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Everything posted by thormas

  1. thormas

    Heathens! 2

    You're on a roll - good stuff.
  2. No idea what hypothesis you mean Eastern traditions, then you really do need to read Hart who quotes frequently from Hinduism. And yet you never answered the questions about Campbell.
  3. No complains about Campbell though?? Is he just flowery language? Is his a hypothesis or belief? I mean you did quote him! What hypothesis is not helpful? Campbell?
  4. Joseph is not the only great theological thinker. And, we must say of Joseph what we say of all religious or theological thinkers, is that his is a belief statement - we do not know, there is no absolute certainty. So Joseph's depiction of the 'ultimate' is his belief. I like Campbell and I like what he says here. I allow for the transcendence of duality and I allow for the dissolving of self* into the ground of being (actually such dissolving of self is referred to as selflessness in everyday life) and I have already said that theologians speak about the human experience of God as opposed to God in himself. Therefore, and of course, our images are metaphor - (a favorite book by John Hick is 'The Metaphor of God Incarnate'). So, our metaphors refer to ultimate mystery (an idea sacrosanct in theology). So, I am in agreement with a good deal of Joseph's belief but then we diverge a bit (believing somewhat different things) or we simply give the same 'ultimate' different names. I agree that there is 'one - the mystery of our being and the being of the world.' And, that (the various and diverse human) images for god give way in the experience of the ultimate mystery, I also agree that there is nobody there (and also no there), no god, no you. Because you, me, god, there, nobody, anybody are objects and in uniting with mystery, there are no objects among other objects, there is one, the mystery. Where I differ, respectfully, very respectfully with Joseph is that for me, there is no god (understood here as human image of god, metaphor), there is only the Ultimate Mystery (from which we come, in which we are, to which we unite or re-connect). It is precisely Campbell's ultimate mystery that theism calls "God." Not a supreme person, not part of the universe, not Jesus Christ, not an object capable of being explored - rather, in Campbell's words: "the ultimate mystery of your own being, which is the mystery of the being of the world as well." It is this mystery, that I refer to as "God." The ultimate mystery is unnameable and unknowable (for Campbell who never names it and states that all our images/names are metaphor that never fully touch the reality). The mystery is not an object, not one of us, not part of the universe - the mystery is that to which all that is, tends (goal), the mystery of our being. So is the mystery prior to our being, is it the source of our being, of all being- especially since for Campbell, it is our destiny/goal? Rom, you quoted Campbell: so I assume you agree in whole or part with him (or were you just throwing ontological)? If you are in agreement, then you are agreeing with his belief statement- is there evidence for the specifics of what he has said? Do you believe there is ultimate mystery which is our goal and source? If all dissolves in the ultimate mystery which is the source of the being of the world, it is also the source of the being of the universe- so is it the universe? Anyway, it is this mystery, that I refer to as "God." So, with Joseph I am in good company.
