Reply personal responsibility is a crock: here is why

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AngelRho
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11 Jun 2021, 12:22 pm

cubedemon6073 wrote:
I think there has been a misunderstanding. When I say personal responsibility is a crock I don't mean it absolutely 100%. I mean it to the extent that the USA and the culture takes it to. Personal responsibility presumes internal locus of control.

https://www.edglossary.org/locus-of-control/
Quote:
Students with an “internal locus of control” generally believe that their success or failure is a result of the effort and hard work they invest in their education. Students with an “external locus of control” generally believe that their successes or failures result from external factors beyond their control, such as luck, fate, circumstance, injustice, bias, or teachers who are unfair, prejudiced, or unskilled. For example, students with an internal locus of control might blame poor grades on their failure to study, whereas students with an external locus of control may blame an unfair teacher or test for their poor performance.


I teach in China and I have a student who is struggling in another class. The student is doing well in their other classes including mine. They go to the tutorials that they need to go to. The problem is that the concepts simply don't click with them and it is the only class they're failing in. What does this student do next? Is this student considered lazy and not taking charge and investing in their education enough? Is this student not studying enough?

If the student did everything they were supposed to do and it still doesn't work how does personal responsibility apply anymore in this case?

This is one example of where one can do everything right and still fail. But, personal responsibility advocates will not accept this idea. That student didn't try hard enough. They didn't study for the appropriate amount of time. They're not paying attention in class. Just arbitrary reasons that the student did and the possibility can't even enter the mind of the personal responsibility advocate like AngelRho and others that the person really did try, failed and really and simply can't do it.

If someone had a task to complete and failed, then he didn't do EVERYTHING right. I think there's a myth surrounding equality that extends the role of government to collectives within its constituency. For the purpose of governance, all men ARE created equal in the sense that we are entitled to such things as due process and acquisition/enjoyment of personal property. We are NOT entitled to, say, personal property itself, but only entitled to the freedom to create, trade, and use personal property. In other words we can produce, trade, and use it; we are not obligated to GIVE it free of charge to anyone for any reason. We have the power to delineate how exactly our stuff can be used by other people when we do sell it. We do not have GOVERNING power to make any such determination. So because people do not trade in anything except value, people are individually unequal in terms of the freedom they've earned to trade. High-value people, such as billionaires, have a tremendous amount of freedom, low-value or negative-value (poor people, homeless, debtors, etc.) can't enjoy the same level of freedom due to so many personal liabilities. What's important to note is both the homeless person and the billionaire have exactly the same freedoms (lower-case, plural). The difference between the two is the scale by which they can exercise those freedoms. A homeless person might, say, find some yarn and knitting needles and, over time, knit a blanket. The billionaire can buy a warehouse, fill it with a supply of fiber, fiber spinning machines, and power knitting looms, create his own custom-blended yarns, and mass-produce blankets that someone might donate to a homeless person so she can stay warm for one more winter.

This does NOT mean that it's against the law for a homeless person to knit blankets. This doesn't make the billionaire a "better person" because he can knit thousands of blankets in a day without lifting a finger. Neither one has more/less rights than the other. It just means that they enjoy freedoms on differing scales. They are NOT equal in this sense, and it wouldn't do either one of them much good if they were. The billionaire has the gift of ability and intellect that allows him to trade on a large scale. The homeless person is no less a PERSON with value. But if the homeless person possessed similar ability and intellectual traits as the billionaire, the homeless person wouldn't be homeless.

If you take a homeless person the responsibilities of the billionaire, that person won't be a billionaire for long. If you take everything away from a billionaire, he's going to find enterprising ways of becoming productive equipped with nothing more than his ideas. There are people who are well-suited for that, hence why you see such a wide range of ability and corresponding reward. When my family was homeless, we made up our minds we would not STAY homeless. We knew that the path we were on would ultimately result in us losing our home, so we took steps to lessen the impact. We also knew that there are stages of homelessness--nobody just "ends up on the street." You can live out of motel rooms for a short time. Then you can live out of your car for a while. And when you can't maintain your car, you just have to carry what you can in garbage bags. Eventually, you have no cash, your possessions get stolen, you lose any identifying papers you have. You become a non-person who vanishes off the grid. So we had time and knew what was coming. We knew just how much danger we were in, so we managed to reverse things before we got kicked out of the motel. We were working out butts off, too. And even after we got a new home, we were still getting in trouble with one bill collector or another. We asked ourselves two things: What power do collectors REALLY have when there's nothing they can collect? Why does this keep happening to us? Because collectors do NOT have that much power when a debt is un-collectable, we learned to just ignore the bullies. We had them by the balls more than they had us (what balls? lol), so we used that to negotiate how and when we'd pay them off. We always have with only one exception, and that debt is nowhere to be found on our record. We don't know why it vanished, it just did. The second question has a more complex answer, but we tackled the reasons for our poverty one problem at a time. WE ARE NOT PERFECT, but we at least don't face the consequences of THOSE mistakes anymore.

