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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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Fooloso4
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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » March 1st, 2018, 1:18 pm

HAN:
I think you are saying since there are no absolutes, this leaves the matter up to culture and defacto ethical systems to decide, and this puts the matter squarely in the hands of contingency, for cultures and its systems are not absolutes.
It leaves it up to us individually and collectively to figure out what we hold to be permissible and impermissible. Where we draw the lines changes over time. I do not think we are moving toward or away from some absolute state of knowledge of moral truths. It is not in the hands of contingency, it is in our hands, and without knowledge of absolutes our moral judgments are always contingent.

Suppose we conclude that since pain is inherently bad we are morally obligated to eliminate pain in all its forms. Some people attempt to do this with their own children, protecting them from anything and everything that will hurt them. In my opinion, the results are not good. It does not allow them to grow stronger or cope with adversity. The opioid crisis is in part the result of an attempt to eliminate pain. Physicians have begun to rethink the idea of providing pain-free medical procedures through the use of opioids. They are now counseling patients to expect and endure some degree of pain. Pain may be bad but the consequences of trying to eliminate it worse.
But the possibility of being mistaken is the hallmark of contingency, and if something cannot be doubted, this is metaphysical certainty.
The possibility of being mistaken is the hallmark of fallible creatures. It has nothing to do with metaphysical certainty. It simply makes no sense to say that I am in pain but that I might be mistaken.
But when it is orange it is orange.
What does this mean other than if it appears to be orange it appears to be orange?
This is because you place the caring within social institutions …
I place the caring within the biology of the human animal.
Here, one needs to put such things aside and allow moral reasoning to begin with the assumption that pain is bad as such.
If care is put aside then I may be indifferent to the pain of others. It does not hurt me. It is not bad for me that you are in pain.
… the question that haunts humanity has to do with value-in-Being. It is: why are we born to suffer and die?
Is it an attempt to find meaning in what is meaningless or an assertion that there is meaning is suffering and dying but it haunts us unless or until find it? I see it as the former. And, of course, our inability to find meaning in pain and suffering itself causes pain and suffering.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » March 1st, 2018, 4:35 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
March 1st, 2018, 1:18 pm
If care is put aside then I may be indifferent to the pain of others. It does not hurt me. It is not bad for me that you are in pain.
This is a good point. But also caring has its ontology, an ontology of others. The justification of care depends on what I think others are for me and what they are in themselves. Has the pain they suffer the same value as my pain? Who are they? Who are you? Here we go deep, but I think we have a premininary understanding of this and see that others are like us and should be treated as the golden rule tells us.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » March 1st, 2018, 6:34 pm

Tamminen:
I think we have a premininary understanding of this and see that others are like us
I do not know whether babies has a concept of self and other, but there is good evidence to support the claim that they respond in kind to signs of happiness and distress in others, and that they they will spend much more time looking at faces or what resembles faces than looking at other objects. All this occurs prior to understanding, or justification, or consideration that others are like me and so their pain must be like my pain.

It appears as though we have moved quite far from the topic question. The problem of self and others, however, circles back to at least half the topic question. My own aversion to metaphysical speculation and claims about God demonstrates something about myself, although I see it as something more than just me. It is tied to the Socratic notion of wisdom as skepticism, knowing that we do not know. The problem of the meaning of pain and suffering is part of if not the ground of the question of the meaning of life. And here we return to God as what some see as the source of meaning and/or the source of life and being. Can there be meaning without God? Must there be meaning or is it just that we yearn for and desire meaning ?

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » March 2nd, 2018, 5:53 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
March 1st, 2018, 6:34 pm
Tamminen:
I think we have a premininary understanding of this and see that others are like us
I do not know whether babies has a concept of self and other, but there is good evidence to support the claim that they respond in kind to signs of happiness and distress in others, and that they they will spend much more time looking at faces or what resembles faces than looking at other objects. All this occurs prior to understanding, or justification, or consideration that others are like me and so their pain must be like my pain.

