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What Is God?
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Fathom
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:41 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

All_Brains wrote:
brainout wrote:
No, All-Brains, you don't understand what I meant but Fathom did. It's not magical, it's a principle of truth, of equilibrium.  Of balancing.  Of zeroing out, bringing home, uniting both ends of a spectrum, of Daniel 9:24 and Ephesians 1:23.  Fathom "gets" all that.  It would take longer to explain it to you.

Truth has properties, which "zero" evidences.  So I'm not explaining further, since Fathom already has begun to see it.  I myself didn't see it until answering kafir forever in here the other day, with the "If A, then -A" Hupostasis postulate (of Divine Decree).


Oh believe me, I do understand it! I just don't accept it.


But that's just cool. When we speak of concepts they most certainly belong in the realm of belief/disbelief since not enough evidence exists either way to prove them.

But where would we be today if scientists did not conceptualize and believe in the outcome of their work? And how many scientific theories fell to the wayside due to a lack of evidence to support them, or due to hitting a brick wall with them?

No matter how you look at it, faith exists even for the scientific atheist. If scientists simply didn't believe in the end result of their work, what motivates them to continue?

Faith does not only exist in the mind of the beholder, because in one way or another, it exists in us all in one form or another.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fathom wrote:
All_Brains wrote:
brainout wrote:
No, All-Brains, you don't understand what I meant but Fathom did. It's not magical, it's a principle of truth, of equilibrium.  Of balancing.  Of zeroing out, bringing home, uniting both ends of a spectrum, of Daniel 9:24 and Ephesians 1:23.  Fathom "gets" all that.  It would take longer to explain it to you.

Truth has properties, which "zero" evidences.  So I'm not explaining further, since Fathom already has begun to see it.  I myself didn't see it until answering kafir forever in here the other day, with the "If A, then -A" Hupostasis postulate (of Divine Decree).


Oh believe me, I do understand it! I just don't accept it.


But that's just cool. When we speak of concepts they most certainly belong in the realm of belief/disbelief since not enough evidence exists either way to prove them.

But where would we be today if scientists did not conceptualize and believe in the outcome of their work? And how many scientific theories fell to the wayside due to a lack of evidence to support them, or due to hitting a brick wall with them?

No matter how you look at it, faith exists even for the scientific atheist. If scientists simply didn't believe in the end result of their work, what motivates them to continue?

Faith does not only exist in the mind of the beholder, because in one way or another, it exists in us all in one form or another.


Reasonable! Well-put and agreed! Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All_Brains wrote:
Fathom wrote:
All_Brains wrote:
Fathom wrote:
All_Brains wrote:
brainout wrote:
Yeah, All-Brains and Mutley, Zero means that there is something BEYOND what you can see and measure, that's why.  Wow, you both really walked into THAT one!  LOL!

Thanks, Fathom!  You're fast!


How is the zero beyond what we can see??? We invented it!!!


Did we?

If nothing existed in a specific place at a specific point in time before the existence of mankind, was zero then not represented?

Or, does zero only exist because we acknowledge it?

Which is true?


Yes, we did.

And it was not from the moment we invented the zero, but from the moment that we perceived the existence of nothingness.


What you are telling me is that the concept of nothing did not exist until mankind discovered it. But what of animals which existed before mankind who, while tracking their prey, lose sight of it and observe nothing there to attack?

I'm sorry, but it is impossible for me to logically believe that mankind conceptualized nothingness. When something is not evident, then it is not evident to everything.


HI Fathom

I am sure many animals saw falling apples and all sort of fruit from trees, yet none of them came up with the concept of gravity!


Do you say this because the animals never wrote it down on a term paper or something? I assure you animals know and understand basic gravity just as surely as we do, for if they did not then why would the mountain lion, for example, hesitate and re-consider jumping the 38 feet from the boulder to the ground below?

It's because he knows and understands the result. It's a basic understanding to all living things. They may not vocalize or illustrate an understanding of gravity, but for a certainty they are fully aware it exists.

All_Brains wrote:


My example very much resembles the tree that fell and there was no one around to hear it....The sound still indeed exists, but is irrelevant! At least to us humans, who are heavily involved in this discussion.

For if the human race did not exist, such reflection of ideas on world events would too cease to exist!

Just like God needed humans to exist, nothingness has become something through this very conversation.

I hope you get what I am trying to say.


I understand your meaning, but my point is that mankind does not have a lock on understanding the nature of things. Since we do not have the ability to effectively communicate with animals, we have no way of knowing for certain just what kind of intellectual capabilities they actually have in terms of understanding the nature of things.

The thing that does indeed make mankind unique over other living creatures is our ability to be creative through imagination. With this understanding, a case could be made that any god is a created construct of human imagination, since we find little or no evidence of any other living creature demonstrating a belief in any god.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fathom wrote:
The thing that does indeed make mankind unique over other living creatures is our ability to be creative through imagination. With this understanding, a case could be made that any god is a created construct of human imagination, since we find little or no evidence of any other living creature demonstrating a belief in any god.


