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How do you define God and Self?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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StayCurious
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How do you define God and Self?

Post by StayCurious » January 11th, 2018, 6:52 pm

Through the varying sets of assumptions regarding the way in which the universe we occupy exists and functions (aka. general metaphysics), there exists also varying sets of assumptions regarding the existence of God and the center of sensitivity within us we most conventionally coin "I myself".

What I am most curious about consists of the following:
In broad or specific terms, define "I myself", "God", and what you believe to be the connection between these concepts?

Now that I've asked the question, I'll go ahead and answer it myself for those who may be curious.

I perceive the entirety of the cosmos to be both "I myself" and "God." I believe there is no separation, similarly in that there is no true separation between a wave in the ocean and the ocean itself, only in a matter of speaking does such an illusive concept exist. As put by Alan Watts, just as an apple tree "apples", the universe "peoples". We are systematic of the ever more novel forms of interconnectedness and creativity this universe manifests, just as emotions are systematic of us, and as awkward and unexplainable erections are systematic of process of the male puberty. Just as a magnet polarizes itself as north and south, it is all one magnet; just as life manifests experiences as self and other, it is all one; I see that one thing that exists is God, all of life being creative expressions of the entirety of the primordial energy that flows throughout.

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Albert Tatlock
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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Albert Tatlock » January 13th, 2018, 3:22 pm

StayCurious wrote:
January 11th, 2018, 6:52 pm
We are systematic of the ever more novel forms of interconnectedness and creativity this universe manifests, just as emotions are systematic of us, and as awkward and unexplainable erections are systematic of process of the male puberty.
So we are to the Universe what an erection is to a man? Out of all the analogies you could have chosen I wonder why you opted for that one.

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Mosesquine
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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Mosesquine » January 15th, 2018, 2:51 am

Defining something else is an attempt to build a theory. We can build 'The God Theory' as we wish like:

God = God is an invented entity, and it is made for controlling people by social leaders, and it is often worshiped by people who are not acquainted to political, scientific truths, and so on...

'The Self Theory' can be also as follows:

Self = Self is an agent of context of utterances, and it is expressed mostly as a pronoun 'I'...

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by StayCurious » February 13th, 2018, 4:45 am

Albert Tatlock wrote:
January 13th, 2018, 3:22 pm
StayCurious wrote:
January 11th, 2018, 6:52 pm
We are systematic of the ever more novel forms of interconnectedness and creativity this universe manifests, just as emotions are systematic of us, and as awkward and unexplainable erections are systematic of process of the male puberty.
So we are to the Universe what an erection is to a man? Out of all the analogies you could have chosen I wonder why you opted for that one.
I do think keeping things playful and laughable is sincerely a beautiful way to carry things out :).

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by StayCurious » February 13th, 2018, 4:47 am

Mosesquine wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 2:51 am
Defining something else is an attempt to build a theory. We can build 'The God Theory' as we wish like:

God = God is an invented entity, and it is made for controlling people by social leaders, and it is often worshiped by people who are not acquainted to political, scientific truths, and so on...

'The Self Theory' can be also as follows:

Self = Self is an agent of context of utterances, and it is expressed mostly as a pronoun 'I'...
I do see how these things can be expressed in terms of words, but I'm more interested in your personal experience of what you believe to be your "self" and how it relates to what you define as "God" if you have a definition/theory you side with.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Mosesquine » February 14th, 2018, 5:41 am

I think that there is no phenomenon of 'God' or something like that, but there are only phenomena of 'God-talking-people' or 'religious activities'. Religion is not a revelation, but a socially constituted group by humans.
The concept of 'self' is better understood as 'the speaker of the context of utterances' or something like that, that is, the concept among philosophy of language concepts. They are not difficult to be defined.

