1. Joined
    24 Apr '05
    Moves
    3061
    23 Jul '08 08:15
    This is a question for those that hold (in conjunction with His being omniscient) that God's doxastic states are infallible. My question is what do you take this to actually mean? I'm guessing you mean something like His cognitive faculties are somehow perfect such that it is impossible for Him to ever be mistaken.*** But, what is the proper modal construal of this "impossible"? Are we talking about logical possibility, nomological possibility, some other type of possibility...?

    ---------------
    *** If you mean something substantially different, please describe.
  2. Standard memberPalynka
    Upward Spiral
    Halfway
    Joined
    02 Aug '04
    Moves
    8702
    23 Jul '08 08:331 edit
    I don't know if we can talk about doxastic states when applied to an omniscient being. Such a being would supposedly know whether any given proposition is true or false, not simply believe it to be so.
  3. Joined
    24 Apr '05
    Moves
    3061
    23 Jul '08 08:441 edit
    Originally posted by Palynka
    I don't know if we can talk about doxastic states when applied to an omniscient being. Such a being would supposedly know whether any given proposition is true or false, not simply believe it to be so.
    Respectfully, I've never understood this criticism. I've seen it in similar forms where one replies that to say God believes this or that is to anthropomorphize in a comical, slapstick manner. But, these same people at the same time seem to have no problem with my postulating that God knows this or that. What's the problem? Knowledge is belief after all -- it just also happens to be true and justified. I don't find it consistent to say that we can talk about God's knowing P but not his believing P when belief is, after all, necessary for knowledge.

    Surely, if it comical anthropomorphism to say God believes P, then it's also comical anthropomorphism to say God knows P.

    EDIT: At any rate, if you want me to simply amend my post to say that we are considering here God's knowledge to be infallible (not his "doxastic states'😉, then I have no problem with that. Consider it amended.
  4. Standard memberPalynka
    Upward Spiral
    Halfway
    Joined
    02 Aug '04
    Moves
    8702
    23 Jul '08 08:563 edits
    As you know, I have no formal training in philosophy so I didn't know that there was a standard argument against that.

    My own thoughts on this is that I do not see a way for an omniscient being to be fallible on a belief, unless he commits a very basic formal logical mistake.

    As far as I see it, all propositions would be completely tautological. If you want to justify proposition P, all you need to do is: Since P, therefore P.
  5. Standard memberBosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    Spiel des Lebens
    Joined
    27 Jan '05
    Moves
    83887
    23 Jul '08 09:21
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    I've seen it in similar forms where one replies that to say God believes this or that is to anthropomorphize in a comical, slapstick manner.
    Pssst. Step this way to see God's Brain ...
  6. Joined
    24 Apr '05
    Moves
    3061
    23 Jul '08 09:39
    Originally posted by Palynka
    As you know, I have no formal training in philosophy so I didn't know that there is a standard argument against that.

    My own thoughts on this is that I do not see a way for an omniscient being to be fallible on a belief, unless he commits a very basic formal logical mistake.

    As far as I see it, all propositions would be completely tautological. If you want to justify proposition P, all you need to do is: Since P, therefore P.
    My own thoughts on this is that I do not see a way for an omniscient being to be fallible on a belief

    When I talk about (in)fallibility here, the question is not about whether or not God holds any mistaken beliefs. An omniscient being surely won't hold any false beliefs because he will know the truth value of all propositions. Rather, the question is about whether or not it is even possible for God to hold any mistaken beliefs (again, the modal construal, however, is unclear to me, which is the whole reason I started the thread).

    Your comment here reminds me of a discussion I had with vistesd where we were considering whether or not omniscience requires (or necessarily supposes) some infallibilist account of knowledge. I didn't and still don't think it does because I don't see why omniscience would be incompatible with a fallibilist account of knowledge. That one's beliefs are fallible just means roughly that it is broadly possible (again, what's the construal?) that he is mistaken; it doesn't necessarily imply that any of his beliefs actually are mistaken. A fallibilist account wouldn't, as far as I can tell, preclude one from knowing the truth value of all propositions. I agree that it is awkward on some level to talk about an omniscient being whose knowledge is fallible, but I do not think it is inconsistent. But at any rate, I think in the VAST majority of cases when a theist talks about God as omniscient, he has in mind an infallibilist account. Beyond saying that God is omniscient, he also means to say that it is also not possible for God to be mistaken (again, though, I am confused as the modal construal, which is what I hope to explore in this thread).

