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Thursday, May 1, 2008
Philosophy ... Spirituality ...

I found an interesting website about God recently. Specifically, it provides a philosophical critique of various theological notions such as God’s all-knowing and all-powerful nature, or God’s ability to relate to mere mortals. It’s called Battleground God. It asks you a series of questions regarding your concept of God, then it sends back a series of questions and challenges, questions that start with “if what you say is true, then how can it be that…” I.e., the usual philosopher’s hyper-logical crap.

The “Battleground” questions are interesting and thought provoking, but they ultimately are bound up within their own assumptions (just as they criticize believers in God to be bound up in theirs). They seem to forget that their logic is ultimately a system of symbols and rules which are subject to the limitations of Godel’s Theorem. So, just as the human mind has the ability to perceive something more than the propositions put forth by our systems of symbolic logic (consider: the only reason we know of Godel’s limitation is because of this inherent ability), then why can’t there be a metaphysical entity that exists beyond the boundaries that our logic systems set?

In other words, don’t take Battleground God too seriously. And another thing: when you click on the link to actually start the game, you often get a “Server Not Found” or “Page Cannot be Displayed” reply. I’m tempted to paraphrase the anti-philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche here: Battleground God Is Dead!

The site rationalizes the lack of reliable evidence regarding Battleground God’s existence as follows: “If you find you can’t access the game, the explanation is simple. The server is in meltdown under the weight of numbers of people playing it. Sorry, there’s very little we can do about it.” Yea, well, if that’s so, then perhaps the theists can use a similar argument. Good for both the goose and the gander, right?

PS – I finally did get thru to the “Battleground”; I kept trying and my faith was finally rewarded. I responded to the 17 questions that it presents regarding the nature of God. I got past the “battleground” with my God-concept mostly intact, although I was forced to “bite a bullet”. I.e., the thinkers who composed this little exercise didn’t like my contention that God could alter the laws of logic; e.g. that God would not be constrained to accept that 1 + 1 never equals 72. On first blush that sounds unreasonable, until you realize that logic itself is ultimately a “system of concepts”. Words and other symbols such as numbers can be slippery (haven’t these fellows read Wittgenstein?). If humans can come up with non-Euclidean geometry, then why can’t God also change the “reality frame”?

◊   posted by Jim G @ 8:46 pm      
 
 


  1. Jim,
    How right you are: Of course God can change the “reality frame.” It’s almost a DUH!

    I was completely turned off by the second sentence that contained the words: “you SHOULD play this”–this what? game? And I SHOULD!! I think not. “Should” is definitely a word that will NOT get me to do something. Adolescent, I know; nevertheless…..

    And then: “Can YOUR beliefs about religion make it across our intellectual battleground?” Who died and made them God?

    Good grief! What hubris. But they do limit their game (later they actually say what “this” is) to “rationally consistent” answers. But how limiting. Sounds like the kids in school who think that they have one-upped the theologians by asking: “If God is so powerful and can do anything, how come he can’t make a boulder he can’t lift?” Please!
    MCS

    Comment by MCS — May 3, 2008 @ 11:54 am

  2. Jim,
    How right you are: Of course God can change the “reality frame.” It’s almost a DUH!

    I was completely turned off by the second sentence that contained the words: “you SHOULD play this”–this what? game? And I SHOULD!! I think not. “Should” is definitely a word that will NOT get me to do something. Adolescent, I know; nevertheless…..

    And then: “Can YOUR beliefs about religion make it across our intellectual battleground?” Who died and made them God?

    Good grief! What hubris. But they do limit their game (later they actually say what “this” is) to “rationally consistent” answers. But how limiting. Sounds like the kids in school who think that they have one-upped the theologians by asking: “If God is so powerful and can do anything, how come he can’t make a boulder he can’t lift?” Please!
    MCS

    Comment by MCS — May 3, 2008 @ 11:54 am

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