How do you define God and Self?

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Hereandnow
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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » March 5th, 2018, 12:06 pm

fooloso4:
What is present is never present to me as such but always as something. Orange is what we call what appears to us in a particular way. The paint color may appear orange in some light but not others. How it looks is not an interpretation of what it is.
I am arguing that when something is taken AS something, it can also taken as such. Value makes this clear and it indicates a dimension of one's dasein that is not easy to talk about. When the flame is on my finger, the experience is not being taken ready to hand, but it registers as its own nature, which is what the screaming is all about. My ready to hand language instrumentality may be regionally attending, but the moment belongs to presence as such. It announces itself with agonizing clarity.
Orange? There are certainly problems in universalizing what I see. But what I see is what I see. The problems of agreement aren't really at issue for me here.
If I had said this I suppose you might have said in response that what a human animal is can only be disclosed in the experience of being a human animal.
'Human animal' is a term that makes excellent ontic sense, a "naturalistic" term, is what Husserl would call it, but it is not about the kind of strange ontology I am arguing for. I am arguing an objectivist's position that says value as such stands outside our interpretative world, but is nevetheless present in our world.
Of course I would not like it! Why would you wonder about such a thing? My point is that there is not just the experience of suffering but the attempt to find the meaning in or behind it. The lament of Psalm 22 and of Jesus on the cross:
Why have you forsaken me?
One might call this metaphysical or existential suffering. I do not ask why we suffer. I take it as a given. As Job learns, it is not something that we can understand. Perhaps we are converging on the same point from different directions?
But if you were truly suffering, do you think your desperate appeals to the Being that threw you into the world would be wholly founded on bad philosophy and foolish thinking?
When you talk like converging on the same point, I ask, by your lights, what point is this?

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » March 5th, 2018, 2:47 pm

HAN:
But if you were truly suffering, do you think your desperate appeals to the Being that threw you into the world would be wholly founded on bad philosophy and foolish thinking?
I do not think in terms of “the Being” that threw me into the world and so would not make appeals, desperate or otherwise, to it. My point is that suffering becomes problematic not simply in the sense we do not want to suffer, but with regard to the question of why we suffer. From a theological perspective it is framed as the problem of evil. From an existential perspective it may be framed in terms of the meaning of life. Both these questions can act as a form of torture, itself a source of suffering. It is a suffering we impose that is, in my opinion, entirely avoidable if we reject the notion that God or existence must have some inherent meaning or, as you might call it, value.
When you talk like converging on the same point, I ask, by your lights, what point is this?
The point of convergence is that suffering is a given, but from this point of convergence we diverge. I do not connect the given with an inherent meaning, but I think that is what you mean or is part of what you mean by value. I say point of convergence because it seems as though you have gone to great lengths to convince me of something I do not doubt, that there is suffering. But I would call it a brute fact where you see it as a matter of metaphysical significance.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Greta » March 5th, 2018, 6:30 pm

What of the notion some espouse that God is the "is-ness", the sense of being?

I always thought that idea was pretty darn cool, even if it is perhaps a re-badging of concepts and delightfully resistant to any possible attempt of proof :)

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Atreyu » March 5th, 2018, 6:59 pm

I define "God" as the Universe, which I regard as a gigantic conscious living organism.

I define "myself" as my physical body and its associated psyche.

The relation between us is that I'm an incredibly teeny tiny part of "God", a part so small that "God" Herself could not ever hope to recognize my existence...

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Greta » March 6th, 2018, 12:08 am

Atreyu wrote:
March 5th, 2018, 6:59 pm
I define "God" as the Universe, which I regard as a gigantic conscious living organism.

I define "myself" as my physical body and its associated psyche.

The relation between us is that I'm an incredibly teeny tiny part of "God", a part so small that "God" Herself could not ever hope to recognize my existence...
Reminds me of Spinoza and Lovelock. My view is pretty similar except that I think of galaxies as being like primitive organisms and the universe as being akin to a cosmic "ecosystem" - cosmosystem? If life and its successors continue to evolve for many billions of years, traversing interstellar distances, then perhaps an entire galaxy could become networked, acting as a single, intelligent entity? It would not be something to be trifled with!

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » March 6th, 2018, 10:38 am

fooloso4:
I do not think in terms of “the Being” that threw me into the world and so would not make appeals, desperate or otherwise, to it.
Here I think you might be exercising the bias of comfortable living. An honest attempt to understand suffering requires an act of empathy. Imagine a life that is nothing but suffering (and this is not fiction at all. Examples are uncountable) and there is no recourse for remedy, and you turn to religion, which is the symbolic way turning to relief-in-eternity.