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Hereandnow
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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » February 16th, 2018, 1:49 pm

Mosesquine:
I think that there is no phenomenon of 'God' or something like that, but there are only phenomena of 'God-talking-people' or 'religious activities'. Religion is not a revelation, but a socially constituted group by humans.
The concept of 'self' is better understood as 'the speaker of the context of utterances' or something like that, that is, the concept among philosophy of language concepts. They are not difficult to be defined.
Language games will take you only so far when it comes to human religiosity. Meaningful utterances are limited to language possibilities, but language cannot touch, so to speak, the ineffability of being here. And out of this being here, there is god, though not as one utterance among many, but as the Other counterposed against the all encompassing "I". Of course, in wittgenstinian fashion, this Other is duly encompassed, but only as a term in a sea of terms. As a good existentialist, I would have to invoke Kierkegaard: people who think like this have forgotten what it means to exist. It is the imposing obdurate world of imposition and terror. My words about it may be ensconced in language, but the Other of its nature is not.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » February 16th, 2018, 8:46 pm

Hereandnow:
Meaningful utterances are limited to language possibilities, but language cannot touch, so to speak, the ineffability of being here. And out of this being here, there is god, though not as one utterance among many, but as the Other counterposed against the all encompassing
.

I see this as yet another example of trying to “eff” the ineffable. If our being here is ineffable then the move to god or the Other is questionable. Claiming that it is not one utterance among many is a weak attempt to elevate something said above the limits of what is said. I do not think that there is a god or Other outside of language; they are constructs of language. Some see it as a matter of attempting to point to something prelinguistic that is felt or known, but my impious view is that this is self-deception - the creation of something one does not wish to take responsibility for.

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Hereandnow
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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » February 16th, 2018, 11:30 pm

Fooloso4
I see this as yet another example of trying to “eff” the ineffable. If our being here is ineffable then the move to god or the Other is questionable. Claiming that it is not one utterance among many is a weak attempt to elevate something said above the limits of what is said. I do not think that there is a god or Other outside of language; they are constructs of language. Some see it as a matter of attempting to point to something prelinguistic that is felt or known, but my impious view is that this is self-deception - the creation of something one does not wish to take responsibility for.
Here is a puzzlement that seems to be unstoppable: What is your response to the question, what is presence at hand? One has to be careful here, because there is laying low what I think would rightly called a performative contradiction.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by StayCurious » February 17th, 2018, 4:02 am

Mosesquine wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 5:41 am
I think that there is no phenomenon of 'God' or something like that, but there are only phenomena of 'God-talking-people' or 'religious activities'. Religion is not a revelation, but a socially constituted group by humans.
The concept of 'self' is better understood as 'the speaker of the context of utterances' or something like that, that is, the concept among philosophy of language concepts. They are not difficult to be defined.
As I explained in my perception of things, I perceive all things that exist to be God. You may have heard terms such as the Self, The Great Dao, or simply the famous "it" in "it is raining." I experience this famously referred to "all encompassing something" as God, similar to what some think of when they think "universe." I relate the word with no such religious assertations or other connections. If I were to have to describe my views in terms of religion, I suppose it would be semi Buddhist, semi Hebrew, for Buddhism is essential Hebrew stripped for export.

Furthermore I do not believe such words contain objectively obtainable definition and that they in fact ultimately vary amongst us and stem from our own personal experiences, which is what interests me so much. Thank you very much for sharing your perspective!

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » February 17th, 2018, 12:14 pm

Hereandnow:
What is your response to the question, what is presence at hand?
I am not sure I understand what it is you are asking. Are you referring to Heidegger’s terminology? A mode of being?
One has to be careful here, because there is laying low what I think would rightly called a performative contradiction.
What is it that you think I am going to say that leads to a performative contradiction?

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Hereandnow
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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » February 17th, 2018, 3:23 pm

fooloso4:
Hereandnow:
What is your response to the question, what is presence at hand?
I am not sure I understand what it is you are asking. Are you referring to Heidegger’s terminology? A mode of being?
One has to be careful here, because there is laying low what I think would rightly called a performative contradiction.
What is it that you think I am going to say that leads to a performative contradiction?
Then I'll just make the case: Of course, the reference is to Heidegger and Wittgenstein. They both talk of things they shouldn't if they are right in their thinking. Wittgenstein wanted to shoe the way out the fly bottle in Tractatus, but famously announced that in doing so he did indeed speak nonsense. And as he said, that of we cannot speak, we must remain silent. Heidegger "talks" about presence at hand. You rightly reminded that presence at hand was, how did you put it, part of the structure of experience, duly acknowledged by Heidegger.