It appears as though we have moved quite far from the topic question. The problem of self and others, however, circles back to at least half the topic question. My own aversion to metaphysical speculation and claims about God demonstrates something about myself, although I see it as something more than just me. It is tied to the Socratic notion of wisdom as skepticism, knowing that we do not know. The problem of the meaning of pain and suffering is part of if not the ground of the question of the meaning of life. And here we return to God as what some see as the source of meaning and/or the source of life and being. Can there be meaning without God? Must there be meaning or is it just that we yearn for and desire meaning ?
What I am saying here has nothing to do with God. This is phenomenological ontology. Philosophy must start with immanence, our immediate reality, and if there is transcendence found as a result of the phenomenological analysis of immanence, like the transcendence of the material world, this is only a result, not the starting point. Therefore naturalism cannot be the starting point of philosophy. Philosophy must explain itself and nature, although this is an ambitious task.

Therfore it is not a question if a baby knows what others are, but that others are what they are ontologically, and that a baby does not know it, or has an instinctive "pre-ontological" attitude towards others, which shows itself as you described.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » March 2nd, 2018, 11:16 am

Tamminen:
What I am saying here has nothing to do with God.
The topic is about God: "How do you define God and Self?"
This is phenomenological ontology.
How are you defining this term?

Philosophy must start with immanence, our immediate reality …
Immanence means God’s presence.
… phenomenological analysis of immanence …
I think you mean a phenomenological analysis of what is immanent (which is not the same as immanence) in consciousness or experience or perception. To call this our "immediate reality" is problematic. The objects of consciousness can refer to what is present in my consciousness or your consciousness or consciousness in general. If it refers to my consciousness or your consciousness then there is no common reality, and there is nothing present in consciousness in general because consciousness in general is not anyone's consciousness. In addition, what is present to consciousness is not all that there is. The chair I am sitting on is not what is immanent in my consciousness. I suspect that you may disagree.
Therefore naturalism cannot be the starting point of philosophy.
There are various forms of naturalism. At a minimum it is the rejection of supernatural reality. Whether or not naturalism is compatible with phenomenology depends on how the terms are being defined.
… [a baby] has an instinctive "pre-ontological" attitude towards others, which shows itself as you described.
Right. I am not addressing an issue of ontology or phenomenology or phenomenological ontology. Care is ontic.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » March 2nd, 2018, 1:11 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 11:16 am
The topic is about God: "How do you define God and Self?"
I can define God as something we need not take into account. Not for a starting point at least.
How are you defining this term?
Phenomenological ontology is the study of ontology with the phenomenological method.
I think you mean a phenomenological analysis of what is immanent (which is not the same as immanence) in consciousness or experience or perception.
Merriam-Webster:
the quality or state of being immanent; especially : inherence
Immanence does not necessarily have anything to do with God, as I understand the term.
To call this our "immediate reality" is problematic. The objects of consciousness can refer to what is present in my consciousness or your consciousness or consciousness in general. If it refers to my consciousness or your consciousness then there is no common reality, and there is nothing present in consciousness in general because consciousness in general is not anyone's consciousness. In addition, what is present to consciousness is not all that there is. The chair I am sitting on is not what is immanent in my consciousness. I suspect that you may disagree.
We must assume that the basic structures of consciousness are common to us. And we can reach them by our common language, because the structures of language express those structures. The chair you are sitting on is transcendent, and its transcendence can also be seen through phenomenological intuition if it is not clear already.
There are various forms of naturalism. At a minimum it is the rejection of supernatural reality. Whether or not naturalism is compatible with phenomenology depends on how the terms are being defined.
If naturalism is defined as the rejection of supernatural reality, then I think it is compatible with phenomenology. But if it says that philosophy must take as its starting point the reality that empirical science deals with, without questioning its justification, then it is, in my opinion, against the principles of phenomenology. This is where we come to such pseudo problems as the "hard problem" of consciousness, problems that have their origin in committing to a false ontology.
Care is ontic.
Yes, our life is ontic, but there are ontological structures behind it. Logic precedes the world, and the world and life is the same thing, as Wittgenstein says. We must only replace 'logic' with 'ontology' here.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » March 2nd, 2018, 4:06 pm

