days, until finally the image of the boats could be processed in his mind.

Nothing in life can truly be proven, but it can be assigned levels of probability of being true. I can see water, I can tase water, I can feel water; you can see water, taste it, feel it. Thus, it has an extremely high probability of existing. Gravity cannot be seen, but it can be felt by all, it can be shown scientifically. Thus, we believe it to exist. Those who suffer from hallucinations can often see, feel, hear, taste their illusions but no one else can. Thus, since no one else can experience it, we deem it as having a very low probability of existence. God cannot be seen, heard, tasted, smelt and only some can claim they "feel" Him, though it cannot be directly attributed in any way to Him (when you drink water, you know it is the water that is causing the feelings of thirst quenching etc, when you "feel" God, you are simply terming a feeling to the word God, without any way of telling its true cause). Nor can God cannot be proven scientifically. Thus, would it not make sense to give Him an extremely low probability of existence?

Perhaps, perhaps not. All that I wish to demonstrate to you, is that He cannot be proven, nor, can he be disproven.

*Edit*

I'd also like to apologize if I didn't *directly* respond to the original topic, and by no means did I type this out with the intent of steering it off course. I just thought that it was somewhat important to point this out.

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
-Soren Kierkegaard
"Those who know don't say, and those who say don't know."
- Lao Tzu
More Quotes...

Last edited by Syke, 03-Aug-2004 at 01:53.
#2  
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(03-Aug-2004 at 02:02)


Saying that nothing can be proven nor disproven is IMO "surrendering to ignorance". Just saying we can't prove squat and leaving it at that is a dead end to thought.

The way you speak of probabilities is giving a very abstract and meaningless definition to "existence". People that adhere to the logic you describe are just thinking too hard. I've never seen or heard or felt (etc.) Australia but that doesn't give me a reason to doubt it's existence.

(\ /)
( . .)
c('')('')
#3  
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(03-Aug-2004 at 04:20)


Quote:
(Originally posted by MAPS)

Saying that nothing can be proven nor disproven is IMO "surrendering to ignorance". Just saying we can't prove squat and leaving it at that is a dead end to thought.

The way you speak of probabilities is giving a very abstract and meaningless definition to "existence". People that adhere to the logic you describe are just thinking too hard. I've never seen or heard or felt (etc.) Australia but that doesn't give me a reason to doubt it's existence.
Your example of Australia just further outlines my point. Also, you contradict yourself by saying that my logic is "thinking too hard," when earlier, you likened it to "a dead end to thought."

I'm not saying that it can't be thought over, that is the whole point of philosophy. However, what would entail in this thread would be an argument of abstracts.

I had a whole bunch more written going into detail but I scrapped it all and ate dinner instead and now I'm busy with something else, so this will have to do. But believe me, I had made a convincing argument, so just pretend that you're persuaded by the glory of my logic and concede. No? I didn't think so It was worth a try atleast.

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
-Soren Kierkegaard
"Those who know don't say, and those who say don't know."
- Lao Tzu
More Quotes...
#4  
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(03-Aug-2004 at 05:13)




I'll be a good sport and concede to humor you. I don't wanna start any arguements. But I'm still gonna disagree so there.

(\ /)
( . .)
c('')('')
#5  
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(03-Aug-2004 at 09:10)


I agree with MAPS disagreement

Nicely done MAPS
I always knew you were smarter than most.

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
R.I.P. InJustice!
Hit me up on Facebook

EWE-tah
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(06-Aug-2004 at 19:21)


I expected this thread to get challenged and ridiculed but it hasn't happened yet. I wanted people to point out flaws so I could fix them. Does no one have any counter arguements? I need confrontation here people!

*is really bored right now*

(\ /)
( . .)
c('')('')
#7  
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(06-Aug-2004 at 20:21)
Re: The logic of a supreme being

Quote:
(Originally posted by MAPS)
Does progress in this context mean "getting better" or "doing more things"? The idea of a superior being "getting better" is plainly false (see the next point). But the idea of progress as "achieving more and more things" is unavoidable. Intelligence, by its definition, means making things better. And this is probably the clue. A supreme being cannot make himself or herself better. But they can make inferior beings better.
Here you freely mix "superior" and "supreme". A superior being is just more powerful than us in some way, but may still be able to improve, in fact, according to your argument before it would be "arrogant foolishness" for it to assume there wasn't someone even more powerful somewhere. A supreme being not being able to get better is something quite different.

