Monday, April 16, 2012

Why is god Not Self Evident?

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"big thinker" had a thread on CARM "if God exists why is he not self evident?"

The question as by BT on his own thread is loaded and distorted to reflect his bias. Because he thinks there's one form of knowledge, the fortress facts, he thinks of self evidence as one thing only; a guy in a while lab coat says "this is fact."

There may be forms of self evidence. It may self evident logically that there are no square circles but it's not self evident by empirical fact. You can't see that there are no square circles you have to think about it logically. BT doesn't' allow logical thought to get in the way of his disbelief because he takes the pseudo attitudes cultivated in atheist circles that science is the only form of knowledge and that science is only empirical observation and "fact."

Empirically God is not "obvious" and there's a perfectly understandably reason why. God is transcendent because he's the basis of reality. Nothing that is the basis of reality is observable empirically. We can't see mathematics. The whole universe can be described mathematically but we can't look at nature and see the math.

God could be self evident in some ways, such as the logic of the modal argument, not in others (such as empirically). Of course even evidence can be disputed if one refuses to accept it. Nothing drives this point home better than HRG's refusal to understand the word "being." He has to believe that the word being is just an idea philosophers made up.

when I say "being = existence," Hans says existence doesn't' exist. Whatever one takes a word to mean it doesn't mean that if the other guy doesn't want it to. I say "I use this operationally." Now in real logic this should mean "this is how I use i don't care how others you use it, it's my argument, you must deal with my usage." In HRG that means "this is the excuse you want to distort my meaning and make up your own."

God is obvious by practical logic. The modal argument is probalby self evident. Even self evidence can be doubted. anything can be doubted if one wishes to doubt.

when first year philosophy students learn Descartes's cogito, I think therefore I am. they often assume it's absolute this is self evident. When they learn that more advanced philosophers (Sartre) have ways of doubting they can't believe it. By the time they become reductionists and take up the brain/mind issue they think Descartes is crap. They are not the only one's who are disatisfied with Descartes. The continental tradition departed from his way also. The phenomenoloical crowd blames him for starting the "metaphysical" tradition. This is metaphysics in the Heideggerian tradition, grouping reality under a single rue brick and herding sense data into preconceived categories, in that sense scinece is metaphysics.

As HRG's thread tells us some things that were considers self evident are no longer. That just means that if God is not self evident ti should be constructed as a big deal. Here we have the contradiction in HRG's way of thinking. HRG, for those who don't read regularly, is an mathematician form Austria, guru to carm atheists, and my Nemesis for about ten years now. Nemesis and friend.

Originally Posted by HRG View Post
You cannot "know" ontology or metaphysics. You can only invent your own, or adopt someone else's inventions.

Christian defender Occam responds:

This post has a great many ontological assumptions buried in it. For example, take the claim that some beliefs count as knowledge, and other beliefs are inventions. This claim only makes sense if your mind exists, there is an objective external world to which a belief in your mind can correspond or fail to correspond, and there is a particular process that you have to perform in order to get your beliefs to correspond to the truth (the end result being "knowledge"). It appears, then, that you're pulling on an ontology containing claims like "I exist," "reality exists," and "truth exists."
The irony here is that HRG has called Thomas S. Kuhn a "windbag" for saying the very same thing about socially constructed knowledge. He said it of scinece so Hans defends scinece as "truth" ala correspondence theory. Here and elsewhere he rejects the correspondence theory. If we take him as a some kind of spokemen for the atheists they don't have a stable theory of truth.

Examples of formerly self evident knowledge include:

Euclidean geometry
Geocentrism
Absolute time
Infinite speed of light
"Miasma" as origin of diseases
Impossibility of cutting a 3-D ball into pieces which, when joined together in a different way, make a sphere of twice the original size (Banach-Tarski paradox)
Existence of a greatest conceivable entity


my response to him:

you have evidence or reason for believing that the last one is not self evident. I have basically proved it is by the TS.

you are still arguing from analogy. you are going "some things have disproved therefore everything is disproved." You have given no proof that any of those were ever self evident.

Conclusion:

The validity of self evident knowledge is an open question and depends upon one's metaphsyical theories and epistemological theories. I accept the category of self evidence in terms of deduction and include the existence of God in that category. I think what the original poster ("Big Thinker") meant to say is that God is not empirically obvious. I examined why he should not be: Because the basis of reality that puts him "off scale."

51 comments:

Tristan D. Vick said...

Transcendence placing God off-scale is equivalent to the sentiment that "I define God in this way rather than that."

The problem I think arises when the theist makes God so obscure that God is by definition made irrelevant to human experience.

Either the theologian has misunderstood God's nature or there is a quantifiable experience of God that is defeasible, in which case science could potentially say a great deal about God.

Metacrock said...

NO this is merely a reflection total ignorance about theology. The concept that God is beyond our understanding is obvious and self evident since God is infinite and we are finite, an created we di not create God. Thinking we ca understand God is human arrogance. It's also stated directly in the bible "my thoughts are not your thoughts."

More importantly the concept grows out of empirical experience of divine presence. It's the basis of all mystical theology and has been embraced by the entire Orthodox chruch as well as the Roman Catholic.

Tristan D. Vick said...

So you are saying we experience God but we cannot understand God through the experience of him?

Are you implying are sensate abilities are untrustworthy or that grappling with the experience is ultimately futile?

Either way, how could we know? I mean, if the experience is faulty, then we could very easily be mistaken about our understanding of God.

But if it is ultimately futile to try and understand God because it is arrogance (as you say) to presume to know what we can't, then what good is the experience to us?

What good is trying to understand God for that matter?

And by that definition, wouldn't theologians be the most arrogant of all for making it a profession?

Just some questions. I'm not sure I yet follow your meaning exactly.

Tristan D. Vick said...

Also, the claim that God is infinite is ultimately an unjustified one.

And if knowledge of God can only be framed within our limited and faulty subjective understanding, then how can we know God is an infinite being?

My question is, how is this description of God something other than sentiment?

Finally, if experience(s) of God can ultimately be explained naturally, and let's assume for the sake of the argument they can, assuming God exists how can we differentiate between an event which is a genuine God-experience and one which simply occurs by accident which looks identical to a God-experience?

As I am a layman when it comes to philosophy, please excuse my naivete. I am looking forward to your reply. Thank you.

Mike D said...

If God is beyond your understanding, how can you infer anything about God – including his mere existence?

Johnny P said...

Please could you define what it means for God to be infinite. This is an incoherency which I always hear from theologians and theists and yet they are often unable to explain what they mean.

