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Can God Create...? More Fun with Paradoxes or BLOW YOUR MIND Part 2
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Posted 6/20/12 , edited 6/20/12
Now, I understand the limitations of arguing on the internet. Let's face it. We all have better things to do than read some long hearsay crap from some random on the internet on a subject that really isn't all that important to us, especially considering the anonymity and impersonal nature of the internet, and the simple fact that this is an anime forum, a place one probably doesn't go to for the deepest most important questions of his/her life. And it's not as if anyone was ever convinced of anything on the basis of a mere argument when it comes to religion or politics.

That being said, if anyone cared to take the time, this article of a question from the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas is relevant, I think, to this thread:


Article 3. Whether God is omnipotent?

Objection 1. It seems that God is not omnipotent. For movement and passiveness belong to everything. But this is impossible with God, for He is immovable, as was said above (Question 2, Article 3). Therefore He is not omnipotent.

Objection 2. Further, sin is an act of some kind. But God cannot sin, nor "deny Himself" as it is said in 2 Timothy 2:13. Therefore He is not omnipotent.

Objection 3. Further, it is said of God that He manifests His omnipotence "especially by sparing and having mercy" [Collect, 10th Sunday after Pentecost]. Therefore the greatest act possible to the divine power is to spare and have mercy. There are things much greater, however, than sparing and having mercy; for example, to create another world, and the like. Therefore God is not omnipotent.

Objection 4. Further, upon the text, "God hath made foolish the wisdom of this world" (1 Corinthians 1:20), a gloss says: "God hath made the wisdom of this world foolish [Vulgate: 'Hath not God', etc.] by showing those things to be possible which it judges to be impossible." Whence it would seem that nothing is to be judged possible or impossible in reference to inferior causes, as the wisdom of this world judges them; but in reference to the divine power. If God, then, were omnipotent, all things would be possible; nothing, therefore impossible. But if we take away the impossible, then we destroy also the necessary; for what necessarily exists is impossible not to exist. Therefore there would be nothing at all that is necessary in things if God were omnipotent. But this is an impossibility. Therefore God is not omnipotent.

On the contrary, It is said: "No word shall be impossible with God" (Luke 1:37).

I answer that, All confess that God is omnipotent; but it seems difficult to explain in what His omnipotence precisely consists: for there may be doubt as to the precise meaning of the word 'all' when we say that God can do all things. If, however, we consider the matter aright, since power is said in reference to possible things, this phrase, "God can do all things," is rightly understood to mean that God can do all things that are possible; and for this reason He is said to be omnipotent. Now according to the Philosopher (Metaph. v, 17), a thing is said to be possible in two ways.

First in relation to some power, thus whatever is subject to human power is said to be possible to man.

Secondly absolutely, on account of the relation in which the very terms stand to each other. Now God cannot be said to be omnipotent through being able to do all things that are possible to created nature; for the divine power extends farther than that. If, however, we were to say that God is omnipotent because He can do all things that are possible to His power, there would be a vicious circle in explaining the nature of His power. For this would be saying nothing else but that God is omnipotent, because He can do all that He is able to do.

It remains therefore, that God is called omnipotent because He can do all things that are possible absolutely; which is the second way of saying a thing is possible. For a thing is said to be possible or impossible absolutely, according to the relation in which the very terms stand to one another, possible if the predicate is not incompatible with the subject, as that Socrates sits; and absolutely impossible when the predicate is altogether incompatible with the subject, as, for instance, that a man is a donkey.

It must, however, be remembered that since every agent produces an effect like itself, to each active power there corresponds a thing possible as its proper object according to the nature of that act on which its active power is founded; for instance, the power of giving warmth is related as to its proper object to the being capable of being warmed. The divine existence, however, upon which the nature of power in God is founded, is infinite, and is not limited to any genus of being; but possesses within itself the perfection of all being. Whence, whatsoever has or can have the nature of being, is numbered among the absolutely possible things, in respect of which God is called omnipotent. Now nothing is opposed to the idea of being except non-being. Therefore, that which implies being and non-being at the same time is repugnant to the idea of an absolutely possible thing, within the scope of the divine omnipotence. For such cannot come under the divine omnipotence, not because of any defect in the power of God, but because it has not the nature of a feasible or possible thing. Therefore, everything that does not imply a contradiction in terms, is numbered amongst those possible things, in respect of which God is called omnipotent: whereas whatever implies contradiction does not come within the scope of divine omnipotence, because it cannot have the aspect of possibility.[/b] Hence it is better to say that such things cannot be done, than that God cannot do them. Nor is this contrary to the word of the angel, saying: "No word shall be impossible with God." For whatever implies a contradiction cannot be a word, because no intellect can possibly conceive such a thing.