Quote:
To all intents and purposes, how could we tell the difference? For us to worry over a vastly superior being is illogical our mental concepts just cannot cope.
So, in other words, religions are pointless.

Quote:
One Supreme Being or Many?
At this point we should maybe stop using the plural. The most intelligent beings will of course work together in perfect harmony (because conflict is inefficient). Also, an intelligent being will not have two leaders where one will do (because duplication is inefficient). So, from our point of view, we need only refer to one supreme being. N.B.
Here you take the concept of "supreme" rather than "superior" one step further, but since you haven't justified the existence of any supreme beings that doesn't make any sense. Even worse, in the preceding paragraph you stated how foolish it would be for us to judge such beings, yet by claiming that they can just as well be treated as a single being you are doing just that. How do you know that they find cooperation rather than competition more efficient or amusing?

Quote:
Those brought up in a market economy may answer that conflict and duplication are essential to competition, and competition is essential to progress. But a little thought will show that competition is only a useful strategy where knowledge (and hence choices, desires, etc.) is limited.
Presumably knowledge will be limited to these superior beings too.

Quote:
The Supreme Being Has a Plan For Us:
We cannot say exactly what a vastly superior being would do, because we do not see things as they do. But we can draw some general conclusions.
No, we can't because you still haven't established that any of these superior being have been involved in our creation.

Quote:
First, destroying is far easier than creating (and has less potential), so it is fair to assume that superior beings would tend to create rather than destroy.
Someone building a house can be said to create, but for the trees used as building material it's rather destructive. Are we the tree or the house to these beings?

Quote:
Second, manipulating lifeless forces is no big deal. To achieve even more (e.g. to be more intelligent) they must work with other intelligent beings.
What would they learn by dealing with beings so infinitely less capable than themselves that you envision us to be? Is a microbiologist really more intelligent than a physicist just because he studies living bacteria rather than lifeless electrons?

Quote:
The Supreme Being Loves Us:
Given that a supreme being could choose to do anything, they must enjoy what they do. And they choose to help us to become intelligent like them. Think about that. They are happy. They want us to be happy. They are very interested in us. Making us happy makes them happy. Sounds like a good definition of love.
You are using far too many unceratain steps trying to second guess what a superior intellect would do to be able to reach any kind of firm conclusion. The microbiologist may be happy with his work studying bacteria, but that doesn't stop him from flushing the resulting culture down the drain when the day is over. The farmer may love his cows, but he'll still send them to slaughter when they get barren.
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(06-Aug-2004 at 21:32)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Bernel)
Here you freely mix "superior" and "supreme". A superior being is just more powerful than us in some way, but may still be able to improve, in fact, according to your argument before it would be "arrogant foolishness" for it to assume there wasn't someone even more powerful somewhere. A supreme being not being able to get better is something quite different.
Thank you for replying Bernel. This was a simple mistake. Replace the word "superior" with "supreme" in that paragraph.

Quote:
(Originally posted by Bernel) So, in other words, religions are pointless.
Entirely possible. No arguement.

Quote:
(Originally posted by Bernel) Here you take the concept of "supreme" rather than "superior" one step further, but since you haven't justified the existence of any supreme beings that doesn't make any sense. Even worse, in the preceding paragraph you stated how foolish it would be for us to judge such beings, yet by claiming that they can just as well be treated as a single being you are doing just that. How do you know that they find cooperation rather than competition more efficient or amusing?
Quote:
(Originally posted by Bernel) Presumably knowledge will be limited to these superior beings too.
The concept that there is a supreme being is justified. If there are a limited number of beings in existence which vary in intelligence it stands that one would be more intelligent than all the rest.

As far as the assumptions of what such a being would do as far as cooperation, you're right. I am in no place to draw these conclusions but they are the most logical to me. I think most of us will agree that cooperation is the most effecient.

Quote:
(Originally posted by Bernel) No, we can't because you still haven't established that any of these superior being have been involved in our creation.
I never said that any other being created us but only that we are a resource and higher beings would probably want to make us better.


Quote:
(Originally posted by Bernel) Someone building a house can be said to create, but for the trees used as building material it's rather destructive. Are we the tree or the house to these beings?
Ah, but trees are living things while not all matter is. Non-living matter can be manipulated to form our bodies without any already living matter being harmed. Of course that is if these beings have anything to do with the creation of our bodies in the first place.

