Sunday, March 11, 2012

Finding God is not like finding a new animal in nature

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the so called "God particle."

As long time readers know that I have this idea of God as Being itself, as Paul Tillich, John Macquarrie, and Has Urs Von Balthasar discussed. Atheists are slow in learning the nature of it. Those I've argued with over the years still make the same mistakes they made about it years ago becuase they don't listen and they don't care. I have evoked in my understanding of the nature of God and reality to the point that I don't think of God as a single think separated from other things and put over against reality as an item on a list in nature, like a single tooth brush or a single rock or tree; I see God as more like a category. That doesn't mean I think of God as unreal or unconscious. I still relate to God as a loving father. I am aware that my image of "father God" is metaphor for I can't possibly understand in it's entirety. For me God is the eternal necessary aspect of being; the part of being that has always been and will always be; we are temporal products of being produced by that eternal aspect. The eternal aspect itself is a mind. We are like thoughts in that mind.

The Corollary to this idea is that being is not merely a surface level affair which can be understood by summing up the existence of individual items. As Tillich says "being has depth." the full quote goes:

Paul Tillich, The Shaking of The Foundations

"The name of infinite and inexhaustible depth and ground of our being is God. That depth is what the word God means. And if that word has not much meaning for you, translate it, and speak of the depths of your life, of the source of your being, of your ultimate concern, of what you take seriously without any reservation. Perhaps, in order to do so, you must forget everything traditional that you have learned about God, perhaps even that word itself. For if you know that God means depth, you know much about Him. You cannot then call yourself an atheist or unbeliever. For you cannot think or say: Life has no depth! Life itself is shallow. Being itself is surface only. If you could say this in complete seriousness, you would be an atheist; but otherwise you are not."

That being has depth means that belief in God is not merely adding a fact to the universe. Being is more than just surface appearance but has hidden aspects. God is the foundation and thus the depth of the depth. God is not just another thing in creation alongside a hunk of cheese or a swizzle stick. God is the basis of what it means to be. Thus we can't compare proving God's existence to that of finding an new species of animal. For this reason amputates such as those of Dawkins or Victor Stenger to set up conditions hey think are initiative of a God and then showing that other things account for it, no more disprove or summarize the odds of their being a God than disproving the existence of Bigfoot could disprove biology. Yet one still finds atheist speaking as though scinece can rule out god merely by realizing that it doesn't provide proof for God. Karl Popper tells us that scinece is not about proving things. Popper is the one philosopher of scinece who scientists actually seem to respect a lot. On this latter point see also. Yet there ar still plenty of atheists who are involved in scinece and should know better, who take this approach:

science is the only trust worthy way to know reality

science doesn't prove to us that God is real

therefore, we should assume God is not real.

Yesterday on CARM I had an exchange with one of them. Harry C is apparently or claims to be a real Zoologist who works with primates. This began as his denunciation of the validity of Philosophy. Many atheists think that since God arguments are primarily philosophical arguments then if they trash philosophy they trash the ability to prove God exists. He latter shifts his argument when it's made clear that naturism is a philosophy.Instead he tries to argue that God is not a proper object of knowledge for philosophy. He begins to imply that philosophy is ok it just can't talk about God. That is a total shift form his original position.


Originally Posted by Harry C View Post
Philosophy is a completely inappropriate method to determine the existence of any being, supreme or other.


Meta:
that's because you concept of what is being done as "determine a being" is foolish. that is not the nature of belief in God.

(1) God is not a being

(2) we don't determine his existence a though he's a bug under a microscope.

that's the whole point of this depth of being jazz. it's not adding a fact to the universe it's not like proving Bigfoot. It's coming to an understanding of the nature of being and our place in it.

It's no different then discovering zen. It's awakening to a different orientation to being.


