1. Joined
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    16 Dec '07 23:03
    Isaiah 64:4
    For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

    1Corinthians 2:9,10,14
    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
    But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
  2. Joined
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    16 Dec '07 23:04
    Originally posted by josephw
    Isaiah 64:4
    For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

    1Corinthians 2:9,10,14
    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared f ...[text shortened]... they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    Fact.
  3. Joined
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    17 Dec '07 01:31
    Originally posted by josephw
    Isaiah 64:4
    For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

    1Corinthians 2:9,10,14
    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared f ...[text shortened]... they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    Gee, I don't know Joseph. You know I really have my doubts that it could be WRONG!!

    Edit: Had you going there for a while, no? 😛
  4. Hmmm . . .
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    17 Dec '07 02:212 edits
    Someone can take something as fact, when it is not, without being foolish. They can simply be operating under illusion, however that illusion is informed.

    Believing something contrary to all the evidence that one has may be foolish. Refusing to examine or investigate further what one would like to be evidence seems foolish. A good deal of the argument on here between theists and atheists has to do with what evidence properly should be admitted as such, and why or why not.

    For example, a good deal of what theists offer as evidence seems, to me, to depend on an a priori assumption of supernaturalism. Without that assumption miracles, divinely inspired writings, experiences of the divine, etc. carry no evidentiary weight in terms of pointing to a supernatural being. Now, I do not assume supernaturalism at all. On the other hand, I do not label that assumption “foolish” per se. I simply see no necessity for the leap in the face of possible natural explanations, or even a simple “I don’t know.”

    Someone recently pointed out the circularity of arguing from God-inspired scripture as evidence for the existence of the God that inspired it. Not every theist, however, makes that logical error.

    The following is a minimal list of axioms that I think are necessary for theological discourse:

    ________________________________________

    Suggested Axioms for Theological Discourse

    A1: A supernatural category.

    —i.e., that reality is not exhausted by the natural totality (universe).

    —I might call this the “categorical axiom.”

    A2: Communicability.

    —i.e., revelation: either (a) natural or (b) mystical, either by direct mystical experience or via written revelation recording such experience.

    —This entails the ability of the supernatural to have access to the natural realm. The same holds for the ability of the supernatural to act in the natural realm.

    —If the supernatural either cannot or does not communicate to the natural realm, nothing can be known of it; and A1 is an epistemically empty category.

    A3: Coherency.

    —i.e., that what is communicated is done so in such a way as to be meaningfully accessed and understood by our cognitive faculties.

    —also that it can be meaningfully communicated in human discourse.

    ______________________________________

    These axioms are intended in the sense that, as Dr. Scribbles put it, “An axiom is any proposition serving as a standard of truth within some universe of discourse.”

    See: http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=65825 (“Calling Out the Logical Lion (Dr.S.)” ) for the Good Doktor’s exposition.

    If one does not accept such axioms as “standards of truth,” one will conclude that such discourse is meaningless. One might, of course, accept such axioms strictly “for the sake of argument”—e.g., to assess the internal consistency of a particular theological system. However, that does not mean that one sees any (isomorphic) connection with that theological system (its propositions, stories and symbols, etc.) and reality.

    The above list is not meant to be exhaustive, but merely what I could come up with. It does, however, seem to me to be minimal.

    ______________________________________

    EDIT:

    For strict theism (i.e., a god or gods as individual beings) I suggest a fourth necessary axiom:

    A4: Dualism.

    —That is, the divine realm is separate from the natural realm. Ultimately, there is not one whole, but minimally two domains (the supernatural is not a mysterious aspect of the natural universe, but is actually extra-natural).

    —Then again, this might just be a necessary corollary of A1.
  5. Subscribermdhall
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    18 Dec '07 14:05
    It's nice having a professor on the board.

    The Communicability axiom is interesting. I always approached it from a temporal aspect.

    A2: The Natural Universe is governed by motion which is the cause of temporal measurement.