There's high value, low value, no value, and negative value. "No value" doesn't exist in practical terms because everyone is valuable to some extent. High and low have a scale of freedom. I'm grateful to NOT be a billionaire because I don't believe that I'm capable of the immense responsibility of accumulating that much wealth and then trying to maintain it. Once you become a billionaire, you become tied to controlling your own wealth, and I'm afraid I'd only end up letting it control me--making decisions BECAUSE of money rather than the reasons why I got the money in the first place. But if I ever DID become a billionaire, I'd give it my very best effort and be grateful. Low value, which I'd say is slightly beneath where I live, has anywhere from about the same level of freedom I enjoy to slightly less. It is nevertheless value, and anyone possessing it has the potential to spin that into much, much more. It shouldn't be taken for granted.

Negative value should be avoided at all costs. Negative value is debt. It's liability. All your effort goes into satisfying liabilities, and those who hold those liabilities against you already know that they cannot continue to gain money from you if you ever pay off your debts. The credit industry creates slaves of good, well-meaning people. The product of your labor goes directly to your creditors. You do not get to enjoy the freedom of making and having things. Everything you do is tied to your obligation. To justify a negative value, you have to turn it into a positive one. Medical debts are incurred when life is preserved. My wife cannot have a natural childbirth; she has to have a C-section. We don't realistically have any other options other than just letting my wife and any future child die. That doesn't appeal to me at all. So I look at medical debt as an investment into the potential of those whose lives are saved by medical professionals. Physicians, if they are ethical, look at their patients as THEIR personal contribution to a better world. Patients owe their lives and livelihoods to physicians, and all they ask is a few thousand dollars. A few thousand dollars against a life? The way I see it, we're ripping them off! So, yes, it might take some time to scrounge up money for deductibles, but I'll gladly pay it. The doctor empowers my wife to realize her potential, my kids to realize their potential, me to enjoy my wife and children, and in turn I empower the doctor to keep making the world a better place. If I REALLY think that the doctor is just that valuable beyond our debts, I'm not obligated to STOP paying. In fact, I can take whatever means I have, find another patient, and voluntarily pay off all of her medical debts. I can donate to charities. I can organize my own charitable fund. Those are "turning negatives into positives" kinds of things that do the most good for most people.

How is this even relevant? Like I said, equality on this level is a myth, and obligating people to equality is counterproductive and counterintuitive. The homeless person does not HAVE to knit thousands of blankets. She has the freedom to only worry about keeping herself warm through the winter. The billionaire is an expert on converting ideas into cold, hard, cash (cash is a stand-in for property). The billionaire is not responsible for keeping the masses warm by manufacturing blankets. The billionaire is only obligated to HIMSELF by doing what he loves. If that happens to be mass-producing blankets because he has a firm conviction and belief in the value of all of humanity, then the best response is not envy. You can either apply for a job and help him, start your own company to make cheaper, BETTER, WARMER blankets, or you can buy as many blankets as you can and hand those out to people who cannot buy them. The great thing about personal inequality is our uniqueness, our diversity, and how useful other people can be for us.

And we pay that forward. I haven't been as active on WP this week as I'd like because I've been involved in something HUGE. I mean UNCHARACTERISTICALLY HUGE for me, because this is the kind of thing I JUST DON'T DO. I have a wonderful friend who has spent her entire life in the north delta caring for sick, disabled parents and enduring abuse from her aunt. Her aunt is long gone, and with her mother's declining health and lifelong blindness, she had to put her mother in a nursing home. It seems someone on staff brought in COVID-19 and a few patients fell ill, including her mother who died from complications. Having lost her job because of a mean-spirited coworker's complaints, she was driving over an hour away just to work the night shift at Walmart. Absolutely horrible. With her mother passing, no living relatives, no real obligations, she decided it was time to leave. She really didn't know what to do, but she's known all along what things have been like for my family and how we dealt with the same kinds of things. We offered to let her come live with us. No rent. Just help us look after our new baby, do what you can with finding a job, and maybe just pay our mortgage and water bill for us. We'll exchange net TV passwords. So she did exactly the thing I have often advised people on WP to do--just quit your job, pack up things you can't live without, dump everything else on the street, and skip town. Just go. She took us up on it, and she's settling into our two daughters' room TODAY.

Sure, she could deny personal responsibility. She could live in fear of change, instead living with the same old status quo of getting jerked around from one job to the next, tolerate abuse from others, continue to live a hoarding lifestyle in a house that's falling apart, or she could assume control, take an out, and completely turn her whole life around. No more excuses. No parents to blame. No more childhood to blame. No abusive relatives to blame. It's HER moment, SHE decides what to do. The only thing we're doing is giving someone we love a roof.

