Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Clarification--faith
Oh, I'm lurking around. G2 has just gotten entirely too prolific for
me to keep up with. :)
So, Coraxo . . . I agree with you about putting faith in the
experimental work of others, sort of. Mathematicians, scientists,
and engineers are usually asked to prove everything before they are
able to use it.
The lay person however, does not usually understand this and accepts on "faith" that what he or she is told is "proven". This is one of the biggest failings of our culture is the inability to process this information as hypothetical rather than factual.
Case in point the recent see-saw over breast self examination, previously people faithfully believed that self-examination increased the probability of early detection and lower mortality from BC. Now, with more rigorous study and probably variable selection, BSE has not been shown to decrease mortality and increase early cancer detection. Hormone replecement therapy has also been shown to increase coronary vascular disease at a rate which is unacceptably higher that the benefit of decreasing hip fractures from osteoporosis.
Yet, in our society people accept these medical statements on FAITH! Billions of dollars of wealth are pumped into belief systems that are later shown to be inaccurate or untrue.
The inductive process is different from the deductive process of Euclidean geometry and other mathematics. Like you stated, one starts with first principles and works outwards to models of planes and polygons based on the primary sets of assumptions - assumtions which are accepted a priori, but are not themselves provable.
But scientific positivism does not "prove" anything, at least in the sense of what I consider "proof". Anything which is evidence based is bound to contain error.
<Similar to what you state below>I agree with your assessment below, the NHL texts start with a first principle and work outwards from that point. In order to account for "error", something which the stoics and platonists did not accept in their perfect Demiurge and his creation, one of the Aeons falls out of balance with the rest of the Aeonic hierarchy. The rest of the story is about restoring balance.
At some point, if you are going to get anywhere in math (and I
believe in understanding the rest of the universe, as well) you've
got to make some assumptions and hope you don't run into a
contradiction too far down the road. Now, the question is whether
you try to pare those assumptions down to the bare minimum, and then
carefully test each new construction from those assumptions; or
whether you just keep blithely making assumptions, and wait to see
how badly they trip you up. So, I guess what I am saying is, at the
bottom level there is always some sort of "leap of faith". The
question for me has always been whether you build solidly on that,
with increased understanding (gnosis); or whether you build what you
need to as you need to, with the goal of it "working" to get you
The belief system may or may not be experimentally testable (predictive), but in terms of explanatory power I think the Valentinian, Sethian and Barbeloite models have great strength. In addition to which each model also has some degree of internal consistency. These in themselves are cause for serious consideration.
So, when I read through the Nag Hammadi, I see all these
constructions. The Tripartite Tractate is a great example--it starts
with a set of givens about the father, builds from that to the son
and the Church, then to the Aeonic emanations, and so on. Okay, so
the arguments aren't mathematically testable, but there is a logical
progression from the one thing to the next thing, and the belief
system is experimentally testable, so to speak. :)
Back to lurking,
Now about the idea of the internal world, I think it is self evident that the internal world is more "real" than the external. The external world is something we surmise from internal phenomena - sense data. Because the projection of this sense data is external to what we believe to the our locus of control, we assume these events are in fact outside of ourselves. The fact that they are representational of what is being observed does not enter consideration in most cases. Thus it would seem reasonable to assume that without the virtue of consciousness shining onto these external objects, they are dark and formless. Since it is the consciousness which imputes form and light and meaning to these objects, it then stands to reason that in this sphere of awareness exist other powers and principles which are anterior to self awareness and which project meaning and form onto the field of awareness, and not necessarily upon the field of perception (we do not necessarily see, hear, tase, touch the Aeons, but perceive them through their movements in consciousness).
It is these noetic principles which are the topic of the NHL and how they affect internal personal behavior and awareness, and how they act out in the "outside" world.
That's my 2 cents for now, thank you for your comments "A".
--- In gnosticism2@y..., "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
> --- In gnosticism2@y..., Coraxo <coraxo@e...> wrote:
> > If I may interject:
> > The aspect of Faith is not limited to religion and mysticism.
> > In fact a great deal of faith is placed upon the scientific model
> in which
> > we live; . . . .
> > So in the end we put a great deal of faith in the experimental
> > others rather than constantly proving to ourselves that the
> of the
> > hypoteneuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the sides of a
> > triangle.
> > Forgive my intrusion
> > Corax
> Not an intrusion, Corax. This is your haven, too. In fact, if we
> mention enough Pythagorean models, we may find that Aleibiades is
> still lurking out there—havent't heard from her in a while.
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