• Coben
    842
    There was a moment in history when all those trees and mountains and rivers... existed, but "Canada" did not exist. And an hour later nothing has changed except that all those trees and hills and rivers ... were part of "Canada", which just had been created by 'fiat'. And since that moment Canada exists in the minds of all those who share this beliefMatias
    I get what you are saying, and I do not think it is the same as salt, though even salt brings up similar issues, just not as clearly, because when you say Salt you mean the physical thing. When you say Canada, you do not mean the land, what you actually mean is a bunch of patterns of human behavior based on memes entailed by the meme Canada. All humans die of a plague, Canada is gone, while salt still lives on in our salt shakers. So it is not a thing in the way salt is.

    Now most people either accept 'canada' as real or they live far enough away so that it doesn't matter. The issue you are bringing up is perhaps better highlighted where there is more disagreement about the abstraction. I am sure on some Native Canadian reservations 'canada' seems more a kind of delusion of Eurpeans who have the power to make other pretend canada is real. But I would think there are even better examples. Like those islands that are contested by Russia and Japan. The Japanese say they are part of Japan, the Russians that they are part of Russia. Then you have the actual physical landscape.

    Was the divine right of kings real? Well, it functioned as well as the concept of canada. It seemed real. It lead to consequences, people acted as if it was real. Was it?

    Things that are no longer real when people do not think they are are not the same as salt. At least they shouldn't be to most realists.

    Others might push this further to include things like salt, but even realists should acknowledge that canada is a quasi thing or less.
  • Henri
    184
    What is the difference between God and Canada?Matias

    God can destroy your soul. Although some might argue that Canada can too.

    But seriously, God can destroy your soul.
  • Artemis
    1.2k


    I think @Baden gave a very good, succinct account of the different ontological statuses of God and Canada. You seem to be insisting on one particular notion of "existence." Yes, in a sense, Canada is not "real" in that it does not exist apart from our collectively believing in it and acting as though it does. But it is a real idea that encompasses other ideas and other real things (i.e., it does encompass a certain landmass).

    God is purported to be an independently existing being, and so his existence would not depend on our belief in him or our acting as though he existed.

    In other words, Canada is a concept, and God (if he were real, which I don't believe he is) would be a thing.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    The object "salt" (with all its features) does not vanish even if you stop believing in it, or if we give it another name. But entities like "Canada" can vanish from one second to another, or be created. Just think what happened with "Yugoslavia" .Matias

    The land that we called "Yogoslavia" didn't vanish. We just started calling it something else instead. We could do just the same thing with "salt." We could call it something else instead.

    One thing that "Canada" refers to is a particular stretch of land.

    There was a moment in history when all those trees and mountains and rivers... existed, but "Canada" did not exist.Matias

    And in the past the chemical that we currently call "salt" existed, but "salt," the name, the concept, etc. did not exist.

    What you're pointing out about Canada is a truism about all language.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    When you say Canada, you do not mean the land,Coben

    People say "Canada" and refer to the land all the time. When I say "I'm going to Canada," I'm saying that I'm going to a particular physical location on the Earth. I could give you that physical location by GPS coordinates, by latitude and longitude, etc.

    That's not the only thing that people can refer to by "Canada," but it's ridiculous to say that people don't commonly refer to physical locations, land, etc. by the names of countries, cities, towns, etc.
  • Shamshir
    747
    And in the past the chemical that we currently call "salt" existed, but "salt," the name, the concept, etc. did not exist.Terrapin Station
    Well, it probably did, but 'we' didn't know about it - so it wouldn't matter, much.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k


    Sure, since mattering is a type of valuation. Only people value things.
  • Shamshir
    747
    Only people value things.Terrapin Station
    Well, not people - just creatures; but I digress.
  • Sculptor
    41
    Canada does not exist. It is just a word used to describe a parcel of land and the people who live in it.
    It is always worth keeping this in mind when trying to understand what things actually are.
    God is also a word, but it is used to describe a thing which was used to patch up a whole in our understanding of how the world came to be. There seems to be no material evidence that such a thing exists in any sense.
  • hachit
    203
    You believe that a real something is real? What, exactly, do you mean by "believe." It might help also if you make clear what you mean by "real."
    Your answers matter because the how makes all the difference.

    In this context for believe I'm using this definition: accept (something) as true
    As for real I'm using the definition: actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    Well, not people - just creatures; but I digress.Shamshir

    Non-human creatures that are capable of valuing things I'd consider people. I wouldn't say that persons are/personhood is necessarily limited to humans.
  • Shamshir
    747
    Non-human creatures that are capable of valuing things I'd consider people. I wouldn't say that persons are/personhood is necessarily limited to humans.Terrapin Station
    That's fair. :ok:
    Carry on.
  • tim wood
    3k
    In this context for believe I'm using this definition: accept (something) as true
    As for real I'm using the definition: actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed
    hachit

    The distinction I'd like to make explicit is that between accepting something as true, and accepting something as if true. One affirms, the other presupposes. Not the same thing and not to be confused. And there's the question of the status of the belief; that is, are you affirming that your belief is true simply as a belief? Or true as a fact of the world, which you "believe," meaning that you affirm it a true of the world.

    And reality: there are bricks and ideas. Both exist, but very differently. One a thing (taking idea to be not a thing), and idea.

    I think you can see why I still seek clarification.

