You are currently browsing the daily archive for February 27, 2008.

On Monday I showed the new word that Vox has coined. After he did that I entered into a debate in the comments section for this post. I here show part of the debate. Certainly there were many other (some of them helpful) things said – I am only showing the parts directly referring to the debate that I focused on. I have inserted some comments in italics.

It this is too long, just scroll to the bottom to see my summarizing comments.

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“but it has the additional benefit of being far more Biblically accurate than the traditional concept of an omniscient God”

So easy to say . . . and yet, you have yet to use one piece of scripture to prove this.

And no, listing all of the verses that have “God” and “knows” in them doesn’t cut it as positive confirmation of your case.
Jamsco | Homepage | 02.21.08 – 1:48 pm | #

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No, merely dozens of items in support of the case as well as negative confirmation of an opposing case.

VD | 02.21.08 – 1:53 pm | #

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“merely dozens of items in support of the case”

How so? I maintain they do not support the case.
Jamsco | Homepage | 02.21.08 – 1:58 pm | #

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And I maintain you’re wrong. Saying X knows Y not only states that X knows Y, it also implies that X does not know that which is not Y.
VD | 02.21.08 – 2:01 pm | #

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Stating X knows Y says nothing concerning whether X knows anything about that which is not Y.

John knows Mary says nothing concerning whether John knows Jill.
Salt | 02.21.08 – 2:25 pm | #

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Good point, Salt. Let me rephrase:

Saying X knows Y not only states that X knows Y, it also implies that there is a Z which X does not know.”
VD | 02.21.08 – 3:27 pm | #

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Sorry. Again, it states nothing concerning Z at all. Matter of fact, there is no implication Z even exists at all.

John knows Mary. This does not imply either John knows or does not know Jill, or that Jill even exists.
Salt | 02.21.08 – 3:34 pm | #

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try this Vox -

Saying X knows Y not only states that X knows Y, it also imputes a possibility there is a Z which X may or may not know.
Salt | 02.21.08 – 3:44 pm | #

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So – Astronomer Netterfield knew many details about our sun imputes that there may be other suns in the solar system that he didn’t know about?
Jamsco | Homepage | 02.21.08 – 3:47 pm | #

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“in the solar system” ( I’m assuming you mean ours) -

Y is observable. Whether Z is or not is questionable, even if it exists. But the fact of Y lends slightly greater credence to the possibility of Z than mere implication, as Y exists.
Salt | 02.21.08 – 3:51 pm | #

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Our sun exists. Therefore one might impute that there are other suns.

This in no way establishes that there are other suns in fact.
Salt | 02.21.08 – 3:55 pm | #

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“Sorry. Again, it states nothing concerning Z at all. Matter of fact, there is no implication Z even exists at all.”

I disagree. Z is a variable, there is no value to assigning any inherent value to it. To state “X knows Y” indicates that there is a Z – that could be Jill, but doesn’t have to be – in existence that X does not know. Otherwise, there is no reason to state X knows Y, that would be redundant.

The significance of one such redundancy might be reasonably overlooked, but not dozens.
VD | 02.21.08 – 4:00 pm | #

<<< Post Comment: Do you see what Vox is doing here? He’s claiming that all verses in scripture that point out something that God knows are not evidense that God is omniscience but evidence against it. Why would it needed to be pointed out to us that God knows something if it is clear that he knows everything. And my answer – because in many cases, we need to be reassured.  Redundancy is necessary for humans. >>>

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“Saying X knows Y not only states that X knows Y, it also imputes a possibility there is a Z which X may or may not know.”

Or you could say it that way. I think it’s synonymous with the previous version:

Saying ‘X knows Y’ not only states that X knows Y, it also implies that there is a Z which X does not know.

But either way, the statement supports my argument for the Biblical case against the conventional concept of divine omniscience.
VD | 02.21.08 – 4:04 pm | #

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What? How so?

Let’s say I’m talking about my oldest son with another person and the other guy says I’m wrong when I say my son’s hair is brown. I might say something like “I know my oldest son’s hair color”

This says nothing about my knowledge of my other kids hair, even if I say something like this “dozens” of times.
Jamsco | Homepage | 02.21.08 – 4:58 pm | #

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<<< Lots of comments about kids’ hair >>>>

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For the third time, Z is a VARIABLE! Therefore, you cannot explain this away by substituting a SPECIFIC VALUE for Z.

“Let’s say I’m talking about my oldest son with another person and the other guy says I’m wrong when I say my son’s hair is brown. I might say something like “I know my oldest son’s hair color””

That statement implies that there are other individuals with hair, the color of which you do not know. Do you understand now? Do you dispute the existence of this inherent implication?
VD | 02.21.08 – 5:05 pm | #

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No Vox, it only implies that I am aware that the other guys thinks that there are other individuals with hair that I do not know the color of. The statement says, At least I know that much.