Tamminen:
Immanence does not necessarily have anything to do with God, as I understand the term.
You are right. The terms immanence, which was originally a Scholastic term that refers to the immanence of God, is not what it came to mean for Husserl, where it refers to what is immanent to consciousness, or what it means according to Merriam Webster.
The chair you are sitting on is transcendent …
Yes, as the term is used by Husserl. But Kant would never say this.
If naturalism is defined …
As with immanence and transcendence we need to be clear how the term is being used.
We must only replace 'logic' with 'ontology' here.
And yet another term that is used in different ways. The problem is exacerbated when moving from one philosopher to another who uses the terms in different ways or not at all.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by jerlands » March 2nd, 2018, 6:28 pm

God - God is a word given by man to denote the causal, creative force of the universe and our existence.
Self - fixation (I am,) consciousness, Identity, the state which allows relation to the environment. Self is the state of being in relation to.
"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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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » March 4th, 2018, 12:09 pm

Fooloso4
It leaves it up to us individually and collectively to figure out what we hold to be permissible and impermissible. Where we draw the lines changes over time. I do not think we are moving toward or away from some absolute state of knowledge of moral truths. It is not in the hands of contingency, it is in our hands, and without knowledge of absolutes our moral judgments are always contingent.
When you say moral truths with an 's' clearly you caste the issue in a way that fits your thinking, but the issue was never about, and I have not wavered on this, principles on what is ethically right or wrong. These vary; as we all know, once a matter is processed through institutions of ethical determination, like legal and political ones, there is no end to range and complexity of human affairs. Nor do want to talk about "moving toward" anything, which is just a metaphysical red herring. Both of these are red herrings. There is only one descriptive proposition I am concerned about and that is pain and happiness as such, to use general terms. It is a classification of a dimension of being human that is easy to identify: just look to the other side of caring, that which one cares about, and examine the valuative aspect of it, not the utility aspect or the legal aspect, just the valuative aspect. Just like looking at judgments elusively for their rational structures.
"In the hands of contingency" was just a manner of speaking.

Suppose we conclude that since pain is inherently bad we are morally obligated to eliminate pain in all its forms. Some people attempt to do this with their own children, protecting them from anything and everything that will hurt them. In my opinion, the results are not good. It does not allow them to grow stronger or cope with adversity. The opioid crisis is in part the result of an attempt to eliminate pain. Physicians have begun to rethink the idea of providing pain-free medical procedures through the use of opioids. They are now counseling patients to expect and endure some degree of pain. Pain may be bad but the consequences of trying to eliminate it worse.