  5. The scope of science is the entirety of the universe; science posits theories, offers descriptions and delves into secrets of the universe. However, as said, we can debate its accuracy: there is no absolute certainty with science. Many of us, (atheists, agnostics, theists, humanists, pantheists and panentheists) agree that science gives us more and more accurate descriptions of how the universe ticks and also that it has limitations. It is because we 'don't actually know anything' (although I prefer to say everything) that I have referred, numerous times, to opinions or beliefs, however, I think this statement needs a clearer explanation. I want to make two simple points (meant to be explanatory not argumentative). First, science: we do have facts, hypotheses and theories about the universe and the things, laws and processes in the universe, so, on one hand, we do know some-things. However, there currently seem to be two possibilities (perhaps there are others), either seemingly acceptable: if all is illusion then, then the objects of scientific inquire are illusory and, we portray the universe as it seems while speculating on what is real. Conversely, if we accept that the universe is real, then, the vast range of scientific tools, is giving us greater insights about the universe, as it is. If those who are more versed in science care to elaborate, please do. Most of us appreciate the sciences and, seemingly, all of us rely on the sciences. Furthermore, many people (me included) see no contradiction or problem(s) with science as it relates to religious belief (some obviously do, but they are not the present concern). For me, and if you read Hart's 1st chapter, you'll see that 'believers' or religious persons, should have no issue with science (nor fear it). The point is that, for me, for Hart, for many others, science describes the universe and we are better for it: the universe (illusion or real) is the object(s) on which science focuses and postulates. Second, religion: "God" is not believed to be part of the universe. Or, to use language from this thread: "God" is the reality, the substrate/ground of all objects (be they not as they seem or as they seem). "God" is not the universe or the multiverse; not in or part of the universe or multiverse, as one object among others. Rather, "God" is the very possibility of every-thing: "God" is ontologically prior to and the continuing ontological possibility of the universe, of creation, of all. "God," so understood, is not an object and, as such, is not within the scope of scientific inquiry. This is why I have referred to "God" as the subject of faith - different from the objects of science. You will see, in this paragraph that I have continually use the word, believe. Religion, by definition is belief and for all theistic religions, that belief is (in) "God." Religion, the best of religion and its best thinkers is not (should not be) anti-science. The primary focus (although not the only one, since its adherents are inhabitants of the universe) of religion is not the universe (in the way it is for science) but the ultimate meaning of life and the living of that meaning. It believes that meaning is found in "God," or the meaning is "God." "God" says Hart is not a proper name (his use of quotes signifies this and also that he is not talking about gods). The best religious thinkers talk about the human 'experience' of 'God" - realizing they cannot talk about what is referred to as "God" in himself. So too, when I say “God” is Love, it is a belief statement, a human insight, of the "Reality" that is experienced in creation. I fully accept that some do not accept this explanation of religion or “God” and I have no problem with that. I fully accept that some people do not believe there is anything ontologically prior to the universe or creation (i.e. what some call “God”). I fully accept some people believe that creation, whether it is real or illusory, is all there is and, I assume, they believe this because there is no evidence to prove there is anything other than the universe - even at the same time they acknowledge there is no certainty either way or any way! However, if some others posit there is no “God” (as understood above) but that there is a reality 'beyond' the universe or 'behind/ beyond or transcending' illusion, and since they cannot know this with certainty, this seems to be a statement of belief. Moreover, for someone to ask for evidence of “God” is to disregard (which is their right) the difference between science and religion (see above): it disregards that there can be no evidence, for or against, that which is not an object; it disregards that there is, there can be no certainty. And, such requests can be disregarded. Finally, I don’t have a problem with ‘illusion’ although I sometimes felt it was not always clear – especially when coupled with free will as illusion and the meaninglessness of life (the first two I can see as valid lines of scientific inquiry , the last is, regardless of what side you come down on, a statement of belief). Be that as it may, I believed the concept of ‘illusion’ could be linked to a Christian understanding (cf. an earlier post in this thread).
  6. I have been using that meaning, actually wrote a couple of larger posts on it after Joseph's comments. Interesting idea but the jury is out for me. And if by unmentionables, you mean what I think you mean, a good step. But it is not a quid pro quo. Of course we still comment on "God" while at the same time stating he is not an object. It is human nature to try to grasp, to say something of that which some believe is and is in their midst. Isn't this similar (not identical) for those who think all is illusion (defined above) but posit a 'as it is' that underlies, if you will, the illusion? Is there proof, certainty, for such a supposed reality? Can such a supposed reality be analyzed or, if it is indeed, reality, is it beyond the tools and efforts of being who live in and actually are illusion?
  7. Two comments only: On delusion: So just walk away: stop the comments! Opinion or not - they are unnecessary, especially on a site like this. on God: You have just nailed the difference: you speak of gods, I and others speak of "God" quotes and uppercase intentional (cf Hart). The gods, not "God" are objects that we can comment on.
