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  #1  
Old 07-12-2010, 10:25 AM
Linsinbigler's Avatar
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Default Truth, facts, philosophy and science

Brad and Giuliano,

If you don't mind, I am starting this because is a good discussion but would derail doinghiswill's thread "what is truth."

I am putting it in this category because in part it is philosophy but in part it is science and scientific philosophy. Particularly because we are getting into time and time travel (wormholes?) etc.
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2010, 10:26 AM
Linsinbigler's Avatar
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Default Re: Truth, facts, philosophy and science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuliano
My only "truth" however is that "I am."

Brad's response:
I post, therefore I am.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuliano
The "truth" of yesterday will be replaced by another tomorrow.

Brad's response:
Your statement above is one I’d use – and probably have, almost verbatim. There are facts on which we must agree (unless we resort to solipsism – which has to be the most ridiculous philosophical position ever posited). But as you say, yesterday’s truth will be replaced without any shadow of doubt if the truth is based on opinion or interpretation. I’d suggest that much of what you accept as a Christian now is not what you would have accepted if you’d lived in biblical times.

You asked Mirage what he meant by believing some truths to be relative and then you give the answer yourself. What the truth is for you will differ from what the truth is for me. But I would also say that what is true for you today may not be true for you tomorrow.
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2010, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Truth, facts, philosophy and science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
I post, therefore I am.

Giuliano's response:
Des Cartes had a fallacy. (I forgive him though.) The statement, "I think, therefore I am" is logically flawed. He has a hidden assumption in the statement "I think." He is already positing his existence in the first part. I cut to the chase: "I am." I also assert boldly that this is what makes me like God. I may not be God -- but this awareness of self? That is my central truth -- my only truth -- "I am." Don't ask me too much about other things -- for there I will give opinions.

Quote by Brad:
Your statement above is one I’d use – and probably have, almost verbatim. There are facts on which we must agree (unless we resort to solipsism – which has to be the most ridiculous philosophical position ever posited). But as you say, yesterday’s truth will be replaced without any shadow of doubt if the truth is based on opinion or interpretation. I’d suggest that much of what you accept as a Christian now is not what you would have accepted if you’d lived in biblical times.

Giuliano's response:
Others may shrink back from a philosophical brawl; but let me take you on. One of the greatest "truths" of the universe can be derived from scrutinizing the position you call "solipsism." It can't be proved, but I think it can be "experienced."

What is unsatisfactory about solipsism? It is not that it is "the most ridiculous philosophical positiion ever posited." No, no, no. That is an evasive answer. You have shown nothing, proved nothing; but the very irrationality of your statement speaks volumes. It is an entirely unsatisfactory state of being. I couldn't agree more; it is one which offends our sensibilities. This is a conversation I have longed to have with an atheist for years. Shall one of us start a thread? We may derail this one.

What would you do if you were God and aware of (1) yourself and (2) nothing else? Your emphatic (but emotional --ha) rejection of solipsism tells me that you do not think God would find a universe that existed solely within His own imagination satisfactory. I'll compliment you, and say I think you're like God in that respect. The question then would be (and the topic of thread) about what would God do?

Voltaire quipped something to the effect that if God did not exist, man would have to invent Him. That is a deeper statement that perhaps even Voltaire imagined! (Voltaire was a saint, too, in my book!) It might be an interesting challenge to see what kind of God you would invent. That's one thing I find so refreshing about some atheists by the way -- they reject so many ideas about God that are clearly silly and impossible. Such a God wouldn't be worth having -- or if He existed, He wouldn't be worth our time. My hope is that the Vatican derives benefits from its conversations with atheists. (But I remain -- well, extremely skeptical.)

Quote by Brad:
You asked Mirage what he meant by believing some truths to be relative and then you give the answer yourself. What the truth is for you will differ from what the truth is for me. But I would also say that what is true for you today may not be true for you tomorrow.

Response by Giuliano:
Yes, I couldn't wait. I was impatient.

But look at Genesis. The "creation" is said to be dark. By the account, God says, "Let there be light." There is then darkness for a while, and then there is light. By that account, what was "true" became "false." What was "false" becomes "true" -- half of it anyway. This is a function of the imagination. Surely, if man is like God (assuming there is a God, of course), the ability to make what is imaginary true is something mankind shares with God.

As for time? Have I misled you about my beliefs? The "past" doesn't exist. Neither does the "future." Time is an illusion. What is is. I don't believe in time except as as a convention. Time is a lie.