Infinite is a quantitative descriptor. As such, it is not apt to use it to describe disparate characteristics. Even temporally, the most sens of God is that he was eternal (atemporal) before creating the universe and then entered spacetime at creation, a la WLC. Which is not infinite.

Can you be infinitely loving? Can you be infinitely merciful and infinitely just? Well, no, because they contradict eachother.

If infinite simply means, as many say, that God exists outside of time and space, then this is not infinite. It is impossible to numerically quantify anything without a framework with which to make that qualification.

In other words, it is a meaningless soundbite.

Loren said...

I have no trouble comprehending infinities. Mathematical infinities, at least.

There are infinitely many positive integers, and the same size of infinity of integers, rational numbers, real algebraic numbers, real computable numbers, and real definable numbers. But there is a larger infinity of real numbers, and an even larger infinity of real functions of real numbers.

In fact, there's no highest infinity. The power set of a set is the set of all subsets of a set. The power set of a set always has more members than the original set, something true for infinite sets as well as for finite sets. So since one can always construct a power set, one can find a greater infinity.

Furthermore, we can't be in the likeness of an allegedly infinite entity.

Metacrock said...

how do we know if there unpublished comments on this new set up?

Metacrock said...

Mike D said...

If God is beyond your understanding, how can you infer anything about God – including his mere existence?


As I said above, the Orthodox church handles it by mystical experience. saying that God is beyond our understanding is not to say that God is beyond our experience. Knowing God is about experiencing God not intellectual understanding.

Moreover there's special revelation, and natural revelation (reason) and Jesus' modeling divine character.

God is beyond the understanding of the human intellect but that doesn't mean we are not given certain bits of info.

Metacrock said...

Delete
Blogger Johnny P said...

Please could you define what it means for God to be infinite. This is an incoherency which I always hear from theologians and theists and yet they are often unable to explain what they mean.

I dont' see what's incohernet about it:

(1) there is no place where God is not (omnipresent). So there's enough God to strati outfought all l existing space. all worlds are full of God. God is limitless in a physical sense. At least in terms of the reality in which we exist

(2) God is limitless in power. that doesn't mean that he's not limited by logical necessity. But within the bounds of logical necessity there's nothing he can't do.

(3) Limitless understanding. no bounds to God's understanding within logical necessity. If something is not understandable such as uncertainty principle its an open question, but in terms of that which can be understood logically there is no limit for God.

(4) timeless, beyond time


Infinite is a quantitative descriptor. As such, it is not apt to use it to describe disparate characteristics. Even temporally, the most sens of God is that he was eternal (atemporal) before creating the universe and then entered spacetime at creation, a la WLC. Which is not infinite.

No one thinks that all of God entered creation. God is both in creation and beyond it. Thus both in time and beyond time.

that is infinite in duration. timeless is infinite in duration because it has no duration so it wont run out.


Can you be infinitely loving? Can you be infinitely merciful and infinitely just? Well, no, because they contradict eachother.

Not me personally, I don't see why God can't be.

If infinite simply means, as many say, that God exists outside of time and space, then this is not infinite. It is impossible to numerically quantify anything without a framework with which to make that qualification.

That's BS. it's just a matter of the way you are saying it. Yes to be beyond time is not a quantitative infinite but it also means no duration so no running out of time. seasoning outside of time will last forever.

btw remember the idea of God outside of time is just one concept and depends upon one's understanding of time.


In other words, it is a meaningless soundbite.

Here's the deal. atheists are not smart. they tend to be literalistic and literalistic are quiet stupid. If you examine stupid people you find that the stupider they are the more literal they are. It requires intelligence to understand symbolism

the idea that God is infinite is somewhat symbolic because we don't really undersatnd enough about the issues, such as time, that this entails. It basically means that God is big enough for any task,is eternal and limitless in power, understanding and duration.

that's a problem for atheists especially scientismists (not merely scientific but scientistic) because they tend to be literalistic and thus not bright.

Metacrock said...
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Metacrock said...

Metacrock said...

"So you are saying we experience God but we cannot understand God through the experience of him?"

We can't understand intellectual but we can intuitively. The understanding of a first hand experience is beyond an intellectual range of knowledge.can't accurately be put into words.

this basically means we can't know God exhaustively it doesn't mean we can't know something in some way. Remember what I said about literalism?


Are you implying are sensate abilities are untrustworthy or that grappling with the experience is ultimately futile?

Some things are beyond intellectual understanding but can be experienced first hand. The sublime for example. No way to communicate the nuances of the sublime in words, but we can experience them; having experienced soemthing we formulate ideas bout it, although those ideas will be analogical. So they will bear a rough approximation but can't disclose exactly.

Either way, how could we know? I mean, if the experience is faulty, then we could very easily be mistaken about our understanding of God.

How do we know anything? We experience. our experience is not always complete but we formulate approximations. every know anyone who died? we don't know what happens when we die. Does that means we don't die?

But if it is ultimately futile to try and understand God because it is arrogance (as you say) to presume to know what we can't, then what good is the experience to us?

where did I say it was ultimately futile? Because God has told us what we need to know.

What good is trying to understand God for that matter?

The distinction here is between accurate scientific-style knowledge vs experiential knowledge. the experience works. It gives us life-experience navigation and enables us to get by.

And by that definition, wouldn't theologians be the most arrogant of all for making it a profession?


Not if atheists are stupidest ;-)


Just some questions. I'm not sure I yet follow your meaning exactly.

No problem man.

here are some books you might find helpful:

(1) mysticism by Evelyn Underhill

here's a page that explains the words of W.T. Stace, and lists some of his books.

w.t. stace

Metacrock said...

Mystiim by Evelyn Underhill

Metacrock said...

Tristin D. Vickey

Also, the claim that God is infinite is ultimately an unjustified one.

why? That really makes no sense at all. God is the basis of reality wouldn't expect him to be "bigger" than reality in some way?

And if knowledge of God can only be framed within our limited and faulty subjective understanding, then how can we know God is an infinite being?

Logic

My question is, how is this description of God something other than sentiment?

experience and logic

Finally, if experience(s) of God can ultimately be explained naturally, and let's assume for the sake of the argument they can, assuming God exists how can we differentiate between an event which is a genuine God-experience and one which simply occurs by accident which looks identical to a God-experience?


I've already answered that. There are two levels: (1) the actual mechanism of the experiences; (2) its' effects. If the mechanism is identical to the natural that doesn't mean the effect are identical.