Originally Posted by Harry C View Post
Im a I’m a zoologist who works with gorillas. Ten or twelve years ago an expedition to the central Congo reported that they had found chimp/gorilla hybrids. The photos they took were not all that good as they couldn’t get close enough.
I would really like to know if such beings exist but no one has gotten back there since. I’d love to go but it is too dangerous and frankly I’m too old.
So tell me, if philosophy is an appropriate method to determine if beings exist or not what philosophy should I use to find out if these apes are what is claimed or not? You would save me the trouble and expense of doing the science.
the mistake you are making is in trying to make God the object of knowledge as though he's thing in the universe and you are going to go examine him. you can't treat the foundation of reality as a thing in the unites like toothpaste or a a money or some object that you can examine.


Meta:
Your statement would be like saying "I'm going to examine nature to see if it exists."

I say "but nature is all around, everything is nature."

You say "I don't see a label saying it's nature, how do you know it is? until i see nature under the microscope I can't believe in it."


Originally Posted by Harry C View Post
And I answered you by requesting that you name a philosophy that was appropriate.
for what? no aspect of philosophy is going to tell you about the hybrid chimp. That doesn't mean that tit's not good for the questions it's designed to answer.

Meta
One that I would suggest for you is philosophy of science. You like Popper? he's a philosopher. do you like Denntte? He's doing philosophy.

Harry C
My car has a perfectly fine speedometer . The fact that it is inappropriate to use this speedometer to determine if it is raining in no way takes away from its value.
why don't you consider the way analogy backfires? you are the one trying to use the speedometer to see if it's raining. you are trying to measure Philosophy by scinece.

The fact that philosophy cannot be used to determine if a chimp/gorilla or if a God exists likewise in no way takes away from its value. You need to use appropriate methodology. In these cases a barometer for the rain and science for the apes and the God.
Meta:
Philosophy does prove God I've demonstrated this. It also warrants belief I've demonstrated that several thousand times.

stop trying to approach God as he's just another fact in the universe. look at your words?you put it right in the same sentence with the chimp. those are two totally different things.

what you are saying is like comparing finding the hybrid to finding God. that's comparing finding the hybrid to finding nature. Or finding the turth of zen.
I find it surprising that he admits some value to philosophy the way he was talking it seemed like he saw none.

Originally Posted by HRG View Post
"The task of philosophy is not to establish the truth of propositions, but to clarify their meanings" (L. Wittgenstein). IOW, how do we distinguish "good" philosophical arguments from "bad" ones ?
Of course that's Wittgenstine, who felt embarrassed about not being taken seriously by scinece. He tired to work out an anti-philosophical philosophy that would be of use to scinece without having to embrace anything messy like metaphysics (which of cousre is a metaphysical approach to thinking) and wound up destroying all value in art, literature, philosophy, science, any kind of knowledge.

Poly
A sensible distinction is that the former make use of plausible premises and conclusions which necessarily or probably follow from those premises, whilst the latter do something else. I would have thought that this was not in need of clarification.

Originally Posted by Harry C View Post
Then you would have already had to know which premises and which conclusion were plausible and the philosophy would only be telling you what you already know.
You are using philosophy every time you think scientifically. When you decide finding a new chimp is your job and not that of some other discipline your using codes of taxonomy that exist becuase the inverters of modern scinece were also philosophers.

Meta:
why has it not occurred to you that the reason you don't see the use of philosophy is because you haven't studied it enough or learned to use it right?

One problem is that apparently you decided the only kind of question worth asking is the that you can pin down and get a precise answer to according to your field and nothing else matters.

why would you decide that philosophy should be used in zoology? you are not even willing to consider it on it's own turf. as though your field is the only valid way to think.


Originally Posted by Harry C View Post
We aren’t talking about “belief” we are talking about science & philosophy and what each is capable of.
"belief" is code for atheists meaning "the straw man." In reality you use belief every single day. You have belief in reductionism and naturalism and you work on the premise of that belief all the time.

You are talking about God as an inappropriate object of knowledge and what I said was that it's not the same kind of knowledge that zoology gives us.


Yes, we are all familiar with you new age who ha that the Supreme Being isn’t a being…and no one cares.
you are calling to "new age" to make fun of it, but you are totalitarian truth regime is not valid and you can't make it valid by calling my things names.