Reply to Objection 1. God is said to be omnipotent in respect to His active power, not to passive power, as was shown above (Article 1). Whence the fact that He is immovable or impassible is not repugnant to His omnipotence.

Reply to Objection 2. To sin is to fall short of a perfect action; hence to be able to sin is to be able to fall short in action, which is repugnant to omnipotence. Therefore it is that God cannot sin, because of His omnipotence. Nevertheless, the Philosopher says (Topic. iv, 3) that God can deliberately do what is evil. But this must be understood either on a condition, the antecedent of which is impossible--as, for instance, if we were to say that God can do evil things if He will. For there is no reason why a conditional proposition should not be true, though both the antecedent and consequent are impossible: as if one were to say: "If man is a donkey, he has four feet." Or he may be understood to mean that God can do some things which now seem to be evil: which, however, if He did them, would then be good. Or he is, perhaps, speaking after the common manner of the heathen, who thought that men became gods, like Jupiter or Mercury.

Reply to Objection 3. God's omnipotence is particularly shown in sparing and having mercy, because in this is it made manifest that God has supreme power, that He freely forgives sins. For it is not for one who is bound by laws of a superior to forgive sins of his own free will. Or, because by sparing and having mercy upon men, He leads them on to the participation of an infinite good; which is the ultimate effect of the divine power. Or because, as was said above (Question 21, Article 4), the effect of the divine mercy is the foundation of all the divine works. For nothing is due to anyone, except on account of something already given him gratuitously by God. In this way the divine omnipotence is particularly made manifest, because to it pertains the first foundation of all good things.

Reply to Objection 4. The absolute possible is not so called in reference either to higher causes, or to inferior causes, but in reference to itself. But the possible in reference to some power is named possible in reference to its proximate cause. Hence those things which it belongs to God alone to do immediately--as, for example, to create, to justify, and the like--are said to be possible in reference to a higher cause. Those things, however, which are of such kind as to be done by inferior causes are said to be possible in reference to those inferior causes. For it is according to the condition of the proximate cause that the effect has contingency or necessity, as was shown above (14, 1, ad 2). Thus is it that the wisdom of the world is deemed foolish, because what is impossible to nature, it judges to be impossible to God. So it is clear that the omnipotence of God does not take away from things their impossibility and necessity.





In particular, the bolded paragraph is important. The very question of whether or not God can "make a rock he cannot lift" or for that matter a "mountain he can't climb" or any variation of this stupid question is really nothing more than a meaningless assortment of words. It's as if the person asking the question doesn't even understand how the English language works.

The bolded and underlined statement sums up everything nicely, for those who understandably don't want to read all that. Thomas is hard to understand, after all.

God can do anything that isn't a nonsensical contradiction of terms. So, in answer to your question, no, God cannot create a rock he cannot lift, because that doesn't even mean anything.
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Posted 6/20/12

TerraGamerX wrote:


Morbidhanson wrote:


nanuq wrote:


Morbidhanson wrote:

Paradoxes don't prove or disprove anything. They are just sentences, not necessarily logical. You could take a bunch of words and put them together, but the resulting sentence won't always make sense. You need to actually test something, not just talk about hypothetical scenarios. Things are not always as they seem on paper, since reality isn't so easily defined.

That being said, this paradox is really old and already has many counters. For one, it is something that can't be proven. An infinitely large rock is necessary if it is to be truly immobile, larger than space itself. But this is impossible, since space is needed for a rock to actually exist. Also, the question is flawed. It's pretty much asking if God can divide by zero or draw a circle with corners if he can do anything. You don't need the rock in there at all except to make it look like a real question. That, in and of itself, doesn't make sense, since it is logically unsound to be telling someone to divide by zero or draw a circle with corners, anyway. Omnipotence still won't allow something to defy logic. Either the rock must be immovable or God is omnipotent. Having both in the same sentence makes no sense.