Heidegger and Wittgenstein are talking essentially about the same thing: language does not possess, and this is my way of putting it, for Heidegger, in its taking up presence at hand AS ready to hand, and for Wittgenstein in facts not being out there, so to speak--and so when we make an utterance about the world, we are locked into a world of facts--the capacity to present the world in a way that is independent on language. (Rorty agreed, "truth is sentential, and where there are no sentences, there is no truth," as I recall it. Sartre's radical contingency of existence that does not conform to language and logic, see Roquentin's experiences in Nausea, Being and Nothingness, is in the same vein.)

But I chose present and hand because in my thoughts, this was spot on: no need to move the discussion toward Kantian noumena, because the noumenal is there, before one, the presence of this before me (and keep in mind, I am not trying at all to give a lecture on what Heidegger thought. I do consider this discussion here to be philosophizing about what he thought). For me this is a transposition of Kant's noumena, such that the ineffable thing in itself is now immanence. I was particularly taken by Heidegger's critique of Kant and Descartes. Kant's apriority of space was supposed to be a representation of some transcendental absolute. Heidegger's argument was that dasein is hermeneutically closed, that our language and meanings are bound to possibilities defined by ready at hand. Space in human dasein is 'here' and 'there' and 'under the sofa'. Utterances like these are the way dasein takes up the world interpretatively, that is, AS a symbolic system of instrumentality (I have read that Heidegger is a pragmatist, and that he is not...). Having read Dewey, James, Peirce, Rorty, I knew he was right.

So, regarding the question, what is presence at hand, Heidegger's argument against Kant' was that, again, my thoughts, all possibilities of meaningful understanding and expression are bound to ready to hand. The presence at hand "before me" must be acknowledged only in terms of ready to hand, and there is no escaping this ontology of dasein. So, what is present at hand? Anything can say will be an utterance OF ready to hand. There is no aboutness about it, for even its indicative dimension is bound to a context of terminological possibilities that are ready to hand. Rorty is right there with Heidegger on this.

I have to go now. Thanks for reading. I think you get the point and hope you realize that giving a lecture on Heidegger is one thing, but trying to think through his and other's thoughts is another.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by StayCurious » February 17th, 2018, 3:48 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
February 17th, 2018, 3:23 pm
fooloso4:
Hereandnow:
What is your response to the question, what is presence at hand?
I am not sure I understand what it is you are asking. Are you referring to Heidegger’s terminology? A mode of being?
One has to be careful here, because there is laying low what I think would rightly called a performative contradiction.
What is it that you think I am going to say that leads to a performative contradiction?
Then I'll just make the case: Of course, the reference is to Heidegger and Wittgenstein. They both talk of things they shouldn't if they are right in their thinking. Wittgenstein wanted to shoe the way out the fly bottle in Tractatus, but famously announced that in doing so he did indeed speak nonsense. And as he said, that of we cannot speak, we must remain silent. Heidegger "talks" about presence at hand. You rightly reminded that presence at hand was, how did you put it, part of the structure of experience, duly acknowledged by Heidegger.

Heidegger and Wittgenstein are talking essentially about the same thing: language does not possess, and this is my way of putting it, for Heidegger, in its taking up presence at hand AS ready to hand, and for Wittgenstein in facts not being out there, so to speak--and so when we make an utterance about the world, we are locked into a world of facts--the capacity to present the world in a way that is independent on language. (Rorty agreed, "truth is sentential, and where there are no sentences, there is no truth," as I recall it. Sartre's radical contingency of existence that does not conform to language and logic, see Roquentin's experiences in Nausea, Being and Nothingness, is in the same vein.)