Equality says everyone gets dealt the same cards and only plays those. Well, her cards SUCK. If her cards suck, that would mean everyone's cards must suck equally. If everyone has a good hand then you have people who face the pressure of living a life they don't really want, even if it's the high, billionaire lifestyle. Maybe you don't want the mansion with all those rooms to dust. Maybe you don't want to have to worry about all those people you pay. You don't want the guilt of having to fire someone with a wife and a newborn baby girl. I sure as heck don't want that life. But maybe, just maybe, you can throw away some cards and keep others if you accept the odds of doing better.

And maybe you fail and need to wait a little longer for the next round before cashing out. Maybe you learn a little more how the game is played. Maybe you're just playing the wrong game.

The student who is struggling with ONE CLASS...well, he or she is demonstrating their weakness. That's all it is. We're not all equal. Some of us are going to be better suited to some things than others. There's no amount of studying or extra work that can possibly fix that. It is your, say it with me, PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY do decide whether such a task is even worth doing at all. I learned in grad school that I have a weakness for writing 16th century counterpoint. I'll never be very good at it. So what do I do about it? I don't write in a 16th century style! You know what other weakness I have? I have bad eyes, myopia with astigmatism. Guess what I do NOT do? I don't fly fighter jets. I'd never be able to identify enemy aircraft at a distance. I'm also terrible at math, and I'm not good at memorizing things. It would take a miracle for me to land a plane even ONCE. So my flight skills will always be reserved for games if I ever decide I want to do flight simulation. It's ok.

Actually...I had a college roommate with similar problems who was even taking medication for ADHD. Good kid. Really smart, too. Was excited about joining the airforce. Couldn't pass the vision tests. Totally bombed aircraft identification, pun intended. You know what he does for a living? He's a skydiving instructor. Yeah, he teaches civvies how to jump out of perfectly good planes. So even though he's not a fighter pilot, he's STILL in the sky every day and raking in CASH. Personal responsibility. If you love something enough, you'll do whatever it takes to do it. Doesn't matter if you're well suited to something. Doesn't matter if you don't get to do EXACTLY what you always wanted. What counts is that you get as close as you can and do your best. It takes a lot of personal responsibility just to get that far, and even in your failures you still get to do some pretty amazing stuff. It doesn't matter if you're thousands of feet in the sky jumping out of planes or moving in with friends with NO plans on what comes next, all that matters is that you DO SOMETHING. I'm GLAD I'm not equal with my friend. That would make me a hoarder living a hopeless life and only turning things around when it's almost already too late. That would mean having to lose everything that ever mattered to me. I don't want that. I'm also glad I'm not equal to my roommate. I'm partially jealous, but also in awe. I don't suffer the pain of failing a test that keeps me from living my dream. But that also means I don't have to worry about what would happen if I make a mistake that ends up getting a n00b skydiver killed. We're not equals, nor should we be. We shouldn't WANT to be. And even if I did have an active interest in that, I wouldn't want to be your equal. I'd want to be BETTER THAN YOU.

Your student either is missing something, or they just aren't well suited for the skills or content of that one class. By equipping themselves with what they know about a weakness, they can make future decisions about how to do a job. If they cannot do that one task effectively, they can find someone who IS and work collaboratively. But not having that particular talent, they can spot it in others. If I were asked to write music for a show or film and I was instructed that we need something that evokes the 1500's, I would politely excuse myself from that one scene. I would look up what music libraries have to offer or I'd try to find one of my old classmates and pay them to do it for me. It would not be my skills in period composition, since 16th century style eludes me, but rather my knowledge of music history and recognizing something that sounds consistent with that style period. My responsibility would be to get the work DONE, even if it means not doing the actual work myself. I think it takes more courage and personal responsibility to reach out for help than simply doing the job on your own. It means having to admit you can't do the work. But if you're committed to an idea or someone's creative vision, then it doesn't matter if you can't do the work on your own. There are more important things. And that's exactly why your student struggling with their class is so crucial for later success. They know their limits. So by knowing their own limits, they can avoid the stress of taking responsibility for what they can NOT do and look for better alternatives.

I don't know the specifics of your student, btw, so I'm speaking in generalities. If the student is a physics major and can't pass basic algebra, can't even write a proper summation, he or she might want to sit down with his or her advisor and have a nice, long talk about how they're going to graduate. It could mean changing majors. As I've mentioned before, I'm weak in math and data science. But that's ok, because I'm making a living teaching music. I have no time constraints whatsoever, so if I need to spend a month trying to understand an equation or learn about n-dimensional matrices, well, heck...I've got YEARS. I'm not going to worry about that TODAY. It is MY responsibility whether I learn and apply that stuff. If your student actually cares about or needs to worry about what they're missing in that particular class, it's possible that this one class isn't crucial to what they're planning on doing by passing the overall course of study. 16th century counterpoint was one elective out of many that I could have chosen. It has not seriously affected my work. While it might feel embarrassing to do poorly in a class, I'd just ask if getting a good grade in something that is too challenging is really something I should be worried about. If it really is THAT important, I'd look for ways of circumventing that particular skill area, like finding a coworker at my job who is highly skilled in that area. If that freed me up on time, I might ask her if I could take on some of her more menial work so she doesn't fall behind. The great thing about inequality is you have the opportunity to see the best in each other and work together according to what you're all best at. Personal responsibility means you don't have to see everything you're not good at as liabilities. In job situations, your supervisors aren't really going to care or notice if you offload some of your work on someone else. All they want to know is if it gets the job done.