If the effects are beyond what they would seem in the natural then that would indicate something other than natural is involved.

for example the tendency of mystical experience to repair one's life and make one better person.


As I am a layman when it comes to philosophy, please excuse my naivete. I am looking forward to your reply. Thank you.

Hey problem buddy. we are here to teach and learn form each other.

Metacrock said...

I mean "NO Problem." sometimes my mind works faster than my fingers. my mouth ofter works father than both.

Johnny P said...

I dont' see what's incohernet about it:

(1) there is no place where God is not (omnipresent). So there's enough God to strati outfought all l existing space. all worlds are full of God. God is limitless in a physical sense. At least in terms of the reality in which we exist


This assumes that there are infinite places. This is only possible in some versions of the multiverse theory. Even then, this is one aspect of God only. Ie, he is infinite in position. You would first have to prove infinite spaces and then that God occupied them.

(2) God is limitless in power. that doesn't mean that he's not limited by logical necessity. But within the bounds of logical necessity there's nothing he can't do.

And we start getting into trouble here. First of all, if God has unlimited power, how would he even know this. In order to know one has power, one has to be able to test that out. He would have to create a universe where he could test out such a power. Let’s keep it simple. He has the power to life any weight. He wouldn’t know this, or even have the experience of this (and surely an omniscient God would need the knowledge of what it feels like to have done this, otherwise he isn’t truly omniscient).

The best you can say is that he has maximal powers since not all powers cohere, as pointed out. One cannot be infinitely merciful and infinitely just. Indeed, it is questionable whether infinites can be adequately applied to qualities other than in the application of the qualities to concrete examples. In other words, I could be kind enough to give you one apple, two apples, three… infinite. However, kindness is more adequately seen as a proportion or percentage.


(3) Limitless understanding. no bounds to God's understanding within logical necessity. If something is not understandable such as uncertainty principle its an open question, but in terms of that which can be understood logically there is no limit for God.

You would need to define understanding. God cannot, logically, be omniscient. He cannot know everything. There is a simply internal inconsistency to knowledge. One can’t KNOW that one knows everything since one can’t know what one doesn’t know. God can presume he knows everything. He might well think he knows everything. But he can’t know that he knows everything, and so omniscience is impossible and needs closer defining. You may then say that this defies the rules of logic and that omniscience means that he knows everything apart from that which he doesn’t know (almost tautologous). However, God cannot know that he, himself, is not in the Matrix. He actually would fall foul of Descartes Evil Demon.


(4) timeless, beyond time

Well, he was only beyond time before the creation of spacetime. Even this is nonsensical since you cannot have before time. Not only would God have to contravene the laws (logical) of causality in order to create atemporally, but

No one thinks that all of God entered creation. God is both in creation and beyond it. Thus both in time and beyond time.

Er, not according to William Lane Craig, and he studied it for 12 years. Most theologians concede that God was atemporal before creation and then had to enter it at creation. Also, there are other implications of time, such as A and B Theory which, although not entirely pertinent here, are crucial to understanding whether we have free will or not.

Johnny P said...

that is infinite in duration. timeless is infinite in duration because it has no duration so it wont run out.

You are making no sense.

Your biggest problem is this: there are no infinites. Or at least actual infinities. Many would say that infinities are logically impossible. They can be circumvented mathematically. In fact, WLC is at pains to point out the absurdities on infinites. If you say that there are infinites, and that they exist as properties of God, then you are contradicting general acceptance that actual infinites do no and cannot exist (logically). If you uphold Craig-style cosmological arguments, then you also need to agree that actual infinites are impossible – you can’t have it both ways. Unless you special plead for God such that actual infinites are possible, but only when you are talking about God. This makes it a fallacious argument based on the fallacy of special pleading. The other option is to say that God can actually contravene logic. But then this should be applied across the board – he can make a rock too heavy for him to lift. But since, by your own admission above – God is constrained “within logical necessity”. So you can’t have it both ways.

It seems to me that if God must have existent infinite properties, then there must be some serious philosophical underwriting to establish this, not mere assertion.

Can you be infinitely merciful and infinitely just? Well, no, because they contradict eachother.

Not me personally, I don't see why God can't be.


Well, this is a famous contradiction in God’s omnipotence, and a criticism levelled at the Ontological Argument. God can’t be, because to be perfectly, or infinitely just he must exact the correct punishment. However, to be perfectly, or infinitely merciful, he needs to be able to who mercy towards the punishment. The two are not compatible.


That's BS. it's just a matter of the way you are saying it. Yes to be beyond time is not a quantitative infinite but it also means no duration so no running out of time. seasoning outside of time will last forever.

WTF? You are equating a zero with an infinite? Come one, this is really simple stuff. If I have no sausages, I have no sausages. This does not mean I have infinite sausages! Please look into the ontology of time.


Here's the deal. atheists are not smart. they tend to be literalistic and literalistic are quiet stupid.

Terrible. You say I am an atheist, I am literalistic and I am quiet [sic] stupid. Ad hom.

If you examine stupid people you find that the stupider they are the more literal they are. It requires intelligence to understand symbolism

Brilliant, not only are you saying I am REALLY stupid, but you are now claiming the infinite qualities of God are now symbolic. What do they symbolise? A big amount of? Or do they symbolise infinity? In which case that is not symbolism. Thus, if you claim God is infinite is symbolic, then God is not ACTUALLY infinite.

Symbolism is when one gives one characteristic to symbolise another distinct characteristic. I might paint a picture of a lion to represent courage in battle. A lion ISNT’T actually courage in battle, that is nonsense. But for you to say God is infinite is symbolic is to say God isn’t ACTUALLY infinite. So what do you mean?

Johnny P said...

the idea that God is infinite is somewhat symbolic because we don't really undersatnd enough about the issues, such as time, that this entails. It basically means that God is big enough for any task,is eternal and limitless in power, understanding and duration.

So let me get this straight, you give me four reasons why God IS infinite, and then tell me you don’t know, and that it is symbolic?

that's a problem for atheists especially scientismists (not merely scientific but scientistic) because they tend to be literalistic and thus not bright.

Please don’t ever say I am not bright again. Ever. Whoever cats the first stone… (ie take a look at some of your comments here – they are fairly simplistic and error-laden).

Metacrock said...

Johnny P said...

Meta said:"I dont' see what's incohernet about it:

(1) there is no place where God is not (omnipresent). So there's enough God to strati outfought all l existing space. all worlds are full of God. God is limitless in a physical sense. At least in terms of the reality in which we exist"

Johnny P answers:

"This assumes that there are infinite places. This is only possible in some versions of the multiverse theory."