Harry C.
The scientific mythology is the only viable method to determine whether or not this God exists. That the answer we get doesn’t appeal to you is your problem.
The position they really employ is the "second rate" understanding of life. That's my name for it it means something similar to "default." "this is the best we can do, it's not good but it's the best we can do." Yet the whole reason for being the best we can do, science and naturalism and ruling out God o the premise that we can't prove it with scinece so it we can't trust it, this the true pessemistic postion lurking behind the forthress of facts. that's why I call it "second rate." They usually come on first with the proud arrogance of the fortress of facts, then settle for this second rate position when the fortress of facts has been exposed. The fortress of fact is the idea that science is fact finding and we stack up a huge pile of facts for materialism and none for God belief. Yet confronted with Poppoer's relaity that science is not about proof but disproof into the second rate position, this is the best we can do. Not even the Dawkins and Stenger kind of thinking is real. This appraoch is clearly window dressing for the second rate option. They want us to think they are ruling out the only possible avenue for God to exist by showing that God is not needed to explain the universe as we know it. When we peal back the layers of provado and realize that they merely advacing their own straw God arguemnts by second guess what God would do if he was stupid enough to things they way they would have him dot them, we see what they are really arguing is "this is the best we can do..."

The problem with the second rate appraoch is it's not the best we can do. It's the best we can do if we accept the premise that being is only surface level and the question about the existence of things in reality on the surface is the end of inquiry about existence. By "best we can do" they mean "and prove it by the methods we accept as valid and final." Yet those methods are not about proving things but disproving them. Science cannot disprove God it has no business even separation of God. God is beyond the domain of scinece. So the second rate approach is begging the question and creating a straw God argument in the first place. Trying to compare finding God to finding a new animal species is like comparing finding a single species to finding nature. If i said "science can't find nature so nature must not exist" that would be more analogous to finding God. Now the skeptic might say "that's nonsense, we know nature exists and it's all around us, everything proves nature." Well being is all around us and we are part of it, and we know it exits, things exist. So the foundation of being must exist too but you can't "find it" anymore than you can find nature. That prefectly analogus becuase I am saying God is not a thing in the world along side other things but is the basis of all things, being itself.

24 comments:

Dave said...

"The eternal aspect itself is a mind."

Do you see the difference between saying it is a mind and saying it is mind? This seems to be a fundamental difference in our perspectives, which I see as contradicting your stated position that "I don't think of God as a single think [sic] separated from other things and put over against reality as an item on a list in nature, like a single tooth brush or a single rock or tree..."

Dave said...

Well, my comment this time wasn't too long or complicated, was it? One paragraph there, with only one point/issue. :o)

Metacrock said...

Do you see the difference between saying it is a mind and saying it is mind? This seems to be a fundamental difference in our perspectives, which I see as contradicting your stated position that "I don't think of God as a single think [sic] separated from other things and put over against reality as an item on a list in nature, like a single tooth brush or a single rock or tree..."

Not at all. I take the Mind side. Not A mind but Mind itself.

you are asking me to define something that is supposed to be an "offscale" indefinable something that blows away our preconceptions. It would also blow away our definitions.

Metacrock said...

Well, my comment this time wasn't too long or complicated, was it? One paragraph there, with only one point/issue. :o)

You are getting better. With some therapy you will be ok.;=)

Dave said...

I am not asking for a strict definition, I am saying there is a very big difference between saying God is A mind, making God AN individual, and simply saying God is mind. The latter cannot be locus of intention. Your God-language keeps implying God, mind, set over and above all others.

It is fundamental to all of your writing about God. That would contradict the "God isn't an object among other objects" and instead claims it is an object -- the object in which all other objects reside.

Hence one the one hand you want to claim your God-arguments aren't subject to the same limits and scrutiny as images of God as a superlative mind/person, but on the other hand you want to keep many of the qualities and traits of God that come from such a view.

Metacrock said...

"I am not asking for a strict definition, I am saying there is a very big difference between saying God is A mind, making God AN individual, and simply saying God is mind. The latter cannot be locus of intention. Your God-language keeps implying God, mind, set over and above all others."

how else can we speak of soemthing that we can't understand? I do God is in a category we cant' get because we have no examples of it. In some ways it's like the ideal or the abstraction "Mind itself" in other ways like an individual mind that can say "I am me and you are not me."