Quote:
(Originally posted by Bernel) What would they learn by dealing with beings so infinitely less capable than themselves that you envision us to be? Is a microbiologist really more intelligent than a physicist just because he studies living bacteria rather than lifeless electrons?
Once again I think this was phrased wrong. I didn't mean to imply that an already supreme being would learn anything by dealing with us but would progress in doing so.

Quote:
(Originally posted by Bernel) You are using far too many unceratain steps trying to second guess what a superior intellect would do to be able to reach any kind of firm conclusion. The microbiologist may be happy with his work studying bacteria, but that doesn't stop him from flushing the resulting culture down the drain when the day is over. The farmer may love his cows, but he'll still send them to slaughter when they get barren.
Your analogy uses limited beings (humans) who are wasteful. My assumption, as said, is that these vastly superior beings are not wasteful.

(\ /)
( . .)
c('')('')
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(07-Aug-2004 at 01:03)


But if there is a limited number of beings (and one could argue that even if there is an unlimited number) that means that none will be "supreme". You're confusing supreme with best. The best basketball player, for instance, is not supreme, as (s)he will still miss some shots and still get tired. A supreme basketball player would never miss, block everything, etc.

Think of supremacy and superior beings this way: there's an infinite amount of things to know. If you start out at knowing nothing/very little, and then progress, or evolve, if you prefer that term, you can get to extremely high numbers, but you can't get to infinite (no matter how high your rate of parabolic increase in intelligence). Since anything divided by infinite is zero, it's safe to assume that the superior being knows nothing.

Next, I shall prove that I know everything.

"If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and if it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
~Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Last edited by Obi2Kenobi, 07-Aug-2004 at 01:04.
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(07-Aug-2004 at 01:40)


This is only true if there is an infinity of knowledge to learn. However you cannot prove there is limitless knowledge. Don't confuse more knowledge than we can comprehend with infinite knowledge. Reread my part about intelligence being like velocity.

Besides, if there is a possibility of learning something and given an indefinite amount of time you will learn it. Therefore, it is possible to learn everything that can be learned.

(\ /)
( . .)
c('')('')

Last edited by MAPS, 07-Aug-2004 at 01:48.
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(07-Aug-2004 at 05:49)


Ah, but I can prove it. You claim that the universe is infinite. That would mean there are infinity atoms. You'd need to know the location and nuclear make-up of all those atoms to know all there is to know. Therefore, you would either need an infinite amount of time to learn it all, or you couldn't learn it all if you had all the time in the world, depending on how you look at it. The first view would mean that an eternal being would have learned everything already, as some proponents of that arguement could say that time stretches on backwards to infinity. However, I'd say that since there is still more time left in the future, all the time hasn't passed, and thus something that takes an infinite amount of time to happen, that is, the acquisition of the knowledge of everything, can not have already happened, seeing that infinite means neverending, so there can't be anymore left for it to have passed.

Or how about learning all the digits of pi (assuming that it is, in fact, irrational, and not just some insanely long fraction).

Oh, and time to prove I have infinite knowledge. There is an infinite amount of things to learn in math. 1+1=2, for example. 1+2=3. So on, so forth. This means I know an infinite amount of things, since I could do all of those problems. Since there is an infinite amount of things to learn, and I have learned an infinite amount of things, I must have learned everything there is to know, as any number divided by itself is 1 (100%). Don't you just love messing with infinity? It's so messed up, most people don't even call it a number. It's more messed up than 0.

"But wait!" you say. "You just said you can't get infinite knowledge, but now you're saying you can?" Not quite. In the first section, I said it was impossible to know everything, not to know more than can be counted. In the part showing I have infinite knowledge, I just showed that I know an infinite amount of things.

That part showing I know everything was a joke. I still say that nothing can know everything (and more importantly, be omnipotent).


Up next, I shall show how not only 1 is greater than 2, but that 1 is greater than 1.

"If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and if it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
~Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
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(07-Aug-2004 at 06:08)


You know a few symbols that represent numbers and some formulas to relate them to eachother. You can count forever using these but that leaves you with an infinity of knowledge about nothing. Your knowledge is meaningless and hollow. When I say limited knowledge I'm talking about real knowledge not just strings of numbers. And maybe I'm wrong. Who am I to sit here and say what is infinite and what is not? I speak of a concept I can't even grasp. However, I find it hard to rational there being any useful and beneficial knowledge in this universe that cannot eventually be discovered.

(\ /)
( . .)
c('')('')

Last edited by MAPS, 07-Aug-2004 at 06:11.
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