# God Game

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I wonder if a true believer can pass this test without harm.

Are you saying theistic belief carries inherent contradictions? o.O

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Are you saying theistic belief carries inherent contradictions? o.O

Where is a devout believer when you need one?

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Are you saying theistic belief carries inherent contradictions? o.O

Not being a believer myself, the test gave me the impression it was its hidden agenda. As an atheist, each question that begins with " if God ...) was automatically answered by "false" without much thinking. That makes 70% of the test really easy. That was the reason of my comment.

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P.S. Although "He" acted following the rules, I really don't like the abrupt way some other forum's member was rejected from the discussion. I hope he will come back again after succeeding his 50 posts corvée.

Edited by michel123456
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I'm a staunch atheist so I couldn't get through the third question

"Any being which it is right to call God must be free to do anything."

There is no being which it is right to call God and therefore it is impossible to rationally assign properties to it.

I couldn't answer yes or no to that any more than I could answer the question "Do unicorns have gall bladders?"

How did you decide what properties God would have?

Presuming that if a unicorn exists it is defined as a white horse with a horn on its head.

Q If the Unicorn exists does it have a gall bladder

A Yes (I think horses will have gall bladders)

Q If the Unicorn exists does it eat rocks

A No - we have defined it as very horselike

To deny the existence of a Unicorn one must have a fairly clear conception of what a Unicorn is defined as (ie it cannot just be defined as a mammal with a spiral grooved horn on its forehead - qv narwhal). Doesn't the same apply to god?

Congratulations!

You have been awarded the TPM medal of honour! This is our highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.

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Presuming that if a unicorn exists it is defined as a white horse with a horn on its head.

Q If the Unicorn exists does it have a gall bladder

A Yes (I think horses will have gall bladders)

Q If the Unicorn exists does it eat rocks

A No - we have defined it as very horselike

To deny the existence of a Unicorn one must have a fairly clear conception of what a Unicorn is defined as (ie it cannot just be defined as a mammal with a spiral grooved horn on its forehead - qv narwhal). Doesn't the same apply to god?

See, that's just it. I don't think of unicorns as being necessarily white, but I do think of them as having supernatural properties, as they are generally depicted as more than simply a mundane horse with a horn on its head.

So yes, I am confident that there does not exist a being that I would call a unicorn, although I have only the vaguest definition of what that would actually be. Certainly not specific enough to say whether it has a gall bladder. And yes, there are some definitions of "unicorn" that could be said to exist (narwhale, rhinoceros), but I wouldn't call those things unicorns.

Similarly, I'm fairly confident that there does not exist something that I would call "god," even though there are countless hypothetical beings with various properties (more varied than unicorns) that might reasonably be called by that name. And there are things which do exist (the laws of physics, the universe itself) which some might call "god," but I would not.

So even the question "does god exist" can only be given a very casual answer without an explanation of what is meant by the word.

EDIT: I'm looking at the Wikipedia article on unicorns, and it's very interesting. Apparently Marco Polo described finding "unicorns:"

scarcely smaller than elephants. They have the hair of a buffalo and feet like an elephant's. They have a single large black horn in the middle of the forehead... They have a head like a wild boar's… They spend their time by preference wallowing in mud and slime. They are very ugly brutes to look at. They are not at all such as we describe them when we relate that they let themselves be captured by virgins, but clean contrary to our notions.

Clearly he's describing a rhinoceros. Yet apparently it didn't occur to him that he was describing a different animal - he thought it was the mythological unicorn, but that it had entirely different properties from popular conception!

Clearly, it's a problem of defining the essential properties of a thing. Who's to say that a rhinoceros is not, in fact, a unicorn?

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I wonder if a true believer can pass this test without harm.

It turns out that it's rather easy to pass this as a theist.

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A couple of points,

Deer have no gall bladders and I rather suspect horses don't either; not many people know that and that's why I chose that particular property to ascribe (or not) to a unicorn.

Secondly, a Diabolist might chose to ascribe an entirely different set of properties to "The Supreme Ruler" compared to, for example, a Christian.

What properties your God has are entirely up to you.

If I were to manipulate the genes of a horse and a rhino to get something that was basically a horse, but with a horn, I don't think it would count as a unicorn because, one of the defining properties of unicorns is that they don't exist.

For that definition this "To deny the existence of a Unicorn one must have a fairly clear conception of what a Unicorn is defined as " simply doesn't hold true. I can deny their existence on the basis that they are mythical (WIKI says so, therefore it must be right); anything that you or I say about the unicorn is impossible to disprove.

Edited by John Cuthber
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I got a perfect score. How'd you do?

Show off.

I closed the window out before I had a chance to copy and paste the one hit I took. I am quite embarrassed that I stepped into such an erroneous and illogical misstep! I think I must have read the question wrong? *blushes*

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A couple of points,

Deer have no gall bladders and I rather suspect horses don't either; not many people know that and that's why I chose that particular property to ascribe (or not) to a unicorn.