    I think these are very interesting questions that I tried to explore in Thread 88908 and vistesd and others had some great comments there.

    As far as I see it, all propositions would be completely tautological. If you want to justify proposition P, all you need to do is: Since P, therefore P.

    I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying that all propositions would be tautological to an omniscient being? I guess technically (bbarr can correct me if I am wrong here) a tautology is a logical truth that owes its truth completely to its truth-functional connectives, irrespective of the valuation of its atomic propositions. For instance, "P or not-P" is a tautology, and it is trivially true irrespective of what proposition P is. Since an omniscient being is supposed to know the valuations of all P, it doesn't make sense to me that everything would become tautological to it, where information on the valuations of the propositions becomes immaterial in a sense. So I'm not following.

    ----------------
    Basically, the problem I have is that people often throw around the idea of God's infallibility. But what does it actually mean or entail? I am trying to explore it a bit in this thread (as something of a follow-up to the later pages of the thread I cited above).
  7. Standard memberPalynka
    Upward Spiral
    Halfway
    Joined
    02 Aug '04
    Moves
    8702
    23 Jul '08 09:551 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    [b]My own thoughts on this is that I do not see a way for an omniscient being to be fallible on a belief

    When I talk about (in)fallibility here, the question is not about whether or not God holds any mistaken beliefs. An omniscient being surely won't hold any false beliefs because he will know the truth value of all propositions. Rather, the ques read (as something of a follow-up to the later pages of the thread I cited above).[/b]
    An omniscient being surely won't hold any false beliefs because he will know the truth value of all propositions. Rather, the question is about whether or not it is even possible for God to hold any mistaken beliefs (again, the modal construal, however, is unclear to me, which is the whole reason I started the thread).

    What I was trying to say was addressing this. My point is that this roughly translates into:
    Is it possible for God to know P and believe ~P?
    If you define knowledge as justified true belief, then I would say the answer is a clear "No", unless God is irrational. Take a belief X. If God knows the valuation of X (e.g. true) then to believe X is false, requires God to reject the tautology: If X then X.

    Are you saying that all propositions would be tautological to an omniscient being?
    I'm saying that since God knows the valuation of every atomic proposition, any logical argument can be reduced to a tautology. I was using this just as an illustration for the main point above.
  8. Joined
    24 Apr '05
    Moves
    3061
    23 Jul '08 10:11
    Originally posted by Palynka
    [b] An omniscient being surely won't hold any false beliefs because he will know the truth value of all propositions. Rather, the question is about whether or not it is even possible for God to hold any mistaken beliefs (again, the modal construal, however, is unclear to me, which is the whole reason I started the thread).

    What I was trying to say wa ...[text shortened]... e reduced to a tautology. I was using this just as an illustration for the main point above.[/b]
    What I was trying to say was addressing this. My point is that this roughly translates into:
    Is it possible for God to know P and believe ~P?


    I could see how one would translate it that way based on that characterization for infallibility I gave in my opening post. But no infallibilist account worth its weight in salt would, formally characterized, translate into something like this. My posts on page 8 and 9 of the other thread I cited should give some background on this (this will save me from having to repeat some of my ideas here).

    But let me give you an example. A typical infallibilist thesis might be that subject S knows proposition P on basis b only if it was not possible that S had b and P was false. In other words, the idea is that S's ground for belief was strong enough to guarantee the truth of the proposition (and thus, just in this sense and in the light of, again, whatever the proper modal construal is, he could not have be mistaken). In this case, the translation is basically, was S's basis strong enough to guarantee truth of the proposition. It would not be any translation like the one you cite above, to which the answer is clearly no, as you indicate.

    Alright, I have to catch some sleep. Thanks for the interest, and I'll return to the thread later when I get a chance.
  9. Standard memberKellyJay
    Walk your Faith
    USA
    Joined
    24 May '04
    Moves
    148463
    23 Jul '08 10:20
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    This is a question for those that hold (in conjunction with His being omniscient) that God's doxastic states are infallible. My question is what do you take this to actually mean? I'm guessing you mean something like His cognitive faculties are somehow perfect such that it is impossible for Him to ever be mistaken.*** But, what is the proper mod ...[text shortened]... ...?

