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To Concieve a Supreme Being (or the lack thereof) is Impossible

 
 
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2008 02:01 pm
Here is how I see it, and how I believe it to be. My argument does contradict this statement a bit, though.

We learn two ways: by experience and by the teachings of others (direct or indirect). If you can think of a third, please inform me. Other beings learn the same two ways. Transitively, we can say that since we all learn through the teachings of others, we learn two ways: our experience, and the experience of others.

By this logic, I can conclude that each of our minds is subjectively locked into our environment. We cannot learn what is not provided to us to learn.

Everything that we think to be true, (a good example is gravity), may be a flawed theory. We cannot (excuse the cliche) think outside the box, so to speak. We are stuck in the box, and we cannot get out, no matter how hard we try. Really, it is quite possible that nothing exists. It may make no sense, but that is because we cannot concieve anything greater, lesser, or just simply different than what we are used to.

A supreme being may exist, maybe supernatural powers. Maybe supreme beings, plural. Mabie none. Maybe there was no beginning - perhaps the one supreme exception of cause/effect is the lack of an exception, we'll never know. I belive it foolish to think any of those points are absolutely, 100% true, beyond unreasonable doubt.

I believe this argument to be true (duh, I'm posting it, lol). Faith based religions can take care of my argument quite nicely, but I want to see what people think.

So, thoughts?
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boagie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2008 02:09 pm
@BassPlayer,
BassPlayer:),

What do you think of a world which has absolutely no meaning? It depends upon you to give it meaning, you assigned to it whatever meaning you see fit, could you live in such a world?
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2008 02:14 pm
@BassPlayer,
BassPlayer wrote:
We learn two ways: by experience and by the teachings of others (direct or indirect). If you can think of a third, please inform me.
Well, intuition is one. But since our senses (including subconscious, visceral senses like proprioception) are locked into the environment even before we're born, and intuition comes far later, it's anachronistic to argue that intuition is somehow devoid of sensory influence.

Quote:
Really, it is quite possible that nothing exists. It may make no sense, but that is because we cannot concieve anything greater, lesser, or just simply different than what we are used to.
Maybe -- but does this untestable, unprovable, impractical proposition have any importance? The possibility that nothing exists doesn't alter our interface with the environment that we sense, so nothing in our lives really hinges upon this idea.
0 Replies
 
BassPlayer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2008 02:50 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
BassPlayer:),

What do you think of a world which has absolutely no meaning? It depends upon you to give it meaning, you assigned to it whatever meaning you see fit, could you live in such a world?


If the world you speak of has no meaning, how can I give it one?

I could live in a world with or without meaning, I would just handle life differently in each.

I don't think I'm seeing what you're getting at, sorry.

Aedes wrote:
Maybe -- but does this untestable, unprovable, impractical proposition have any importance? The possibility that nothing exists doesn't alter our interface with the environment that we sense, so nothing in our lives really hinges upon this idea.


In that sense, it makes no difference if it is true. I said it is quite possible, not likely, although that does seem implied. I'm arguing that nothing can be proven, and anything is possible. In our subjective standpoint, none of this makes a difference. In a psycological, religious standpoint, it has a meaning; we can't know anything, so stop trying. (I mean stop trying, religiously, not stop trying to learn.)
0 Replies
 
de budding
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2008 03:28 pm
@BassPlayer,
BassPlayer wrote:
Here is how I see it, and how I believe it to be. My argument does contradict this statement a bit, though.

We learn two ways: by experience and by the teachings of others (direct or indirect). If you can think of a third, please inform me. Other beings learn the same two ways. Transitively, we can say that since we all learn through the teachings of others, we learn two ways: our experience, and the experience of others.

By this logic, I can conclude that each of our minds is subjectively locked into our environment. We cannot learn what is not provided to us to learn.

Everything that we think to be true, (a good example is gravity), may be a flawed theory. We cannot (excuse the cliche) think outside the box, so to speak. We are stuck in the box, and we cannot get out, no matter how hard we try. Really, it is quite possible that nothing exists. It may make no sense, but that is because we cannot concieve anything greater, lesser, or just simply different than what we are used to.

A supreme being may exist, maybe supernatural powers. Maybe supreme beings, plural. Mabie none. Maybe there was no beginning - perhaps the one supreme exception of cause/effect is the lack of an exception, we'll never know. I belive it foolish to think any of those points are absolutely, 100% true, beyond unreasonable doubt.

I believe this argument to be true (duh, I'm posting it, lol). Faith based religions can take care of my argument quite nicely, but I want to see what people think.

So, thoughts?


We can take simple ideas and combine them to imagine complex ones; is this within our environment? this fiction is perhaps like an extension of reality and an example of how we can use intrinsic information to expand into external and previously unknown information. Also consider 'scientific' technique and 'reasoning' techniques, piecing together a bigger puzzle by making a model we can test.

