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romansh

Agnosticism

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

If I want a wall of text I normally pick up a book. What is (or are) the questions you would like to be answered.

One that comes to mind how we measure accuracy which I answered already. What were the others.

Sorry Rom, you suggested and I took the time to respond to that request.

There for the reading, hardly a wall of text, appreciate the snakiness but still a dodge.

 Turn about is still fair play: don't start asking even more questions - respond or not! 

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1 minute ago, thormas said:

Sorry Rom, you suggested and I took the time to respond to that request.

There for the reading, hardly a wall of text, appreciate the snakiness but still a dodge.

 Turn about is still fair play: don't start asking even more questions - respond or not! 

Actually I have mentioned to Joseph (in the past and before your time here) I am not a fan long posts. I prefer to have more of a discussion. So if you see it as snarkiness aimed at you fair enough. But I would appreciate it if you could summarize the points you want me to address.

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No thanks Rom, I'm not the site summarizer-in-chief or even a deputy and they were discussion points. 

Yeah, you do want things only your way - so, right, fair enough.

The discussion point are there and I would appreciate if you read what you suggested I include for ..........wait for it..............discussion :+}

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On ‎2017‎-‎08‎-‎14 at 0:44 PM, thormas said:

In response, in order of your comments:

- no, I didn't feel demeaned, I merely wanted to know the rules so I could fire back if allowed :+}

- for most people, objective reality is not mere semantics; they know and know they know.

-  To clarify: I don't believe that God and the universe are one and the same, so I don't believe the universe is (only) love.  I believe that the reason all exists is because of Love. Is it 'in everything?1' Better to say, it is present to everything: it is available to all and waits for a response of free beings (see below). I get this for humanity, still working on a better insight into the rest of created reality but, as previously mentioned, I do accept that Being/God/Love 'lets be' even that speck of dust.  BTW, I also allow that such an act of love creates (of necessity) a tragic situation in which suffering, evil and sin occur. This is a belief that resonates with me but I too have questions about the nasty parasites, cancers and the dust in the far reaches of the universe. Actually I think I have more questions and doubts around this subject that most (in part because theology is what I was educated in, what I did for a living and what continues to fascinate): that is why I read, think, rethink, read and on and on. It would seem that the let be (Heideggar, I believe) is a bit of an unusual take on love -but it works.

- Try this and I mean it in all sincerely: when my wife and I had a daughter, she was created out of love, brought up in love, showered with love and will be to the end (or as Buzz says to infinity and beyond). However, in the moment we began to try, we were creating or allowing for a possibly tragic situation. She was born into this creation which is tragic: anything can happen and does: asthma, allergies, colds, chicken pox, cancers, careless drivers, hurricanes, that speck of dust that carries an infection, hurt by friends, hurt by the little red haired boy, experiencing the death of loved ones, the death of a beloved and ultimately the death of self. In a real sense, we did this! We knew this about creation but what choice did love have?2 Love creates "out of itself' the other, in her freedom, but such freedom (even with the conditions previously discussed on this site) is the only way for a being to be, to live, to truly have her life. The risk is for the child and also for the parent, the creators, who have opened themselves, as never before, to risk and to Life. Could it be otherwise?3 I don't think so. This is what love is, this is what love does: it gives itself away for the other. There is a part of me, a large part that lives in fear everyday even now that she is in her 20s. But there was no choice with love: it must go out from itself and create, grace an-other with existence, with Life yet in that moment the tragedy of creation is for evermore present. But to have loved, to have created her, to be there in compassion, to heal, to hold, to continually (hopefully) enhance life, to be the hand that is held, the kiss given and received, how could it not be done?4 It was done because we looked around and in spite of the tragedy of creation, we said, this is good and love did what it was.

So I take this and begin to think on God. Why do we exist?5 Why create or why is there creation?6 I reject happenstance, so purposefulness is my option. And the only real purpose/reason I know is love: unbound, a poring out of love for the other. And, the tragedy of creation is God's fault, as mine is the life I gave my child - but love is omnipresent, it is 'there' not in spite of the parasites, the cancer, the space dust but present through humanity, through men and women, to love amidst the tragedy of creation until Oneness. The paradox is that God's omnipotence is not the power of domination, of control, of God experiencing existence (as if it is all about God) - it is, rather, the power (or weakness) that is love. It is not God that experiences existence (although I allow there may be something to this), it is that Love went out from Self so we, the other, can experience existence.

Love, given its very nature, involves risk. God is not in the quicksand (see previous post) with us. Although we are 'of God,' we are other and therefore God can help. But there is no supernatural hand coming down from heaven. Rather, we, by responding to love, are the bodies, the flesh that makes the difference: the hand held, the kiss given, the door held open. Creation 'moves forward' by humanity incarnating divinity, by humanity being Love. The ancient Fathers called this deification. Yet the tragic structure, the undeserved suffering, the evil men commit-  continues. So we must be about the business of Love.