That's neihter here nor there. Let's this space/time is the only one there is; beyond space/time might be infinite. We don't know. Now as I said before we don't need to think of terms apply to God in a literalistic sense.

religious terms arer analogical, all God is analogical. So they have something a symbolic value owning to not knowing the latitude nature of things.

We need to think of God as limitless, boundless, all present not as literally infinite like a number line.



"Even then, this is one aspect of God only. Ie, he is infinite in position. You would first have to prove infinite spaces and then that God occupied them."

one aspect: so? I covered allt the others. This is useless literalism.

look at it this way, you got it. God covers it.


Meta said:"(2) God is limitless in power. that doesn't mean that he's not limited by logical necessity. But within the bounds of logical necessity there's nothing he can't do."

JP answers

"And we start getting into trouble here. First of all, if God has unlimited power, how would he even know this."

If he has all knowledge he would know it. if he told us he has limitless power we can truest it. you are working over time trying to find any kind BS thing you can to show a wrench in the works and just childish.

Instead of reading about what great thinkers say about God and instead trying the nature of relativity you waste your time trying to find piddling inconsistencies in human concepts of the divine. There are inconsistencies because we are not infallible. that dos not destroy God's realty.


"In order to know one has power, one has to be able to test that out. He would have to create a universe where he could test out such a power."

(1) assertion not in evidence. You can't know that until you have the creator of a universe.

(2)it might be that God could know that being all knowing.

(3) he's had all eternity to do it in so how can you know he hadn't made an infinite number of universes to test himself in?



"Let’s keep it simple. He has the power to life any weight."

who do you life a weight?

"He wouldn’t know this, or even have the experience of this (and surely an omniscient God would need the knowledge of what it feels like to have done this, otherwise he isn’t truly omniscient)."

that's silly, this is the mark of a toy thinker. you can't speculate, so you try to find petty Bs to gum up the works instead of reading real thinkers with real ideas. no one takes the "can he make a rock so big he can't lift it BS" seriously. that's like sixth grade questions.

you have the audacity to assume that God couldn't reason his way to understanding that is power is infinite or that he hasn't had all eternity to test himself in.


"The best you can say is that he has maximal powers since not all powers cohere, as pointed out. One cannot be infinitely merciful and infinitely just."

yes you can depends upon what you mean by it. you are confusing of infinity, I named certain things are you are assume any and thing connected with God is infinite I didn't' say that.

silly and un interesting.

Metacrock said...

Johnny P said...

Meta:"that is infinite in duration. timeless is infinite in duration because it has no duration so it wont run out."



You are making no sense.

don't do that. that's just stand atheist bullying it makes you look stupid. if you have an objection make that. don't tell first how dumb my answer is then try to make it back up your stupid little person bullying. If you have something argue just argue it cut the commentary.

"Your biggest problem is this: there are no infinites."

assertion not in evidence. you don't have idea what is beyond event horizon.


"Or at least actual infinities. Many would say that infinities are logically impossible."

you don't know what that means. It doesn't mean there can't be a transcendent reality that is infinite in transcendent form. it means no actual infinite series in the physical world.

(1) God is not a series

(2) God's energies are immanent within space/time and to the extant that our space time is unbounded God's presence in it is also unbounded. If you stuck off in outterspace you would never stop going even though space/time is finite. Its' unbounded.

that doesn't preclude God being infinite in transcendence that is beyond space/time.



"They can be circumvented mathematically. In fact, WLC is at pains to point out the absurdities on infinites. If you say that there are infinites, and that they exist as properties of God, then you are contradicting general acceptance that actual infinites do no and cannot exist (logically). If you uphold Craig-style cosmological arguments, then you also need to agree that actual infinites are impossible – you can’t have it both ways."

you have a totally Juvenile understating of Craig. I bet you I can email him and ask and he will not way God is not infinite.



Unless you special plead for God such that actual infinites are possible, but only when you are talking about God.

you don't know what you are talking about. actual infinities are not infinities that are transcendent of space/time. God can be initiate in his transcendent nature.

I think what Craig is talking about is a series of things that are infiltrate in space/time just any infinite thing beyond space/time.

I bought hi first book when it came out and read it and he talks about that in it. Long long time ago.

It's also problematic to say that I argue the same kind of CA that he does.



This makes it a fallacious argument based on the fallacy of special pleading.

No, Bull shit, total rubbish. I just showed why


The other option is to say that God can actually contravene logic. But then this should be applied across the board – he can make a rock too heavy for him to lift. But since, by your own admission above – God is constrained “within logical necessity”. So you can’t have it both ways.

also unnecessary. you just need to be aware of the nature of God's essence and energies.

Metacrock said...

It seems to me that if God must have existent infinite properties, then there must be some serious philosophical underwriting to establish this, not mere assertion.

These are not mere assertions,t are are deductions. They might also be revelation.


Can you be infinitely merciful and infinitely just? Well, no, because they contradict eachother.

depends upon what you mean by the phrase. Justice might be served best by compassion. This would be true if love is the basis of moral universe. Justice is also a moral issue, thus if love is the ground of moral universe than love would be the ground of justice thus they can't contradict.

Before you decide that's cray look up Che Guavera's statement about "a strange kind of love" of the revolutionary.



Not me personally, I don't see why God can't be.

what?

Well, this is a famous contradiction in God’s omnipotence, and a criticism leveled at the Ontological Argument.

Most criticisms of the OA are farily stupid. most of them turn upon a bad understanding of the terms.


God can’t be, because to be perfectly, or infinitely just he must exact the correct punishment. However, to be perfectly, or infinitely merciful, he needs to be able to who mercy towards the punishment. The two are not compatible.

I understand the concept which motivates the critics. The problem is the critics don't understand justice. In order to create a contradiction; where there is none they have to sterach to create a problem by taking the most sever understanding understanding of justice they can find.

that understanding of justice paints it more as revenge. chiam Perleman understood justice as "treating like cases in like manner." If you treat all cases with love then you are treating them in like manner.



Meta: That's BS. it's just a matter of the way you are saying it. Yes to be beyond time is not a quantitative infinite but it also means no duration so no running out of time. seasoning outside of time will last forever.

WTF? You are equating a zero with an infinite? Come one, this is really simple stuff. If I have no sausages, I have no sausages. This does not mean I have infinite sausages! Please look into the ontology of time.

No, no time means no duratino vs infinte duration. granted those are different things.

