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What is "God"?

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Niall001
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Re: Necessity

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I'd like to thank MadArchitect for saying everything I'd like to say were I somewhat more articulate, better informed and in possession of time. Let us agree, there is no one single reality. Not upon this stage, not in this world, all is in the mind... imagination is the only truth. Because it cannot be contradicted except by other imaginations - Richard MathesonThere are no conclusive indications by which waking life can be distinguished from sleep - Rene Descartes
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Interbane

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Re: God is....

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Niall, that seems an abstraction that is sufficient to explain the [experiences / emotions / thoughts / etc.] that people attribute to God. Though it is sufficient, it is not necessary to explain those things. Those things may be explained in other ways.Epistemology asserts four conditions necessary for knowledge. Of those four, the one that it is most concerned with epistemology is that you have sufficient evidence for the belief. One of the 'good reasons' that are the basis of knowledge by sufficient evidence is that of intuition. Many people base knowledge off intuition, and I see the above post by you using this basis. Yet intuition as a basis for knowledge is an idea that has eroded in recent times. There are numerous factors that have contributed to this erosion. Some are self evident, others not.I'll explain them if you'd like, but I'm out of time.
Niall001
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Re: God is....

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That'd be great thanks Interbane.I don't know if intuition as a basis for knowledge has eroded in recent years. I'd say that people have stopped acknowledging it as the basis of their beliefs. All beliefs are based on intuition. Some things cannot be proven. There is no logical means to verify logic's validity. But we feel that it is correct. To some, it seems ridiculous to question its validity because it seems to be a self evident truth to them. Likewise, other issues are similarly mocked, such as the problem of the privacy of people's minds, the accuracy of language and the accuracy of human perception. People don't consider these issues to be problems, because they seem obvious. Yet, belief in such things is intuitive. It is not the result of logical reasoning. Though when questioned, a logical justification may be attempted but these are intrinsically impossible. Let us agree, there is no one single reality. Not upon this stage, not in this world, all is in the mind... imagination is the only truth. Because it cannot be contradicted except by other imaginations - Richard MathesonThere are no conclusive indications by which waking life can be distinguished from sleep - Rene Descartes
irondemon

Intrinsically impossible

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Trying to grasp the justification for those things which appear axiomatic gives me that strangely enjoyable mind-ache. I feel like a child who continues to ask the adult, but why? Finally, having drilled (cognitively) to the bedrock of existence (do we actually achieve that depth), one can go no further, and must content oneself with the answer of why x must be true: because it cannot be the case that x is not true. Oh the circulairty?! The possibility (if not actuality) that existence's enabling act* is neither provable nor justifiable is simultaneously pleasing and troubleseome. *I refer to an enabling act not in the physical sense of a caused effect over time, but in a more legal use of the word signifying the authority through which the negation of non-existence occurs, and by which existence itself is goverened. Although maybe Leibniz would argue the two definitions describe an identical concept? And maybe that concept is a deity. Which is probably my answer to the question in the original post to this thread. However, its not much of an answer, the deity. The answer certainly does not bring me any closer to the truth. In that sense, or to the extent that having no answer places me in the same epistemological and ontological location as having a deity be the answer, I would assert that the answer is useless. Ah, and maybe that, then, is my real answer to the question of what is god: useless.
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Interbane

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Re: Intrinsically impossible

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Niall, intuition as a basis for knowledge holds the same foundational position as memory, and perception. There is a fourth, but I can't recall it off the top of my head.When you say that in order to use perception as a basis for knowledge there is an intuitive understanding, you are touching on a different aspect of epistemology. That is a circular reductionist aspect that leads to a point where you erode all foundations to nothing, leaving you with nothing. Like MadArchitect said, the intuitive feeling we have that sense perception is a solid basis for knowledge is the area that we must all provisionally agree is true.Intuition as a basis for knowledge can be reduced to subpoints, around a dozen or so in the book I'm currently reading. Some of these points include modern explanations of counterintuitive truths, such as the uncaused middle or Euclidean Geometry. These modern discoveries that are counterintuitive are the waters that erode intuition's merit as a foundation for knowledge. That is not to say that there aren't intuitive truths; I'm sure there are. But the strength of the conviction we have with intuition as a foundation for knowledge is lessened due the existence of many counterintuitive truths.Quote:Trying to grasp the justification for those things which appear axiomatic gives me that strangely enjoyable mind-ache.I agree, my debates with MadArchitect have lead me to start reading philosophy, and I'm soaking up books like kids eat candy. It's fun, but at the same time, there's a little less 'magic' in everything I see.Quote:but in a more legal use of the word signifying the authority through which the negation of non-existence occurs, and by which existence itself is goverened.Are you speaking of the method by which we as humans slowly uncover what we see as the truth? Or a much more fundamental concept where you're making a distinction between what is real and what is not?To better word it, a subjective or objective concept?
capecodindependant

Re: Intrinsically impossible

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God is a loving Savior TBR Astrophysics & Cosmology Friends & Mild Lunacy.
irondemon

Interbane

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By enabling act I'm referring to whatever it is that allows existence, and which must, I think, simultaneously govern it (i.e. physical laws), if those are separate functions. If the universe simply cannot-not exist, then the enabling act is whatever it is which allows for the universe to not not-exist. I'm pretty sure that answer is circular, and I apologize. Am I not using as a premise that which I am trying to "prove?" I think so...I suck, lol. I have a final in 2 hours, and I'm trying to warm-up my brain.Is that concept subjective or objective? I think that was your question. I don't know. I am dualist (not in the Cartesian sense) to the extent that I believe in the existence of the universe as object (primary), but I also believe that each sentient individual is quite literally carrying around in her mind an entirely subjective universe (secondary, but consisting of the same "stuff" as the primary), mostly closed to investigation, and which usurps the other - even though the latter would not exist but for the former. This seems to me to be a version of the mad scientist scenario, wherein a person is aksed to demonstrate how he or she knows that he or she is not actually just a brain in a vat of goo on the shelf of some cosmic mad scientist's laboratory, being manipulated for the sheer enjoyment of said madman (another definition of god?). One answer is that the person does not and cannot know, and that it doesn't matter because the secondary universe is the universe with which we concern ourselves, for the most part. When I say for the most part, I mean that occasionally we must touch on topics which none of our secondary universes can alter via subjectification, such as mathematics; 2 plus 2 will always yield 4, regardless of whose secondary universe does the math.
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Re: Interbane

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I agree, my debates with MadArchitect have lead me to start reading philosophy, and I'm soaking up books like kids eat candy. It's fun, but at the same time, there's a little less 'magic' in everything I see.Then you're going to want to work your way back around from time to time and reconnect yourself to that sense of wonder which Plato says is the basic experience of philosophy.
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Re: Interbane

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Quote:Then you're going to want to work your way back around from time to time and reconnect yourself to that sense of wonder which Plato says is the basic experience of philosophy.Yes, this has tickled my brain a few times. I need to take the ACT and go to college for philosophy, I think it's my calling - I have a ton of fun seeking the truth and setting aside falsities.
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