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Dependence on God

 
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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:15 am    Post subject: Dependence on God Reply with quote

Now, it has often seemed strange to me when Christian creedal standards refer to the eternal Son as "begotten, not made." Calvin has a lot to say about our innate sense that we have been created, the sensus divinitatis or deitas, but I think he is perfectly right in a way only because of how perfectly wrong he is in another.

It is in fact true that, without exception, each and every person on this Earth has been created--by our parents. It is our human, physical, non-transcendent (or non-divine, or whatever) parents that have caused our existence. Now yes, theoretically, there was a time when non-sentient patterns of molecules assembled into a stable enough loop to further differentiate within the loop and give rise to the primal life that would ascend unto our intelligence (and beyond?). But so our true first parents were too created--by reality, if by accident, or if not then by an intent less conscious than abstract or metaphorical, perchance. But anyway the point remains that anyone alive nowadays can legitimately "feel" created, but this is not the same thing as saying we can actually "feel" like we were created from the ur-darkness of pure nothingness (no less!) by an entity "Who dwells in an unapproachable light, Whom no one has seen or can see."
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

]Interesting post and one that can be legitimately explored from a purely subjective standpoint vis a vis what I simply "feel" about how and why I come to be here. Yes I feel created by my parents, biologically I know this to be the case and my memories tend to support this, but onion-skin like at yet lower levels I feel another 'creation-debt' and this one is ex-nihilo ..... and even the physics of the day demands it be so.
The 'why is there something as opposed to nothing' question is one which cannot fail ultimately to have a spiritual dimension as contemplation on the subject pulls one inexorably closer to the 'how do I come to be here' facet and the whole becomes subtly permeated with our inherent sense of being a somehow 'created' entity. This is akin to the parallel sensation that ones mind and body are separate, that the body can be discarded without sentiment but that the mind above all should be able to continue. The 'white light in the sky' aspect is [sorry about this Mighara and I don't mean by you Wink] I think a diversion, a dumbing-down ploy used to discredit the idea that Creation based ideas can be given any serious thought whatsoever. Most serious thinking around how we might come to be here has I think developed to a much more sophisticated level than 'the white haired old man' avatar of God and would rather I think fall into the realm of the ineffable than the Tolkienesque.

When considering God I think in this day and age it is perfectly fair and respectable to move the goal-posts where thou wilt and not to be tied to the 'dogma' espoused by any particular religion. In this sense one can create the God that meets the particular 'dependence' of ones own needs. If I define my God as being 'that which cannot be described' or 'that which includes both the sets of everything that is and everything that is not' then if it satisfies my criteria, and if it enriches my life thereby then who is to gainsay me. The days of proseletysing about the nature of god, the hammering of your square God into my round hole [yeah, sorry about that Wink] are, or should be, over. The ineffable Glory of the Creation is beyond the scope of the human brain to comprehend [the post-human one, who can say] - physics shows us this, and it is up to each of us to make our peace with the fact of our existence as best we may.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I actually do think that there is a possible, concrete, non-mystical or whatever description of our sense of having been created in some deeper sense, but it ultimately doesn't require that creation have been a "voluntary" act of God, or even an automatic emanation from God, or so it does not require the will of God at all, but occurs in a perhaps stranger, if simpler, way. Some time after I came up with the idea, though, I found out that a philosopher, Nicholas Rescher, had apparently come up with a virtually identical, if internally much more extensive, argument for the same kind of conclusion, so I will just cite his book "Axiogenesis" to explain myself for the time being.

EDIT:

I guess basically the idea goes: reality is made up of these sentence-like things called "propositions." To be created is to be caused to exist, so deep existential causation refers to propositions about one's existence in the abstract being made true. That is, ex hypothesi, God does not assemble our existence from what already exists but simply decides whether, "X exists," is true, and presto, if He decides, "Yes," X is and is created.