This whole post makes no sense..........


How so? From a logical standpoint, this paradox is just a sentence, no? Just because it is a grammatically correct question doesn't mean it necessarily makes any sense. It's similar to 'spherical rectangle' or 'blackish white.' Meaningless.


I have to disagree with nanuq, your post was completely sound.

I don't acknowledge a god as well, but I would not use that paradox because I myself can argue against it. What bugs me most about it is that it assumes the use of physics as we experience it. If there was a deity that had the power to create the universe, why assume that it would "lift" in terms we are familiar with? Surely its form would likely be something beyond human constraints. Also, if this being had the power to create the universe and laws, the one who decided "what goes up must come down", then if this deity had reason to fulfill the condition of the intended paradox, then it should be able to rewrite the laws of physics to suit its needs.

Not all theists are idiots. I've have some really enjoyable debates with well-educated theists. Speak this paradox with caution, you can drive away those that believe their religion without questioning it, but that line can't stand well enough to serve as an be-all, end-all.


Respect.
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Posted 6/20/12
In the event of an omnipotent god, and he does create things I doubt he would be unable to do very much of anything, even if so he would have such a grander understanding he probably wouldn't do it, or he would be able to in ways we cant comprehend
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Posted 6/20/12
if you define God as just a creator of the world, it would be impossible for god to create a rock that he couldn't lift because something greater cannot come from something less great, thus it is wrong to say that God created a rock he cannot lift because it's saying that the rock (the greater thing) came from something less great (a being that cannot lift it)

From another point of view:
God cannot be NOT omnipotent because in definition, there is a greatest being in the universe, and that being is called God, so he has to be omnipotent. If he is the greatest, nothing can be greater thus a rock he cannot lift cannot exist because it would imply that there is something greater than the greatest being...which is impossible. If he cannot lift this rock, it would mean he is not God, since he is not the greatest anymore.


JustSoOdd wrote:

what's god ? no ones seen it what ever it is is god there
i can call god a gold fish because some thing that no one nose WTF it is
is spiricul being why is it a spiral being how is it one and how do book or person told u no its one and so on and so on
is it even a spiral being
are you retarded?
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Posted 6/21/12 , edited 6/21/12

dyingsoon wrote:


-Vega- wrote:


dyingsoon wrote:


-Vega- wrote:


dyingsoon wrote:


-Vega- wrote:

Everything is an opinion, there are not such a thing as facts.


you have a brain and that is a "FACT"


How do you even know I'm real? I could just be a bot that is pretending to be human.


because i created everything including you. well, that's what i remember....


Do you believe in God?



i cannot answer that question.


And you will never with your mindset.
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Posted 6/22/12 , edited 6/22/12

-Vega- wrote:


dyingsoon wrote:


-Vega- wrote:


dyingsoon wrote:


-Vega- wrote:


dyingsoon wrote:


-Vega- wrote:

Everything is an opinion, there are not such a thing as facts.


you have a brain and that is a "FACT"


How do you even know I'm real? I could just be a bot that is pretending to be human.


because i created everything including you. well, that's what i remember....


Do you believe in God?



i cannot answer that question.


And you will never with your mindset.


A fact is just one piece of information that most people accept as true, based on their personal opinions, what they perceive to be acceptable, and just general consensus. Facts DO exist. Whether or not they are absolute truths is disputable, though.
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Posted 6/22/12
Fact = Truth = A piece of information that you believe with absolute certainty. When a truth/fact becomes uncertain, it becomes an opinion/a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.

We all need to stop. We are all using word magic here.
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Posted 6/22/12 , edited 6/22/12
Hm, does that mean you believe there is no such thing as truth, if facts and truths are the same thing to you? That's debatable, but I'm leaning toward a 'no' because I believe there is a reality that exists outside of our minds, whether or not we can experience it directly or whether or not we all have a general perception of it that is sufficiently alike. I think something has to cause our senses to relay information to our brain. Even if everything we can ever experience is only sensory data, something outside has to be causing us to experience sensory data, causing our neurons to fire.