Dan.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2008 04:45 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
BassPlayer:),

What do you think of a world which has absolutely no meaning? It depends upon you to give it meaning, you assigned to it whatever meaning you see fit, could you live in such a world?


He already does, as do I and so do you. We all all already in that situation and always have been. Once could reasonably argue that it is in *living* our lives that we give it meaning. But many of us work to consciously acknowledge what that might entail - others don't and, I suspect, most do it subconsciously. Interesting we take this jump to Meaning of Life from his post (which could be inferred, but I would not take it so). Unless this line of questioning is meant to infer that existence of a supernatural/supreme being would somehow 'give' it meaning (a notion that; although could be logically valid (ouch!), I nonetheless find absurd).

But back to the thread's question...

I think you're absolutely right that we are quite unable (or it is only with extreme difficulty, at best) to think 'outside the box' - beyond any input we've received through teaching or experience. If I follow your question right, then concepts we find completely unbelievable may, in fact, be completely sane and true objectively. Yes... I suppose so. But that would toss this whole notion in the "Sure, anything's possible"-realm; and in so being, be of spurious worth. Sure, I acknowledge "All Things are Possible" in the realm of a vast-and-infinite cosmos I've not thoroughly explored. But, we'll (most likely) be living the balance of our respective lifetimes on this world, in this box. I humble myself by admitting to possibilities I don't know exist, but this can be thin ice in trying to live in the here-and-now. In any case...

I do take it with great worth that we keep this in mind - that we are a product of our own experiences, teachings, sensory input, etc. Remembering that helps us to keep perspective - that this world of ours, as we see it, is *constantly* getting filtered by our own values, prejudices, expectations and the like.
0 Replies
 
nameless
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jun, 2008 04:16 am
@BassPlayer,
BassPlayer;15145 wrote:
We learn two ways: by experience and by the teachings of others (direct or indirect). If you can think of a third, please inform me.

Define 'learn'? Accumulation of concepts? Any hand computer can store tidbits of data. They don't 'learn'.

Quote:
we cannot concieve anything greater, lesser, or just simply different than what we are used to.

Then we never progress past the point of birth? After a few moments, we become 'used to' so much. Are you saying that we hold to that 'perception/mindset' all our lives? Our concepts and world views never grow, expand? I see that as nonsensical. There is no 'creativity'? A description of a 'moron' perhaps, but not a creatively critically thoughtful person. History disproves the statement.
Perhaps I am missing something here? Are you implying that whatever we can conceive must at least be constructed of 'parts' from our experience/memory? That seems to be so...
BassPlayer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jun, 2008 08:38 pm
@nameless,
nameless wrote:
Define 'learn'? Accumulation of concepts? Any hand computer can store tidbits of data. They don't 'learn'.


Really, all knowledge and, possibly, intuition. And maybe anything you would see to add fit to that definition, lol.

nameless wrote:
Then we never progress past the point of birth? After a few moments, we become 'used to' so much. Are you saying that we hold to that 'perception/mindset' all our lives? Our concepts and world views never grow, expand? I see that as nonsensical. There is no 'creativity'? A description of a 'moron' perhaps, but not a creatively critically thoughtful person. History disproves the statement.
Perhaps I am missing something here? Are you implying that whatever we can conceive must at least be constructed of 'parts' from our experience/memory? That seems to be so...


Yeah, the last sentence would be about right. You need to look into the greater picture, though. "We cannot concieve a greater being" is what I am saying, not "we cannot be creative, nor can we think." We can change a mindset in our lifetime, and our world views expand, but we cannot possibly imagine a greater being, or the lack thereof, as the thread title suggests.

A simple, though blunt, way to put it: we can't know everything, so in essence we can't know anything. At least not for sure, anyway.
nameless
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jun, 2008 12:34 pm
@BassPlayer,
BassPlayer;15344 wrote:
To Concieve a Supreme Being (or the lack thereof) is Impossible

Of course not. By definition, any 'god' is ineffable; non-contextual, non-dual, non-relative.. So of course It does not exist, as all that exists has those qualities; context/definition (context = existence). Thats why the religions teach that any 'mental concept/construct' of a 'god' (...is anything; love, jealous, etc...) is considered idolatry. It reduces the 'creator' into the 'created', and egoically (pridefully) magnifies man (by implication) to 'god' status (he's like us, just a bit 'better' though, but still 'in our image').
Peace
Ramsey phil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jun, 2008 03:52 pm
@nameless,
Not sure why but an old quote by Nietzche comes to mind.

"The irrationality of a thing is not an argument against it's existance, rather a condition of it."

Not sure how it ties in but it came to my mind.

Anyways, I would say it's perfectly possilbe to concieve such an irrational (perhaps i'm using the wrong word here, maybe supreme or perhaps ultimate) concept. Just the fact that we can think of it and apply to it, the nature of being unconcievable, is that not use concieving the unconcievable.

Thats where Nietzche comes in.

Perhaps the unconcievablity of a thing is not an argument against it conceivability, but rather a condition of it.

If that makes sence.
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