Interesting point, there, Fathom.  I have always held the position that god is a figment of Man's imagination, but I never saw in in those terms before.  Surprised
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fathom wrote:
Mutley wrote:
"Nothing" does not exist. It's not an actual thing, it's a mental construct used to represent the lack of something. At most, we can say that it is referring to a state.


A state of what? Being? Existence?


No. A state of non existence.

Fathom wrote:

If you can claim that "nothing" exists as "an actual thing," despite having no evidence to support its existence, how then can you claim that a God could not exist when the circumstances regarding its evidence are exactly the same as "nothing?"

How can you be so certain that "nothing" can exist, yet claim God cannot?


You clearly did not understand my post.

Mutley wrote:

Fathom wrote:

What of the early primate who, after eating all his bananas, discovered there is nothing left to eat?


I don't think the primate came up with a concept of "nothing" or zero, it just knew it didn't have any more bananas. And, like I said, the concept of zero always refers to something. Zero bananas. But notice, it's never zero nothings


The postulation that the primate has no bananas is no different than if you yourself had no bananas; both of you have nothing, and both of you know it.

Just because we can write a symbol of "0" on a piece of paper does not mean we have defined the existence of nothing any more than the primate. At the end of the day, both you and the primate have no bananas, and both of you are aware of this "nothing" in your hands.[/quote]

Well then it's a mental construct that the primate is capable of inventing as well. But it's still a mental concept.

Fathom wrote:

What you seem to be suggesting is that a construct of what is obvious somehow denoted a greater awareness. I put it to you that a hungry primate is every bit as aware of not having any bananas as you would be.


Well then it's a mental construct that the primate is capable of inventing as well. But it's still a mental concept.

Fathom wrote:

If "nothing" can exist without evidence, then how can you claim that a God cannot exist without evidence?


Who says nothing can exist without evidence? I called "nothing" a concept
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mutley wrote:
Fathom wrote:
Mutley wrote:
"Nothing" does not exist. It's not an actual thing, it's a mental construct used to represent the lack of something. At most, we can say that it is referring to a state.


A state of what? Being? Existence?


No. A state of non existence.

Fathom wrote:

If you can claim that "nothing" exists as "an actual thing," despite having no evidence to support its existence, how then can you claim that a God could not exist when the circumstances regarding its evidence are exactly the same as "nothing?"

How can you be so certain that "nothing" can exist, yet claim God cannot?


You clearly did not understand my post.


Agreed. I misread your post. Disregard my argument.  

Mutley wrote:
Fathom wrote:
Mutley wrote:
Fathom wrote:

What of the early primate who, after eating all his bananas, discovered there is nothing left to eat?


I don't think the primate came up with a concept of "nothing" or zero, it just knew it didn't have any more bananas. And, like I said, the concept of zero always refers to something. Zero bananas. But notice, it's never zero nothings


The postulation that the primate has no bananas is no different than if you yourself had no bananas; both of you have nothing, and both of you know it.

Just because we can write a symbol of "0" on a piece of paper does not mean we have defined the existence of nothing any more than the primate. At the end of the day, both you and the primate have no bananas, and both of you are aware of this "nothing" in your hands.


Well then it's a mental construct that the primate is capable of inventing as well. But it's still a mental concept.


Agreed, it is a mental concept. But the concept itself represents nothingness, which is something which is basic to the senses of all living creatures. Because of this, I do not place much import on the concept as showing mankind having any greater knowledge of nothingness than the primate.

Mutley wrote:
Fathom wrote:

What you seem to be suggesting is that a construct of what is obvious somehow denoted a greater awareness. I put it to you that a hungry primate is every bit as aware of not having any bananas as you would be.


Well then it's a mental construct that the primate is capable of inventing as well. But it's still a mental concept.


Same answer as I posted above.

Mutley wrote:
Fathom wrote:

If "nothing" can exist without evidence, then how can you claim that a God cannot exist without evidence?


Who says nothing can exist without evidence? I called "nothing" a concept


If you can put a name to anything, it exists, even if it's just a concept.

But we are not addressing the bigger question here:

"What is reality?"
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fathom wrote:


If you can put a name to anything, it exists, even if it's just a concept.


Except, in the case pf "nothing". That's the only exception, because it refers to a state of non existence, and therefore does not exist.

Fathom wrote:

But we are not addressing the bigger question here:

"What is reality?"


What ever is beyond the concepts that we use to cut up reality, and the labels that we apply to the parts.