But now if we wonder why or how God exists, it will do no good to say that God is a necessary being. For necessity must be defined from possibility, that's just the semantics of modality. Possibility-talk is a special transfiguration of our "if" talk, and the concept of "if" comes way before the concept of necessity, except in the axiomatic context. Saying that God is necessary is therefore either to say something that has to be proven, or it is to say that God's existence is axiomatic; and it can't be proved from the premises at hand; and it is not axiomatic. So, with regards to the question, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" applied even to God, the issue becomes, "Why are any propositions about existence true?" Now, if some of these are necessary, then some will be actually true, so we might invoke necessity not deductively but as an explanatory factor, but here we just suppose that there must be something that is somehow necessary and from which all else derives, but the specific features of this necessary source will be unknowable on this description alone. Or, rather, it is regularly argued that this grounding must be God, but once God is explained as anything like a Trinity with an Incarnate element or a mystical Oneness beyond all else or a spirit immanent in the world or whatever, it is difficult to see how such is without grounding itself. It would be easier if sheer abstract necessity generated actuality in general, from which particular actuality would be derived, than if a personal force were the cause.

However, the good is that which ought to exist, so to speak. So if there is an axiom of reality according to which the good ought to exist, and since whatever ought to be is possible in the abstract, and since some possibilities of good require other possibilities to already be converted into actualities as their presumable context, it follows that the possibility of moral existence is sufficient to cause the actual existence of physical reality, as the space in which that which ought to exist, does exist.

In other words, abstract reality "creates" physical reality by the automatic logic, not of emanation from itself, but of abstract moral determination. Now, my own succeeding contribution to this idea of axiogenesis is that there is a music-like geometry to the moral force of reality, so that the specific construction of physical macro-objects from string-theoretic space is a reflection of the geometry of morality in the abstract, into the structure of physical objects. But that's a novel for another time haha...
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, I don't have that sense. I don't even have the sense of being literally created. I just am, in a purely egotistical way. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not going to pretend to understand even a fraction of that Mighara - but I am going to cut to the chase and persue this idea of our 'sense of being created'. We either appear spontaneously (ie no Primary Cause) or we are created (implies by definition a causal agent, even be it by apparent spontaneity resulting from the thought of God). Some of us seem (Av not withstanding Wink ) to have a sense of being created (possibly it runs side by side with a sense that existence has a purpose) although no onus is thereby placed on us to say (or even speculate) on what by.
I've survived many years by trusting my senses ...... they've done well by me, and the question I ask is why should I stop trusting them now? When they tell me that I've been created or that's division exists between my mind and body why would they lie to me? I think it's an easy argument to break down in fairness but at least it gives a starting point from which I might begin to get a handle on the topic.

(Where are you Wos when I need you? Laughing )
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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible that there is a separation between what we usually think of as the mind, and what we usually think of as the body, but does this advert to immaterial spirituality as a matter of course? It seems that the most fitting "physical" description of our mind is not that it is a "function" of the brain in some abstract sense, but that the specific electrical fields that go through it are the physical substrate of conscious episodes. After all a brain is not conscious merely by existing, even intact, but must be supplied with blood, oxygen, etc. So obviously our consciousness is not our brain, or a "function" of the brain as such, but a result of an interaction between our brains and fields of electrical information. But now we will, in appreciating this, I think feel that the electrical side of our existence is the spiritual side, with the neurochemical aspect being the one more attuned to the notion of classical "material," and yet even so none of this really ends up moving us outside of space and time.

Now, on another level, the very division between space and time itself points to a division between "mind" and "matter" that is not only intuitive but can be invoked to discursively account for why the brain and perhaps even its electrical fields are not identical to the us of our inner consciousness. However...

... what is it to sense that one has been created?