    God if real (wich I do believehachit

    Are you affirming that God is a real thing in the world? Or an idea that you presuppose?
  • hachit
    203
    Are you affirming that God is a real thing in the world? Or an idea that you presuppose?
    I am affirming.
  • tim wood
    3k
    Just to be clear, you claim God is a real something, and not just an idea, yes?

    Kindly prove you're not insane. (I mean this kindly.)
  • hachit
    203
    well I don't normally because to many people make me a straw man but because you asked.

    I start by saying follow your conclusion to its end. (Alexmander)
    Using this method I start with God's existence instead of end with this. If it contradicts reality then it must be false.
    Because if this I only need to make one assumption, instead for the 2 atheism makes.
    Octomes rasor (may have spelt this wrong)

    And feal free to find contradicts with really because I haven't seen any yet but this could be just me
  • Henri
    184
    Kindly prove you're not insane.tim wood

    The irony.
  • tim wood
    3k
    I start by saying follow your conclusion to its end. (Alexmander)
    Using this method I start with God's existence instead of end with this. If it contradicts reality then it must be false.
    hachit

    Ok. You start with God's existence. I start with the contradictory, God's non-existence. Neither contradicts reality. By your reasoning, then, neither is false. If you hold that what is, in your usage, not-false must be true (or is true) then both God exists and God does not exist. Cannot be both. Occam's razor, if it's applicable, argues against unnecessary multiplication. In this argument, then, against the existence of God.

    My request to you to prove you're not insane was simply to draw attention to the fact that your affirmation, as to what you affirm, is indemonstrable: you're affirming what cannot reasonably or rationally be confirmed. And that's why Christians, if that's what we're talking about, do not so affirm.

    But please allow another question: this God that you claim exists, in the sense that a brick or any other thing exists, and expressly not in the sense that an idea exists, are you quite sure you want that God to exist as you claim He does?
  • tim wood
    3k
    But seriously, God can destroy your soul.Henri

    Presumably God is not himself the destruction of any soul. Therefore if He can destroy any soul, it must be through some agency. With or by what agent does God destroy any soul?
  • hachit
    203
    you're affirming what cannot reasonably or rationally be confirmed. And that's why Christians, if that's what we're talking about, do not so affirm.

    We're both intelligent people and we both look at the evidence. We have already made our conclusions. We could not convice each other if we whated to.

    Also yes it is Christians that is why "g" is upper case

    this God that you claim exists, in the sense that a brick or any other thing exists, and expressly not in the sense that an idea exists, are you quite sure you want that God to exist as you claim He does?

    The answer is yes, and if should say I'm Wesleyan to avoid confusion with other denominations.
  • tim wood
    3k
    are you quite sure you want that God to exist as you claim He does?

    The answer is yes, and if should say I'm Wesleyan to avoid confusion with other denominations.
    hachit

    But an existing God is a God of limitations. That's the price of existing. If your God exists (and he's indemonstrable), then perhaps you can give us some indication of both his powers and his limitations. You, because there's no other source of that information.
  • Wittgenstein
    190

    How is existence a limitation ?
  • Henri
    184
    Presumably God is not himself the destruction of any soul. Therefore if He can destroy any soul, it must be through some agency. With or by what agent does God destroy any soul?tim wood

    Hopefully you won't get to understand it first hand.
  • hachit
    203
    then perhaps you can give us some indication of both his powers and his limitations. You, because there's no other source of that information.

    Well He is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omnipresent.

    However even though he dose have one limitation that most don't know of and it is he is a static being. That is his nature/personally cannot change. Thus he cannot do something that would different from his own nature.
  • tim wood
    3k
    How is existence a limitation ?Wittgenstein

    If you exist then your existence is both qualitative and quantitative. If He's this, He's not that. He's here and not there, for examples. And there is a long list of binary considerations that whichever applies the other doesn't.

    A more substantive example from the history of theology: An existing God is good and perfect, or, omnipotent. Can't be both. I'm not aware of any third alternatives considered.
  • tim wood
    3k
    Hopefully you won't get to understand it first hand.Henri
    If this is the best you can do, I should like you to absent yourself from the discussion, as providing nothing of value to it.
  • tim wood
    3k
    Well He is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omnipresent.hachit
    Please recall we're on this path because you claim of God that He is an existing thing in the same sense as a stone, tree, or planet, and explicitly not as just an idea.

    If 1) He is omnipotent, then He can do anything. If He is 2) omnibenevolent, then He can do no neither wrong nor evil. If He is 3) omnipresent, then He is always everywhere.

    I invite you to tally all the contradictions that arise from these all being accepted - not to speak of how they can apply to an existing being!
  • Henri
    184
    If this is the best you can do, I should like you to absent yourself from the discussion, as providing nothing of value to it.tim wood

    If your question was the best you can do, you got the best answer. Don't act smart and then cry afterwards.
  • Grre
    118


    Canadais going to defeat the Warriors.

    Also, as a Canadian, currently standing in Canada, it exists-but does Australia exist? No one here seems to know...
  • Grre
    118
    In all seriousness though, I understand OP's original point; both God and the concept of a 'nation' are facets of intersubjective reality-not objective reality. There is no God objectively, He only exists (arguably, but I hold atheism) if one believes in him, and as for Canada, the concept of "Canada" that is our nation, laws, customs, culture, and otherwise social arrangements only exist insofar as those support and live in such an intersubjective realities...hence why it seems fictional to people who have never been to Canada
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