The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

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.
Post Reply
User avatar
ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1122
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 28th, 2018, 12:41 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 12:34 pm
I don't know. What do you know about the doctrine of divine simplicity?

See above.
A doctrine is an idle assertion.

This one is interesting in that theology utterly ignores it, and is guilty of unnecessary accretions upon simple conceptions of divinity.

Eduk
Posts: 2466
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Eduk » August 28th, 2018, 12:57 pm

I don't know. What do you know about the doctrine of divine simplicity?
Nothing at the moment, did you mention it before? What is divine simplicity?
See above.
What has divine simplicity to do with whether general principles learned through life can be applied generally?
Unknown means unknown.

Dark Matter
Posts: 1366
Joined: August 18th, 2016, 11:29 am
Favorite Philosopher: Paul Tillich

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 28th, 2018, 12:58 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 6:15 am
Dark Matter -

Could you define what you mean by “god” please? I’ve done so myself a little elsewhere in an exchange with Tommarcus. Still waiting to hear back from him.
For Tillich, religion is a person’s ultimate concern, something that they base their lives around as the most important thing. I agree. If a definition of God must be stated, "That than which no greater can be conceived" will do.

Dark Matter
Posts: 1366
Joined: August 18th, 2016, 11:29 am
Favorite Philosopher: Paul Tillich

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 28th, 2018, 1:14 pm

Eduk wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 12:57 pm
I don't know. What do you know about the doctrine of divine simplicity?
Nothing at the moment, did you mention it before? What is divine simplicity?
Oh, it's nothing, really. Just the core tenet of most of the world's religions. It's also the central theme of the book you thought it unnecessary to read (there are others). The point is, being involved in a forum like this and having little or no awareness of something as important as the DoS seems kind of silly, don't you think?

Eduk
Posts: 2466
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Eduk » August 28th, 2018, 1:41 pm

Can you tell me what it is though?
Also I didn't say your book was unnecessary to read I questioned whether it was necessary to read, those are two very different things.
Unknown means unknown.

Dark Matter
Posts: 1366
Joined: August 18th, 2016, 11:29 am
Favorite Philosopher: Paul Tillich

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 28th, 2018, 1:51 pm

Eduk wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 1:41 pm
Can you tell me what it is though?
Also I didn't say your book was unnecessary to read I questioned whether it was necessary to read, those are two very different things.
If you are not willing to investigate for yourself, then the charge of willful ignorance is confirmed.

Eduk
Posts: 2466
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Eduk » August 28th, 2018, 2:04 pm

I thought you might be able to shed insight. Reading various articles it sounds much like what you have explained yourself many times.
So in that sense I do somewhat know what it is without knowing the terminology.
It's also not without its critics, amongst theologians.
Also it makes no sense to me. I am just back to square one. If true so what?
Unknown means unknown.

Fooloso4
Moderator
Posts: 3601
Joined: February 28th, 2014, 4:50 pm

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Fooloso4 » August 28th, 2018, 2:30 pm

Divine simplicity:
a) An attempt to eff the ineffable.

b) To talk about something the concept itself precludes talking about. (Encyclopedia of Absolute, Necessary, and Unquestionable Truth, page 12,679)

Dark Matter
Posts: 1366
Joined: August 18th, 2016, 11:29 am
Favorite Philosopher: Paul Tillich

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 28th, 2018, 2:47 pm

Eduk wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 2:04 pm
I thought you might be able to shed insight. Reading various articles it sounds much like what you have explained yourself many times.
So in that sense I do somewhat know what it is without knowing the terminology.
It's also not without its critics, amongst theologians.
Also it makes no sense to me. I am just back to square one. If true so what?
It’s been hotly debated for centuries. In forums such as this, debate is almost exclusively about non-classical theism. That’s a non-starter for classical theists; totally irrelevant. Put simply, in classical theism, God is without parts (simple).