- This is not and there are no demonstrations, it is only a presenting and the hearer or reader must decide if it speaks to their experience.

- I have not really concentrated much on love and mammals or other forms of life- short answer, I have always believed that the 'caring' evident in other forms of life are guided and realized by instinct and that all creation, to paraphrase Paul, groans in/toward fulfillment. That is it for now.

what causes belief?7 For me the answer is tied to the self-revelation or self-giving of God. Even with what I have said above, I don't see it as evidence. I believe that man is a self-transcending being, always reaching beyond, for more and I think for some this reach is met in faith expressions. I don't see it as evidence. What causes love?7  I know you might have an evidence based answer but, for me, the reach is met (surprisingly, amazingly, bewilderingly, unexpectedly but it is met).  

- How can one demonstrate or provide evidence for the accuracy of their belief?8  If it speaks to one'e experience, if it provides meaning and answer the age old questions all men (okay most men :+} ask; it is taken as one's own. If it doesn't, it isn't. This is also how we make a judgement on our belief.

- I recognize that, for some/many, the problem of ‘evil’ is a problem for traditional and panentheistic gods. But for me, agnosticism and atheism do not answer the question of evil and don't have an answer to life. Why doe we exist?9 Their answer: I don't know or there is no answer yet they trudge on - to what, for what?10 If they laid down and quit it would be the same as if they lived till 90. If someone thinks it is courageous to continue to push the rock up one side, have it roll down and then push it up the outer side for all eternity, it is not. It still means nothing, no one knows and there is no God to rebel against; it is in itself and ultimately, a meaningless act . And existence doesn't care either, you were just happenstance. If you were, if you weren't - it is the same. Even for friends I love beyond measure, this stance - though theirs and thus respected, is beyond senseless (to me).This may well be their belief, but then, now, in the future, whenever, so what?11 And the pantheist God shares the quicksand, so then what?12

 - I have provided a partial answer on the problem of evil, perhaps we can dive onto it in the more at some point.

 

Thormas ... I must admit for me this was way too long and if I may say so flowery.

  1. To me this seems like rhetorical question about your beliefs.
  2. Choice about love? Absolutely none - at least free choice.
  3. Could it be otherwise? I don't see how. But generally I disagree with the premise preceding.
  4. See 3
  5. Why do we exist? Teleology! What evidence do we have of a purpose or intent for our existence?
  6. More teleology ... not necessary in my opinion.
  7. What causes love? ...  the properties of matter. The same that causes hate, lust, greed, fear, jealousy, etc .. you get the picture.
  8. Already answered.
  9. More teleology.
  10. More teleology
  11. More teleology
  12. It just might be a more accurate description of existence.

Anyway my answers.

 

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Rom,

 

Early Sunday: will read a bit later.

As for flowery - eye of the beholder.

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16 hours ago, romansh said:

Thormas ... I must admit for me this was way too long and if I may say so flowery.

Rom - I must admit for me this was way too short and if I may say so the garden was barren: could have used more flowers.

So much for serious dialogue..................oh well.

 

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Well thormas I find it interesting that we as human beings confabulate a teleology for not just for ourselves, others, but also for animals, plants etc, sometimes for inanimate objects, the universe and an imaginary entity that is present to everything. If you find teleology fertile ground here go for it.

Edited by romansh

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My understanding is that teleology when it pertains to theology (or religion) is concerned with the purpose and design of the world. Believe mine is therefore on record.

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Teleology is why a seed becomes a cypress tree and not a date palm.  The environment can provide a minor, shaping influence but the fundamental life of the organism is predetermined.

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11 hours ago, Burl said:

Teleology is why a seed becomes a cypress tree and not a date palm.  The environment can provide a minor, shaping influence but the fundamental life of the organism is predetermined.

So a human being will not become an elephant but unlike that creature, his/her fundamental life is not 'predetermined?'

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46 minutes ago, thormas said:

So a human being will not become an elephant but unlike that creature, his/her fundamental life is not 'predetermined?'

Not wrong, but not profound either.  Think of development as an attraction to a future, irresistible teleos and events as mere souveniers and delusions of control.  Trees may bend in the wind, but bending trees does not put up a breeze.

The goal is to discern and cooperate with this controlling force.

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3 minutes ago, Burl said:

Not wrong, but not profound either.  Think of development as an attraction to a future, irresistible teleos and events as mere souveniers and delusions of control.  Trees may bend in the wind, but bending trees does not put up a breeze.

The goal is to discern and cooperate with this controlling force.

