Serendipper wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:15 am
let's consider our options:
1) There are lots of entities and lots of injustices and a benevolent god dispensing judgment that cannot right the wrong that happened (it doesn't accomplish anything).
2) There are lots of entities and lots of injustices, but everyone dies and that's that. There is no punishment nor undoing of the injustices. Just a flash of consciousness between two eternal darknesses (doesn't make sense to me, but some folks believe it.).
3) There are lots of entities and no injustice because morality doesn't exist, for whatever reason (seems hard to buy because lots of entities implies potential injustice between them).
4) There is one entity playing the parts of all entities and therefore no immorality can happen even if morality exists since one entity cannot be immoral to itself (seems sensible to me).
Idk, pick one or add to the list.
I’d pick #1 modified to read, “…and a benevolent God misunderstood by most of His adherents and all His adversaries as ‘dispensing judgment’ whose intent (via revelatory means) is to dispense justice and perfection.”
#4 sounds like solipsism. Are you a solipsist?
Ok, but what defines truth? Rather, WHO defines truth? This feels like the "law conversation" above.
Precisely. Truth (or value, of which truth is one of the two possible grades) seems to me to require a semantically enabled agent to exist. You quote freely from the Bible, so I’m sure you’re aware of the theological response.
We've simply noticed the dual aspect of the universe and built reality around that assumption, which seem a very sound assumption, though it IS an assumption because there is no authority to state authoritatively that it is not an assumption.
Beyond the plus and minus, what is reality? It makes no sense because in order to have a reality you need subject and object where subject is not-object and object is not-subject. We cannot make sense of any singularity, nondual, absolute anything. Therefore, if we can't make sense of it, then what evidence do we have for it? Is it because we'd prefer to have an absolute??? Our desire is our evidence???
Agreed that we notice the dual aspect of the universe, or of reality. Don’t see why we need an authority to state the obvious (or at least the apparent). If I walk into a glass door on the assumption there is no glass I don’t need an authority to explain my error to me. Likewise, if we find ourselves in a universe that gives robust evidence of existing in a dual state (or a variety thereof), we hardly need an authority to step forth and contend for or against it. Maybe we just need to keep working on trying to figure it out ourselves? The evidence argument seems to boil down to what evidential content you’re willing (or unwilling) to accept. Not sure why you find the dualistic universe being an assumption important. Existence is what it is, we make of it what we can. If reality turns out to be something different, at some point, great. We'll deal with it. We're in a learning state. For now, our assumptions seem to be serving us pretty well.
Thinking of a monistic, non-dual reality outside the dualistic structure we find ourselves in is difficult, but it’s certainly not the case that we “can’t make sense of it”. Assuming one of the two positions on reality is true and the other false between mutability-dualism and immutability-monism (speaking generally here as these contraries branch out into pretty wide domains of inquiry and belief), how or why does agent A land on one side of the divide and B on the other? There have been millions of people who believed in an absolute beyond mutable existence, and probably hundreds of thousands of those have been very intelligent folks. Are antitheists really that much wiser than their theist forbears or might this just be a growing arrogance well suited to today's moral/cultural atmosphere?
Many, while admitting the aforementioned difficulties, will disagree with your assessment that there’s “no evidence” for the immutable absolute singularity. How is it that the majority of human beings—having only experienced the dualistic reality we occupy—think about, not to mention are held onto, sometimes to the point of death for doing so, concepts like “absolute” or “immutable” or “singularity”? How does the information content “absolute” inhabit minds purportedly only able to process a dual-mutable-conditional existence? Why does the woman born blind accept that qualities like colors exist? Even though she can only guess at what colors must be like or what an external world must look like, she still fashions some notion of this based on description conveyed to her. Her mind is able on some level, however inadequate and distant, to grasp an intentional “isness” with regard to color. The “no evidence” argument may just spring from a motive or reason
to only accept what evidence one wishes to believe and cast of what one doesn’t want to believe.
I made the argument to someone in another discussion that the position he held—that God is an impossibility—is unsupportable because “God” is a construct (again, regardless of the concept’s lack of focal strength for individuals) able to supply information content to minds for objective discussion. The mind slams shut on trying to conceptualize a real
impossibility like a square circle. The best it can do is process “square” and “circle” as separate pieces of information because each concept, possessing an identifiable “realness” of some sort [putting aside the nominalist's arguments], provides information to a mind. Impossibilities can’t offer information to either perception or conceptualization. We have no problem processing the general idea of a “perfect circle”. Even though we can’t grasp perfection, we comprehend that
something can be perfect; perfection, an absolute, is information obviously compatible with the intentional capacities of ‘living information’, i.e., semantic agents.
