Comment by Abe on Beyond the Reach of God · 2008-10-17T02:26:00.000Z · LW · GW

Nate Barna: Sometimes, they're not trying to speak for God, as they're not first assuming that an ideally intelligent God exists. Rather, they're imagining and speaking about the theist assumption that an ideally intelligent God exists, and then they carefully draw inferences which tend to end up incoherent on that grounding. However, philosophy of religion reasonably attempts coherence, and not all atheists are completely indifferent toward it.

It may be true that some times atheists carefully draw inferences from the idea of an ideally intelligent God. I have yet to see it. Eliezer doesn't seem to be at all careful when he says, "The obvious example of a horror so great that God cannot tolerate it, is death - true death, mind-annihilation. I don't think that even Buddhism allows that. So long as there is a God in the classic sense - full-blown, ontologically fundamental, the God - we can rest assured that no sufficiently awful event will ever, ever happen. There is no soul anywhere that need fear true annihilation; God will prevent it." There is no careful inference there. There is just bald-face assertion.

Why would a being that can create minds at will flinch at their annihilation? The absolute sanctity of minds, even before God, is the sentiment of modern western man, not a careful deduction based on an inconceivably superior intelligence.

The truth is, we don't even know what a SIAI would do, let alone a truly transcendent being, like God. If one going to try and falsify a concept of God, it should at least be a concept more authoritative than the ad hoc imaginings of an atheist.

Comment by Abe on Beyond the Reach of God · 2008-10-16T15:37:00.000Z · LW · GW

I find it strange how atheists always feel able to speak for God. Can you speak for your human enemies? Can you even speak for your wife, if you have one? Why would you presume to think you can say what God would or wouldn't allow?