Actually this one´s been solved: chicken. Can easily google that one. Slight rehash here: Quote: Originally Posted by JEELEN Leaving aside that mathematics is a human construct (which breaks the analogy as the sun analogy did), we can only 'experience' math after we have learned it. Assuming a person does not know math and having 2 eggs he gets 2 more, all he knows is he now has more eggs than before. Now, not assuming that God is a human construct, how can we experience God if we not already know God? (It's here that the analogy is an improvement on the sun analogy. We know the sun exists, as we can see it. Which is the basic tenet for any experience. However we cannot see God. Moses tried and was nearly blinded* - by the way another interesting analogy with the sun, but equally irrelevant here.) Also, math is not atemporal: there was a time math did not exist; reasoning back we assume that the laws of mathematics have always worked. This is so confused I hardly know what you're saying. First, while the discipline of mathematics, including conventions of notation etc., may be a human construct, it's pretty tendentious to assert that mathematics itself is a human construct. If I have two eggs and then I get another two eggs, I have, as a matter of fact, four eggs whether or not I know it, and whether or not I use the word "four" in describing this happy situation. There is nothing arbitrary in saying that. If you think otherwise you should provide an argument in support of your position. A person with no knowledge of mathematics cannot possibly add 2 and 2 together - since numbers are a mathematical principle. Second, it seems to me quite a wild claim to say that someone uneducated in mathematics could tell only that he had more eggs than before. Surely it doesn't require a mathematical education to recognise that there is a difference between (a) having two eggs and acquiring two more and (b) having two eggs and acquiring only one more. To suggest that the difference between these two situations, or our ability to recognise such a difference, is a purely human construct seems to me to take relativism to an absurd extreme. At the very least you need to provide an argument for it. There have been experiments to this effect with animals; assuming animals (say, chimpansees) have no knowledge of mathematics (i.e. they cannot count), all they will appreciate is "more" or "less" eggs, Third, while the human discipline of mathematics certainly hasn't always existed, given that human beings haven't always existed, it certainly doesn't follow that the laws of mathematics have not always held. It is no arbitrary assumption to think that, because 2+2=4 is true now, 2+2=4 was true a billion years ago. Again, if you think that's an arbitrary assumption, you need to provide an argument to that effect. I did (and do) not claim it is an arbitrary assumption; in fact, I clearly state that we assume that the laws of mathematics have always been valid. However, it remains an assumption nonetheless. Fourth, I don't see why one would have to know God as a precondition for experiencing God. I don't have to know the Pacific Ocean as a precondition for seeing it. Why can't someone who has no knowledge of God nevertheless experience God? How do you know that no-one can see God - just because the Bible says so? Are we going to conduct this discussion as biblicists, then? Actually you would have to know the Pacific to be able to see it; otherwise all you would see is a body of water. So, analogy apart, if you saw God - but didn´t know it was God - all you could say was I´ve seen, say, something very remarkable. And, bible apart, noone claiming to have seen God, has been able to give an even remotely accurate description. (But I mentioned the bible - more specifically the Torah section of it - as it contains one person who reportedly has seen God.) Quote: Originally Posted by JEELEN Summing up I've seen no valid argument why it would be possible to experience atemporal phenomena. (Plotinus merely asked how I know it to be true.) Ergo, the problem is as yet unsolved. On the contrary, I would say that I haven't seen any argument at all, valid or otherwise, to the effect that it isn't possible to experience atemporal phenomena. So I conclude that, as far as I can tell, there isn't a problem at all. You might say that, but it is as unfounded as a claim to the contrary without any evidence to substantiate that statement. Problem unsolved as is. Quote: Originally Posted by JEELEN You will note that my first assertion was that atemporal phenomena cannot be experienced. While I hold this to be self-evident, I'll explain however why: we lack the senses to experience anything atemporal, and, by extension, the instruments to do so. Well, here for the first time we get an argument, but it's still just begging the question. You say that we lack the senses to experience anything atemporal. How do you know this? What's the argument that supports this assertion? You seem to be asking for an argument to supprt an argument... The question however should be how do we perceive (measure, see) atemporal phenomena? Quote: Originally Posted by JEELEN The first is just a repetition of what Plotinus said: an effect of a nontemporal phenomenon could be experienced by temporal beings. But why would this be so? My point is that all humans can experience/measure are temporal phenomena. How would one make certain that any temporal effect results from a nontemporal phenomenon? That's just the problem. Whether one could be certain of it or not is irrelevant. Let's say I see a physical manifestation which is, as a matter of fact, caused by God. Let's say, further, that it is legitimate to call seeing such a manifestation a vision of God in an indirect way, just as my perception of the Invisible Man's clothes while he is wearing them can be legitimately described as a vision of the Invisible Man in an indirect way. Then my seeing this manifestation is a case of my seeing God (in this sense). Whether I know that it's a case of my seeing God is irrelevant to that fact. I may, indeed, believe that I haven't just seen God, but if the conditions mentioned above are satisfied, then in fact I have seen God and I am wrong to think I haven't. Relevance: you say you see a manifestationcaused by God. How do you know this? Using the Invisble Man analogy all one can say is: there´s an invisible man. Letting the analogy be, since we have no description of what God looks like (that is, already assuming an atemporal being "looks" like anything), a vision of a manifestation of God´s work does not amount to "seeing God" - merely to seeing God´s work. The problem, again, is: how do we know this is God´s doing? Basically, even if you´re seeing God´s work, you´re not seeing God, you´re seeing God´s work. (Theorically your example - not the Invisible Man ofcourse - is correct, but I´m interested in the practical aspect.) Quote: Originally Posted by JEELEN (One might even argue that temporal phenomena have no effect on nontemporal phenomena - since they are outside of it, i.e. out of time, so to speak. One could only argue that if one held that causation must be wholly temporal. But anyone who believes in an atemporal God who is the cause of the universe must reject that principle right from the start, so it's not relevant to this discussion. Yes, but this disects into two separate causations: 1) an atemporal God 2) God being the cause of the universe. It´s perfectly possible to believe in a God who is not the cause of the universe. Quote: Originally Posted by JEELEN And one might ask why timely phenomena - such as we ourselves are - should concern a nontemporal being, such as God is supposed to be. I don't see why an atemporal being should be especially unconcerned about temporal beings. Why should our temporality make us of less concern to an atemporal God? Once again, what is the argument? It follows from an untemporal being not being affected by temporal phenomena - which in itself is perfectly plausible. The general assumption however is that God is concerned by temporal events. That is, however, an assumption, not a fact. Quote: Originally Posted by JEELEN However, according to the bible, timely events do affect God, and God actively responds to them. That suggests temporal attributes rather than nontemporal ones. What need would a nontemporal phenomenon have for temporal attributes?) Again, I don't really see why an atemporal being couldn't respond to temporal events; it is no harder than an atemporal being affecting temporal events. There is a problem only if one assumes that causation must be wholly temporal, but as I have already said, anyone who thinks God is atemporal must reject that assumption anyway. Again, the assumption is that temporal and atemporal phenomena affect one another; however, unless there is no strict division between the two, there is no reason that they actually do. (Whether causation is temporal, atemporal or something in between isn´t relevant at all.) --- But I´ve stumbled unto another problem: assuming God is omnipotent and perfectly good is illogical. To be perfectly good excludes even the possibility of doing evil, yet omnipotence implies the opposite.