But I chose present and hand because in my thoughts, this was spot on: no need to move the discussion toward Kantian noumena, because the noumenal is there, before one, the presence of this before me (and keep in mind, I am not trying at all to give a lecture on what Heidegger thought. I do consider this discussion here to be philosophizing about what he thought). For me this is a transposition of Kant's noumena, such that the ineffable thing in itself is now immanence. I was particularly taken by Heidegger's critique of Kant and Descartes. Kant's apriority of space was supposed to be a representation of some transcendental absolute. Heidegger's argument was that dasein is hermeneutically closed, that our language and meanings are bound to possibilities defined by ready at hand. Space in human dasein is 'here' and 'there' and 'under the sofa'. Utterances like these are the way dasein takes up the world interpretatively, that is, AS a symbolic system of instrumentality (I have read that Heidegger is a pragmatist, and that he is not...). Having read Dewey, James, Peirce, Rorty, I knew he was right.

So, regarding the question, what is presence at hand, Heidegger's argument against Kant' was that, again, my thoughts, all possibilities of meaningful understanding and expression are bound to ready to hand. The presence at hand "before me" must be acknowledged only in terms of ready to hand, and there is no escaping this ontology of dasein. So, what is present at hand? Anything can say will be an utterance OF ready to hand. There is no aboutness about it, for even its indicative dimension is bound to a context of terminological possibilities that are ready to hand. Rorty is right there with Heidegger on this.

I have to go now. Thanks for reading. I think you get the point and hope you realize that giving a lecture on Heidegger is one thing, but trying to think through his and other's thoughts is another.
I'm sure you already have, but if not, you should read up on Daoism, for the presence at hand you speak of is so similar to the Great Dao referred to by Lao Tzu, "That which can be explained is not the Dao, that which can not be explained is the Dao." It carries a very similar flavor to the presence you refer to and I believe you'd find very much delight in it. Thank you very much for your insightful input!

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » February 17th, 2018, 11:11 pm

The Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao, or something like that. I haven't looked, but my guess is that there are a great number of papers out there bringing these thoughts together. I believe being quiet and letting the world "speak" is where things get interesting.....finally.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » February 18th, 2018, 11:41 am

Hereandnow:
Of course, the reference is to Heidegger and Wittgenstein. They both talk of things they shouldn't if they are right in their thinking.
Well, Wittgenstein came to realize that he was wrong, that his concept of the logic of language was mistaken. It wasn’t that he shouldn’t talk about them but that it does not make logical sense as he thought of it at the time. At that time he thought that although there are things that cannot be said, they can be shown and pointed to via language. There was for Wittgenstein of the Tractatus “meaningful nonsense”.

I do not recall Heidegger talking about things that shouldn’t be talked about.
Heidegger and Wittgenstein are talking essentially about the same thing: language does not possess, and this is my way of putting it, for Heidegger, in its taking up presence at hand AS ready to hand …
Present at hand is a theoretical attitude. It is to stand apart or at a distance from the thing, it is an “objective” or "disinterested" relationship. Present at hand is thus secondary. Taking something AS something is primary. There is an interesting discussion of “seeing as” in the later Wittgenstein’s Investigations.
… and for Wittgenstein in facts not being out there, so to speak--and so when we make an utterance about the world, we are locked into a world of facts--the capacity to present the world in a way that is independent on language.
The facts, according to the Tractatus, are independent of the ‘I’. Thought and language picture the world. We are able to picture it because there is a logical structure that underlies both facts and thought/language. We are not locked into a world of facts because we are able to say things that are false. We are locked into a logical world. The later Wittgenstein rejects the idea that language is determined by an independent transcendental logic.
There is no aboutness about it, for even its indicative dimension is bound to a context of terminological possibilities that are ready to hand.


Is this what you see as a performative contradiction? The “aboutness” is not something that is inherent in the thing, it is not what is present but occluded by taking it as something. Taking it as something is what it is about. This is why Dasein is essential to Being. It is not only about terminological possibilities but rather of practical possibilities as well, that is to say, how we take things is not simply a matter of what we say about them but what we do, how we live. Here again we see a parallel with the later Wittgenstein.

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