Aspinator
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11 Jun 2021, 12:34 pm

I feel the best response is fxxk it. Everybody has embedded in them the ability to make the best choices for their circumstances. Each person is born into a unique environment. Unless another person was born with the same set of circumstances (which is impossible); why listen to them?



AngelRho
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11 Jun 2021, 12:52 pm

auntblabby wrote:
The_Znof wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
determinism vs. existentialism :scratch:


is not an either/or war!

Quote:
. A human being is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity, in short, a synthesis. A synthesis is a relation between two.


-anti Climacus

can you kindly and patiently explain to this slow student, how they both can be simultaneously true? :scratch:

Well...for instance, I believe that God possessed all knowledge of the universe He created. So from a theological perspective, that does suggest that all things in this universe are pre-ordained. No matter how much a free-will Evangelical Christian tries to explain his corner of existentialism, there is no escaping God's omniscience.

The problem for determinists is, though, that you likewise cannot deny free will. Same exact reason. It's logically possible that God foreknew all that man, given free will, would freely and willingly do. The argument that God COULD have intervened and, having left it all alone, that having left it alone was itself a deterministic act is a pretty useless argument in the grand scheme of things. Those two arguments are really 6 of one and half a dozen of another. If it helps you understand the world by assuming everything is predetermined, fine. If it helps you understand the world by believing in free will, fine. Both are part of the same road that come from the same origin and lead to the same destination.

So if free will and determinism are really just the same thing, why bother with one or the other? Proponents of determinism intend to show that human beings are never responsible for their actions. If that is true, then evil doesn't exist. You can't blame bullies for hurting you because they, like you, are simply victims of their environment, genetics, God, etc. There's no truly ethical or moral path in life. You're going to do what you're going to do, anyway, so what's the point? Free will holds that human beings ARE responsible for their own choices, which means if you freely chose to harm someone, you freely choose to accept whatever consequences come from it. You may even forfeit your own life. So if you make a mistake, it arose from YOUR choices. YOU had control over yourself. You decided to do something awful. But, also, you are free to choose good things in life. If you have no money and someone offers you the opportunity to do something better in life, only you can make that decision. If you do something good and get rewarded for it, you are responsible for what happens with your reward. If you choose a path that leads to a billionaire lifestyle, then you are responsible for thousands of employees and their families. If you are sick and tired of being a billionaire, you can get away from it. Believing in free will is in many ways much more difficult because it accepts that one's decisions are his own. Determinism says you did what you did because you couldn't help it. Determinism goes a lot farther to helping people sleep at night. Free will asks why you're having trouble sleeping and proceeds from there to remedy the problem.

Free will/existentialism versus determinism ONLY become a dichotomy when someone is using one of those arguments to support an agenda. The reality is that they are both two sides of the same coin. Arguments on either side always break down into pure semantics. There's really nothing of value to be gained from discussing it.

God already knew and determined that I would freely choose to write this post.



AngelRho
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11 Jun 2021, 1:01 pm

Aspinator wrote:
I feel the best response is fxxk it. Everybody has embedded in them the ability to make the best choices for their circumstances. Each person is born into a unique environment. Unless another person was born with the same set of circumstances (which is impossible); why listen to them?

Yeah, but even I have to admit cube and blabby make respectably decent points.

You said everybody has embedded in them the ability to make the best choices for their circumstances. The problem that I see is that circumstances might prove extremely and unreasonably limiting for individuals, so that even the best choices for those people aren't going to really amount to much. If someone is completely paralyzed from the neck down and thus disabled, he's got nothing left but his thoughts and ideas. There's nothing he can DO about it. Ok, so you have some great IDEAS. Those thoughts and ideas aren't going to help you much to, say, get a high-paying job and provide for your family. There are some exceptions, sure. But how exactly do you go about building up the self-esteem of someone who wants to be productive but can never leave the bed again for as long as he lives?

Or if someone is mentally disabled and commits murder. Are we now tolerating things like murder because it was one of the "best choices for their circumstances"?



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15 Jun 2021, 8:46 pm

If God is eternal then this means he has no beginning and therefore he has no end. If God is omniscient then God must have infinite amount of knowledge and all encompassing knowledge of all the infinite amount knowledge possible. God should be able to have infinite levels of infinities of knowledge. Within all of this knowledge then it must be possible for God to have the knowledge of how to end. And, if God can figure out how to end then why can't God figure out a beginning for himself?

If God does not have knowledge of when he began because he is eternal and to have knowledge of when he began and how to end would contradict his eternal nature then how would it be possible for God to have an infinite amount of knowledge with no ability to determine an origin and no ability to determine how to end since the very nature of God is eternal? And, he has knowledge of all infinities of all infinities possible.