  8. Rom, you really have to remain calm. I already said I referred to them as statements (or if you prefer, assertions - who cares) so I was simply and repeatedly asking you to respond. Not that hard. So, sure people disagree and sometimes it is easy (at least supposedly) to say one is mistaken and the other correct, However if, as admitted, there is no absolute certainty, then who is mistaken and who correct is probably difficult (and increases in difficulty in given the topic) - actually impossible to determine. And it is obvious the delusional comment is not nonsense - since you doubled down, plus we are not talking about speaking in tongues (but even this one - what did the biblical writer mean, what does a modern mean by speaking in tongues?) is not as easy as it might seem. We, or you, have been through this before concerning ignorance. And even Joseph pointed out "better left unsaid when it comes to the word ignorant or inference that a view is pinned to just our perceptions as if that is inferior to our own on a particular matter. Don't you think so ?. As it doesn't seem to me to play out very well in a conversation or civil discussion that way." So, substitute, "Separateness is bordering on delusion in my opinion." If another person believe there is separateness (which seems to fall under opinion especially since we can't be certain) and you say it (that opinion/beliief) is bordering on delusion, you have implied and one may infer (again) you have said the person who holds such a belief is...... deluded or delusional. All Joseph was saying was such comments were better left unsaid; all I'm saying is you (we) should be a little more careful with our words. Okay, that's settled. So we are agreed that science is limited, that the scientific method has value - and no one is trashing science. One issue at a time, but you do realize, don't you, that not everyone has to jump through torturous pathways (catchy though) concerning God. Also, you impose your reliance on (demand for?) evidence on others yet some others believe (operative word) that "God" is not an object and, therefore, there is no evidence against .......or for "God." Even with evidence and scientific tools, you have stated that there is no absolute certainty; that science has no answer. Therefore you have opinions, you make 'rational' arguments and you present 'evidence' however there is no certainty: when you make statements that life has no meaning, when you make statements that "god" is not and/or is not Love, or everything, being, unconditional reality, etc. - these are opinions, these are your beliefs. This is not to deny science, it is only to agree, with you, on its limits. The religious believer also does not have absolute certainty, when they say, "God" is........it is a belief statement. The assumed delusion of another is in the eye of the beholder, in other word, it is opinion - so, the suggestion is to keep these kinds of opinion on the down low or simply mute them.
  9. Well, just to show I did try (and I referred to the following as a question (perhaps implied) but also, a statement and I was awaiting your response. So here is the relevant part: ........ in effect you are saying anyone who disagrees with what you believe is delusional: mistaken, misunderstanding, misapprehending. ....... I'm saying is be a little more careful with your descriptors. You must realize that many people (present company excluded) might be offended by having their beliefs called delusional and, by extension, being called deluded themselves. You say, if positions were reversed, you would weigh the evidence - but you rely for everything on evidence. You must realize, that not everybody relies on it as you do and not all believe (the) evidence is conclusive, ........plus, some/many others simply believe that science studies the universe, has a limited (but expanding) array of tools to assess (judge, gauge, estimate, appraise, analyst, determine) the universe and that this work is on the objects in, the laws of, the energy of universe - in other words, all that is part of the universe (or even the multiverse); they believe the universe is continent (fortuitous), objective reality and, as such, is the proper focus of scientific study. However, they believe, to put it in classical terms, there is unconditional, necessary reality by which all continent reality -. every-thing, every object - is dependent. Given 'unconditional reality' and given what science is, there is no-thing, no object for it to assess, gauge or analyze. I know you do not, will not - ever -accept this - and not only am I fine with that and respect (but disagree with) your position - I have no need to call you deluded. Such would be a fruitless comment and a waste of time. Plus, in the best way, I simply don't care: your beliefs, your reliance on evidence I take as sincere, and I accept that never the twain shall never. And there you go!!
  10. you seem to be avoiding the question on the table You were asked and I await your response....
  11. You missed the point, it is not about separateness, believing it or not - it is about your comments on the opinions of others.