My point is that suffering becomes problematic not simply in the sense we do not want to suffer, but with regard to the question of why we suffer. From a theological perspective it is framed as the problem of evil. From an existential perspective it may be framed in terms of the meaning of life. Both these questions can act as a form of torture, itself a source of suffering. It is a suffering we impose that is, in my opinion, entirely avoidable if we reject the notion that God or existence must have some inherent meaning or, as you might call it, value.
But there is no existential relief in theology or philosophy, or such things are only disingenuous ways to settle such matters, and this is why I say that the real purpose of philosophy is destructive: while it tears at the fabric of our beliefs, in the end, it tears at that of its own (and one becomes an island, cast off from everydayness, and those pesky ideas of god and eternity lose their potency to manage the understanding; and living gets very interesting. This is what Husserl's "bracketing" does and is very close to Levinas' "Other").
The point of convergence is that suffering is a given, but from this point of convergence we diverge. I do not connect the given with an inherent meaning, but I think that is what you mean or is part of what you mean by value. I say point of convergence because it seems as though you have gone to great lengths to convince me of something I do not doubt, that there is suffering. But I would call it a brute fact where you see it as a matter of metaphysical significance.
Significant because the paradigms that serve to give an account of what ethical value is, the scientific ones that are given in everyday thinking that have exclusive privilege of explaining the world, are entirely incommensurate with actuality, for they cannot apply to what cannot be observed, and the goodness and badness in question cannot be observed, nor can being as such. Not Being, but Value-in-Being is the grand mystery of our dasein, and with this term I am "showing" with a finger pointed at the man on a cross desperately forsaken, or at the family in the late stages of plague retching, watching children succumb in agony, with no remedy, while the evolutionist steps forward with a dissertation on advantages of suffering in survival and reproduction. Entirely incommensurate.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » March 6th, 2018, 12:46 pm

HAN:
Here I think you might be exercising the bias of comfortable living. An honest attempt to understand suffering requires an act of empathy. Imagine a life that is nothing but suffering (and this is not fiction at all. Examples are uncountable) and there is no recourse for remedy, and you turn to religion, which is the symbolic way turning to relief-in-eternity.
Bias of comfortable living? I am biased in favor of living comfortably but have suffered and am well aware that there are many who suffer far more than I ever have. Many turn to religion, I don’t. Some ask why is there suffering, I don’t. This does not mean I do not lack empathy. It means that life does not answer all our questions.
... the scientific ones that are given in everyday thinking that have exclusive privilege of explaining the world …
I agree with the rejection of scientism.
… the grand mystery of our dasein …
If you mean that life is beyond human understanding, then it should be evident from what I have said that I agree. The ability to ask a question does not mean that there must be an answer to the question. But my taste is much simpler. I do not think in terms of grand mysteries or God or the Other. I am a Socratic skeptic. At the end of all our searching and questioning is aporia, the recognition of our limits, our ignorance.

‘God’ is poetry, the flight of the imagination, which historically includes the making or building of conceptual constructs that collapse on themselves because they are without ground or foundations. Today, however, many theologians take God to be the ground itself rather than what is built on the ground. In my opinion, this is a vestige of building and betrays a lack of imagination. The notion that what is must rest on something eternal, stable, unchanging and unmoving.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » March 6th, 2018, 2:25 pm

fooloso4:
f you mean that life is beyond human understanding, then it should be evident from what I have said that I agree. The ability to ask a question does not mean that there must be an answer to the question. But my taste is much simpler. I do not think in terms of grand mysteries or God or the Other. I am a Socratic skeptic. At the end of all our searching and questioning is aporia, the recognition of our limits, our ignorance.

‘God’ is poetry, the flight of the imagination, which historically includes the making or building of conceptual constructs that collapse on themselves because they are without ground or foundations. Today, however, many theologians take God to be the ground itself rather than what is built on the ground. In my opinion, this is a vestige of building and betrays a lack of imagination. The notion that what is must rest on something eternal, stable, unchanging and unmoving.
Well said. My thoughts on this have always been, or tried to be, about what is there, in the world before me, only. When I talk about presence, I mean just that: there is something present, before my waking eyes, that is at once powerful, like being skewered through the kidney, and altogether unaccounted for in the explanatory theories at hand, unless one resorts to religion, which has a great deal of silliness in it (Kierkegaard has been accused of silliness in his Concluding Postscripts, and the charge sticks, but then, he still has a very good point); invisible, if you like: the 'badness" of it.
Not that you have no empathy. I simply think armchair speculation and theory needs a material basis to be meaningful, and something like pain and joy is often treated by science without reference to its ethical nature. We, everyone, get so inured to it, we fail to understand the kind of Kafkian
aspect of its presence: the looking and looking, but never finding, yet knowing there is something very serious going on that drives the looking.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » March 6th, 2018, 2:44 pm

HAN:
Well said. My thoughts on this have always been, or tried to be, about what is there, in the world before me, only.
So, a convergence after all.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » March 6th, 2018, 3:00 pm

Thoughtful, interesting. Thanks!