    ---------------
    *** If you mean something substantially different, please describe.
    I think it means He will do right, always.
    Kelly
  10. Illinois
    Joined
    20 Mar '07
    Moves
    6266
    23 Jul '08 10:401 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    This is a question for those that hold (in conjunction with His being omniscient) that God's doxastic states are infallible. My question is what do you take this to actually mean? I'm guessing you mean something like His cognitive faculties are somehow perfect such that it is impossible for Him to ever be mistaken.*** But, what is the proper mod ...?

    ---------------
    *** If you mean something substantially different, please describe.
    A simple answer would be that there isn't a meaningful modal contrual for God's infallible doxastic states.

    That's what my gut tells me.
  11. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    23 Jul '08 10:49
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    This is a question for those that hold (in conjunction with His being omniscient) that God's doxastic states are infallible. My question is what do you take this to actually mean? I'm guessing you mean something like His cognitive faculties are somehow perfect such that it is impossible for Him to ever be mistaken.*** But, what is the proper mod ...[text shortened]... ...?

    ---------------
    *** If you mean something substantially different, please describe.
    "This is a question for those that hold (in conjunction with His being omniscient) that God's doxastic states are infallible. My question is what do you take this to actually mean?"

    Why can't I find doastic in the dictionary?

    What I would like to know is why do those who deny the existence of God have difficulty understanding what those of us who do believe in God mean when we say God knows all there is to know?

    It seems simple enough to me that, when I say God is omniscient, I mean He knows everything there is to know. So what's the problem with understanding that?
  12. weedhopper
    Joined
    25 Jul '07
    Moves
    8064
    23 Jul '08 18:36
    If I understand my denomination correctly, Lutherans believe that only the ORIGINAL scriptures were infallible, and none of them are extant; so we have translations--some better than others.
  13. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
    BWA Soldier
    Tha Brotha Hood
    Joined
    13 Dec '04
    Moves
    49088
    23 Jul '08 19:071 edit
    Originally posted by josephw

    Why can't I find doastic in the dictionary?
    Because he just made that word up. Typical philosophical elitism.
  14. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
    BWA Soldier
    Tha Brotha Hood
    Joined
    13 Dec '04
    Moves
    49088
    23 Jul '08 19:12
    Originally posted by Palynka

    I'm saying that since God knows the valuation of every atomic proposition, any logical argument can be reduced to a tautology.
    Your notions of propositions, arguments and tautologies stand in need of revision. Having knowledge, even with certainty, of the truth values of an argument's propositions does not yield a tautology.
  15. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    24 Jul '08 02:24
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    This is a question for those that hold (in conjunction with His being omniscient) that God's doxastic states are infallible. My question is what do you take this to actually mean? I'm guessing you mean something like His cognitive faculties are somehow perfect such that it is impossible for Him to ever be mistaken.*** But, what is the proper mod ...[text shortened]... ...?

    ---------------
    *** If you mean something substantially different, please describe.
    I am not sure that God is referred Biblically as being "infallible". In fact, I looked in my concordance and it was not there. I then looked up the word omniscient, and again could not find it in my concordance.

    Although these words may not be used Biblically to describe God, it does not necessarily mean they are innacurate. For example, the teaching about the trinity comes to mind. Biblically, the word trinity does not appear, however, other passages point to a trinity like state when God is described, thus the term was birthed. I guess it all comes down to ones interpretation from what the scriptures teach.

    As for my own interpretation, God appears to be omniscient and "infallible". Having said that, I simply take it to mean that his "nature" is what is viewed as perfect. For example, Biblically God is said to be love, therefore, so long as his actions are rooted in love his ways are "infallible". You might even say that love equals infallibility. Christ once was asked what one should do to be "perfect" before God. Christ responded that the two greatest commandments were to love your God and fellow man and, by doing so, you will walk perfectly before him without even trying.

    As far as it being possible for God to be mistaken, I do not recall any scripture indicating that God has ever been mistaken. In fact, Biblically everything points to the contrary.
Back to Top