(1) remember I said our understanding of time is not a done deal. we don't know what time is we don't know the visitation of God in relation to time. A lot of people favor the view stoked by Big Bang cosmolgoy but that in no sense is proved to be the case.


(2) therefore we have to talk about both possibilities. God will either be without duration or have infinite duration. either way God will be around forever. Either way you look at it it means God does not run out of time. Either becuase he has no time at all or because he has infinite time.

(3) Time is unreal. God is the basis of reality and reality is a thought in God's mind. Time is also a thought in God's mind and a thought that pertains the construct of this world.

we cannot possibly know what the real relationship is.

Metacrock said...
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Metacrock said...

why should not knowing keep us from belief in God? science doesn't know what's out there. Science can't prove things. don't sundress that? scinece is not proof.

why is there something rather than nothing? scinece doesn't know it can't tell you.

how should we live? how should we treat others science can't tell you.

you don't give up scinece just because it doesn't give us all knowledge.

Tristan D. Vick said...

I was going to respond, until you refered to me as "Tristin D. Vickey," which isn't my name.

Since I use my real name, I do expect people to address me like a real person as I do not hide behind a pseudonym.

I stop caring about the conversation when the person I am dealing with begins acting like an adolescent. My close friends are allowed to give me nicknames, not some random stranger on the Interwebs whose first reaction is to disrespect me by mocking my name. That's just rued.

Good luck with the theology business.

Johnny P said...

It seems to me that if God must have existent infinite properties, then there must be some serious philosophical underwriting to establish this, not mere assertion.

These are not mere assertions,t are are deductions. They might also be revelation.


If they are deductions, fair enough – show me. I presume you mean logical deductions. I would need a sound syllogism to look over.
If they MIGHT be a revelation – well, that is a pointless statement. Either his infinite qualities were revealed to you, or they weren’t. Might? What kind of evidence is that to support your case? A zebra might give birth to a lion to disprove the theory of evolution. Yeah, but it hasn’t.

”Can you be infinitely merciful and infinitely just? Well, no, because they contradict eachother.”

depends upon what you mean by the phrase. Justice might be served best by compassion. This would be true if love is the basis of moral universe. Justice is also a moral issue, thus if love is the ground of moral universe than love would be the ground of justice thus they can't contradict.


This is probably the first sensible thing you have said. What I think you are saying is that both mercy and justice are derivative values 9such as in utilitarianism). They derive to love. The problem here is that this means that you are equating their properties. Since justice and mercy are not the same thing, the problem persists IF one claims that God is infinitely / perfectly just or merciful. The theist can concede, as you hint, that God cannot be perfectly just or merciful, but that instead God can be perfectly or infinitely loving. This then begs the question of exactly what qualities God CAN have that can be perfect or infinite. All the theist will end up doing is scrabbling around to find qualities that God has which are not contradictory. However, as with utilitarianism, you cannot easily have a pluralistic value system, since in any given context, values will offset one another.

Thus the problem persists, unless you say God has only one characteristic which is infinite and this prioritises all others. OR you take the tack that God is maximal. But this then opens the door for what maximal means as this is a subjective value and is defined by the goal or objective.

As a theologian, I suppose you knew this..

“Well, this is a famous contradiction in God’s omnipotence, and a criticism leveled at the Ontological Argument.”

Most criticisms of the OA are farily stupid. most of them turn upon a bad understanding of the terms.


Mere assertion again.

Johnny P said...

I understand the concept which motivates the critics. The problem is the critics don't understand justice. In order to create a contradiction; where there is none they have to sterach to create a problem by taking the most sever understanding understanding of justice they can find.

No. Critics take words at what they mean. Theists, backed into a logical corner, equivocate.

WTF? You are equating a zero with an infinite? Come one, this is really simple stuff. If I have no sausages, I have no sausages. This does not mean I have infinite sausages! Please look into the ontology of time.

No, no time means no duratino vs infinte duration. granted those are different things.

(1) remember I said our understanding of time is not a done deal. we don't know what time is we don't know the visitation of God in relation to time. A lot of people favor the view stoked by Big Bang cosmolgoy but that in no sense is proved to be the case.


Time is a measurement of change, in simple terms. BB does not define time. Time defines the BB. “No, no time means no duratino vs infinte duration” this contradicts what you said earlier.

(2) therefore we have to talk about both possibilities. God will either be without duration or have infinite duration.

In no way or sense can no time be infinite duration. This is simply wrong. Duration IS time. Like a mile is distance. If you have no time, you have no duration. Therefore, you cannot have infinite duration in no duration. Come on!

either way God will be around forever. Either way you look at it it means God does not run out of time. Either becuase he has no time at all or because he has infinite time.

God has not existed infinitely in time before on, say, Craig’s understanding of the BB. If that is also yours, then time is finite backwards and your point fails. We cannot talk of infinite time forward since it is a mere proposition which you are talking as fact.

(3) Time is unreal. God is the basis of reality and reality is a thought in God's mind. Time is also a thought in God's mind and a thought that pertains the construct of this world.

Time is now unreal ? WTF? You are flitting back and forth between nonsense and insanity. You are rambling incoherently.

we cannot possibly know what the real relationship is.

Ad hoc. Unfalsifiable. Get out of jail free.

Not good enough.

Metacrock said...

ohnny P said...

I understand the concept which motivates the critics. The problem is the critics don't understand justice. In order to create a contradiction; where there is none they have to sterach to create a problem by taking the most sever understanding understanding of justice they can find.

No. Critics take words at what they mean. Theists, backed into a logical corner, equivocate.

>>>You have not backed anyone in to a corner. you are made a bunch of childish assertions based upon misunderstanding and taking things too litterally.

WTF? You are equating a zero with an infinite? Come one, this is really simple stuff. If I have no sausages, I have no sausages. This does not mean I have infinite sausages! Please look into the ontology of time.

No, no time means no duratino vs infinte duration. granted those are different things.

the time thing is a good example of a childish misunderstanding. you think the issue is a done deal. There are numberings possibilities. it is not a done deal. But no theory we have to day that is open would render God temporal. That's all that matters, weather time runs infinitely or there is no time it makes no difference, because ether way God is not subject to time.

With my quasi Berkeley argument then time is unimportant becuase it's a conventional frame of reference for us. Means nothing to god.

sorry that but kills the issue. no point in keeping it going.

Metacrock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Metacrock said...

I'm going to go bother the daylights out of this guy with a bunch inconsequential crap that he thought about and answered decades ago and then just keep bugging him until he gets made and they'll prove I'm right.

Metacrock said...

I was going to respond, until you refered to me as "Tristin D. Vickey," which isn't my name.

