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P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Dark Matter
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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 29th, 2018, 12:07 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
August 29th, 2018, 4:59 am
What “bigoted ideas”? I was not aware I’d made any.
I know. I’m not offended.
I think I made quite clear what my concern here is. To repeat, it is to understand how different people express their concepts of god and what it is that that means.
Then, according to Tillich and myself, that is your religion, your ultimate concern. In view of Totality, that’s rather pathetic IMO.
I have also made some attempt outline my own views in the matter a little.
You have made no effort at all to outline what must be in order for what is to be as it is. This is no small matter unless you disagree with the excerpt from Bohm?

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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Burning ghost » August 29th, 2018, 12:15 pm

Dark Matter -

Why do you throw insults at every opportunity? It’s quite strange.

Pathetic? I never mentioned any cosmological view merely my concern here in this thread.

If my slight effort is not enough (or nothing to you at all) then have you considered asking politely, or even in a civil manner, for a better outline maynactually persuade me to make more effort to respond. My patience has limits.
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Dark Matter
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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 29th, 2018, 12:55 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
August 29th, 2018, 12:15 pm
I never mentioned any cosmological view merely my concern here in this thread.
That’s the point. You want it to be a one way street: you want to understand what other people think while keeping your own thoughts to yourself. WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE CONCERN?
We are more and more to discuss details in art, politics, literature. A man’s opinion on tram cars matters; his opinion on Botticelli matters; his opinion on all things does not matter. He may turn over and explore a million objects, but he must not find that strange object, the universe; for if he does he will have a religion, and be lost. Everything matters — except everything. — G. K. Chesterton
If my slight effort is not enough (or nothing to you at all) then have you considered asking politely, or even in a civil manner, for a better outline may actually persuade me to make more effort to respond. My patience has limits.
My patience also has limits. WHAT MUST BE IN ORDER FOR WHAT IS TO BE AS IT IS? This isn’t a one-way street. Voice your thoughts on the matter.

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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Burning ghost » August 29th, 2018, 1:00 pm

C ya byatch!
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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 29th, 2018, 1:06 pm

Eduk wrote:
August 29th, 2018, 8:05 am
Buddhists do idolise Buddha though? It reminds me of the way Stalin or Kim Jong-Un give themselves powers akin to a god, line gets blurry for me to point where I don't really see a substantive difference.

I would agree that NK is a theocracy, and that Stalin modelled his rule on the church.

I think it is even possible to believe in a god and NOT be religious, barely.

The root of religion is the Latin "to bind", and that has to imply a system whereby people are bound to a set of beliefs. You want also want to include other irrational beliefs such as nationalism, and supporting a football team.

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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 29th, 2018, 1:40 pm

Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, “Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good—” At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.
Isn’t this exactly what we’re seeing here? An attempt to tear down the lamp-post without apprehending the value of the light?
Every one of the popular modern phrases and ideals is a dodge in order to shirk the problem of what is good. We are fond of talking about “liberty”; that, as we talk of it, is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about “progress”; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about “education”; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. The modern man says, “Let us leave all these arbitrary standards and embrace liberty.” This is, logically rendered, “Let us not decide what is good, but let it be considered good not to decide it.” He says, “Away with your old moral formulae; I am for progress.” This, logically stated, means, “Let us not settle what is good; but let us settle whether we are getting more of it.” He says, “Neither in religion nor morality, my friend, lie the hopes of the race, but in education.” This, clearly expressed, means, “We cannot decide what is good, but let us give it to our children.”
This is the argument the OP makes.

To BG:
We are more and more to discuss details in art, politics, literature. A man’s opinion on tram cars matters; his opinion on Botticelli matters; his opinion on all things does not matter. He may turn over and explore a million objects, but he must not find that strange object, the universe; for if he does he will have a religion, and be lost. Everything matters — except everything.
Can’t have that, now can we?

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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Eduk » August 29th, 2018, 1:50 pm

Yes things must be torn down for reasons (not just lamp posts). Those reasons must be good. We agree, so it doesn't seem like religion adds to or takes away from this point?
Cosmologists study the universe all the time. As far as I am aware they are valued in society, certainly they are to me.
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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Eduk » August 29th, 2018, 1:55 pm

It is funny DM even though I have read a great number of your posts. I don't think you have expressed an opinion on what is good to you with one exception. Namely this whole God is everything thing about which I can draw no conclusions.
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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Fooloso4 » August 29th, 2018, 2:16 pm

Burning ghost:
Dark Matter -

Why do you throw insults at every opportunity? It’s quite strange.
This is what I have characterized as his siege mentality. Despite his claims to the contrary, his ultimate concern, at least in so far as his actions on this forum indicate, is to protect his beliefs against all perceived attacks and slights, real or imagined. Whether this is because of an insecurity due to the fragility of those beliefs or because of the belief that as an act of faith the Christian soldier must do battle against all those who would question his purported ultimate concern, I cannot say.

