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Re: [existlist] The thought of sensation, randomness, and perversity in religion

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  • Mark and Bev Tindall
    ... The purpose behind this list is to encourage careful thought and deliberation. Your statements are illogical and nonsensical. Take the time to prepare
    Message 1 of 32 , May 1 3:18 PM
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      eduard wrote:


      > I am simply asking you to discuss the matter. You are
      > supposed to be a professional educator -- then do some
      > teaching. Do some discussing. Participate.


      The purpose behind this list is to encourage careful thought and deliberation. Your statements are illogical and nonsensical. Take the time to prepare responses logically, not just shoot off meaningless answers and expect people to automatically agree with you.

      Existentialism is a part of Existentialism whether you, eduard,
      believe so or not. The God who is Ground and Source of all
      being is a concept of Christian Existentialism.


      So in summary .............


      1. NONTHEISTIC GOD AS GROUND AND SOURCE OF ALL BEING (not 'nongod god' / not fantasy)

      ****************************

      Paul Tillich was a theologian but he was also an Existentialist philosopher. He posits God as the Ground and Source of all being or our 'ultimate concern' (another of his terms). God is BEING not A BEING. The vast difference is crucial in the understanding of Christian Existentialism.

      Tillich took the term 'Ground of being' to describe God from Acts 17:28 in the bible "In Him we live and move and have our being." (Read Acts 17:16-34 for the full context of Paul at Mars Hill / the Areopagus). This is a quote from the Cretan poet Epimenedes (c. 600 BC) in his Cretica. Paul often quoted Greek poets.

      From Karen Armstrong's 'A History of God' ( Vintage; London:1993) pp. 438 - 439

      *******************

      Paul Tilich (1868 -1965) was convinced that the personal God of traditional Western theism must go but he also believed that religion was necessary for humankind. A deep-rooted anxiety is part of the human condition: this is not neurotic, because it is ineradicable and no therapy can take it away.
      ....

      Instead we should seek to find a 'God' above this personal God. There is
      nothing new about this. ... it said 'thou' to a God who, as Being itself,
      was nearer to the 'I' than our own ego. Tillich preferred the definition of
      God as the Ground of being. Participation in such a God above 'God' does not alienate us from the world but immerses us in reality. It returns us to ourselves. human beings have to use symbols when they talk about Being-itself: to speak literally or realistiocally about it is inaccurate
      and untrue. ...

      When Tillich was speaking to lay people, he preferred to to replace the
      rather technical term 'Ground of all being' with 'ultimate concern'. He
      emphasised that the human experience of faith in this 'God above God' was not a peculiar state distinguishable from others in our emotional or
      intellectual experience. You could not say: 'I am now having a special
      "religious" experience', since the God which is being precedes and is
      fundamental to all our emotions of courage, hope and despair. It was not a distinct state with a name of its own but pervaded each one of our normal human experiences.

      ****************

      God as the Ground and Source of all being cannot be investigated by objective quantified science which excludes both the subjective methodolgy and existential Kierkegaardian leap of faith required to understand it. God as the Ground and Source of all being 'just is' like the name suggests - 'YHWH'(I AM) - God is Being not A being. One can describe it in metaphor but that is all. The term 'nontheistic God' refers to the TYPE OF GOD not that God does not exist! A 'theistic god'is A BEING. A 'nontheistic God' is BEING. The two types of God are radically different. God as BEING is crucial to the understanding of Christian Existentialism. I am NOT speaking of a theistic god like those of Mt Olympus or the old concept of 'God out there' or 'Jesus as God in the sky' or your usual Sunday School level theology of the 50s. I am speaking of 21st century Christian Existentialism and the related 21st century Christian theology of John Shelby Spong and co.

      As such God is vital and crucial to ALL BEING WITHOUT EXCEPTION. God therefore has DRAMATIC AND FAR REACHING IMPACT on our everyday individual being and moment by moment existence and choices. Without the Ground and Source of all being there is no being whatsoever! God is both closer than your own thought and transcendent.
      Theology no longer worries about objective proof of God's existence. All objective proofs of God's existence fail. None works. If God is the Ground and Source of all being then all that is left is not to argue whether Being 'is' but to describe this Being /Ground & Source. The quest for objective proof of God's existence is passe.