    A3: Supernatural/Extra-natural beings would be outside the realm of motion and time and therefore have no logical access to our causal-based experience of life.

    What do you think Visted?
    Would you add in a Temporal portion to your Communicability line?
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    18 Dec '07 18:29
    Originally posted by mdhall
    It's nice having a professor on the board.

    The Communicability axiom is interesting. I always approached it from a temporal aspect.

    A2: The Natural Universe is governed by motion which is the cause of temporal measurement.

    A3: Supernatural/Extra-natural beings would be outside the realm of motion and time and therefore have no logical access to our ...[text shortened]...

    What do you think Visted?
    Would you add in a Temporal portion to your Communicability line?
    Not a professor, just a perpetual student. Thanks for the compliment though. 🙂

    Yes, I think you’ve cut into it a bit deeper than I did. And I think there are at least two questions there: (1) What does it mean for “a being” to be “outside” of—and not be subject to—time-space dimensionality (or natural dimensionality in general, if there are in fact further dimensions); and (2) how could such a being “reach” into time-space dimensionality to communicate/act. How can a “timeless” being act in time?

    I think (1) may actually go to my A1; (2) certainly goes to my A2.

    Further, even if such a being were able to reach into the time-space dimensional realm, would not such a being—at that point—be bound by the laws of that dimensionality? Would not an a-temporal being become bound by temporality?

    Unless one can answer the question raised in your A3, where is the logic? Can God violate, not only physical laws, but logic as well?

    Just a thought:

    Let T stand for “temporal”, i.e., in time and subject to temporality. Let ~T stand for not-temporal. [T & ~T] is a logical contradiction; even if ~T makes any sense itself. God is either ~T or T, but not both at the same time. (I’m not the best logician, though, so maybe there is a flaw here I’m not seeing.)
  7. Subscribermdhall
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    18 Dec '07 19:21
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Not a professor, just a perpetual student. Thanks for the compliment though. 🙂

    Yes, I think you’ve cut into it a bit deeper than I did. And I think there are at least two questions there: (1) What does it mean for “a being” to be “outside” of—and not be subject to—time-space dimensionality (or natural dimensionality in general, if there are in fact f ...[text shortened]... e same time. (I’m not the best logician, though, so maybe there is a flaw here I’m not seeing.)
    The mystical is tough to speak intelligently about.

    From our experience we exist in a Universe governed by causal relationships.

    Since the universe theoretically began as one collected mass, and then exploded into motion, there is evidence that *We* really are all "One" and connected. We truly are made of star dust.

    Trying to go beyond that universal connection and prime mover is near impossible for me to speak about logically.

    After those two posits spirituality moves into psychology and sociology in the form of religions. Popular beliefs in mythical god(s) that have the characteristics of Humans and control life, death, happiness, wealth, etc, are tedious to debate.

    But back to the question at hand.
    Can there exist a "being" outside of a temporal-material universe?
    1. The Prime Mover had to exist outside to cause the first motion.

    Can the Prime Mover operate within the temporal-material universe?
    1. T & ~T. Most probably not.
    1a. It follows that the Prime Mover would not interact/interfere within the universe.

    How do we explain everything we don't understand? Miracles and the like?
    1. Not with the Prime Mover.
  8. Joined
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    18 Dec '07 19:25
    Originally posted by josephw
    Isaiah 64:4
    For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

    1Corinthians 2:9,10,14
    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared f ...[text shortened]... they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    Foolishness, or fact?

    That time of year thou mayst in me behold
    When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
    Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
    Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
    In me thou seest the twilight of such day
    As after sunset fadeth in the west,
    Which by and by black night doth take away,
    Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
    In me thou seest the glowing of such fire
    That on the ashes of his youth doth lie
    As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
    Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
    This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
    To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

    Shakespeare, Sonnet 73
  9. Hmmm . . .
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    18 Dec '07 22:33
    Originally posted by mdhall
    The mystical is tough to speak intelligently about.