Since I use my real name, I do expect people to address me like a real person as I do not hide behind a pseudonym.


I didn't give you any nick name. I had nothing to do with that I just assumed it was your screen name. sorry to burst your bubble but I don't know who you are I've never heard of you. Something blogger does strange things. I don't know that's there if you didn't want it to be.

I stop caring about the conversation when the person I am dealing with begins acting like an adolescent. My close friends are allowed to give me nicknames, not some random stranger on the Interwebs whose first reaction is to disrespect me by mocking my name. That's just rued.


if I was going t give you a nick name it would be the one it would be asshole or soemthing.

Metacrock said...

that should say some times blogger does strange things. My spell check does strange things too. It re-writes my post and says stupid things.

asshole was my idea,however.

Metacrock said...

The blog is not here for you to flame. if you want a long discussion you can come to my message boards.

when people start saying things like "you have a totally childish understanding of Craig" I hand up. I have no obligation to take bull shit form third rate minds who can't follow my arguments.

I've taken enough abuse from atheists I will not stand or it on my blog> I am brilliant you can't get your stupid mind around that too bad.

Dave said...

There is no point in saying God transcends human understanding and then turning around and implying God can be rendered in terms of human understanding. If you (Metacrock) instead would consistently say that these philosophical and scientific terms, concepts, constructions, and phrases were merely crude placeholders that only approximate a limited human understanding of God, much of the criticism would have to be rephrased in a more constructive way.

The notion that it is somehow important to defend "God" in a very narrow range of academic terms may have an appeal to some, but it is bound to lead to needless confusion. If people want to set up limits on what they will or will not consider or define their experiences in particular frameworks, then that is their choice. Why does it matter if some people don't think God is worth considering seriously because it won't fit within their paradigm? Why is it necessary to try to make it seem worthy of their time or consideration if they are unable or unwilling to seriously consider alternative paradigms? And if they are, why not simply start there?

Even if they are willing to accept a different set of parameters about the nature of knowledge, the construction of meaning, etc, what would that prove? One can allow for such new modes of thought and still have no actual experiences or insights connected to a sense of the reality of God. Just because one is willing to admit certain possibilities and adopt a more sympathetic perspective on religion doesn't mean they will suddenly start believing or see any reason to do so. Is it just about wanting people to think smart people believe in God and using the language that some considered to be the currency for being intelligent? Again, that seems like a waste of energy.

It's much simpler, again, to say that discursive, analytical "left brain" thinking is going to fold back in on itself and is inadequate in and of itself for contemplation of God (or Atman, or Buddha-nature, or whatever). That it must be fused with the experience of so-called "right brain" creative, holistic, and intuitive perception. If that means some will then discount the value of or desist in pursuing the spiritual qualities of human experience, then that is that. But at least a lot of quibbling over logical constructions that miss the point can be avoided. In fact, one can make a somewhat intriguing case that one needs what may seem absurd to strict rationality and logic in order to break out of the circuits into which our minds are routinely locked (Zen koan, anyone?). Again, people may dimiss it or diss it, but at least what they are rejecting would be a more accurate impression of what is being discussed.

Mike D said...

As I said above, the Orthodox church handles it by mystical experience. saying that God is beyond our understanding is not to say that God is beyond our experience. Knowing God is about experiencing God not intellectual understanding.

Moreover there's special revelation, and natural revelation (reason) and Jesus' modeling divine character.

God is beyond the understanding of the human intellect but that doesn't mean we are not given certain bits of info.


How do you ascertain, intellectually, that your "experience" is indeed that of an encounter with a divine entity at all, much less one particular one?

What self-critical processes have you engaged in to rule out the possibility that your experiences could simply be the result of confirmation bias, wishful thinking, sociocultural influences, or groupthink?

Metacrock said...

There is no point in saying God transcends human understanding and then turning around and implying God can be rendered in terms of human understanding.

Yes there is. If you bothered to read the literature you would nkow it. this is not something I mad eup thsi si the appraoch taken by the orthodox chruch that is exaclty the words they sue. that' sthe way it should be said. It's the way underhill sys it' sth eaproaoch taken ever signle major wringer on Christain mysticsm.

you are supposed to feel the paradox. I'm surprised that an eastern thinker lie you can't understand this. you jabber this Buddhist stuff that to the average western person sounds like bull shit then talk about like it makes perfect sesne but when you encounter the same kind of love of paradox in western bard (actually mid eastern) you can't get it.



If you (Metacrock) instead would consistently say that these philosophical and scientific terms, concepts, constructions, and phrases were merely crude placeholders that only approximate a limited human understanding of God, much of the criticism would have to be rephrased in a more constructive way.

I have said that. If you can't undersatnd that I'm echoing a tradition then you apparently can't understand much that I say. You don't into a tradition by never referring to it. everyone who seeks to draw others into his tradition exposes them to the parlance of that tradition.

we are not actually saying different things here. not by much.


The notion that it is somehow important to defend "God" in a very narrow range of academic terms may have an appeal to some, but it is bound to lead to needless confusion. If people want to set up limits on what they will or will not consider or define their experiences in particular frameworks, then that is their choice. Why does it matter if some people don't think God is worth considering seriously because it won't fit within their paradigm? Why is it necessary to try to make it seem worthy of their time or consideration if they are unable or unwilling to seriously consider alternative paradigms? And if they are, why not simply start there?


nothing really matters but me didn't you know that? It doesn't matter. all that matters is that I am happy. but beset with the illusion that I want others to find God it might be a good idea to talk bout him once and while. anyone can't get it through his head the distinction bewteen intellectual knowledge which can't be exhaustive and personal experience which can take kn things it can't formulate rationally really shouldn't be talking about this stuff at all.

Dave said...

So you are back to the "if you don't agree with me it's because you aren't smart enough or are too ignorant approach", huh? I see you've used it above too. You aren't "drawing anyone into" a tradition with the approach you are using, you are confirming that the tradition seems antiquated and irrelevant in their eyes. They may be predisposed to rejecting it a priori, but I don't see how this tactic is going to act like an invitation. That's why I asked what the purpose is supposed to be. You can have your own reasons, as this is your own platform, I am just wondering what the goal is.

Pleading by reference to tradition here is going to seem disingenuous anyway since you will dismiss it when it doesn't suit you. That's not a knock. Tradition is always too big and will have contradictory strands, but it will all sound the same to someone on the outside. You might see a continuity within certain parts of tradition, but you can't trace that out for those who aren't familiar with the history. The folks you are debating have no reason to accept the tradition from which you are arguing in the first place, so what credibility or authority do you think you gain by appealing to it?