Eliminate pain? Interesting notion, and I would say a hard one to argue for or against. But I am not defending some practical thesis. I am just describing, like a good phenomenologist.
The possibility of being mistaken is the hallmark of fallible creatures. It has nothing to do with metaphysical certainty. It simply makes no sense to say that I am in pain but that I might be mistaken.
I don't think the epistemological move is a helpful one. It neutralizes and interferes to ground horrible pain in the measure of certainty. Turns the matter into language and argument without giving due recognition to the presence of pain as presence. This why I say, light a flame and apply it to your finger and let it register properly; or, imagine the terrible realities of being burned alive and the like. It is not to sensationalize. It is just that "talk" is inherently reductive, and this leads to a misrepresentation of the presence of things. Here, theory needs to be reminded lest it underestimates it subject, which is what we do with value in the news, in second hand reporting, in our daily narratives, and in our intellectualizing. We are used to talking about things as words. By my thinking, best to go to performance of something by Antoine Artaud to get some kind of, what...existential revelation. It takes this kind of thing to give the presence of pain and horror its due. I think most theorists have forgotten that we actually exist (to borrow from Kierkegaard).
What does this mean other than if it appears to be orange it appears to be orange?
I don't know how the term "appears" helps. Why bother with this? I am trying to put focus on the presence and not the interpretation, and not caring that the latter is essential in the apprehension of the former. Value-in-Being is what makes this possible, though this is hard to defend. Value presents itself through interpretation and is not diminished in its nature int eh process, and since all apprehensions of the world are valuative (there is no experience that is not valuative) experience possesses this, what I will call, absolute. Just a word that means noncontingent, and this is best witnessed in something like horrible pain.
I place the caring within the biology of the human animal.
As do I. But I don't really know what a human animal is outside of the explicit interpretative terminology at hand. Then, the question goes to whether I reached, in the acknowledgement of this, just more possibilities of self referential disclosure, or I am brought to a significant threshold of understanding beyond the collective mentality that informs terms like 'human animal'. Value, the "disclosure" of something not ready to hand tells us the latter.
If care is put aside then I may be indifferent to the pain of others. It does not hurt me. It is not bad for me that you are in pain
Granted, and the way I see it, not caring is a sign of moral depravity. And to anticipate: does this mean that surgeons are morally depraved because they can control their reactions to human suffering? I do not think being able to compartmentalize indicates depravity at all. But one could argue that the worst behavior could be construed as mere comparmentalizing. There is an argument there that seems worthy, but I won't go into it here.
Is it an attempt to find meaning in what is meaningless or an assertion that there is meaning is suffering and dying but it haunts us unless or until find it? I see it as the former. And, of course, our inability to find meaning in pain and suffering itself causes pain and suffering.
I wonder if you would think like this if you were on the cross (not that I place any stock in this kind of thing, but it is a wonderful symbol of human suffering). My point is, your response is too distant from that which is set before you to be understood, and I suspect this is due to the way logic and language have occluded all of the offending realities, the superfluities, to use Sartre's word, that spill beyond the boundaries of language and announce the strangeness of our world.

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Hereandnow » March 4th, 2018, 12:11 pm

'use to' not 'used to'

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Fooloso4 » March 4th, 2018, 4:44 pm

HAN:
I don't think the epistemological move is a helpful one. It neutralizes and interferes to ground horrible pain in the measure of certainty.
It was you who said:
But the possibility of being mistaken is the hallmark of contingency, and if something cannot be doubted, this is metaphysical certainty.
What counts as metaphysical certainty is an epistemological question. The question of certainty, metaphysical or otherwise, is not at issue. The question of certainty does not arise because it makes no sense to talk about whether one is certain he is in pain.
Turns the matter into language …
That is a common philosophical move or, as some would have it, the ground of all philosophical moves; but certainty is not a matter of language. This is one of the things Wittgenstein was getting at in On Certainty.
I don't know how the term "appears" helps. Why bother with this? I am trying to put focus on the presence and not the interpretation, and not caring that the latter is essential in the apprehension of the former.
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.
But I don't really know what a human animal is outside of the explicit interpretative terminology at hand.
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.
I wonder if you would think like this if you were on the cross (not that I place any stock in this kind of thing, but it is a wonderful symbol of human suffering).
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?

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Greta » March 4th, 2018, 9:43 pm

In summary, God is the good part of us ...

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Namelesss » March 4th, 2018, 10:16 pm

Greta wrote:
March 4th, 2018, 9:43 pm
In summary, God is the good part of us ...
'Who/What' is the Balance, the "..." who is not God but must be the Balance of the duality of (your judgmental notion of) 'Good' that 'God' might exist??

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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Burning ghost » March 5th, 2018, 5:54 am

God is as much a representation of the Self as the Self is a representation of God.

note: I am using "self" in the Jungian sense. Generally the "self" is not completely the "conscious self." That would be the ego.
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Re: How do you define God and Self?

Post by Tamminen » March 5th, 2018, 11:47 am

By God we usually mean the cause or reason for our existence. As the cause of our existence God is the universe seen as a totality. As the reason for our existence God must be identified with the Self, because reasons can only be for the Self. And the conclusion of all this is that the Self is the reason for the being of the universe and itself.

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