> >ER: then you're not a serious player in the game.
> -M: I think I am very serious. Have you heard of
> "Problems and Perspectives in Religious
> Discourse" by John Grimes? I suspect that Grimes
> would whup Martin.
look--"whupping" is hardly the issue. Martin is the
most visible and respected atheologist around. if
you're not even familiar with his (as yet unrefuted)
work, then you're just "treading water."
then again, you haven't even read Hume ...
> >ER: ditto. if the "strength" of your position is
> that you simply ignore anything
> inconvenient to it, then you're begging the question
> (as i stated most theists do, if you'll
> -M: No, that would make me a dodge-monkey, which I
> am very averse to.
if the monkey-suit fits ...
> >ER: your comments below belie this. yet if you
> claim to believe in (standard-definition)
> evolution, then "god" is superfluous. as Richard
> Dawkins has stated in so many words,
> evolution obviates "god."
> -M: Dawkins can bob on my fat one. Evolutionary
> processes are a manifestation of God, as
> any Vedantic or Shaivite philosopher would agree
this is a non-response.
> >ER: specifically, traditionally "god" has been
> invented by humans to describe and/or
> explain the universe--if the universe is its own
> description and explanation (the
> assumption of methodological naturalism), then "god"
> is a non-parsimonious (and
> arbitrary) addition to the universe we encounter
> more or less directly.
> -M: If material is all that there is, then there
> needs to be nothing non-material.
> The problem: consciousness is non-material.
what's your definition of "material"? most
contemporary physicists are hardly "naiive
materialists," at any rate (cf. Noam Chomsky's
tutorial on post-Newtonian "physical reality" on this
if you have some kind of evidence that there's a
"spiritual" or whatever component to the physical
universe--one whose study, in principle, could be
unified with the rest of the natural sciences--then,
by all means, step up to the plate.
question-begging and bald assertion do not qualify,
> >ER: no. that is a fallacy and/or paradox (known as
> "sorites," btw). you are arbitrarily
> using each term as the alibi of the other. if you
> are standing at the door of a cafe, in your
> example, you are neither "inside" *nor*
> "outside"--you are "half-inside and half-ouside,"
> you are "standing at the threshold," or some other
> such construction.[...]
> -M: *half inside* is still *inside*, and *half
> outside* is still *outside*. Both condidtions are
> being met simultaneously.
no. that is exactly not the case.
> >ER: you seem to be claiming, in effect, that "god"
> is neither "omnipresent" *nor*
> "transcendent" (i agree--i think all three terms are
> -M: He is omnipresent, and He is transcendent(but
> not entirely transcendent).
in other words, he is not "transcendent," period. i
agree. (the concept of "transcendence" is
> >ER: consciousness is a function of (working)
> physico-chemical organs (the brain and the
> nervous system). no non-organisms are conscious.
> the contradiction is manifest--what,
> pray tell, do you "disagree" with?
> -M: Spirits are conscious without being organisms.
> Your example of consciousness refers
> only to the physical correlates.
demonstrate the existence of "spirit."
the ancients conceived of "spirit" as, literally,
"breath." that's it. and they conceived of breath as
"material" (for lack of a better word), yet slightly
more "fine" than the average brute "matter." (on this
point, cf. Lucretius).
the modern concept of "spirit" or "soul" was
completely foreign to the ancients (all over the
world). it is a thoroughly *modern* reaction to
scientific progress, nothing more: an ad hoc fall-back
> -M: An example of a nested hierarchy is a human: 1.
> supracausal body(God) 2. causal
> body(atman,individiated consciousness) 3.subtle
> body(mind,prana) 4. physical body
why not add: 5. leprechaun consciousness, 6. unicorn
purity of spirit, 7. dragon's teeth, ...?
defining something doesn't make it "real." it is the
*reality*--the brute existence--of exactly qualities
such as "prana" that are the subject of debate. can
you demonstrate that "prana" exists? in what
laboratory can it be isolated?
> Here there is the transcendent and the immanent, and
> various admixtures.
i.e. hokum and balderdash.
> >ER: then "god" is more properly plural? i.e.
> you're a polytheist, rather than a monotheist?
> -M: No, He is a decentralized nested hierarchy.
i.e. a cypher. an open-ended (and therefore blatently
convenient) "mystery" ...
excuse me for wondering what differentiates your
assertions from those of the Hale Bopp comet sect? or
those of Jim Jones?
> -M: That requires a detailed ontological model. I
> will simplify by giving a possible point of
> interface between the transcendent and the immanent:
> the influence of quantum
> probability. I am partial to Bohm's interpretation
> of QM.
Bohm was not followed by any other physicist in this
regard. with reason: he was a brilliant physicist,
but a lousy "metaphysician."
contemporary physicists (including every Nobel Prize
winner of the last 20 or so) are all atheists. nearly
every respected (poeer-reviewed, contributing to
contemporary fecund research, competent) scientist is
> >ER: i doubt you understand the complexities
> involved in the "existential indexicals"
> approaches to "the impossibility of god." please
> refer to the relevant chapters in Martin
> and Monnier's book of that title and come back to me
> on these two points.
> -M: I am only showing where I get background
> material for my ontology, and I am not
> trying to be compelling because I am not here to
> debate ontology - I am here to debate
> epistemology and an associated knowledge taxonomy.
in what way does your approach contribute to
"epistemology"? i would say the case is the reverse.
you are (deliberately?) obfuscating "knowledge," not
enriching or furthering it ...
"There is no question of giving up criticism, but of taking note of the fact that the democratic world endlessly makes promises that it does not keep. It is in the name of these promises, then, that one should perhaps criticize it, in the name of the present, the subversive potential of such an attitude being more powerful than was formerly believed to be found in the future, or currently in the past."
--from Luc Ferry and Alain Renaut's French Philosophy of the Sixties: An Essay on Antihumanism.
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