  12. But how is science describing reality? What does it say? Or, does it say different things? Descriptions ........just looking to clarify that I understand what you are presenting. If there is no knowledge with absolute certainty then is all scientific knowledge conditional or just some of it? Or can we say that there is some real knowledge say about the big bang, evolution and that all is illusion but no absolute knowledge/certainity about reality? Again looking to clarify. I believe I follow when you say science only sifts out what is not true but, logically, if we are admitting it gives us no knowledge with absolute certainty, then to say something is not true seems to be a statement of certainty? Again, to clarify: if something is a cause that effects something else, is that 'in time?' And I'm not making an argument, I am seeking to clarify yours. Thanks for clarifying: you agree and have been arguing that "there is unconditional, necessary reality by which all contingent reality -. every-thing, every object - is dependent." Although, as said above, we do not know what that reality is and can never know with absolute certainty. But this seems to contradict your statement that 'science describes reality?' And how can we debate the accuracy of science's description(s) of reality if science doesn't provide certain knowledge and that only of what is not true? You have yet to respond to my comment that I meant what I said about your comment on delusion. anything?
  13. correcting a typo that I was too late to edit: there is unconditional, necessary reality by which all contingent reality -. every-thing, every object - is dependent.
  14. Let's finish one conversation at a time for right now. I raised questions and made different statements. Your answers, response?
  15. thormas

    Heathens! 2

    The Heathens are back!!!!!!
  16. Okay, helpful: ground of being = the universe (and I suppose a multiverse if it exists). When you say 'whatever it is actually' are you referring to reality or something else? You lost me: what is the 'separate' that Joseph might have implied? All I believe he said is 'being encompasses existence.' I can get what Campbell means, although in this one quote it is vague. However, in my question, "are being, reality, energy the same and one?" you have only mentioned being (and equated it with the universe). Are reality and energy the same as being, in your present opinion? And, my other question: "(in your present understanding) the substrate/ground of being or the reality 'behind' (so to speak) the illusion 'beyond time?' Is that being or reality eternal, i.e. beyond illusion?" Let me rephrase: if the illusion (all that is - 'it not as it seems') is in time (also shares the illusion since time is understood as illusion, is being which equals the universe, or is reality eternal? And, it is probably best to keep opinions like. "Separateness is bordering on delusion" out of the conversation as they are unhelpful.
  17. Are you playing with the goalposts? Earlier, you said, "They (when I was asking a question about mass and energy) are an illusion and yes there is an underlying reality." And, in another thread, you agreed with Joseph that the ground of being could be understood as the substrate of being. Joseph then replied, "For me, it is part of everything. seen and unseen . ..... Is being existence ? ..... perhaps one could say being encompasses existence ...." So we have ground/substrate of being, we have an underlying reality for all illusions and we have being that encompasses existence (which seemingly includes time). So, if we have being, and if being encompasses existence, and there is an underlying reality to illusion (including time), are being, reality, energy the same and one? How, do you understand it (in plain speak)? We do function whether time is illusion or not, and if illusion, whether we recognize it or not - but, again, is (in your present understanding) the substrate/ground of being or the reality 'behind' (so to speak) the illusion 'beyond time?' Is that being or reality eternal, i.e. beyond illusion?
  18. So if time is illusion, then the substrate/ground simply is or is eternal, beyond time and time is the illusion necessary for us to function.
  19. Say what on personal opinion? Yet, as we know, there is a limit to science (and all knowledge) and it is possible/probable that we will never be able to tell fully. But if, as you said, mass is an illusion, then, in this scenario, energy is the reality; all else is based on the ground/construct that is called energy.
  20. thormas


    Being encompasses existence, or is its substrate. Although we are not bound by definitions, I did recheck and substrate is defined as the surface or material on or from which an organism lives, grows, or obtains its nourishment. It, for me, is reminiscent of Paul's take on God: in whom we live, move and have our being.
  21. Thanks. Still questions, and some of the answers don't really get at it for me (ex. evolution) and there seems to be room for personal opinion and understanding. Including: that there might be 'underlying' reality but might never know is tremendous wiggle room. Of course, when energy began (so to speak) is also one to ponder. Energy is one energy within which there is difference/diversity (concentrated to dilute)? It would seem if energy is the reality, evolution is the construct. Food for thought.
  22. Thanks, but clarifications are needed: mass is an illusion, and it doesn't have any physical properties? Energy is not one reality, there are differences? How can time be real and illusory? What is the underlying reality? Time and energy are constructs of what? If we flip realities, we can't go back in time but we believe there was a past?