Facts and truths should be distinct. Imagine yourself trapped under a white sheet your entire life (the sheet is our senses). You can feel a rock or pet an animal while covered in the sheet, but you never get direct contact with anything outside. That's sort of what I imagine it to be like.
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Posted 6/22/12

luro24 wrote:

Pinocchio's Paradox poses the mind-boggling question of what would happen if Pinocchio said "My nose grows now." If he says it, but it doesn't grow, then he's lying. But since his nose grows when he lies, then he would be telling the truth. Pinocchio's sentence can be neither true nor false, it's a good example of the liars paradox. This paradox would cause Pinocchio's nose to grow IF AND ONLY IF it does Not grow.


So, what if he told a lie, then observed the fact that his nose did, indeed, grow at the present moment.



A more fun/interesting paradox is the omnipotent one. (Now, be forewarned if you are deeply religious and or don't like the use of logic and reasoning to question the validity of your god, then read no further).

For those still reading, here is the context of the paradox. It is used by atheists the world over and people who accidentally open the door to annoying Jehovah Witnesses and want to annoy them before they end up being annoyed by them. (It's a vicious cycle of annoyance) (For those outside the U.S. or unfamiliar with the term "Jehovah Witness" google "what are jehovah's witnesses best known for" to get a better context)

All the holy books make it clear and point out that God is an omnipotent being, which means and is defined as almighty, all powerful or infinite in power. He is then a being capable of anything and everything. That is were the omnipotent paradox comes into play to simply and easily disprove the existence of such a being/deity/god.

The paradox-inducing question is, "Can God create a rock so heavy that even he can not lift?"

Thus, if he cannot create such a rock, then it means he is Not Omnipotent/Almighty/All Powerful.

If he can create such a rock, then he cannot lift it, which means he is Not Omnipotent/Almighty/All Powerful.

This renders the whole concept of God/ omnipotence/ an all powerful being as a logical impossibility.

This usually shuts up religious fanatics trying to enlighten you in order to save your soul from the eternal damnation that their righteous God will bestow upon you, unless you convert/join their particular religious sect.

Experienced Jehovah Witnesses are so familiar with this question that once you get to the word "rock," they will immediately think "irreversible atheist," turn away and excuse themselves for taking up your valuable time, lest any young members with them pick up the bad habit of using logic and reasoning to question the validity of their beliefs.

Anyways, for those of you that read this far, I thought I'd just share this with you guys to see what thoughts or opinions you have.

Does it boggle your mind? Does it alter the beliefs you hold? Does it make you see the world differently? Does it matter? Or as the idiom goes, do you take it with a grain of salt?

Also, if anyone has other paradoxes that you find fun, interesting, or mind-boggling feel free to share them.


This depends entirely on the definition of Omnipotent. You are thinking of something that is absolutely Omnipotent, which is absolutely absurd, whereas we must defind Omnipotent as 'God can do everything so long as it is not illogical'.
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Posted 6/22/12

-Vega- wrote:

Fact = Truth = A piece of information that you believe with absolute certainty. When a truth/fact becomes uncertain, it becomes an opinion/a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.

We all need to stop. We are all using word magic here.


Truth is objective, there is no need for beliefs. For example, I can say, in truth, that John is a male human, and, even if someone else was of the opinion that John was a female human, he will remain a male human despite her beliefs. Take Mathematics, for example, we shall always know, as a truth, that one plus one is two, or that anyting divided by itself, save zero or infinity (both being indeterminate), is equal to one, and any objection to these truths would never change the trueness of these statments. One may question the grounds upon which these statements rest with whatever ingenious sophistry one may come up with, but they still remain true, because we do not need to believe something to be true, as we formerly believed that the Universe is ordered such that Earth is in the centre of the Universe, and everything else revolved around it, we know, certainly, now that that is not true, and our beliefs in former times, and the certainty upon which those beliefs rest did not make it true.
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Posted 6/23/12
Truth is objective, so there is no need for beliefs...

However, that statement was a belief, and an entirely unprovable one at that. You can say that mere belief is unnecessary under certain circumstances, but the larger implication is much more problematic. We need not adopt it then because there is no room for mere beliefs.