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15 Jun 2021, 9:16 pm

"yahweh" = "all that is." IOW GOD. smarter folk than me say that god is all existence and all knowledge. we are all teeny tiny itty bitty particles of god, each with a thread-thin connection to source [GOD, outside time/space] but each with a random element. each of us is matriculating, through time/space, ever so slowly, to higher levels in the GOD machine. each of us must accomplish this via continued learning/evolving of spiritual refinement, mostly through progressive incarnation on earth or other worlds. LDS types believe that each of us is evolving towards godhood, that is also what the persian mystic Rumi said-

I died as a mineral and became a plant;
I died as a plant and rose to animal;
I died as animal and I was a man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as man to soar
With angels blest. Yet even from an angel
I must pass on; All except God must perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel soul,
I shall become what no mind ever conceived.



AngelRho
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15 Jun 2021, 11:26 pm

cubedemon6073 wrote:
If God is eternal then this means he has no beginning and therefore he has no end. If God is omniscient then God must have infinite amount of knowledge and all encompassing knowledge of all the infinite amount knowledge possible. God should be able to have infinite levels of infinities of knowledge. Within all of this knowledge then it must be possible for God to have the knowledge of how to end. And, if God can figure out how to end then why can't God figure out a beginning for himself?

You are making unnecessary false assumptions. Explain to me please why God must have a beginning or end. The mess you’ve written here is nothing but silly word games. You are making something confusing out of something that isn’t.

cubedemon6073 wrote:
If God does not have knowledge of when he began because he is eternal and to have knowledge of when he began and how to end would contradict his eternal nature then how would it be possible for God to have an infinite amount of knowledge with no ability to determine an origin and no ability to determine how to end since the very nature of God is eternal? And, he has knowledge of all infinities of all infinities possible.

Is omniscience really infinite knowledge? It would be a contradiction to say that God had knowledge of something happening that, across all of time and space, never happened. No one can have knowledge of something happening when it never actually happened. To describe God as omniscient by itself does not imply that knowledge is infinite, but rather that of everything that has ever happened or will happen, God knows it. The universe as we understand it did have a beginning and will end. God’s knowledge encompasses all from before the beginning through the end and into eternity beyond. And that same knowledge includes everything outside material dimensions beyond our awareness. So God’s knowledge is infinite in the sense that God knows all that is knowable and also knows all possibilities of what could have been that never occurred nor ever will.

God knows all that didn’t happen as well as what did, in other words. If God had a beginning, that does mean that God was a created being. Once you understand that God already revealed Himself to have been preexisting and eternal, you’ll also understand why God’s divine attributes are never contradictory. It makes no logical sense to assume contradictions when there are none. Check your premises. They are wrong:

1. God is omniscient (infinite knowledge)
2. God is eternal
3. If God knows everything, God knows how He might have had a beginning.
4. If God knows how He might have had a beginning, God DID have a beginning.
5. God is either not omniscient or God is not eternal.

The error begins at 3. God already knows whether He had a beginning or not, so what sense does it make to say God just dreamed up something with no logical or factual basis? With God already aware of having no beginning or end, since God knows everything, how exactly is this a limitation on God’s knowledge?

4 is a non-sequitur, plain and simple. If you need me to explain this to you, then you are beyond my capacity to help.

And since 3 and 4 are false, 5 is false.

This will start to make more sense to you once you drop all the unnecessary assumptions and stop playing word games. This is “how many angels fit on the head of a pin” territory. I typically avoid these types of discussions.



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16 Jun 2021, 1:23 pm

^^^
Previous post needed a little work. Here it is again...my apologies for the repeat.

cubedemon6073 wrote:
If God is eternal then this means he has no beginning and therefore he has no end. If God is omniscient then God must have infinite amount of knowledge and all encompassing knowledge of all the infinite amount knowledge possible. God should be able to have infinite levels of infinities of knowledge. Within all of this knowledge then it must be possible for God to have the knowledge of how to end. And, if God can figure out how to end then why can't God figure out a beginning for himself?

You are making unnecessary false assumptions. Explain to me please why God must have a beginning or end. The mess you’ve written here is nothing but silly word games. You are making something confusing out of something that isn’t.

cubedemon6073 wrote:
If God does not have knowledge of when he began because he is eternal and to have knowledge of when he began and how to end would contradict his eternal nature then how would it be possible for God to have an infinite amount of knowledge with no ability to determine an origin and no ability to determine how to end since the very nature of God is eternal? And, he has knowledge of all infinities of all infinities possible.