You want to try to argue using science and philosophy, but then you fall back to tradition when that is challenged. That is just not going to be convincing. If you cannot make a compelling and cogent case outside of tradition, using other language and concepts that translate well and maintain fidelity to the original sense and meaning, then yes, it does become a pointless exercise. They have no reason to just accept the validity of tradition on its own merits, so you can't expect them to be impressed if you fall back on it when they challenge you.

In any case, there is a difference between paradox, inconsistency, and illogic. You are conflating my disagreement with your approach (and those in your tradition who support it) of trying to make God a logical construction with the notion of paradox. That is false and misleading. Paradox in religion in the sense you implied is something like "God exists and doesn't exist", wherein God is existence itself but not a thing that exists. Or that God is simultaneously transcendent and immanent. These show the inadequacy of strict reason and logic in approaching the mystical. However, claiming that God is beyond left-brain, reductive analysis and then arguing that God can be reasonably and accurately described, even proven, through such analysis is not a proper paradox. It is internally inconsistent within its own framework and doesn't point beyond itself.

This is where I took the final paragraph of my comment, to which you did not reply. In any case, this is more evidence of the problems of classical theism and God as a person with ultimately superlative qualities. Do you really think it sounds here in your comments that you are arguing that this image of God is just an inaccurate placeholder or shorthand to the people who replied to you, or that they are taking it as such? If you keep insisting on arguing for God within such frameworks, such as God being infinite (rather than being beyond any notion of measurement, infinite or otherwise), you will keep ending up in the same place in your arguments, telling those who question you, "I am brilliant you can't get your stupid mind around that too bad.

Metacrock said...

So you are back to the "if you don't agree with me it's because you aren't smart enough or are too ignorant approach", huh? I see you've used it above too. You aren't "drawing anyone into" a tradition with the approach you are using, you are confirming that the tradition seems antiquated and irrelevant in their eyes. They may be predisposed to rejecting it a priori, but I don't see how this tactic is going to act like an invitation. That's why I asked what the purpose is supposed to be. You can have your own reasons, as this is your own platform, I am just wondering what the goal is.

I never said anything like that. you are just over reacting. the truth of it is you are not read in the tradition. the truth you are trying to put out valance of stuff that I don't have time to deal with and harp on things that are not essential just to look like I can't handle opposing views.

In connection wtih being mocked and radionuclide told that I don't understand anything I'm not god an blabbed all that. I'm not suppossed to react to it?

this is not an adult way to dealing with differences.

Metacrock said...

Mike D.

"How do you ascertain, intellectually, that your "experience" is indeed that of an encounter with a divine entity at all, much less one particular one?"

(1) there is no such thing as a divien entity." God is not one of many. so you don't fine "a god" and "a god there" there can only be one. that's deductive reasoning. that one is being itself. so to be in being is to encounter God ,thus we all do.

(2)The result of religious experience tells us so

(3)the nature of these experience especially their results and their universality forms a co-determinate to God ust as a footprint is the trace of whomever was there, fingerprints are marks that go with the fingers so the religious experience is the trace or track of God.

(4)we know this by the result, by the historical association and by the content of the exerciser.

these are shorts references to ideas I have developed and elaborated upon in numerous posts on this blog and on message boards.


"What self-critical processes have you engaged in to rule out the possibility that your experiences could simply be the result of confirmation bias, wishful thinking, sociocultural influences, or groupthink?"

the old atheist buzz word "confirmation basis" that means when a theist says something it's biased but when an atheist says something it's super intelligence at work.

what process:

(1) deduction
(2) abduction
(3) empirical research
(4) meditation
(5) Maoist self criticism
(6) prayer and fssting

Metacrock said...

also tossing the I ching.

Metacrock said...

say Mike what processes have you undertaken to wake yourself up from atheist brain washing?

Metacrock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Metacrock, for some reason you've not taken the time to understand what I wrote--you are reflexively reacting not reflecting and responding. I am not offended, but I just don't have the interest or the time for that. I was trying to help you out, but if you want to keep using the same approach, that is your choice. Best of luck with it. My suggestions will be there if you have any use for them.

Metacrock said...

Dave there is nothing illogical about saying "God is beyond our understanding" then saying we can know some things about God like the fact that he exits. This is the case with my knowledge of physics. Physics is beyond my understanding but I know it exits.

you keep talking about my approach need to be changed the thing you actually say reflect not approach but basic content. The things you say reflect a sense of feeling against the notion of personal experience of the divine.

There may be a generational thing. I may be so old and out date that I'm like the old fogies that couldn't relate to hippies. I doubt it. I think it has more to do with certain assumptions that were removed from learning in the Reagan years and other assumptions that enable people to obey and become regimented and technology oriented.

Metacrock said...

For one thing saying "that's beyond my understanding" could be a matter of lack of exposure. I never said we can't understand some aspect of God if we are exposed to it and especially if God tell us about it.

That guy what was doing that flaming, he was not exploring ideas. He was here to shut down what I"m trying to do with the blog. He tired to create the impression of a big thinker but he didn't respond to arguments I made, he didn't listen and he harped on trivial matters that should not be a barrier to understanding.

Metacrock said...

"God is acting on your soul all the time, whether you have spiritual sensations or not."

Evelyn Underhill


Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/evelyn_underhill.html#ktfmUjPUm7b2IHtq.99

Metacrock said...

"This is where I took the final paragraph of my comment, to which you did not reply. In any case, this is more evidence of the problems of classical theism and God as a person with ultimately superlative qualities. Do you really think it sounds here in your comments that you are arguing that this image of God is just an inaccurate placeholder or shorthand to the people who replied to you, or that they are taking it as such? If you keep insisting on arguing for God within such frameworks, such as God being infinite (rather than being beyond any notion of measurement, infinite or otherwise), you will keep ending up in the same place in your arguments, telling those who question you, "I am brilliant you can't get your stupid mind around that too bad."

Infinite is beyond a notion of measurement. I am being to suspect that neither nor that other guy know what infinite means. Some very stupid people think it means time running perpetually. infinity is in all directions. It's not time running forever. Eternal doesn't mean in time. Although ti is open question weather or not time runs eternally or that eternity is beyond time.

you are acting like it's a done deal just become some conventional wisdom no the inter has developed a truism about it.

anyone time someone tells me that my I don't understand stuff I've spent my life studying I will tell I'm brilliant and they can fuck off.

you have yet to get it through your head the distinction bewteen anthropomorphic and consciousness, which is trans personal. I say Go dis interpersonal you are limiting what that means.