We can never know if we have truth. That's why, when we speak of knowledge, we use the term "belief" rather than "truth." We have our epistemologies, but they cannot validate themselves. We believe them because they make sense to us. You believe that a keyboard is in front of you because your senses tell you it is there. Your trust in those senses is implicit.
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Posted 6/23/12

haikinka wrote:


sizzlingmochi wrote:

Using paradox to prove something is stupid


Weren't paradoxes a way of proving something to be impossible though? Like, time travel and stuff.
That's just insurance for idiots who actually do believe in time traveling.
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Posted 6/23/12

gstewart14 wrote:

Truth is objective, so there is no need for beliefs...

However, that statement was a belief, and an entirely unprovable one at that. You can say that mere belief is unnecessary under certain circumstances, but the larger implication is much more problematic. We need not adopt it then because there is no room for mere beliefs.

We can never know if we have truth. That's why, when we speak of knowledge, we use the term "belief" rather than "truth." We have our epistemologies, but they cannot validate themselves. We believe them because they make sense to us. You believe that a keyboard is in front of you because your senses tell you it is there. Your trust in those senses is implicit.



Truth is Objective, thus, there is no need for beliefs. This is not a matter of beliefs or opinion, it is, rather, a fact, that 'Truth' is defined in such a way that it is completely objective. Your first statement is false, namely because it so clearly contridicts the meaning of the word 'Truth', in that 'Truth' is defined as that which is in accordance with reality. Reality is not something that is relative from individual to individual, rather, it is objective and beyond us. Beliefs is only a poor substitute for our unknowing of Truth- our sciences advance our knowledge of the real and advance us closer and closer to truth. When we speak of man's knowledge, it is indeed mere beliefs, but the worth of these beliefs are based upon how closely it reaches to Truth, how well it conforms to our observation of reality.

Mathematics, for example, is the study of truth, and the knowledge we attain therein, how everything behave within certain parametres, we know them to be truth, for we have deduced them, logically, from our imposed conditions. If we accept the initial parametres, we, therefore, must accept all conclusions that have been drawn therefrom. The classic example of this would be Euclid's Geometry.

Yet, there is few things that man knows to be completely true, and so we are unable to deduce everything, despite the obvious advantages of deduction, it is impractical in a world where we are unknowing and blind. We, therefore, rely on induction, where we attempt to draw knowledge from our observation. I derive the knowledge taht there is a keyboard in front of me based upon two observations, that there is an object in front of me, which I can feel, hear, and see, and that it inputs information into the computer. I know that such devices are called 'Keyboards', and therefore, conclude what I have in front of me fits into the category of 'Keyboard', and should properly be called a 'keyboard'. I also observe that its existence and the existence of the information I uploaded to my computer is not merely me, but that other people may observe it as well, that it does indeed input information into the computer. We do not believe so, because we know that, in truth, there really exist a device in front of us, and that it inputs information into the computer, and that it is called a 'keyboard'. We induce this information from our senses, which is the connection between the mind and reality.

The Buddhists believe that all things are mind only, therefore, reality doesn't exist, but that it exist within our minds, and formed by the accumulation of karma, and enlightenment escapes this. Not only does this show a greater power, that is, the power of Cause and Effect, it also does not disprove any of the above, in that, while the reality is only of your mind, you have no control over it, therefore, it is not relative, and its property cannot be controlled by the mind, rather, there is still an universal truth governing it.




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Posted 6/23/12

luro24 wrote:

Pinocchio's Paradox poses the mind-boggling question of what would happen if Pinocchio said "My nose grows now." If he says it, but it doesn't grow, then he's lying. But since his nose grows when he lies, then he would be telling the truth. Pinocchio's sentence can be neither true nor false, it's a good example of the liars paradox. This paradox would cause Pinocchio's nose to grow IF AND ONLY IF it does Not grow.

A more fun/interesting paradox is the omnipotent one. (Now, be forewarned if you are deeply religious and/or don't like the use of logic and reasoning to question the validity of your god, then read no further).

For those still reading, here is the context of the paradox. It is used by atheists the world over and people who accidentally open the door to annoying Jehovah Witnesses and want to annoy them before they end up being annoyed by them. (It's a vicious cycle of annoyance) (For those outside the U.S. or unfamiliar with the term "Jehovah Witness" google "what are jehovah's witnesses best known for" to get a better context)

All the holy books make it clear and point out that God is an omnipotent being, which means and is defined as almighty, all powerful or infinite in power. He is then a being capable of anything and everything. That is were the omnipotent paradox comes into play to simply and easily disprove the existence of such a being/deity/god.