"It is fundamental to all of your writing about God. That would contradict the "God isn't an object among other objects" and instead claims it is an object -- the object in which all other objects reside."


No it doesn't. I can understand why you say that. I don't know why a universal mind can't think "I" and "thou." why should mind have to say "Us" only? It would say I, thou, and us."

"Hence one the one hand you want to claim your God-arguments aren't subject to the same limits and scrutiny as images of God as a superlative mind/person, but on the other hand you want to keep many of the qualities and traits of God that come from such a view."

yes but all images of God are limited to us. we are no in position to understand the best we can do is metaphors that point in the right direction.

The mystical experiences communicate aspects of reality that cant' be put into words. to filter them through words you have to use terms that have inherent limitations.

Dave said...

Because it wouldn't be "a" universal mind. You don't talk about "a" gravity, do you? Gravity has many qualities that appear to exist universally, but we don't refer to gravity as an individual. You can refer to God and mind in the same way. There is plenty of room in language and other forms of symbolism for that.

There is a very real distinction between a universal quality of consciousness and a distinct, self-aware, separate thing that sees itself as set apart. That is a human anthropomorphism because that is how we, especially in the West, see the world. But there is plenty of religious language out there that doesn't require God to be an individual.

The very fact that you say you don't know why "a" mind cannot think it is separate makes my point. When God becomes conceived of an individual, God is reduced to
an object of whatever class or category of object God to which God is being compared.

Subtle choices of language shape our conceptions. God as "a" mind is still God as an object. It still gets back to that "biggest, most powerful" version of some object. Calling God "a" universal mind, rather than calling God universal mind, is not a trivial distinction.

Metacrock said...

Dave your argumen is circular. You are saying on the one hand "it has to be like us because this is how we talk to describe X." then you turn around and say "this is anthropomorphic becuase it's like we are:

"Gravity has many qualities that appear to exist universally, but we don't refer to gravity as an individual. You can refer to God and mind in the same way. There is plenty of room in language and other forms of symbolism for that."

and then:

"There is a very real distinction between a universal quality of consciousness and a distinct, self-aware, separate thing that sees itself as set apart. That is a human anthropomorphism because that is how we, especially in the West, see the world. But there is plenty of religious language out there that doesn't require God to be an individual."

so this is like us in some sense because it reminds us of how we speak, therefore it has to be like us, but it can't be like us because we are us and it's it.

That's confused. something can certainly transcend our categories. to reflect it must be said the way we say it is of course obvious. we can't do anything else. That hardly means that our linguistic limits dictate the nature of this thing is beyond us.

Metacrock said...

Dave Says: "The very fact that you say you don't know why "a" mind cannot think it is separate makes my point. When God becomes conceived of an individual, God is reduced to
an object of whatever class or category of object God to which God is being compared."

All you are saying we are limited by our own experience, imagination and language. Then you go next step and say "since we are limited the reality must be limited by our limitation.

Metacrock said...
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Metacrock said...
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Metacrock said...

see my page on Rolt who made the translation of Pseudo Dionysus

Dave said...

I have no idea where you are getting your interpretation of what I am saying. The fact is, despite language limitations, we do have the capacity to refer to and think of God as something other than an individual. So it is plain:

1. You have argued that God should not be seen as an individual object, even a superlative object, the biggest or most powerful of its kind.

2. You have used this argument to avoid criticisms relating to a personal God. By emphasizing that God is beyond conception you maintain that criticisms of God's nature and intentions are just criticisms of cultural constructions.

3. How we talk about something both reflects and shapes our understanding of it, and this applies to God as well. So choice of imagery is important.

4. There is language and imagery out there in which God can be discussed as other than an individual, other than as a person.

5. To be consistent, your descriptions of God and your theology should use this language and imagery and emphasize any depiction of God as an individual as flawed and often misleading.