I had a feeling it might have been - should have checked. Have checked now with the fount of all knowledge: "Equids do not have a gall bladder, so bile flows constantly, an adaptation to a slow but steady supply of food, and another reason for providing fodder to horses in several small feedings."

I think we could go around the block many times on the logical/philosphical bit - and I have no intention of starting

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I I took a hit for the question on evolution too. I think the way it's worded is misdirectional in the way that it asks you whether you agree that evolution THEORY is true or false. I said false, as while I belive Evolution theory over some all magical glowing rainbow pixie it's still a theory ( How things happen, not that they do or not) If it was true wouldnt Evolution theory be a law?

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If it was true wouldnt Evolution theory be a law?

No.

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So in the scientific world what officially makes something a law?

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Took one direct hit... but I disagree with it.

Anyway, it's a funny exercise

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I bit the bullet on one. It was the one about square circles. I said an omnipotent God could create square circles, because it was only an arbitrary name we placed on certain geometric shapes. Even a human could change sign convention.

Hm. Not too bad for a YEC, crazy republican.

So in the scientific world what officially makes something a law?

No theory ever becomes a law. It doesn't work like that. Laws are not higher truths.

Laws are generalizations about what has happened. They pertain to observational data. An ability to predict in other words. Gravity is a good example. There is obviously an attraction between all things with mass. And from it, we can predict certain behaviors. That doesn't mean we understand everything about gravity (we have a pretty good handle, but there are still varying theories on gravity).

In the same sense that nature is not obliged to agree with our theories, it is not obliged to obey our laws.

Edited by A Tripolation
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Hm. Not too bad for a YEC, crazy republican.

Wasn't it a gay communazi YEC crazy republican?

No theory ever becomes a law. It doesn't work like that. Laws are not higher truths.

Right. 'Law' is typically reserved for specific mathematical statements. As you said, gravity is a Law....sort of: $F=G\frac{mM}{r^2}$ is a Law; the fact of gravity is not a law. Laws are usually a subset of a theory. Indeed, theories do not become laws; theory is as good as it gets in science.

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So in the scientific world what officially makes something a law?

When it has the word "law" in it. There's no difference between a "law" and a "theory" in science, and we've replaced the "universal law of gravitation" with the "theory of general relativity". I think the only requirement for something to be a "law" would be that it has to be a mathematical formula, and even more importantly be from before we stopped calling things laws.

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Edtharan, there may be mathematical proof that evolution is possible, but that doesn't translate to mathematical proof that it actually happened. (which would be impossible to have mathematical proof for anyways).

I got caught by that question too, since I assumed the question was meaningful, ie that by "certain, irrevocable proof" it meant something that was in theory possible for the most certain beliefs we have about the natural world.

The question on the existance of evolution was not about biological evolution. I will agree that there is no "certain, irrevocable proof" of biological evolution and that ther eis not mathematical proof of biological evolution, but as the question on evolution was not specific to biological evolution, then the test is false.

There is proof of evolution as a process (specifically as an algorithm). This is evolution, even if it is non biological evolution.

If the test specified biological evolution, then I would agree with you and I would ahve had to admit an incosistancy (but I would have answered differently on the evolution question if that was the case and then it would not have been inconsistant).

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• 6 months later...

I took the following hit:

"Earlier you claimed that it is not justifiable to base one's beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner-conviction, paying no regard to the external evidence, or lack of it, for the truth or falsity of this conviction. But now you say that the rapist Peter Sutcliffe was justified in basing his beliefs about God's will solely on precisely such a conviction. That's a bull's-eye for the intellectual sniper!"

The logic is wrong. The second questions asked about belief in God. Belief that God exists, and belief that you are following God's will are two different things. You are not doing what it says in the second sentence.

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You took zero direct hits and you bit 3 bullets. The average player of this activity to date takes 1.37 hits and bites 1.09 bullets. 530705 people have so far undertaken this activity.

Really, God is a "she"? When the gender is unknown, we use he.

Edited by Brainteaserfan
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@Brainteaserfan: Actually the bible calls God a he throughout it's entirety, and Adam - the first human - was a male who was made in God's image. Eve, the first woman, was made from Adam's rib and so she is not made in God's image.

If you believe the Judeo-Christian book of folklore, then God is male.

Edited by Incendia
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@Brainteaserfan: Actually the bible calls God a he throughout it's entirety, and Adam - the first human - was a male who was made in God's image. Eve, the first woman, was made from Adam's rib and so she is not made in God's image.

If you believe the Judeo-Christian book of folklore, then God is male.

I'm talking about god more generally.

However, "made in God's image" could have a few meanings IMO. The Bible calling Him a he does not clarify, because if he was "no" gender, then we would still use he.

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