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Atreyu » March 13th, 2018, 6:30 pm

Greta wrote:
March 6th, 2018, 12:08 am
Reminds me of Spinoza and Lovelock. My view is pretty similar except that I think of galaxies as being like primitive organisms and the universe as being akin to a cosmic "ecosystem" - cosmosystem? If life and its successors continue to evolve for many billions of years, traversing interstellar distances, then perhaps an entire galaxy could become networked, acting as a single, intelligent entity? It would not be something to be trifled with!
I also view galaxies as living organisms, as well as stars, planets, and moons. In fact, I think that is the basis for one of the many fundamental false assumptions on the part of ordinary science.

Science views "life" as a very narrow exception, an anomaly, in the "world of things", in the world of "dead matter".

But in reality life is the rule, not the exception. It exists virtually everywhere, in greater or lessor forms, but only a very narrow band of it is recognized as such.

In other words, what science calls "life" is really only "life as we know it" or "life as we recognize it". Some ancient systems called this narrow band of life, which we recognize as such, organic life.

All the other "life", which we ordinarily do not recognize as being "alive", they called inorganic life.

I believe this view is closer to reality than the "modern" view, and it leads one to the idea of "God" being the Universe Itself.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Greta » March 14th, 2018, 1:36 am

Atreyu wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 6:30 pm
Greta wrote:
March 6th, 2018, 12:08 am
Reminds me of Spinoza and Lovelock. My view is pretty similar except that I think of galaxies as being like primitive organisms and the universe as being akin to a cosmic "ecosystem" - cosmosystem? If life and its successors continue to evolve for many billions of years, traversing interstellar distances, then perhaps an entire galaxy could become networked, acting as a single, intelligent entity? It would not be something to be trifled with!
I also view galaxies as living organisms, as well as stars, planets, and moons. In fact, I think that is the basis for one of the many fundamental false assumptions on the part of ordinary science.

Science views "life" as a very narrow exception, an anomaly, in the "world of things", in the world of "dead matter".

But in reality life is the rule, not the exception. It exists virtually everywhere, in greater or lessor forms, but only a very narrow band of it is recognized as such.

In other words, what science calls "life" is really only "life as we know it" or "life as we recognize it". Some ancient systems called this narrow band of life, which we recognize as such, organic life.

All the other "life", which we ordinarily do not recognize as being "alive", they called inorganic life.

I believe this view is closer to reality than the "modern" view, and it leads one to the idea of "God" being the Universe Itself.
I've long been a panvitalist and touted the existence of what I think of as geological or stellar life.

What I'm talking about is closer to the concept of encephalisation - the formation of nervous systems and centres of intelligence - than abiogenesis.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Atreyu » March 19th, 2018, 4:25 pm

Greta wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 1:36 am
I've long been a panvitalist and touted the existence of what I think of as geological or stellar life.

What I'm talking about is closer to the concept of encephalisation - the formation of nervous systems and centres of intelligence - than abiogenesis.
This view is not "abiogenesis". Abiogenesis is the idea that life can come from non-life, a most nonsensical view that doesn't hold up to what we observe. This idea merely asserts that "objects" that appear to us as not-alive might actually be quite alive.

And the "formations of nervous systems and centers of intelligence" certainly imply "life", just not necessarily "life" as it is ordinarily defined, understood, or experienced.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Greta » March 19th, 2018, 7:26 pm

Atreyu wrote:
March 19th, 2018, 4:25 pm
Greta wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 1:36 am
I've long been a panvitalist and touted the existence of what I think of as geological or stellar life.

What I'm talking about is closer to the concept of encephalisation - the formation of nervous systems and centres of intelligence - than abiogenesis.
This view is not "abiogenesis". Abiogenesis is the idea that life can come from non-life, a most nonsensical view that doesn't hold up to what we observe. This idea merely asserts that "objects" that appear to us as not-alive might actually be quite alive.

And the "formations of nervous systems and centers of intelligence" certainly imply "life", just not necessarily "life" as it is ordinarily defined, understood, or experienced.
Emergence is not "nonsensical", just that it can seem so if the processes behind transformations are not known. Still, I agree with the general panvitalist sentiment. The problem to some extent is linguistic - that "biology" and "life" are treated as synonymous, but biology is only one kind of self-sustaining system.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by jerlands » March 19th, 2018, 7:39 pm

Greta wrote:
March 19th, 2018, 7:26 pm
Atreyu wrote:
March 19th, 2018, 4:25 pm

This view is not "abiogenesis". Abiogenesis is the idea that life can come from non-life, a most nonsensical view that doesn't hold up to what we observe. This idea merely asserts that "objects" that appear to us as not-alive might actually be quite alive.

And the "formations of nervous systems and centers of intelligence" certainly imply "life", just not necessarily "life" as it is ordinarily defined, understood, or experienced.
Emergence is not "nonsensical", just that it can seem so if the processes behind transformations are not known. Still, I agree with the general panvitalist sentiment. The problem to some extent is linguistic - that "biology" and "life" are treated as synonymous, but biology is only one kind of self-sustaining system.
Biology is the study of life. The word literally means bios (life) logy (to speak)
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

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