Is omniscience really infinite knowledge? [edit] Or is it total awareness of all that exists across space and time? The difference is that in the first case, God knows all things that could logically be—which in itself is a contradiction and thus false. It’s false because to make a knowledge claim would require something to be factual, i.e. it must first exist in order for it to be known even by an omniscient being. You cannot know something that doesn’t exist. In the second case, God is aware of all that EXISTS past, present, and future—the relevant point here is that the created universe is finite, thus all that can be known within it is also finite. The false premise here is that God’s knowledge of all that exists (across time and space in a finite universe) is limiting and compromises the attribute of omniscience. Look back at the first case and the inherent contradiction to understand why this is not a limiting factor[/edit]. It would be a contradiction to say that God had knowledge of something happening that, across all of time and space, never happened. No one can have knowledge of something happening when it never actually happened. To describe God as omniscient by itself does not imply that knowledge is infinite, but rather that of everything that has ever happened or will happen, God knows it. The universe as we understand it did have a beginning and will end. God’s knowledge encompasses all from before the beginning through the end and into eternity beyond. And that same knowledge includes everything outside material dimensions beyond our awareness.

[incoherent...my bad]So God’s knowledge is infinite in the sense that God knows all that is knowable and also knows all possibilities of what could have been that never occurred nor ever will.[/incoherent]
[edit]I’d said that something that has never existed, doesn’t exist, and never will exist can never be known, the reason being that it isn’t knowABLE. One classic, atheist, realist argument typically goes that the atheist need not justify atheism by proving God’s non-existence because you cannot prove something that doesn’t exist. You may not be doing this intentionally, but you follow a similar pattern. In the atheist argument, the atheist is using exclusive premises:

Things that do not exist cannot be proven.
God does not exist.
God’s non-existence cannot be proven.


Can you spot the problem? This one is tricky. The premises are stated in such a way (both negative) that causes them to be independent of each other. God does not exist, according to the 2nd premise, but it doesn’t follow categorically that God is a thing that could be said to not exist. There’s no necessary direct relationship between God and “things that do not exist.” In fact, the premise “God does not exist” doesn’t tell us anything about what God IS. The premise that “Things that do not exist cannot be proven” tells us nothing about what things that do not exist CAN do. The conclusion might actually happen to be true (it IS true), but it is invalid. Besides, one need not even accept the premises to begin with. To fix this, one must state one or both premises in affirmative terms. If both premises are affirmative, then the conclusion must be affirmative. If one of the premises is negative, then the conclusion has to be negative.

You are clearly not making an atheistic argument, so this is not my attempt at a straw man argument. The problem you’re having is similar in that most of the conclusions we reach are inferred rather than deduced, and you are putting yourself at risk by keeping logic entirely at the deductive level. Christian thinkers like deductive reasoning because we like CERTAINTY. The problem with this way of thinking is that premises themselves aren’t necessarily certain. “God exists,” “God is eternal,” “God is omniscient” are certain premises. HOW we know this is certain knowledge revealed to us by God Himself is something that has to be inferred from personal experience. But when trying to explain this to an unbelieving world, at best all we can tell them is “God is most LIKELY.” Trying to convey something that is known to be absolute to people who reject the premise that anything can be absolute is not fun. Keep that in mind when making arguments regarding God’s eternal attribute and omniscience. Those are two separate attributes and have to be handled in different ways. When you construct an argument that puts them together in opposition, you’ll likely make mistakes such as exclusive premises (two negative premises), negative conclusion from affirmative premises, or affirmative conclusion from one negative premise. [/edit]

God knows all that didn’t happen as well as what did, in other words. If God had a beginning, that does mean that God was a created being. Once you understand that God already revealed Himself to have been preexisting and eternal, you’ll also understand why God’s divine attributes are never contradictory. It makes no logical sense to assume contradictions when there are none. Check your premises. They are wrong:

1. God is omniscient (infinite knowledge)
2. God is eternal
3. If God knows everything, God knows how He might have had a beginning.
4. If God knows how He might have had a beginning, God DID have a beginning.
5. God is either not omniscient or God is not eternal.

The error begins at 3. God already knows whether He had a beginning or not, so what sense does it make to say God just dreamed up something with no logical or factual basis? With God already aware of having no beginning or end, since God knows everything, how exactly is this a limitation on God’s knowledge?

4 is a non-sequitur, plain and simple. If you need me to explain this to you, then you are beyond my capacity to help.[edit]I kinda did...see previous edit[/edit]

And since 3 and 4 are false, 5 is false.

This will start to make more sense to you once you drop all the unnecessary assumptions and stop playing word games. This is “how many angels fit on the head of a pin” territory. I typically avoid these types of discussions.

[final edit]
As I just said, it’s all a word game, hence why you’re wrong and why I find it useless to engage in these discussions. You could ask me why I’m doing it now and I’d tell you there’s not a rational reason. Omniscience is, strictly speaking, about all there is TO know. It doesn’t account for things that cannot possibly be known, such as things or ideas that do not exist in any sense, because the only way to know a thing is for that thing to actually exist. You cannot “know” something like someone else’s idea, for example, before that idea is expressed somehow. But the idea cannot be expressed if its owner hasn’t dreamed it up yet. You could conceivably know of the existence of future things that don’t exist YET. But you cannot know of things that cannot exist in any logically possible world.