“So what?”
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

Dark Matter
Posts: 1366
Joined: August 18th, 2016, 11:29 am
Favorite Philosopher: Paul Tillich

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 28th, 2018, 6:05 pm

When viewed as foundational rather than definitive, the doctrine of divine simplicity (DS) is the most beautiful, intriguing, and internally consistent philosophy I've encountered in my 68 years. That is to say, I don't need to rely on the scholastics to tell me what DS entails, but it would be foolish to ignore what they have to say. I consider what Lucy (in the movie Lucy) to articulate the situation very well:
“Humans consider themselves unique, so they've rooted their whole theory of existence on their uniqueness. 'One' is their unit of measure. But it's not. All social systems we've put into place are a mere sketch. 'One plus one equals two.' That's all we've learned. But one plus one has never equaled two. There are, in fact, no numbers and no letters. We've codified our existence to bring it down to human size, to make it comprehensible. We've created a scale so we can forget its unfathomable scale.”
— Lucy
The problem for me is how to derive the many from the One and how to make sense of it. 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).

User avatar
ThomasHobbes
Posts: 1122
Joined: May 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 28th, 2018, 6:23 pm

"Divine Simplicity"

God is everything; therefore god is nothing.

Quite simply put there is the universe, but no god.

User avatar
Burning ghost
Posts: 3037
Joined: February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Burning ghost » August 28th, 2018, 7:47 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 12:58 pm
Burning ghost wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 6:15 am
Dark Matter -

Could you define what you mean by “god” please? I’ve done so myself a little elsewhere in an exchange with Tommarcus. Still waiting to hear back from him.
For Tillich, religion is a person’s ultimate concern, something that they base their lives around as the most important thing. I agree. If a definition of God must be stated, "That than which no greater can be conceived" will do.
Could we translate this as the highest kind of aspiration possible? If so I think anyone can happily except this without having to refer to a deity. The point being that an atheist can have the same vision for themselves as a theist in regard to how they position themselves in life and make moral decisions. The difference is only in how they frame their inner aspirations.
AKA badgerjelly

Dark Matter
Posts: 1366
Joined: August 18th, 2016, 11:29 am
Favorite Philosopher: Paul Tillich

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 28th, 2018, 8:38 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 7:47 pm
Dark Matter wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 12:58 pm

For Tillich, religion is a person’s ultimate concern, something that they base their lives around as the most important thing. I agree. If a definition of God must be stated, "That than which no greater can be conceived" will do.
Could we translate this as the highest kind of aspiration possible? If so I think anyone can happily except this without having to refer to a deity. The point being that an atheist can have the same vision for themselves as a theist in regard to how they position themselves in life and make moral decisions. The difference is only in how they frame their inner aspirations.
That works for religion, but do you really think atheists would be happy with atheism being thought of as religion? And what does an atheist say about that than which no greater can be conceived"?

User avatar
Burning ghost
Posts: 3037
Joined: February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Burning ghost » August 28th, 2018, 9:46 pm

DM -

I think miscoception is with atheists being viewed as unreasonable. Some are not all. Not believing in a deity doesn’t they are unwilling to explore reasonable hypotheticals.

Atheism is not a religion any more than patriotism or some political inclination. The difference being the belief in some deity. There appears to be a grey area between when the concept of god is that of a deity and when a group of commonly held views becomes a religion. Religions are generally distinguished by being based on ancient scripture. There is no scripture for atheism, it’s merely a political term used to combat religious dogma - and with good reason. An atheist needn’t be an anti-theist. I would say just as many theists are to blame for portraying all atheists as anti-theists as atheists are for portraying all theists as zealots.

Happy? That is not the question. The point is that the common distinction is that of a belief in a god (meaning some higher form of consciousness playing an active role and as creator of the universe) is not what atheists believe by definition.

Another distinction would be to say that religions have traditions. Atheism doesn’t have a tradition. There are no special atheist days where people come together to celebrate their lack of belief in something. There is no day where people gather to celebrate their common disbelief - such a gathering would happen only as a sardonic political scheme to show defiance against extreme religious dogmatism which can, and does, inhibit the free rights of some people around the world and to fight against creationists attempts to teach lies to children about the age of the Earth and the origins of life.
AKA badgerjelly

Dark Matter
Posts: 1366
Joined: August 18th, 2016, 11:29 am
Favorite Philosopher: Paul Tillich

Re: P2. God, Imperatively Must Be Absolutely Perfect

Post by Dark Matter » August 29th, 2018, 12:24 am

Burning ghost wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 9:46 pm
DM -

I think miscoception is with atheists being viewed as unreasonable. Some are not all. Not believing in a deity doesn’t they are unwilling to explore reasonable hypotheticals.
That takes us to the non-starter I alluded to. "A deity" implies that God is just one more being among many.

Also, your dogmatic assertion that atheism is not a religion is just amusing. :wink:

Post Reply