      That you cannot subjectively conceive of God as Ground and Source of all being is not a fault with God but a fault with the methodology used.

      The Ground and Source of all being is releated to your being and everyone else's being. All that is now left is to DESCRIBE the Ground and Source of all being ... as I have repeatedly stated ... which Christian Existentialists have described as God. You are allowed to disagree with the description ... that is an ongoing debate.

      God as Ground and Source of all being (and choice) is both transcendent and closer than one's own thoughts (thus intimately comnected with one's own choices). It is a paradox.

      If "science, math, and physical laws have always existed whether
      or not humans had the ability or the education to understand it" then even
      more so with God who is the Ground and Source of science, math, and physical
      laws and all being! You are breathing and have a brain by the grace of God who is the Ground and Source of all being including your being. Without your being you cannot choose to buy a Ford or a BMW ... in fact without your being which is grounded in God you are not at all.



      2. NONPHYSICAL MIND (not physical brain)


      One cannot read Descartes' 'Meditations on First Philosophy in Which the Existence of God and the DIstinction Between Mind and Body are Demonstrated' without understanding that he is refering to non-physical mind. Descartes was the founder of Westen Cartesian philosophy. (Descartes was completely wrong in his conclusions ... but that is another story.) This is FIRST YEAR PHILOSOPHY - Philosophy 101... the mind / body problem .... fundamental to the understanding of philosophy!


      Faith is not a group exercise but an individual, personal and subjective experience! An individual can read his / her own innermost being and that is what Christian existentialism says. Furthermore this is where the meeting with the transcendence of God ad ground and Source of all being occurs ... in the depths of the individual's spirit / non-phyical mind.






      4. UNANSWERED QUESTIONS TO eduard


      QUESTION ONE ......................

      *****************************************

      Why can subjective qualitative fiction be a source for understanding existentialism as in Camus (an atheist) and Dostoevsky (a Christian)?

      Soren Kierkegaard, Christian and Father of Existentialism, points to Socrates as 'the individual' who uses Kierkegaad's 'indirect communication' ... a feature of existentialism. Socrates taught no objective quantitative doctrine! Kierkegaard is talking about Socrates' methodology ... Socratic method.

      Similarly Kierkegaard points to Jesus' teaching in parables about the kingdom of God which is only answered in metaphor. This is Kierkegaard's 'indirect communication' ... a feature of Christian Existentialism.

      One can similarly track the existentialist influence on the beat generation and their poets. Poetry is subjective.

      What are the key characteristics of subjective ART that influences existentialism? What is the unifying subjective method of philosophising that unites Existentialist art as one?

      The characteristics and methodologies have NOTHING to do with science.

      The characteristics and methodologies are all SUBJECTIVE and QUALITATIVE - the prime characteristic and methodology of EXISTENTIALISM!


      ******************************

      QUESTION TWO ...........................

      > Is Paul Davies wrong about science?????
      >
      > Summarised from Paul Davies' 'The Mind of God: Science and
      the search for ultimate meaning' (Penguin; London: 1992)
      >
      > ******************************
      >
      > The popular view of science is: .................
      >
      > Scientific knowledge is proven knowledge. Scientific
      theories are derived in some rigorous way from the facts of
      experience acquired by observation and experiment. Science
      is based on what we can see and hear and touch, etc.
      Personal opinion or preferences and speculative imaginings
      have no place in science. Science is objective. Science
      knowledge is reliable knowledge and a secure basis upon
      which other scientific knowledge can be built.
      >
      > This is very wrong and dangerously misleading!
      >
      > Induction can be based on logic or experience. Deductive
      arguments are characterised by the fact that if the premise
      of an argument is true, then the conclusion must be true.
      Induction does not possess that character and inductive
      arguments are not necessarily logically valid arguments. It
      is possible for the premise of an inductive argument to be
      true and the conclusion false and no contradiction to be
      involved.
      >
      > The agument purporting to justify induction is circular:
      >
      > The principle of induction worked successfully on
      occassion X1.
      >
      > The principle of induction worked successfully on
      occassion X2, etc.
      >
      > Therefore the principle of induction always works.
      >
      > WRONG! The argument is an inductive one which cannot be
      used to justify induction.
      >
      > One of the other flaws of induction / positivism / science
      is the vagueness and dubiousness of the demand that a 'large
      number' of observations be made under a 'wide variety' of
      circumstances. How are these to be described? Can they not
      vary from one item to the next? How many times does one
      have to put one's hand in the fire to observe that fire
      burns one's skin and hurts? The list of variety could go on
      infinitely with 'superfluous' variations like the decor of
      the science lab!
      >
      > The inductionist method of science is usually weakened to
      various
      > 'probablistic' versions. But how precise can a
      'probablistic' version of science be?
      >
      >
      > *****************************