The paradox-inducing question is, "Can God create a rock so heavy that even he can not lift?"

Thus, if he cannot create such a rock, then it means he is Not Omnipotent/Almighty/All Powerful.

If he can create such a rock, then he cannot lift it, which means he is Not Omnipotent/Almighty/All Powerful.

This renders the whole concept of God/ omnipotence/ an all powerful being as a logical impossibility.

This usually shuts up religious fanatics trying to enlighten you in order to save your soul from the eternal damnation that their righteous God will bestow upon you, unless you convert/join their particular religious sect.

Experienced Jehovah Witnesses are so familiar with this question that once you get to the word "rock," they will immediately think "irreversible atheist," turn away and excuse themselves for taking up your valuable time, lest any young members with them pick up the bad habit of using logic and reasoning to question the validity of their beliefs.

Anyways, for those of you that read this far, I thought I'd just share this with you guys to see what thoughts or opinions you have.

Does it boggle your mind? Does it alter the beliefs you hold? Does it make you see the world differently? Does it matter? Or as the idiom goes, do you take it with a grain of salt?

Also, if anyone has other paradoxes that you find fun, interesting, or mind-boggling feel free to share them.


Pinnochio's paradox can be resolved with instantaneous frames of reference. If we look at each moment in time as a separate frame, the instant Pinnochio says "My nose will grow now", his nose does not grow. The next frame, the true/false value of his statement is calculated to be false. The next frame, his nose grows.

As with the "Can God create a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift?" paradox, the simple way to resolve it would be to retort "If this omnipotent being God exists, he can alter logic itself to the point where he CAN create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it, and still be omnipotent despite he cannot lift the rock." See, the thing with omnipotence is that it is not limited by silly things like logic. Logic is a set of rules and if you're omnipotent, you can just change the rules.

Oh, and before you point fingers and shout "bloody religious fanatic", I'm agnostic.
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Posted 6/23/12
Truth is Objective, thus, there is no need for beliefs. This is not a matter of beliefs or opinion, it is, rather, a fact, that 'Truth' is defined in such a way that it is completely objective. Your first statement is false, namely because it so clearly contridicts the meaning of the word 'Truth', in that 'Truth' is defined as that which is in accordance with reality. Reality is not something that is relative from individual to individual, rather, it is objective and beyond us. Beliefs is only a poor substitute for our unknowing of Truth- our sciences advance our knowledge of the real and advance us closer and closer to truth. When we speak of man's knowledge, it is indeed mere beliefs, but the worth of these beliefs are based upon how closely it reaches to Truth, how well it conforms to our observation of reality.

Well, let's slow down and look at your first statement, because this may just be a misunderstanding. I think that there is objective truth, but that is not something that we ever actually have. All that you have as an agent are beliefs. The one's that align with truth and are adequately justified are knowledge, and the rest are mere beliefs and occasionally false beliefs. Truth and beliefs are talking about two completely different things. We have the way things actually rest in reality- the keyboard in front of you, for example. That is truth. Beliefs refer to the subjective way that agents interpret sensory information. Belief refers to knowledge (and other types of beliefs) within a specific agent whereas truth refers to external things- how things actually stand in reality. To say that because there really is knowledge out there, our subjective knowledge is therefore unnecessary would be asinine, correct?

I think what you were meaning to say was "Knowledge is objective, thus there is no need for unsubstantiated beliefs." I can get behind that, but not behind the original way you phrased it. What we know never IS truth, but it is often aligned with it. Does that make sense? My thought that 2+2=4 is a belief that is aligned with truth. My thought is not the truth itself- it is merely a mental representation.

I was being very critical of what you were saying, but don't worry- I fully understand deductive and inductive reasoning I had to memorize those definitions in three different philosophy classes, and I use both frequently. I'm also not denying reality- I was merely criticizing a stance that I think doesn't hold up, and to do so I had to play devil's advocate a little. We're not in the Matrix, and you would be insane to actually think so.
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