To say that God knows all things is to make a statement about knowledge. Ideas such as how it might be possible for God to have a beginning is beyond the realm of knowledge, hence why saying God cannot know how He might have begun isn’t a limiting agent on His omniscience—that’s not what it means to know anything. So if how God did conceivably imagine a possible way that He might have had a beginning, that’s within the realm of wisdom, not knowledge. And yes, God is infinitely wise.



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16 Jun 2021, 1:38 pm

"God already knew and determined that I would freely choose to write this post."


Is this implying that even when people are murdered it's somehow also something predetermined by God?

Cold, premeditated murder is an evil choice that someone makes and needs to take responsibility for.


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16 Jun 2021, 7:39 pm

envirozentinel wrote:
"God already knew and determined that I would freely choose to write this post."


Is this implying that even when people are murdered it's somehow also something predetermined by God?

No. I was actually being ironic for once. :lol:

envirozentinel wrote:
Cold, premeditated murder is an evil choice that someone makes and needs to take responsibility for.

100% agree.



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16 Jun 2021, 8:08 pm

Some interesting exploration here.

Personal responsibility is multifaceted based on responsibility;
- to yourself and by extension -
- social responsibility to your closest relatives
- to family
- to local community
- to the wider community
- to your country
- to all fellow humans
- to animals and plants
- and the earth?

It is highly subjective and based on the social constructs of the society/culture you live in. What most humans have in common is self-interest. What we tell people is often what we think they want to hear. But this often doesn't align with how we think or feel when we are by ourselves. We all try and meet our own needs and so this is the primary driver for personal responsibility (even for those people who claim to take responsibility for others such as children).

The rest is social programming.



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16 Jun 2021, 8:38 pm

Interesting points.

Anything and everything can be held to be subjective or objective, and attitudes will vary from individual to individual. Objective responsibility is absolute and tangible. Everyone’s primary responsibility always IS to the self. If I’m not working to achieve great things, I can’t keep my family fed and safe. If I am unhealthy or have bad habits, I can’t do any good for anyone else. Jesus instructed us to love our neighbor as ourselves. I think most of us just hear the “love your neighbor” and conveniently ignore the last bit. If you can’t love and care for yourself, you cannot do the same for others.

Selfishness is an objective, noble virtue because when someone behaves selfishly towards another person, he expresses the great value that he holds that person to. Individuals can choose to do great things for other people for the sole reason that they WANT to with no need for self-hating altruism. Your responsibility to others is defined by the regard you have for yourself and how others enhance your quality of life.

I don’t see personal responsibility as necessarily emphasizing any concern for others. That’s why it is personal. The only concern personal responsibility has for others is that the individual wishes not to be a burden on others. I never begrudge disabled people access to care in whatever form they need. I strongly dislike the behavior and attitudes of SOME disabled people who believe they are special and are entitled to special status and treatment only because of their disability, not because they have something of genuine, meaningful value they can exchange for the things they want. Not because of great ideas, or artistic effort, but just for being in a wheelchair or on 30 different medications (though it just depends on what the meds are for). Nobody cheers for the soldier who got captured. You cheer for his rescuer, or for the guys who blew up a weapons arsenal. You cheer for EMT’s, police, and firefighters, not the guy having the heart attack, not the victim of the criminal who got arrested, or for the single mother whose house burned down. You weep for victims. You cheer for victors. It’s personal responsibility that makes heroes keeps victims from staying that way.



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16 Jun 2021, 8:49 pm

AngelRho wrote:
I don’t see personal responsibility as necessarily emphasizing any concern for others. That’s why it is personal. The only concern personal responsibility has for others is that the individual wishes not to be a burden on others.

While this is true, it;s open to interpretation based on the individual and the social norms they live by. I observe there is a tendency for many people to conflate personal responsibility with external expectations. It's not easy to disentangle the two.

AngelRho wrote:
I never begrudge disabled people access to care in whatever form they need. I strongly dislike the behavior and attitudes of SOME disabled people who believe they are special and are entitled to special status and treatment only because of their disability, not because they have something of genuine, meaningful value they can exchange for the things they want. Not because of great ideas, or artistic effort, but just for being in a wheelchair or on 30 different medications (though it just depends on what the meds are for).


Yeah I take your point. There is a fine line between personal needs and entitlement. You also have to keep in mind that a person who's cognitive load is take up with dealing with their disability might not have the luxury to pontificate if they are creating a burden on others to serve their needs. In other words they may not be able to seperate their personal needs from creating a burden or expectation on others.

AngelRho wrote:
Nobody cheers for the soldier who got captured. You cheer for his rescuer, or for the guys who blew up a weapons arsenal. You cheer for EMT’s, police, and firefighters, not the guy having the heart attack, not the victim of the criminal who got arrested, or for the single mother whose house burned down. You weep for victims. You cheer for victors. It’s personal responsibility that makes heroes keeps victims from staying that way.