      ###########################

      eduard, what do you not understand or comprehend of the above?

      #############################


      Mark


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    • Lorna Landry
      Harry, Your system of logical propositions is not really necessay here, because, we, or at least I, already know that Christian Existentialism exists and is a
      Message 32 of 32 , May 4 3:09 PM
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        Harry, Your system of logical propositions is not really necessay here, because, we, or at least I, already know that Christian Existentialism exists and is a valid form of existnetialism.If you are looking for the formulation of decent propositions and their necessary conclusions, you would be much better satisfied on a logic list. Life just does not work that way, and neither does existentialism. Lorna

        Harry JMK <ti083866@...> wrote:At 02-05-2003 Friday, Mark wrote:

        >The ultimate concern is the Ground of ALL being regardless of race,
        >gender, religious affiliation, age, etc etc etc hence the ultimate concern
        >is the Ground for all humanity ... and plant life ... and animals ... and
        >bacteria ... and galaxies ... and quarks ... and black holes etc etc etc.
        >
        >
        >Christians call this ultimate concern God. You can call it the ultimsate
        >concern. It doesn't matter. As John Shelby Spong points out it could
        >also be called Allah or Gaia or Brahma ... where the descripotion is the
        >same as ultimate concern! It is the ultimate concern's 'being' that
        >matters not the name by which the individual comes to recognise the
        >ultimate concern (recognition in part only .... as it is
        >transcendent) This ultimate concern is spoken of in metaphor as words
        >limit it. Any definition is, as a result, not the whole but a struggle to
        >name the unnameable.
        >
        >
        >As I have stated before all that is left is to describe this ultimate
        >concern. The existence of the ultimate concern is a non-issue.

        Well, more and more I get convinced that the whole entanglement (concerning
        the subject of Christian Existentialism or Existentialist Christianity or
        What-have-you) in which we find ourselves at this moment comes from the
        very classic problem of not having addressed the subject with the necessary
        discipline:

        0. Start with clear Definitions, from that:
        1. Create Axioma's on which:
        2. To build subsequent Propositions and Proofs

        It's just like Baruch Spinoza did in his 'Ethics'.

        So, in my view, if we are to find a release of all the fogginess and
        unclearness what has to be done is do some decent homework, and I think
        that would have to come primarily from you, Mark. As you are the one who
        started the whole discussion in the first place.

        First you will have to specify all definitions plus axioma's on which your
        worldview of CE/EC/etc is built upon. The rest of existlist will have to
        accept these as basic to the discussion. Once established we can move on to
        building propositions.

        But first you will have to define some decent fundamental propositions and
        make sound proofs of them from the initial axioma's. These are the items we
        can discuss together.

        I do not intend to read any books on CE/EC/etc, but I am willing to enter a
        well argumented discussion if and only if the groundwork proves to be thorough.

        I trust it won't be any problem for you.

        If together we fail to get this groundwork worked out well enough any
        discussion on the matter is fundamentally futile. We had all better stop
        with it then (much like Susan has already proposed) and work on other problems.

        'Nuff said. Comments anyone?

        Kind regards,
        - Harry -


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