Some argue that we think up things all the time that aren’t real, like fictions of the imagination that we’re able to discuss objectively but aren’t real, and the idea of God is also only a dreamed up thing. I’d counter (in continuation with line of reasoning above) that the only things we can “invent” are things we borrow from reality
. Information is real [has real existence of some sort] because only real things have the ability to “in-form” semantically enabled agents. Unicorns, which lack material existence, are nonetheless formed from pre-existing information, horse
. But some unicorns have magical ability (or so my granddaughters tell me). Horses and horns come from material information/reality. It’s consistent with the above to suppose that magic is borrowed from the information of a spiritual/prescriptive/moral reality because lots of semantic agents are able to conceptualize the isness of this non-material domain. Angels and demons may just be mental constructs, but if they are, the information used to form them as conceptual content must, because such things are informationally imparted, be borrowed from an existing non-material reality. We have no ability to create something new, only to use existing information like the child in a sandbox unavoidably builds her castles from sand.
We're not able to sidestep—except through common denial—the logic that even our dreams, fictions, nightmares, imaginations, etc. never create anything new, but only access preexistent information from which to “build” and engage with new situations and configurations of non-material fictions and ideas. I don’t think your suggestion that the theist imposes desire as evidence is justifiable; the theist (or at least the Christian) accepts that the information he is able to obtain from non-material reality, regardless of its obscure nature, has sufficient correlations to revealed principles to justify a rational belief in God, and sufficient coherence between that rational belief and intuitional experience of a non-material “Other” and domain of otherness to establish a connection with something other and greater than the subjective self. The honest theist admits this liaison is more often than not thin and elusive (and sometimes and in some circumstances not present at all), but that this intuition it is singular and distinctive enough to harmonize rational and intuitive elements to an established belief. I don’t mean “intuitive” in the commonly held superficial sense many place on it today but as a sense that, while recognized to be imperfect and indistinct, still provides some degree of legitimate information to intentionality. Millions of humans, including some very intelligent people, have been strongly drawn to just this relationship, as frail as it is. It's frail by empirical standards, but tantalizing in its ability to supply information at the outer edges of mind’s grasp. [The principles of spiritual mechanics can account for the aforementioned limitations btw.]
Those holding position A reject (or refuse to acknowledge) evidence B accepts, and/or vice versa. To me the more interesting question is: what mechanism supplies the motives that confer the beliefs/arguments used by A and B?
We can go one further and claim the desire stems from a desire to think we're special, ego, distinct from the universe so we can feel justified in kicking it around or embarking of righteous crusades to convert others to our thinking.
I know just what you mean. The imperious arrogance of some of today’s atheists showing persistent contempt for all things religious is really on the rise. My atheist brethren have learned well from we theists, haven’t they?
The bible is full of references to predestination and I used to have a notebook full of them. The christian explanation is that god simply knew the future, but that begs the question of how. And if he knew the future, then why create all those people for hell? Unless, of course, we need the damned in order to have the saved (more duality).
…god created Pharaoh to split hell wide open to show his power and glory.
You appear to share a common trait with my more fundamentalist Christian brethren, i.e., interpreting the Bible literally. I believe this is a demonstrable mistake. An allegoric structure is woven through both Old and New Testaments of the Bible within which God reveals not only that
it was His intention to save all persons from the beginning, but reveals how
He does so (more accurately reveals the structure by which He saves; which is close to [or at least part of] the “how”). Trying to find a viable metaphysical synthesis for this allegorical system has occupied me since 1993, the “spiritual mechanics” stuff is the result of that effort. I would make the case that God placed the allegorical structure in a level of abstraction just far enough beyond the literal that it has to be stretched for. But once found, the allegory it’s logical, coherent and congruent—and finds not total, but (to me) surprising agreement with most literal-based doctrines. Obviously, it modifies the current evangelical doctrine of salvation rather radically, but leaves most others intact with only minor adjustments.
Truth exists as a property of the subject/object experience.
So on the one hand you scoff at the idea we think ourselves special, then on the other parrot the common antitheist belief that humans have sole ownership of truth itself. The desire to be God is getting stronger in society today. One need only watch the news to see doctrines like this bearing fruit throughout the various cultures.
I’ve enjoyed our discussion Serendipper, you seem an honorable [non-sophistic] correspondent. These are getting hard to find nowadays. I really don’t have much interest in theism vs. non-theism discussions; at the end of the day they (like most theological discussions) just rehash the same stuff ad infinitum.