Jonathan - are you forgetting that there are negative numbers?
If you are negatively ignorant, does that make you smart?
Reminiscent of "W," I view it as negatively intelligent.
But there's a cap, right? If you take every single bit of knowledge you were ever made aware of, and replaced it with idiocy, that's the most ignorant you could ever be. I don't think it's possible to be infinitely ignorant.
To be completely ignorant would be to lack any concept of any knowledge. For example, a rock, having no knowledge, is as ignorant as possible. So person striving for ignorance could only be as dumb as a rock as an endpoint.
But I guess it might be my mistake to view this in a singular scale. Surely there is some difference between a person that is made aware of, say, 10 pieces of knowledge and understands 10 pieces of knowledge; and a person that is made aware of 1000 pieces of knowledge, yet only understands 10 pieces of knowledge.
It's simplified, but perhaps if it's possible to be dumber than a rock, then it would be a person that's somehow made aware of god-like levels of knowledge, but understands absolutely none of it -- that might approach some negatively infinite level of intelligence.
I'm just throwing it out there for speculation Jonathan - I do that from time to time - sometimes someone else picks it up and runs with it, other times, it just lies there, while people step carefully over it.
At least you'll have something to think about this evening.
Hmm... It just struck me after reconsidering my musings on the logical impossibility of omnipotence: would agnosticism still make sense? I'm thinking it would, since it would still be impossible to test for a god that exists in a separate dimension, and designed the universe, but remains hidden, even if it is not omnipotent. Or would it? I'm going to have to dwell on this a bit. I doubt any of you care -- it's a bit late to be thinking this hard.
It's never too late to think hard - I hope to be doing it with my last breath.
Omnipotence, omniscience, et cetera ... it's ground we've been over, one way or another, a thousand times.
A god that truly WAS a god would only remain hidden if there was a genuine, constructive purpose to being hidden. A god who doesn't remain hidden because it needs the adulation of his creation is nothing more than homo sapiens on steroids, a god with an ego on, a god with all the human frailties of the humans who conceived it in the first place.
Maybe there is such a being somewhere. My response remains: So Fucking What? Does that being's status as a god immediately warrant worship? Veneration? Devotion? Why? A truly omnibenevolent god wouldn't need such, though a petty, narrow, emotion-driven god would almost certainly INSIST on it. Consider what happened to Gary Mitchell in the Star Trek pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before." He may have had the power of a god, but with all the human weaknesses which he had owned the day before. Absolute power does its thing yet again, corrupting absolutely.
Could such a being erase any of us from this existence? More than likely. Could it demand and actually achieve our devotion or worship? Not mine, bubby.
Could a god exist? ANYTHING might exist ... but getting me to give a damn about it is an entirely separate matter.
I disagree with the first half of your post. I assume a god with infinite intelligence would be so incomprehensible to mankind that whatever he does, whatever his motive is, cannot be speculated on. A god that remains hidden, or does not remain hidden, is his prerogative; with ego or no ego, might be perceived as a frail human quality according to human standards, but who knows what it is in the whole scheme of things. Whether we understand the purpose or not would be irrelevant to its existence.
However, I do agree that the existence of an omnipotent being, even if he supposedly have created us, does not necessarily warrant veneration or devotion. I hesitate to say this, but even though piety, and such manners benefit us as society in some ways, it is ultimately up to each of us to exercise this judgment according to the situation. We do not need to respect the hypothetical god for the same reason we do not need to respect our ancestors or any position of power that conventionally commands respect. Respect is given, not taken.
Sorry Jonathan, but respect is neither given nor taken, it is earned.
Meh, that's just semantics. My point is you are the sole arbiter of who deserves your respect. You "give" that respect.
Wrongo, Jonathan. Personally, I GRANT respect based on the behavior and attitude of the person under consideration, and if my personal requirements are not met, that person / being / whatever does NOT get my respect. He/she/it hasn't EARNED it.
Respect is an element of a relationship between two people, part of the dynamic between them, and It Depends On BOTH PARTIES, particularly as respect should be reflective between both parties if it is to be true respect.
A god that is hidden and remains hidden might as well be no god at all. If it started the ball rolling 13.7 billion years ago, then ducked back under the covers without a trace, it would be the same as if quantum fluctuations in virtual space caused the Big Bang, at least insofar as I'm concerned. It's the god that plays peek-a-boo that is problematic: intervening when the circumstances suit it, acting selectively based on its own motives. This is the "homo sapiens on steroids" I spoke of earlier, and amounts to nothing more than a super-powerful man.
That is the god of the bible, as I see it, and that god is no god I could have any respect for, presuming such a being exists ... and I vote NOT.