6. Instead, you move back and forth, using God as ineffable to deflect criticism and God as individual to put forth your theology. Even if there were some areas where the imperfect analogy of God as an individual were necessary to express a point, you do not regularly limit or qualify these expression. Rather, you use them even when there is language more consistent with God as ineffable available.

My mention of anthropomorphism applies to your question about why we can't just make God out to be like us. It is because we are making God into a limited individual who thinks in terms of ego/self and other. This sounds very much like a human projection, especially onto the infinite. If you wish to retract your support for God as being beyond human categories or personification and just go with a personal God, that is up to you.

Dave said...

From Thomas Keatings book The Mystery of Christ:

"On the Christian path, God is known first as the personal God, then as the transpersonal God, and finally as the Ultimate Reality beyond all personal and impersonal categories."

Metacrock said...

"On the Christian path, God is known first as the personal God, then as the transpersonal God, and finally as the Ultimate Reality beyond all personal and impersonal categories."

I don't really see why this is different from what I'm saying?

when I talk about "a thing in creation" I'm talking about a localized thing that is subject to creation as higher order, or subject to begin as a higher order, I don't see why that has to be synonymous with consciousness. Two totally different things.

I don't see why consciousness has to be localized in that way.

Metacrock said...

"I have no idea where you are getting your interpretation of what I am saying. The fact is, despite language limitations, we do have the capacity to refer to and think of God as something other than an individual. So it is plain:

1. You have argued that God should not be seen as an individual object, even a superlative object, the biggest or most powerful of its kind."

Ok with you so far

"2. You have used this argument to avoid criticisms relating to a personal God."

No not criticisms of personal God. but Of magnified humanity and limited localized entity. are you confusing "personal" with localized?


"By emphasizing that God is beyond conception you maintain that criticisms of God's nature and intentions are just criticisms of cultural constructions."

This is what the Orthodox chruch does. These are all issues germane to the Orthodox to Tillich. The Orthodox deal with it by making distinctions between god's essence and energies, and between speaking and experience.
being beyond our understanding is an empirical aspect of the experiences.



"3. How we talk about something both reflects and shapes our understanding of it, and this applies to God as well. So choice of imagery is important."

If one has had that experience it makes sense. I guess doesn't if one has not. That's a the root of the experience is that it transcends understanding.



"4. There is language and imagery out there in which God can be discussed as other than an individual, other than as a person."

yes of course. the problem is we have to use both.



"5. To be consistent, your descriptions of God and your theology should use this language and imagery and emphasize any depiction of God as an individual as flawed and often misleading."

have you read stuff about Christian mysticism or the orthodox crouch? they don't it mysticism for nothing you know. Read Evelin Underhill's boko "Mysticism" Also W.T. Stace. William James, the Varieties of Religious experience.

Metacrock said...

"6. Instead, you move back and forth, using God as ineffable to deflect criticism and God as individual to put forth your theology."

I don't think so.If so it's probably because I'm trying move beyond a life-long set of images. Trying to expand my way of understanding.

I really don't understand why you associate "consciousness" with "big man." there is nothing contradiction at all about the idea o universal mind. It's a mind, it's big enough to interceptor everything because thing is thought by it. It knows how to say "I": and "Not I" an d"we." why is that fucking hard to get? yes it's what we can't do becasue we are not universal minds.



"Even if there were some areas where the imperfect analogy of God as an individual were necessary to express a point, you do not regularly limit or qualify these expression. Rather, you use them even when there is language more consistent with God as ineffable available."

nothing else you can use. I will throw away the experienced I hd. I had both. I expedience the void and I know the void loves me. if you snot' get it too bad.

I am not going to think of God a a dead ipersonal force that neither loves nor cares. I'm not going t accept the idea that he's just an an amplifed notion of man.

If we can figure him out he's not worthy of worship don't you get that? if we can figure him out ew can best and he's nto God geti t ?


My mention of anthropomorphism applies to your question about why we can't just make God out to be like us. It is because we are making God into a limited individual who thinks in terms of ego/self and other. This sounds very much like a human projection, especially onto the infinite. If you wish to retract your support for God as being beyond human categories or personification and just go with a personal God, that is up to you.