If you look up definitions of classical theism and read what those who are labeled classical theists have to say you will find attempts to prove the existence of God, but DM denies this. You will find God defined as the Supreme being, but DM denies this. You will find the claim that God cannot be adequately conceived but DM denies this and quotes Anselm’s ontological argument that God is that than which no greater can be conceived. What he neglects or does not know is that Anselm says:
... we believe that thou art a being than which nothing greater can be conceived.

But, at any rate, this very fool, when he hears of this being of which I speak - a being than which nothing greater can be conceived - understands what he hears, and what he understands is in his understanding; although he does not understand it to exist.
So, we find in the classical theist Anselm not a denial of the existence of God but a affirmation, and not a denial of the being of God but an affirmation, and not a denial of the ability to conceive of God but an affirmation. Indeed Anselm has a whole list of divine attributes.

DM invokes divine simplicity as if this alone brings all argument to a close. But note, when pushed for details he attempt to distance himself from divine simplicity because:
To regard DS as definitive in this role would rob me of the freedom to formulate a religious philosophy suited to my own uniqueness (which is "unique" only from my circumscribed point of view).
Knowingly or not, he also walks away from classical theism when he shifts to Tillich. Apparently he wants to be free to not have a coherent religious philosophy, just to attack others using whatever weapons he has at hand.

DM:
“God” is that what must be in order for what is to be as it is?
God is an attempt to ground what needs no ground. It is based on the assumption that there is a meaningful distinction between what is necessary and what is contingent as it applies to existence, as if what is true of the relationship between things that exist must be true of the relationship between what exists and what does not exist but must be in order for anything to exist.

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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 29th, 2018, 3:43 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
August 29th, 2018, 2:16 pm

This is what I have characterized as his siege mentality. Despite his claims to the contrary, his ultimate concern, at least in so far as his actions on this forum indicate, is to protect his beliefs against all perceived attacks and slights, real or imagined. Whether this is because of an insecurity due to the fragility of those beliefs or because of the belief that as an act of faith the Christian soldier must do battle against all those who would question his purported ultimate concern, I cannot say.
“Good taste, the last and vilest of human superstitions, has succeeded in silencing us where all the rest have failed.” I refuse to be silenced by “good taste.”
So, we find in the classical theist Anselm not a denial of the existence of God but a affirmation, and not a denial of the being of God but an affirmation, and not a denial of the ability to conceive of God but an affirmation. Indeed Anselm has a whole list of divine attributes.
I, too, affirm the above.
To regard DS as definitive in this role would rob me of the freedom to formulate a religious philosophy suited to my own uniqueness (which is "unique" only from my circumscribed point of view).
Just say what you mean: free thinking not allowed.
Knowingly or not, he also walks away from classical theism when he shifts to Tillich. Apparently he wants to be free to not have a coherent religious philosophy, just to attack others using whatever weapons he has at hand.
Really? Once again (as usual) you shoot your mouth off without knowing what you’re talking about.
Tillich expands on the concept that God is Existence-Itself rather than a being that exists (aside: this is not a new idea by Tillich; it’s expressed in the Summa Theologica and before that in some patristic writings). If God were a being He would be only a part of reality, conditioned and subject to reality’s finitudes. If God were a being it would also force God into the subject-object dichotomy, which God often transcends (eg we cannot effectively pray without the Holy Spirit praying with us, Rom 8:26-27). Rather, God is the unconditioned source of all being against the threat of non-being; quoting Martin Luther, God is “nearer to all creatures than they are to themselves.” Tillich uses various phrases such as “ground of being” or “power of being” to describe God.

Similarly, God as a whole is not a person or a nonperson, but is the personal. Both individualization and participation are grounded in God.

God does not “exist” in a sense, because there is nowhere in the universe one can physically find Him. Tillich refers to the conception of God as a being as the “God of Theism” a phrase which leads to a lot of confusion because Tillich is defining theism a certain way here. We tend to conceive of God as a being due to our finitude and limited capability to understand God. The God who is Being-Itself beyond what we can imagine is the “God above God.”


God is an attempt to ground what needs no ground. It is based on the assumption that there is a meaningful distinction between what is necessary and what is contingent as it applies to existence, as if what is true of the relationship between things that exist must be true of the relationship between what exists and what does not exist but must be in order for anything to exist.
Just another dodge.

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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Fooloso4 » August 29th, 2018, 5:36 pm

Dark Matter:
“Good taste, the last and vilest of human superstitions, has succeeded in silencing us where all the rest have failed.” I refuse to be silenced by “good taste.”
Civility, courtesy, and common decency are a matter of taste, although I can understand why you might think so since you have no regard for them and think it is nothing more than personal preference, as if how we choose to treat others is no different than choosing vanilla or chocolate.