It's more limiting to saw off the knowing caring purposeful God in the name of statuary cool new post modern bull shit than to try and understanding that consciousness can have higher levels.

you want a God who will not judge you. so try to put him to sleep.

Dave said...

You should know better than to tell people what they believe or what they want, but it appears to be a method of deflecting or defaming what they write. It isn't necessary. Even with your spate of recent comments, you still haven't responded in a way that suggests you appreciate what I wrote or care to do so. That is fine. You have no obligation to do so. But you are doubling down on the combative attitude displayed throughout the comment thread. I visit out of interest, but this kind of thing is not interesting to me.

You have suggested or stated that I am an ignorant "literalist" who has insufficient knowledge of philosophy, theology, Christianity, and the workings of culture as well as an atheist who doesn't want to be judged by God. Apparently I am also hypocritical when comparing Christianity and Buddhism, my views on religion can be summarized as post-modern bullshit, and I have lost (or never developed) an ability to think for myself because of indoctrination of the culture starting in the 1980s by the Republican Party.

I am not seeking a retraction or an apology, assuming you would consider either, but perhaps you might consider why you would suggest such things. What purpose they were supposed to serve, and what you expected to be the outcome. Again, until you calm down and stop over-reacting, I have no reason to visit or participate. It's just not something that I am interested in reading or replying to. It has no value to me, and I don't see what value it has to others.

Metacrock said...

Well Dave you are not really thinking about the over all picture. I feel that your comments were totally adversarial. You didn't say "here are some constructive things' you started in plowing away everything I believe in is old and antiquated and no good. You have never actually given a reason. I think it really boils down to it doesn't suite your outlook.We don't share the same outlook.

I have definitely felt attacked. I know you say "I am not trying to attack" but then what do you do after I get this long string of posts by different people that are obviously meant to attack. You come on a bunch more. You write a huge amount as though you are trying to flood my in box.

I appreciate that you are want to comment on the blog. I truly apologize if you felt that i was including you. I defiantly don't feel that way. I respect your intelligence a great deal. I never meant to make you feel that way.

Dave said...

Well Dave you are not really thinking about the over all picture.

I am. I stepped in precisely to suggest that your approach wasn't working, and to offer an alternative. You in turn replied to a mangled interpretation of what I wrote. You over-reacted from a defensive making the same claims you do against anyone that disagrees with you on these issues. I see the picture very clearly.

I feel that your comments were totally adversarial.

That is because you were and possibly still are reacting from a defensive emotion posture. You see someone politely suggesting your approach or assumptions may not be working and you see red. Your "reading" of my examples about paradox are evidence of that. You couldn't even tell which was supposed to be a proper paradox and which merely inconsistency. You just went off on all of it assuming the worst.

You didn't say "here are some constructive things' you started in plowing away everything I believe in is old and antiquated and no good. You have never actually given a reason.

First, I shouldn't have to wave a white flag. Nothing I wrote was insulting. My first comment questioned the purpose and usefulness of the framework of the arguments in the thread. My second made this plain, where again I said I was questioning the purpose and usefulness of your approach.

Second, I never said everything you believe is old and antiquated and no good. I questioned specifically certain frameworks, assumptions, and approaches that seemed ineffective. Again, the very fact you would even now write that this is what you think I was doing is evidence of what I am talking about. Someone disagrees with you, especially someone you label as an atheist, and no matter how thoughtful, polite, or constructive they are, you assume it's all about trying to take away your beliefs or making you out to be stupid and uneducated.

I think it really boils down to it doesn't suite your outlook.We don't share the same outlook.

No, what it boils down to is that you are paranoid about being persecuted by atheists. That you have an immediate knee-jerk reaction to people questioning certain religious assumption. And that you will defend your self image as a brilliant philosopher against any perceived attack, real or imaginary.

Certainly your personal history, which you have shared online, as well as your antagonism and agitation with various online atheist groups and websites, can explain why this may be so. That's why I wrote before that I wasn't taking offense at your replies. But that doesn't justify such reactions either. Simply having different perspectives doesn't account for your responses. And saying so doesn't change them, or the fact that they haven't been amended.

What it may also boil down to is that you assume I've somehow "gone back to being an atheist", when I've made it quite clear I've never had an experience of the presence or reality of God, whether I go to church, get baptized or whatever else. I have hardly changed at all in the past few years on my views about religion, I just have a deeper appreciation of the fact that my interest in religion comes more from intellectual curiosity than any real spirituality.

You can label me however you wish, but it is ironic that when I agree with you, I am so intelligent and well-versed in comparative religion and the writings of the mystics, but if I am seen as an atheist who doesn't agree with you, it is the opposite. I personally have never claimed to be an expert on any such matters, so what someone writes about my competence in these respects online is of little consequence. However, the change is striking.

(continued)

Dave said...

I have definitely felt attacked. I know you say "I am not trying to attack" but then what do you do after I get this long string of posts by different people that are obviously meant to attack. You come on a bunch more.

Of course you felt attacked. See above. But that doesn't mean that you were attacked or that I was writing in an adversarial way.

You write a huge amount as though you are trying to flood my in box.

So writing too much is a sign of an attack? I was trying to be clear and articulate to avoid precisely this kind of brouhaha.

I appreciate that you are want to comment on the blog. I truly apologize if you felt that i was including you. I defiantly don't feel that way. I respect your intelligence a great deal. I never meant to make you feel that way.

So exactly which characterization directed to me (as I outlined previously) are you retracting? To be honest, I would prefer no answer to that. This is tiresome. I've tried to be helpful in my comments, but the whole mess keeps dragging on without progress. I resign from this conversation.

Metacrock said...

It's much simpler, again, to say that discursive, analytical "left brain" thinking is going to fold back in on itself and is inadequate in and of itself for contemplation of God (or Atman, or Buddha-nature, or whatever). That it must be fused with the experience of so-called "right brain" creative, holistic, and intuitive perception. If that means some will then discount the value of or desist in pursuing the spiritual qualities of human experience, then that is that. But at least a lot of quibbling over logical constructions that miss the point can be avoided. In fact, one can make a somewhat intriguing case that one needs what may seem absurd to strict rationality and logic in order to break out of the circuits into which our minds are routinely locked (Zen koan, anyone?). Again, people may dimiss it or diss it, but at least what they are rejecting would be a more accurate impression of what is being discussed.

that is obviously what I've been saying. that's exactly what it means to say "it's not about words on paper but experience."