Metacrock said...

My mention of anthropomorphism applies to your question about why we can't just make God out to be like us. It is because we are making God into a limited individual who thinks in terms of ego/self and other. This sounds very much like a human projection, especially onto the infinite. If you wish to retract your support for God as being beyond human categories or personification and just go with a personal God, that is up to you.

you are equating I with ego. you are afraid to think that there could some higher version of I that's not ego oriented. Technically it's related to ego but not in the more pejorative sense.

Metacrock said...

Dave I wonder if you aren't an Westerner after all? You seem unwilling to live with paradox.The east resolves the dilemma with monism; snuff out all the personal. It's all an illusion and reality is void. That's not the solution of the Christian mystic.

It may be that you are unable to stand the paradox, or maybe an eastern bias.

Dave said...

“I really don't understand why you associate "consciousness" with "big man." there is nothing contradiction at all about the idea o universal mind. It's a mind, it's big enough to interceptor everything because thing is thought by it. It knows how to say "I": and "Not I" an d"we." why is that fucking hard to get? yes it's what we can't do becasue we are not universal minds.”

“you are equating I with ego. you are afraid to think that there could some higher version of I that's not ego oriented. Technically it's related to ego but not in the more pejorative sense.”


There is a distinction between a universal or transcendent consciousness and turning that into an individual with a sense of distinction and personal traits such as desire and intention. That is the very definition of ego. Special pleading for some abstract higher, purer form of ego is irrelevant. BTW, you frequently accuse those who disagree with you of fear. Such statements are baseless and at times insulting.

My objection is that you are appear to be making God into a BIG, BIG object and then placing everything else inside that object. That is not transcendent, and that is not ineffable. You don’t seem able or willing to follow what I wrote in my exchange with Kristen in comments to other recent blog posts here, Or my comments to you whrein I suggest there *is* a limited, qualified role for certain forms of language and imagery, including that God as personal.

There is a difference between God and one’s reaction to God. Just because you experience God as personal, or God as love, that is just the mind trying to comprehend something it cannot contain. It turns to psychological and cultural constructions, but the mystics all say that it is bullshit anyway. They accept that it is how they talk about it afterward, in terms of a relationship, which is what results from dualistic thinking, but they also say while it can be appropriate in some circumstances it is ultimately false.

Hence my quote of Keating, of moving from the dualistic thinking in a personal God to other forms of perception. There is no problem when one accepts the limitations and inaccuracies of a "personal" God and doesn't try to compound them. There are good uses for such a construction. But that construction is inconsistent with other stages of realization.

Trying to superimpose those personal elements on the transpersonal view of God or God as Ultimate Reality is inappropriate and causes myriad of problems from theodicy on down. The personal view of God is a construction that should not be used outside of a particular set of proper circumstances, and it ought to lead one beyond itself as one matures. That is what they mystics tend to say, since you keep bringing them up.

Dave said...

“nothing else you can use. I will throw away the experienced I hd. I had both. I expedience the void and I know the void loves me. if you snot' get it too bad.”


“I am not going to think of God a a dead ipersonal force that neither loves nor cares. I'm not going t accept the idea that he's just an an amplifed notion of man.”


“If we can figure him out he's not worthy of worship don't you get that? if we can figure him out ew can best and he's nto God geti t ?”


You are denying that there is other language out there, even though you have referred to it in the past. As per the other half of my split comment above, one can in fact use various terms and images for God judisciously and limited to appropriate contexts without conflating the implications of one set of images with other levels of God realization. This is the crux of my complaint about trying to sneak elements of God as personal into God as Ultimate Reality.

And you are again assuming that God is literally love and therefore assume that this love requires a separate bigger than life consciousness existing as an individual. That assumption is not necessary. Consciousness can be the ground of being and all pervasive without having a central locus of awareness and volition distinct from the rest of existence. From our finite perspective it will look as if God is distinct and focused towards us, but it makese sense that this is merely our own myopia.