Could you explain what you mean here?



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17 Jun 2021, 7:51 pm

I wonder if the problem is semantics and pragmatics. AngelRho, if you don't mind can we define terms that we both can agree on? Remember, I have Aspergers and my version of it comes with semantic and pragmatic issues. I wish we could all discuss this over pizza.

1. You say a contradiction is something that is and isn't in the same instance if I am quoting you correctly? First, what exactly is an instance? And, what does it mean to be in the same instance?

2. What does it mean for something to not have a beginning and not have an end? How does this work exactly? What are the mechanics and underlying logic? Is this even determinable? And, what makes something determinable or not?

3. What is all powerful and infinite wisdom mean? What is power and what is wisdom? What does infinite mean? And, what does infinite wisdom mean? Can an infinite set of something considered to be all of something? Must an all of something be finite?

4. What is knowledge? And, what does all knowledge mean? Must knowledge be something that must exist and be proven to exist in our concrete world?

5. What is faith? And, what does it mean to have faith? Does faith mean to simply accept something without proof or any logical reasoning?

6. What does it mean to believe and accept when Christians say we must believe and accept Jesus as our lord and savior?

7. What is works and what exactly is works of the law? And, is faith considered a work or works of the law? Is the works of the law the law of Moses?

8. What does it mean to exist? What is existence? Is there only one form of existence as in our concrete and physical existence or are there others that are outside of existence? Is there anything beyond existence itself and how would we know if was outside of existence without a proper definition of what existence is?

9. What exactly is space? Is there a beyond or outside of space? How do we know and how can we know? What is beyond space?

10. What exactly is time? Is there a beyond or outside of time? How do we know and how can we know? What is beyond time?



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17 Jun 2021, 8:40 pm

You cheer for victims when they rise up from their victimhood. You don’t only pity or cry for them. Most victims don’t want people to feel sorry for them.



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18 Jun 2021, 6:03 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
You cheer for victims when they rise up from their victimhood. You don’t only pity or cry for them. Most victims don’t want people to feel sorry for them.

Exactly. Minorities dragged to America in the 19th century for slave labor really were victims. Harriet Tubman refused to be one. Black people during segregation were victims. MLK refused to be one. Ghandi blew the lid off British victimizers and single-handedly brought an empire to its knees. Many people behind Antifa, BLM, and even the Klan not only aren’t victims, but have no real interest in being anything else besides. I bring up the Klan because they are on the wrong side of morality and history. I have no trouble believing southerners in general were victims of the war and, specifically, the Union army and unreasonable policy towards the south leading up to the war. But that war is long over and the grievances of the Klan have long been resolved. If you don’t like black people, you cannot be FORCED to deal with them. If you want to be a racist, you’re entitled to that right. But you cannot violate the personal freedom of others regardless of skin color. The Klan outlook leaves no room for Klansmen or white people to be anything besides victims.

I don’t cheer for Antifa, BLM, or the Klan, and certainly not for individual victims who are only victims of their own backwards thinking. I don’t cheer for people emerging from bankruptcy who are just going to get another credit card that they can discharge by repeat filing, using creditors as another form of welfare. I don’t cheer when people make honest mistakes. I do cheer when people open their eyes to those mistakes, rise above themselves, and resolve to break free from cycles of bad behavior.

And I don’t cheer for the single mom in a burning house who had to be rescued because she lost consciousness. I don’t cheer because she did nothing to cheer for. I cheer for the rescued single mom who passed out after rescuing her own kids and getting trapped looking for another one. The victim of drowning or a heart attack may be innocent, but I don’t cheer for them when they die. If they are important to me, I mourn for them. I may celebrate their achievement in life. But I don’t say, “You died from a heart attack? You GO boy!! !” My life’s great ambition is not to survive cancer, but rather to not get it in the first place. Perpetual victims thrive on pity and entitlement to welfare. I don’t mean people who are victims to circumstances beyond their control, like people with disabilities, but people who prefer to be seen and recognized as victims when they DO have control. I always bring up Hawkings, someone who built his own empire out of nothing but IDEAS and from leveraging his influence over others. He is not recognized as being some guy in a wheelchair. Perpetual victims prefer grief and validation to victory.

I don’t cheer for the bully at school. I don’t cheer for the guy he beats up. I cheer for the guy who either fights back or refuses to validate bullies by giving any response at all. I actually did have a guy come to my house with the intent of roughing me up. I didn’t beg or plead with him. I just smiled and said that I’d misread a situation and asked if he’d like me to buy him a beer sometime. We ended up being friends. I don’t need anyone to cheer for me for defusing a bad situation, and that isn’t the point. I’m just saying that those are the kinds of things I applaud. I could have escalated the situation, gotten beat up, and then call the police and put him in jail. I even thought about it. It just wasn’t worth it to me, and a non-violent resolution was, as it typically is, the best. I do cheer for people who trade honestly and make peace.