The past is dead and not real. The future, while perhaps created or influenced by us, exists only in the imagination. Only "now" exists. I don't believe in time travel. I don't believe in the past. I don't even believe in the future as being real -- I believe it becomes real when we make it real. I would be extremely interested in what kind of universe you would create if you would God. Shall we do that kind of thread?
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2010, 01:44 PM
Giuliano
 
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Default Re: Truth, facts, philosophy and science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linsinbigler View Post
Brad and Giuliano,

If you don't mind, I am starting this because is a good discussion but would derail doinghiswill's thread "what is truth."
Good plan.
Quote:
I am putting it in this category because in part it is philosophy but in part it is science and scientific philosophy. Particularly because we are getting into time and time travel (wormholes?) etc.
If there is such a thing as time....

I asked Brad but I'd be interested in anyone else's views as well.

The central question may be: If you were God and wanted to have something happen and perhaps to experience love with, what kind of beings would you find satisfying to have around?
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Truth, facts, philosophy and science

Mmmm, the term 'can of worms' comes to mind.

Personally speaking this is the kind of conversation I tend to prefer when the family's abed, something suitable is playing in the background and there's just me and Johnnie feeling comfortably numb (musical allusion) and tapping out some existential nonsense as the mood takes me.

Being on a mid-week wagon means that I'll probably have to do this solo which may improve, but possibly hinder, the direction of my train of thought.

When I’m disparaging about solipsism, I mean the belief that reality is (or even could be) a construct of one’s mind. If that is the case, then there is literally no room for discussion as nothing I say or do could ever be taken as a concrete basis for advancing an argument. You would always have to preface any comment with: ‘Assuming that I actually exist and assuming that x exists and assuming that…etc etc’. You may as well treat both sides of the discussion as you would a mathematical equation and remove the ‘assumption’ from both sides in which case the position becomes irrelevant.

But as it relates to God’s, wouldn’t His position be one of solipsism by default? Before he created anything, the mind of God was all that existed – the very definition of the term (incidentally, it’s one question that always puzzles atheists: why on earth did He bother to change the status quo and create existence? Did he get bored?). So to take that position oneself one could be said to be taking God’s role: ‘I am all that exists’ – in which case God would have no independent existence (maybe that’s where Voltaire comes in).

Having said that, I have no objection to someone using it in a sceptical sense (a la Descartes) as a starting point to see where that takes him.

And as to my ideal God? Any sort except a personal one, thanks for asking.
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2010, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Truth, facts, philosophy and science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuliano View Post
Good plan.

If there is such a thing as time....

I asked Brad but I'd be interested in anyone else's views as well.

The central question may be: If you were God and wanted to have something happen and perhaps to experience love with, what kind of beings would you find satisfying to have around?

Truth: God must be worshipped because He is worthy of it. Our place is to fill that "necessity"... otherwise, God would not be worshipped. Therefore, we must exist.

And I believe perfect worship requires us to have free will - otherwise we'd be drones. Free will inevitably leads to the fall of man - a fall requires us to be saved. So God saved us - and He did it perfectly because He is God. "Perfectly" would not be to snap His fingers and say "all better" - that equates to a rich man using his money to buy his way out of a problem. God became man to set a 'perfect' example i.e. lead by example. There is no greater humility than a perfect God becoming man... and no greater love than sacrificing Himself to save those He loved - it's real and it's perfect.


When a person encounters the Creator on the day of judgement, he/she will not ask "who are you" ... he will fall to his knees and be compelled to worship. "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." Romans 14:11 .... He will be in the presence of perfection (perfect love). Hell would be separation from that love.

In short, God did it the way it had to be done.

Last edited by Mark : 07-12-2010 at 08:57 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2010, 10:55 PM
Giuliano
 
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Default Re: Truth, facts, philosophy and science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
Truth: God must be worshipped because He is worthy of it. Our place is to fill that "necessity"... otherwise, God would not be worshipped. Therefore, we must exist.
What would make God worthy of our love? Because He wanted it? I don't think that would be satisfactory. That would impute selfishness to God.

I don't believe God created us either to worship Him or to love Him as the primary motivation. The facts seem to indicate otherwise. We are not forced to love Him, not forced to worship Him. We've all been around people who tried to force us to love them; it doesn't work well.

God wanted to manifest love, wanted beings He could love.

Quote:
And I believe perfect worship requires us to have free will - otherwise we'd be drones.
Free will is a necessary component I think because God wished to create beings worthy of His own Love. If He created puppets, they wouldn't be independent beings. The challenge would have been to create beings who had the potential to become as similar to Him as possible. The greater they could become, the greater Love God could manifest.

We may love inanimate objects, but in the end they're not very satisfactory as objects of our love since they're lacking free will. They have done nothing to be worthy of love. We can love animals to a higher degree, but they too lack something. We find, I think, that the greater the being and the more worth we can see in him, the more we love him.

God wanted to create man with the potential to become like Him. Man could never become God Himself since only God can create and only God is Eternal.