    From our experience we exist in a Universe governed by causal relationships.

    Since the universe theoretically began as one collected mass, and then exploded into motion, there is evidence that *We* really are all "One" and connected. We truly are made of star dust.

    Trying to go beyond that universa ...[text shortened]... plain everything we don't understand? Miracles and the like?
    1. Not with the Prime Mover.
    The mystical is tough to speak intelligently about.

    Tell me about it! Lately I’ve tried to be pretty careful about attaching the “fingers pointing at the moon” caveat to all my talk of it.

    Maybe we should follow castlerook’s example, and restrict ourselves to poetry...

    1. The Prime Mover had to exist outside to cause the first motion.

    I’m unsure of this. Why not some inexplicable fact of the universe itself? (Of course, such a “prime mover” would cease to be the external agent of supernatural theism, but it would seem plausible within, say, Advaita Vedanta or Taoism—this seems to be the old dualism versus non-dualism question.)

    Can the Prime Mover operate within the temporal-material universe?
    1. T & ~T. Most probably not.
    1a. It follows that the Prime Mover would not interact/interfere within the universe.

    How do we explain everything we don't understand? Miracles and the like?
    1. Not with the Prime Mover.


    This is all, despite my question above, set up nicely.
  10. Hmmm . . .
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    18 Dec '07 22:33
    Originally posted by castlerook
    Foolishness, or fact?

    That time of year thou mayst in me behold
    When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
    Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
    Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
    In me thou seest the twilight of such day
    As after sunset fadeth in the west,
    Which by and by black night doth take away,
    Death's second s ...[text shortened]... love more strong,
    To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

    Shakespeare, Sonnet 73
    Thank you.
  11. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    19 Dec '07 00:071 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    Isaiah 64:4
    For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

    1Corinthians 2:9,10,14
    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared f ...[text shortened]... they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    Brainwashing. It offers special benefits to people who "hand their souls" (i.e. commit themselves at a deep psychological level) to this belief system. The level of mental commitment required will then create it's own rewards as the mind tries to justify the person's beliefs.

    It's kind of a way to manipulate behavior by indirectly manipulating brain chemistry to get people addicted to their religion.
  12. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    19 Dec '07 00:15
    Originally posted by mdhall
    The mystical is tough to speak intelligently about.

    From our experience we exist in a Universe governed by causal relationships.

    Since the universe theoretically began as one collected mass, and then exploded into motion, there is evidence that *We* really are all "One" and connected. We truly are made of star dust.

    Trying to go beyond that universa ...[text shortened]... plain everything we don't understand? Miracles and the like?
    1. Not with the Prime Mover.
    "The mystical" is nothing more than an emotional state and those things which evoke that emotional state. How much time can most people spend intelligently discussing any emotion? Love? Courage? Terror?

    When many people talk about understanding these things, I think they mean experiencing them. Rational discussion suppresses emotional experience I think, and vice versa.
  13. Standard membershavixmir
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    19 Dec '07 11:391 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    Isaiah 64:4
    For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

    1Corinthians 2:9,10,14
    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared f ...[text shortened]... they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    I think any text that still uses "hath" should be discarded as ancient tripe.

    EDIT: Discarded??? What the hell is going on...
  14. Subscribermdhall
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    19 Dec '07 15:17
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    "The mystical" is nothing more than an emotional state and those things which evoke that emotional state. How much time can most people spend intelligently discussing any emotion? Love? Courage? Terror?
    You sound over confident.
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    19 Dec '07 15:37
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Thank you.
    You're quite welcome. This would perhaps be an appropriate moment to say that I have found your posts helpful in my own journey for a while (I would browse these boards for some time before doing any posting), so thank you too.

    Regarding your axioms for theological discourse, which I find quite interesting, it occurs to me that all of them, not just A4, are for "strict theism." For example, I think one can have theological discourse within a pantheistic framework (God being immanent throughout the universe), without the assumption of a supernatural category.

    So much for restricting myself to poetry. 🙂
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