It doesn’t say (or imply) at most I know that much.
Jamsco | Homepage | 02.21.08 – 5:14 pm | #

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And the fact that you won’t let me substitute a specific value is only a result of the fact that you are a voliscientarian.

If God knows all, then we can substitute a specific value, because infinite then becomes specific.

I think that is question begging. Is that the correct term?
Jamsco | Homepage | 02.21.08 – 5:17 pm | #

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No, it’s a result of the fact that you don’t understand the significance, whereas Salt and EP both do now. 

You seriously don’t understand how talking about your son’s hair color implies the existence of other individuals with hair of a certain color? And that the fact that you know your son’s hair color implies – not proves – that you do not know the hair color of those other individuals?
VD | 02.21.08 – 5:31 pm | #

<<<< Post Comment: This was a peer pressure tactic, don’t you think? >>>>> 

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Nope. Don’t.

Can you tell me why you won’t let me substitute a specific value (i.e. my other kids), if it’s not for the reason I stated?
Jamsco | Homepage | 02.21.08 – 5:39 pm | #

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“And that the fact that you know your son’s hair color implies – not proves – that you do not know the hair color of thse other individuals”

I think this is only the case if you assume that the knower is not omniscient, which we can’t in this argument, because that’s what the argument is.
Jamsco | Homepage | 02.21.08 – 5:43 pm | #

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“Can you tell me why you won’t let me substitute a specific value (i.e. my other kids), if it’s not for the reason I stated?”

Because the specific value is irrelevant. Whether you happen to know the hair color of the other individuals who aren’t your oldest son or not doesn’t matter. The implication that your oldest son is not the only individual with a hair color in existence and that your knowledge of him differs from your knowledge of all these other individuals’ hair colors is inherent in your statement of specific knowledge regarding him.
VD | 02.21.08 – 5:57 pm | #

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Not really. As Salt stated earlier, it makes no statement concerning knowledge or ignorance of the value of Z (another sons’ color). Only that there exists a Z (another son).

It makes no statement, it makes an implication. The statement of the specific knowledge of X indicates that there is a non-X for which that same knowledge is not possessed. Otherwise, there is no need to make the statement in the first place.

Perhaps it would be simpler to say that a statement of knowledge implies the possibility of non-knowledge. Otherwise, there is no need for it.
VD | 02.21.08 – 6:02 pm | #

<<< Post Comment: Again I state that if you want to see examples of reduncy – look in the Bible. In any case, I was glad to see that he was backing down to “possibility” >>>>

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Somebody put a semi-colon at the end of this Do Loop.
equus pallidus | Homepage | 02.21.08 – 6:09 pm | #

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Vox,

I will go with the idea that it implies the possibility of non-knowledge. But isn’t that quite far from implying non-knowledge?
Jamsco | Homepage | 02.21.08 – 6:16 pm | #

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So when the bible says, for example, that God knows when a sparrow falls, it implies that it is possible that there is a being that doesn’t know this. It also implies that it is possible that God might not know when, say, a blue bird falls. But it is not implying that God doesn’t know this, only the possibility that there could be being which knows the one but not the other.

We had to come back to the Sparrow, didn’t we?
Jamsco | Homepage | 02.21.08 – 6:28 pm | #

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“But isn’t that quite far from implying non-knowledge?”

I wouldn’t say “quite far”. Anyhow, the possibility of non-knowledge is enough to call into question the conventional concept of omniscience with even a single example.

“So when the bible says, for example, that God knows when a sparrow falls, it implies that it is possible that there is a being that doesn’t know this. It also implies that it is possible that God might not know when, say, a blue bird falls. But it is not implying that God doesn’t know this, only the possibility that there could be being which knows the one but not the other.”

Yes. Yes. I’m not sure, I found your phrasing somewhat confusing. Can you clarify?

<<< Post Comment: Okay, don’t tell Vox, but my confusing phrasiology was a result of the fact that I wasn’t sure what Vox was thinking and I wanted to cover all of his possible bases. >

And yes, as you implied, the example strongly implies that God is not responsible for the sparrow falling, for it borders on tautology that He should have knowledge of His own actions.
VD | 02.21.08 – 6:56 pm | #

<<< Post Comment: I wasn’t implying this – I also think that the Bible speaks in tautologies sometimes – “I Am” being a pretty good example.>

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<<<< End of comments debate >>>>

Later Vox commented that implication was not equal to evidence; I was glad to see that as well.

I think his whole argument boils down to: Why would the Bible make any statement about anything that God knows if it were true/clear that he knows everything?

Using just a little bit of creativity, one can think of many reasons. Or one could read each of the passages and see what the original intent of the author was.
 

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