The last thing I want to do is silence you. It is too much fun responding.
I, too, affirm the above.
So you both affirm and deny the existence of God, affirm and deny that God is a being, affirm and deny that God can be adequately conceived. That certainly is useful as a way of attacking everyone no matter what they say. For you both are right but for others who do not agree with you both are wrong.
Just say what you mean: free thinking not allowed.
It has nothing to do with free thinking and everything to do with evasive thinking and evasive arguments.
Really? Once again (as usual) you shoot your mouth off without knowing what you’re talking about.
This is a succinct statement, in his own words, of Tillich's criticism of classical theism:
The God of the theological theism is a being besides others and as such a part of the whole reality. He is certainly considered its most important part, but as a part and therefore as subjected to the structure of the whole. He is supposed to be beyond the ontological elements and categories which constitute reality. But every statement subjects him to them. He is seen as a self which has a world, as an ego which relates to a thought, as a cause which is separated from its effect, as having a definite space and endless time. He is a being, not being-itself. (Courage to Be, p.184)
Here we have the source of the inherent contradiction at the heart of your claims. You want to have it both ways, to keep classical theism and Tillich’s rejection of classical theism. Thus you cannot take a step without tripping over your feet.
God is Existence-Itself … it’s expressed in the Summa Theologica
Why quote some unidentified person instead of Tillich himself? Why not quote the Summa Theologica itself?

From the Summa Theologica: Question 2, article 3:
Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God. (third way)

Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God. (fourth way)

Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God. (firth way)

God is the first being, as shown above Question [2], Article [3]) (Question 3, Article 7).
Not all theologians agree with Tillich or with the classical theists or whoever else you drag into the argument. There are many ways to frame the questions. Attacking others because they do not share your conceptual framework is a sign of philosophical immaturity.
Just another dodge.
You do not dodge what is a fundamental issue that you are not adequately prepared to deal with by claiming it is a dodge.

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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 29th, 2018, 10:29 pm

Not all theologians agree with Tillich or with the classical theists or whoever else you drag into the argument.
Gee, no kidding?

So, what is YOUR ultimate concern? What, in your opinion, must be in order for what is to be as it is? Why is your idea of tolerance and acceptance so intolerant and unaccepting? Why must my point of view fall into your preconceptions of what you think it should be?

In short, I’m through with your hypocrisy.

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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Burning ghost » August 30th, 2018, 11:18 am

I’m going to crack opena new thread to discuss meanings of “god” and “religion.” The main point of reference is likley to be Eliade’s The Sacred and The Profane because there are many interesting points of discussion littered through that particular work.

I also promised someone here, some time ago, that I’d start a topic on Geertz’s definition of religion too - that would need to go in a separate thread though because he wrote around 30 pages of explanation for his line definition - which does tie into Eliade’s broader approach imo.
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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Fooloso4 » August 30th, 2018, 11:21 am

DM:
Not all theologians agree with Tillich or with the classical theists or whoever else you drag into the argument.
Gee, no kidding?
This was a prefatory statement. The point was:
There are many ways to frame the questions. Attacking others because they do not share your conceptual framework is a sign of philosophical immaturity.
As to that framework itself, it can’t support anything because it’s a hodgepodge of vague claims about classical theism and Tillich that contradict each other as soon as the details are examined.
So, what is YOUR ultimate concern?
I have no ultimate concern. I have a variety of concerns, but no one concern that overrides all others, and no concern for speculation about what is ultimate.
What, in your opinion, must be in order for what is to be as it is?
I already addressed this here and in previous discussions. You obviously cannot comprehend what is at issue. Just yesterday you called it a dodge.
Why is your idea of tolerance and acceptance so intolerant and unaccepting?
Tolerance does not mean uncritical acceptance of whatever anyone says or does.
Why must my point of view fall into your preconceptions of what you think it should be?
I entered this conversation in response to Burning ghost’s question to you:
Why do you throw insults at every opportunity? It’s quite strange.
And now you play the innocent who just wants to express his point of view. This is a philosophy forum. Scrutiny and critique of claims is the kind of thing you do on a philosophy forum. It is evident that you count on others not reading the sources you appeal to, but I have, and since you only quote from secondary sources I suspect you have not. In any case, if you present your views you should be prepared to defend them. If you cannot adequately defend them then don’t sulk.
In short, I’m through with your hypocrisy.
In short, true to form, when insults and bluster fail, you look for an exist. This has been the pattern in every encounter we have had.

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Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Eduk » August 30th, 2018, 11:37 am

In short, true to form, when insults and bluster fail, you look for an exist. This has been the pattern in every encounter we have had.
DM do you see a contradiction between your actions and your claims?
Man’s general way of thinking of the totality, i.e. his general world view, is crucial for overall order of the human mind itself. If he thinks of the totality as constituted of independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken, and without a border (for every border is a division or break) then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole. — David Bohm
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