I did love not wrong but not profound either.  For me, the 'development' of the human being or, better, to a truly human being, is an attraction and response to God (for simplicity sake), so the future. There is that which attracts but there must be a 'decision' to respond; there must be discernment and cooperation. However, it follows, with this admission, that the 'force' is not controlling.

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On ‎2017‎-‎08‎-‎21 at 5:30 AM, thormas said:

So a human being will not become an elephant but unlike that creature, his/her fundamental life is not 'predetermined?'

You are right not necessarily predetermined ... in that I don't know or can't be absolutely certain. Having said that, I am certain as I can be, fundamental life is determined. It is almost a definitional thing. But this is a different thread.

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On ‎2017‎-‎08‎-‎20 at 1:43 PM, thormas said:

My understanding is that teleology when it pertains to theology (or religion) is concerned with the purpose and design of the world. Believe mine is therefore on record.

Teleology is explaining things by purpose. The purpose of an acorn is to grow into an oak.

For some teleology is a nonsense, in that humans think they have it therefore other junks of the universe have it too.

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

Teleology is explaining things by purpose. The purpose of an acorn is to grow into an oak.

For some teleology is a nonsense, in that humans think they have it therefore other junks of the universe have it too.

Right, some religions believe that the 'purpose' for humanity and all (junks of the universe) is, as has been said before, Unity (understood in different images)

 

1 hour ago, romansh said:

You are right not necessarily predetermined ... in that I don't know or can't be absolutely certain. Having said that, I am certain as I can be, fundamental life is determined. It is almost a definitional thing. But this is a different thread.

It is 'determined' that as the acorn is to grow into a tree, so too, we can only grow into our nature. However, by predetermination, I mean it is not determined prior to existence who will and will not be successful. So agreed.

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The question still remaining concerns teleology of meaning or purpose.

Do destiny or fate exist?  Physical teleology exists, so we can't dismiss the possibility.

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For me, man's (the universe's) 'destiny' is God or Unity (this can be expressed in multiple ways) but, for man it is not 'pre'determined which men will or will not become truly Human beings. 

I don't believe in fate, as it is fate that this or that happens to someone nor do I believe in destiny that it one will/must become a President for example. 

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3 hours ago, thormas said:

It is 'determined' that as the acorn is to grow into a tree, so too, we can only grow into our nature. However, by predetermination, I mean it is not determined prior to existence who will and will not be successful. So agreed.

Determined in the sense cause and effect result in the acorn growing into an oak or not.

Cause and effect will also determine what natures, if any, we will grow into.

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Burl, the only teleology I am aware of are the confabulations of humankind. An example of this physical teleology please?

Edited by romansh

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2 hours ago, romansh said:

Determined in the sense cause and effect result in the acorn growing into an oak or not.

Cause and effect will also determine what natures, if any, we will grow into.

Wasn't focusing on cause/effect more on the possibilities inherent in something: example, the acorn. It's possibility is to become a tree.

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On ‎2017‎-‎08‎-‎27 at 2:52 PM, thormas said:

Wasn't focusing on cause/effect more on the possibilities inherent in something: example, the acorn. It's possibility is to become a tree.

And why limit it to acorns ... star dust becoming an oak?

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26 minutes ago, romansh said:

And why limit it to acorns ... star dust becoming an oak?

OK -  isn't it assumed given the big bang theory that some star dust eventually become part of the oak (and all). Sounds like love.

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On ‎2017‎-‎08‎-‎29 at 9:20 AM, thormas said:

OK -  isn't it assumed given the big bang theory that some star dust eventually become part of the oak (and all). Sounds like love.

Yep ... some of the stardust configures into some parasites too. Yep that is love too.

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2 hours ago, romansh said:

Yep ... some of the stardust configures into some parasites too. Yep that is love too.

If that is your belief then of course we respect it. 

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Not to contentiously resurrect or derail a thread, but agnosticism is, IMO, simply a humble approach to what we limited humans can claim to know. Scientists say that we currently probably know (scientifically speaking) about 0.08% of what can be known about the universe. That leaves an awful lot to what we don't (yet) know and to our claims of objective truth. Objective truth (reality as it really is) may exist, but we only know it through our subjective senses and ponderings.

Most agnostics are reluctant to claim to know for certain, as certain knowledge seems to imply omniscience, something that we don't have. So most of our knowledge centers on probabilities, on what seems most likely. For instance, as an agnostic, I don't know for certain that there is not some kind of consciousness that created the universe. I suspect that maybe there is. But it is highly improbable, IMO, that it is the deity of the bible. On the other hand, there have always been mystics who claim to "know" the sacred through experience. I find such claims interesting and worthy of serious consideration. But I don't find them to be binding on me.    

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