Quote:
Free will inevitably leads to the fall of man - a fall requires us to be saved. So God saved us - and He did it perfectly because He is God. "Perfectly" would not be to snap His fingers and say "all better" - that equates to a rich man using his money to buy his way out of a problem. God became man to set a 'perfect' example i.e. lead by example. There is no greater humility than a perfect God becoming man... and no greater love than sacrificing Himself to save those He loved - it's real and it's perfect.
You are appealing to the Bible more than I would. I think it's clear that if there is a God who loves us, He does not demand we love Him. Loving God is not required since He made it easy for us not to. Why then would God want us to love Him? I say because it's good for us, benefits us, makes us more like Him. The purpose of creation is made manifest when men and women learn how to love God and their fellow man. For then, not only does God continue to love His creation, His love is shown to be Just. The correctness of making man as He did is shown.

Quote:
When a person encounters the Creator on the day of judgement, he/she will not ask "who are you" ... he will fall to his knees and be compelled to worship. "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." Romans 14:11 .... He will be in the presence of perfection (perfect love). Hell would be separation from that love.

In short, God did it the way it had to be done.
I read that passage differently. Your idea has God becoming frustrated or encountering failure. Some of the "free will" creatures didn't work out right, so God has to force them to do something? I read it differently: Every knee will bow in adoration.
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  #8  
Old 07-12-2010, 11:04 PM
Giuliano
 
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Default Re: Truth, facts, philosophy and science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Mmmm, the term 'can of worms' comes to mind.

Personally speaking this is the kind of conversation I tend to prefer when the family's abed, something suitable is playing in the background and there's just me and Johnnie feeling comfortably numb (musical allusion) and tapping out some existential nonsense as the mood takes me.

Being on a mid-week wagon means that I'll probably have to do this solo which may improve, but possibly hinder, the direction of my train of thought.
There is time. Yes, there is time.
Quote:
When I’m disparaging about solipsism, I mean the belief that reality is (or even could be) a construct of one’s mind. If that is the case, then there is literally no room for discussion as nothing I say or do could ever be taken as a concrete basis for advancing an argument. You would always have to preface any comment with: ‘Assuming that I actually exist and assuming that x exists and assuming that…etc etc’. You may as well treat both sides of the discussion as you would a mathematical equation and remove the ‘assumption’ from both sides in which case the position becomes irrelevant.
Solipsism is rather hellish if you ask me. While I tend to believe much of reality is a construct of minds, I think it's highly interactive with more than one mind.

Quote:
But as it relates to God’s, wouldn’t His position be one of solipsism by default? Before he created anything, the mind of God was all that existed – the very definition of the term (incidentally, it’s one question that always puzzles atheists: why on earth did He bother to change the status quo and create existence? Did he get bored?). So to take that position oneself one could be said to be taking God’s role: ‘I am all that exists’ – in which case God would have no independent existence (maybe that’s where Voltaire comes in).
That's the challenge. If you and I are similar to God, it should be safe to "assume" that God would find a solipsistic universe unsatisfactory. If we would find it unchallenging and unsatisfactory, it would be difficult to imagine God could find it interesting or worthwhile. Why bother if that's the best that could be done?
Quote:

Having said that, I have no objection to someone using it in a sceptical sense (a la Descartes) as a starting point to see where that takes him.

And as to my ideal God? Any sort except a personal one, thanks for asking.
I can't see that myself.
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2010, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: Truth, facts, philosophy and science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
God must be worshipped because He is worthy of it.
And why is He worthy of it? Because he is God, of course and He created you specifically to worship Him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
"... otherwise, God would not be worshipped.
I shouldn’t have to go to the trouble of itemising and numbering each clause to indicate how circular that is. But in any case, as Guilano notes above, doesn’t that make Him a selfish God? You make the Christian ideal sound like a version of North Korea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuliano View Post
God…wanted beings He could love.
I’ll let you two sort out who’s right.
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2010, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: Truth, facts, philosophy and science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
And why is He worthy of it? Because he is God, of course and He created you specifically to worship Him.

I am assuming His very nature makes Him worthy of worship - in the same respect, you could ask why is the gravitational constant of the Universe such and such - it is because that's its nature.

This is a hard concept to grasp. I am suggesting that there is something so awesome that worship is "required." Obviously, no person (or idol) could ever meet this criteria - not even close... so it's hard to relate this concept to something we can study in the physical Universe. Certainly nothing in the physical universe is worthy of worship.

If you take God at His word i.e. He is worthy, then it makes sense why we are here... to worship, love and be loved by Him. This may not sit well with a lot of people because they think in human terms. How arrogant would it be of person to say "I'm so great that you should worship me"? It would be very arrogant. Why? Because we know no human is worthy. With God, however, it is different. Why? Because it's the truth - He is worthy. If He wasn't we would not be here.


This is a strange conversation to have with an atheist... you don't believe in things like design, a Creator, worship, faith, etc... so talking about the nature of God is a little out there.
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