To flip the question around, what is it to be created? It seems that the issue is over the causing of existence. Is my existence caused? Of course it is! However, in what way? To say "from nothingness" is to say nothing. The word "nothingness" is a massacre of the words "no" and "thing" and the suffix "-ness." It can be used aesthetically well enough, but in pure logical terms it is absurd. So, it means nothing to say that we are created from nothingness. Moreover, it is infinitely easier to say that "to create" means "to alter the possible so that it is actual." After all if, before we existed, we were not possible at all, this would be the same thing as to say that we were impossible, which means we could not have come to be after all.

But now is this the kind of thing that can be sensed? That rather depends on what "sensed" means, now.

Initial options that come to my mind:
I have a feeling that I was changed from a mere possibility into a reality.
I have an unshakable belief that this is so.
I have a distinct form of sense-perception, in addition to sight, hearing, etc., in which I "see" that I exist because my possibility was changed into an actuality by an outside source.

With regards to the third option, which is the strongest (not in the sense of having the most evidence or whatever for it but in making the most extreme claim), my initial reaction would be to say that all our sensations, sense-perceptions, senses... are in space and time, in fact all of our consciousness is in space and time, so how in the world(!) would it be possible for a sensation to be of the world of infinite possibility? And even if it was, how could it ever be focused enough to where we could pick out the fact that we ourselves had once dwelt in that domain, and had been transferred to the country of reality by an outside hand?

Now, the feeling might be, "I would not exist if God did not will that I exist." But are we claiming to have sensations of God's will? Or is this not rather a precept of interpretation that we apply to things, that we look at the normal sensations we have and read the "abnormal" deity into their presence somehow?

So perhaps the sense of being created is more like this unyielding conviction, like a basic premise in our reasoning. Such will even have peculiar emotional effects that supply the element of sensation to this "sense." However, it is still not the solution to the third option; so is it knowledge? Wittgenstein one time called these kinds of beliefs or judgments "hinges" on which our thought-worlds turn. We just do start out from somewhere in reasoning, and so some people start out from God, others from gods, others from no God or gods, etc. He said it is silly (or w/e) to try to "know" a hinge-claim to be true. Knowledge is gained from gleaning facts in the light of the hinges. But we can't "know" what knowledge is, in a way.

Well now I am not saying that I agree with Wittgenstein here, but I'll say that regardless, (A) belief in God is not incorrigible, and (B) incorrigibility, while an appealing description of basic truth or knowledge and its claim on our minds, is really not a necessary description of the matter. I find it a little difficult to see how a normal child, growing up, has a sense of depending on some incomprehensibly unified transcendent force, but it is easy to imagine children growing up and asking questions, like the question of causes back in time, or about the semi-designed appearance of nature, and so on, and arriving at answers to these questions that led to the formation of the concept of God as the ultimate cause and designer of things. So it seems unlikely that the concept of God really is simple and automatically given--to anyone.

Of course it has to be asked if all is as it seems, here, which brings us to the question--also of course--as to whether it seems so more to just me and similar thinkers in the first place? But now again I would press the definition of "sensing." It could be that there are incorrigible basic beliefs, but the experiences children have growing up don't on average require or presuppose God in the relevant way. I say this as someone who, even when very young (like 4-years-old I mean) was bizarrely preoccupied with various weighty matters. Did I have different "basic beliefs" than my less troubled peers? No, I just had different questions, which led me to theological conclusions that were much later but still out of line with the relevant average. However, here the thought of God and creation was more derivative, so a discursive and not an intuitive or sensed consideration.

So... "I have a sense of having come into reality from a realm of possibility, due to the will of a single deity," seems to me, then, to come down mostly to, "I feel this." That is, when someone entertains the statement, "I was transferred from possibility to actuality," they might feel some form of special positive emotion about it, and so they have a sort of "sensation" of it being true--a hope that it is, for one--but this is not quite so cognitive of a process of coming to believe in God as can be.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our senses lie to us all the time. Very Happy

If seeing was believing, no optical illusions could work. And as for thinking or feeling being believing...well...I could say they are, but only in a purely subjective sense. Very Happy

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