Quote:

A second quality of a concept is that it is static whereas reality is in flux. We use the same name for Niagara Falls, but that body of water is constantly changing. You've got the word "river," but the water there is constantly flowing. You've got one word for your "body," but the cells in your body are constantly being renewed. Let's suppose, for example, there is an enormous wind outside and I want the people in my country to get an idea of what an American gale or hurricane is like. So I capture it in a cigar box and I go back home and say, "Look at this." Naturally, it isn't a gale anymore, is it? Once it's captured. Or if I want you to get the feel of what the flow of a river is like and I bring it to you in a bucket. The moment I put into a bucket it has stopped flowing. The moment you put things into a concept, they stop flowing; they become static, dead. A frozen wave is not a wave. A wave is essentially movement, action; when you freeze it, it is not a wave. Concepts are always frozen. Reality flows. Finally, if we are to believe the mystics (and it doesn't take too much of an effort to understand this, or even believe it, but no one can see it at once), reality is whole, but words and concepts fragment reality. That is why it is so difficult to translate from one language to another, because each language cuts reality up differently. The English word "home" is impossible to translate into French or Spanish. "Casa" is not quite "home"; "home" has associations that are peculiar to the English language. Every language has untranslatable words and expressions, because we're cutting reality up and adding something or subtracting something and usage keeps changing. Reality is a whole and we cut it up to make concepts and we use words to indicate different parts. If you had never seen an animal in your life, for example, and one day you found a tail -- just a tail -- and somebody told you, "That's a tail," would you have any idea of what it was if you had no idea what an animal was?

Ideas actually fragment the vision, intuition, or experience of reality as a whole. This is what the mystics are perpetually telling us. Words cannot give you reality. They only point, they only indicate. You use them as pointers to get to reality. But once you get there, your concepts are useless. A Hindu priest once had a dispute with a philosopher who claimed that the final barrier to God was the word "God," the concept of God. The priest was quite shocked by this, but the philosopher said, "The ass that you mount and that you use to travel to a house is not the means by which you enter the house. You use the concept to get there; then you dismount, you go beyond it." You don't need to be a mystic to understand that reality is something that cannot be captured by words or concepts. To know reality you have to know beyond knowing.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mutley wrote:
Fathom wrote:


If you can put a name to anything, it exists, even if it's just a concept.


Except, in the case pf "nothing". That's the only exception, because it refers to a state of non existence, and therefore does not exist.


Cogito, ergo sum.

Are the thoughts and images in our minds not real?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fathom wrote:
Mutley wrote:
Fathom wrote:


If you can put a name to anything, it exists, even if it's just a concept.


Except, in the case pf "nothing". That's the only exception, because it refers to a state of non existence, and therefore does not exist.


Cogito, ergo sum.

Are the thoughts and images in our minds not real?


Wow. Great question. I'm getting interested. Actually, your thoughts and images is all that can ever be real for you, (or in fact, me too, for myself). For YOU, there can't be a world outside of your perception of that world, or more plainly put, your idea for that world. Because, ultimately, the stimulus means little until one interprets it, and so therefore, along those lines, one is creating their own reality via their reaction to the stimulus and therefore reality is created by the individual. But in my opinion, some eastern thought goes too far when it suggests that your own consciousness creates "ultimate", "objective" reality, because what they are saying is that not only do you create the reaction to the stimulus, which is what our lives come down to, IMHO, but they go further to say that you create the stimulus itself. And that's where I bail.

I do believe the tree made a sound whether anybody heard it or not, because I distance reality from my perception of it. And there's a very important reason why. Because if one wants to see reality, one has to remove themselves (self interest) from the perception, which means that one can not take past perceptions and drag them in to the current observation. Therefore, one no longer considers good and bad in terms of good for me or bad for me, but instead, leaves their own personal issues out of the equation. Is a snake good or bad? Well, I suppose it's good when it helps with a rat infestation, and bad when it bites your leg. But is it ever really either? Of course not. It's a snake. It does what it does. It can't be imperfect in it's actions because it can only do what it does. It's actually perfect. It's completely in line with what it should be doing. This is why animals can't sin. They can't be imperfect, in terms of conduct judgment.

It's kind of like the interesting concept that says that sin was created when Adam and Eve understood what it was. The understanding of the concept itself, suddenly created the sin. That's why animals can't sin, because they don't understand the concept. So maybe paradise was before they understood "self judgment" and judgment of their situation (embarrassment about nudity, for example), which seems to be described in Genesis
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, in extension to that, it seems like the ability to judge one's self, would possibly be a sort of God like quality, as per the OT, because now there was a mental observer, and a mental observed. Therefore, one could judge themselves, and this ability led to supposed God like attributes.

Quote:

I suggest another exercise now. Would you write down on a piece of paper any brief way you would describe yourself -- for example, businessman, priest, human being, Catholic, Jew, anything.

Some write, I notice, things like, fruitful, searching pilgrim, competent, alive, impatient, centered, flexible, reconciler, lover, member of the human race, overly structured. This is the fruit, I trust, of observing yourself. As if you were watching another person.

But notice, you've got "I" observing "me." This is an interesting phenomenon that has never ceased to cause wonder to philosophers, mystics, scientists, psychologists, that the "I" can observe "me." It would seem that animals are not able to do this at all. It would seem that one needs a certain amount of intelligence to be able to do this.



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