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 Post subject: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Good?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:38 pm 
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1. A being that does only what it ought to do is all good.
2. An inability to do what one ought to do is a weakness.
3. An all-powerful being has no weakness.
4. An all-powerful being is all good.

Beyond wondering whether the conclusion follows from the premises, I am also wondering whether the first premise can be proven. I believe it is true but I am not sure why.

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:40 pm 
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You can't apply "ought" to God very well. Where does the obligation come from?

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:44 pm 
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wait let me think about this


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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:23 pm 
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1. An All-Good Being is in no way Imperfect.
2. An Imperfect being is a being that has the ability to do what it ought.
3. A being that has the ability to do what it ought implies a being in potency.
4. A being in potency is a being that can be considered in some way weak.
5. An all-powerful being necessarily excludes weakness in any way.
6. An all-powerful being is therefore not a being in potency, nor a being that has the ability to do what it ought, nor imperfect in any way.
7. Therefore, an all-powerful being must be All-Good.

Next time I'm just going to look at the Summa, not post anything and instead learn something. It will save me time and a headache. ::):


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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:53 pm 
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1) Something evil is not perfect (for perfection means to lack nothing - e.g., virtue)
2) But God is perfect
3) Therefore, God cannot be evil

Eternal
1) A perfect being cannot die (for to die means the lack something - e.g., the ability to live)
2) God is perfect
3) Therefore God cannot die

All-Powerful
1) An imperfect being cannot be All-powerful (for All-powerful means power over everything - e.g. Imperfections)
2) God is perfect
3) Therefore God must be all powerful

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:01 pm 
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Geeze.

I just read the Summa on this.....

I'm an idiot. I'm new to this, but failed miserably.

From now on I'll just observe.... :salut:

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:10 pm 
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Peetem wrote:
1) Something evil is not perfect (for perfection means to lack nothing - e.g., virtue)



The problem with arguments that use this kind of reasoning is 'perfect in what respect?' or 'perfect in what way?' 'Perfect' is a very vague descriptor, and it is not at all clear just what that word means.

It's a bit like the fake argument one sometimes encounters in a number theory book:

All positive integers are interesting

Suppose, for the sake of contradiction, that not all positive integers are interesting.

If so, then there must be some positive integers are not interesting.

If so, then the set of all positive integers that are not interesting must have a smallest element.

However, if a number is the smallest positive integer which is not interesting, then this fact is very interesting

So, the smallest positive integer which is not interesting is a very interesting number.

So we have a contradiction and we can conclude that all positive integers are interesting.

This argument seems completely nonsensical, and it is. But the question is 'what precisely is wrong with it?"

The problem is one of vagueness, what exactly does it mean for a positive integer to be 'interesting'? I have no idea, and neither does anyone else. And since we don't actually know what we mean we say that a number is 'interesting', we can't really construct a logically valid argument about it.


We can't begin constructing syllogisms until we have defined our terms, and we haven't done that yet. We need to know what it means for something to be 'perfect' before we can start using 'perfection' as a criterion for anything.

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:12 pm 
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Peetem wrote:
Geeze.

I just read the Summa on this.....

I'm an idiot. I'm new to this but failed miserably.

From now on I'll just observe.... :salut:


You're being too hard on yourself, the only real way to learn how to argue is by arguing, and then watching people tear your arguments down so that you can learn what you did wrong.

There is no such thing as a failure as you learn from the experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:19 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Peetem wrote:
Geeze.

I just read the Summa on this.....

I'm an idiot. I'm new to this but failed miserably.

From now on I'll just observe.... :salut:


You're being too hard on yourself, the only real way to learn how to argue is by arguing, and then watching people tear your arguments down so that you can learn what you did wrong.

There is no such thing as a failure as you learn from the experience.
'

You said something in your previous post which I had forgotten to do - define the terms.

Anyway, thanks for the advice! I'll give this whole thing some more thought and try it again.....so folks can rip it apart! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:23 pm 
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You gave a definition of "perfect" in parentheses in your first point.

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:39 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You gave a definition of "perfect" in parentheses in your first point.


That's not really a good definition, though, what does 'nothing' mean? Is God imperfect because he lacks evil?

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:45 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You gave a definition of "perfect" in parentheses in your first point.


Yes, but I made a circular argument. I defined "perfect" as compared to lacking virtue. I'm not sure a nominalistic or subjectivist thinker would accept that.....

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:56 pm 
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Well, if the standard is what a nominalist would accept, we are all doomed.

Even committed nominalists will admit if you pressure them and really cajole them, that their philosophy makes no sense. They just don't care if it makes sense or not because it leads them to the conclusions that they want.

Nominalists are all about achieving the desired end, they don't care about the means they use to accomplish it. If they have to use nonsensical and self-contradictory arguments to arrive at their desired destination, they will do so.

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:08 am 
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Peetem wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You gave a definition of "perfect" in parentheses in your first point.


Yes, but I made a circular argument. I defined "perfect" as compared to lacking virtue. I'm not sure a nominalistic or subjectivist thinker would accept that.....

All definitions in the end rest on undefined terms.

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:18 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Peetem wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You gave a definition of "perfect" in parentheses in your first point.


Yes, but I made a circular argument. I defined "perfect" as compared to lacking virtue. I'm not sure a nominalistic or subjectivist thinker would accept that.....

All definitions in the end rest on undefined terms.


You are giving me a small ray of hope here.....

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:51 am 
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To define anything, you have to begin with things that are known. It's what I think of as the "dictionary problem" (a phrase I probably picked up somewhere). Let's say aliens land in your front yard and hand you a Martian dictionary--words only, no pictures. The dictionary does you no good unless there are at least a few words you already know in Martian to give you a foothold.

Likewise, in philosophy, you can't define everything because your definitions have to be based on words whose meaning you already know.

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:36 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
To define anything, you have to begin with things that are known. It's what I think of as the "dictionary problem" (a phrase I probably picked up somewhere). Let's say aliens land in your front yard and hand you a Martian dictionary--words only, no pictures. The dictionary does you no good unless there are at least a few words you already know in Martian to give you a foothold.

Likewise, in philosophy, you can't define everything because your definitions have to be based on words whose meaning you already know.


Got it.

Of course I would imagine this fact makes discussion with a subjectivist very difficult.

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:17 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You can't apply "ought" to God very well. Where does the obligation come from?


Good point. How do we prove, or just show, that God is good, then? An all-powerful being must be good since it has no weaknesses. But, that assumes that being is necessarily good, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:43 am 
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Mark 10:18

"Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.

Jesus defined good.
Jesus did not deny that he is good.

Good is God.
Therefore...

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 Post subject: Re: Is an All-Powerful and Eternal Being Necessarily All Goo
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:52 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
All definitions in the end rest on undefined terms.



But the undefined terms have to be things which are clear, and 'perfect' isn't clear at all, it needs to be explicitly defined, because, as the cliche goes 'everyone has their own idea of what it means for something to be perfect.' If it is possible for a reader to misunderstand something, they will.

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