As I wrote to Kristen, if God as consciousness is the source and subsistence of all of existence, God is neither personal or impersonal but contains personal and impersonal elements. Therefore, God manifests as “the personal” in sentient beings. This does not require God to be a person, which is what a sentient individual is. By saying God is a distinct mind, a separate individual with its own thoughts ans desires, that is making God into a person. Deny it all you want in vain, or better yet, accept it and ask what the proper role of such a construction might be or what the dangers of exceeding that role might include.

Please note that you keep assuming that my criticism of God as personal means I am arguing for God as impersonal. I am arguing for God as beyond either personal or impersonal You claim that don’t want to worship a “dead, impersonal force that neither loves nor cares.” This is only makes my point that much clearer and stronger, whether you accept it or not. You want a God that is a person, a really powerful and pure person, but a person nonetheless.

It seems that my version of God is much harder to “figure out” than yours, and is much closer to genuine paradox than yours is, so your claims that I am making God too familiar or comprehensible or rejecting paradox is invalid. My view is one which is neither monism nor dualism, or as they say in the East, "not two, but neither is it one". I am simply being consistent about as possible about the simultaneous truth of transcendence and immanence and going beyond the limits of the personal/impersonal dichotomy.

Also, your claim that you aren’t trying to have it both ways, God as ineffable for the criticism and God as personal for your worship, is weakend by your most recent comments. That dual perspective isn’t a paradox of God’s nature, that is simply an inconsistency in your thinking about God. Again, it could be reconciled by simply assigning different roles and different levels of meaning for different degrees of God-realization.

Dave said...

Oh, and your description of Eastern thinking on the matter is really very poor. Many Eastern views have no problem having mind as the basis of reality without making universal consciousness into a person and without denying that the experience of the ground of being is comparable to boundless compassion.

When they make avatars of the eternal, such as the Buddha, this image is personal because it is manifested or symbolized as a person, but it is still seen as a way to access the infinite rather than being a miniature copy of it. The infinite is still not an individual, and is far beyond such categories. Abrahamic traditions may borrow from other philosophies and religions, but they will always insist on God-as-person as primary. And neither Tillich nor anyone else trying to reconcile the matter will ever change that.

Metacrock said...

Oh, and your description of Eastern thinking on the matter is really very poor.

don't get testy now


Many Eastern views have no problem having mind as the basis of reality without making universal consciousness into a person and without denying that the experience of the ground of being is comparable to boundless compassion.

then my view of both and neither not so crazy and illogical?

When they make avatars of the eternal, such as the Buddha, this image is personal because it is manifested or symbolized as a person, but it is still seen as a way to access the infinite rather than being a miniature copy of it. The infinite is still not an individual, and is far beyond such categories.

but you have to know the cultural construct intimately to know that. You sort of have to be 'in on it." I'm not saying you are not, but I'm not. That's sort of like exceeds my level of eastern awareness. Why can't I have the same sort of metaphor with Jesus? I think Tillich does that.

Abrahamic traditions may borrow from other philosophies and religions, but they will always insist on God-as-person as primary. And neither Tillich nor anyone else trying to reconcile the matter will ever change that.

(1) I don't see why ground of being can't be mind. Gaswamy is Hindu he says it can.

(2) so what's the deal?you get to do that with your thing but I don't?

(3)you are steriotyping so called "abrahamic traditions." There's a Platonic connection here that you are forgetting about.

Metacrock said...

And you are again assuming that God is literally love and therefore assume that this love requires a separate bigger than life consciousness existing as an individual. That assumption is not necessary. Consciousness can be the ground of being and all pervasive without having a central locus of awareness and volition distinct from the rest of existence. From our finite perspective it will look as if God is distinct and focused towards us, but it makese sense that this is merely our own myopia.


Love can't be a metaphor to the extent that it turns out to be other than love. there's something sort of cheating in that way of thinking. how can you have will to the good of the other but you don't really will the good of the other? I tink love is like being its' a base line it can't go any further down in reduction without losing what it is.

you are making an assertion about conscoiusness that you no grouns to make. We don't know hat it means to be conscoius at that level so ruling out the "I"/"thou" level is just arbitrary and seem like reaction formation.