• Constance
    465
    Looking for trouble here:

    What, exactly, was there in the beginning such that to utter the words makes beginnings possible at all? In the beginning there was the word? Take this quite literally: How are such things that are "begun" to be conceived prior to their beginning; or, what is presupposed by a beginning? An absolute beginning makes no sense at all, for to begin would have to be ex nihilo and this is a violation of a foundation level intuition, a causeless cause, spontaneously erupting into existence simply is impossible, just as space cannot be conceived to "end".

    But this takes the matter in the wrong direction. For it is not about trivial intuitions like sufficient causality, but about the origin of ideas and meaning. The event begun presupposes the ability to conceive it, and language as such does not speak, and logic does not make sense. Here is the terminal point of "beginnings" where religion finds its existential reality: the impossibility of conceiving beyond the boundaries of the thought that makes beginnings possible by conceiving of them, for what is possible that cannot be thought? One must take Wittgenstein very seriously here; but then, one must put him down very emphatically: it is in the saying, the twilight world, where meaning meets its dark underpinning, and the world is a naked impossibility---this is brass ring of both religion and philosophy.

    The real question is, does the world "speak"? I mean, religion is a philosophical matter, and the reason this idea sounds counterintuitive is that philosophy, in the minds of many or most, has no place in the dark places where language cannot go, but this is a Kantian/Wittgensteinian (Heidegger, too, of course; though he takes steps....) legacy that rules out impossible thinking, and it is here where philosophy has gone so very wrong: Philosophy is an empty vessel unless it takes on the the original encounter with the world, which is prior to language, and yet, IN language, for language is in the world. Philosophy's end, point, that is, is threshold enlightenment, not some foolish anal retentive need for positivism's clarity.

    The world does speak, but meaning here is without precedent in the crude familiar, a "hobgoblin of little minds".

    Of course, you may think otherwise.
  • Prishon
    984
    See the question about the big bang. There is no beginning. The universe is eternal. Once in a while, when the remnants of a big bang have fled into infinity, there are only fluctuating (virtual) quantum fields in spacetime. Giving rise to excitement. ie, reality. After new inflation (new big bang).
  • T Clark
    6.3k
    Here is the terminal point of "beginnings" where religion finds its existential reality: the impossibility of conceiving beyond the boundaries of the thought that makes beginnings possible by conceiving of them, for what is possible that cannot be thought?Constance

    philosophy, in the minds of many or most, has no place in the dark places where language cannot go, but this is a Kantian/Wittgensteinian (Heidegger, too, of course; though he takes steps....) legacy that rules out impossible thinking, and it is here where philosophy has gone so very wrong: Philosophy is an empty vessel unless it takes on the the original encounter with the world, which is prior to language, and yet, IN language, for language is in the world.Constance

    The idea that reality inhabits "the dark places where language cannot go," is pretty common. Kant's noumena, Lao Tzu's Tao, Schopenhauer's will are all grappling with what comes during "the original encounter with the world."
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    The eternal question of the temporal status of being: what was, before being?

    The question divides into two. One unanswerable. The other, what was there before there were beings for which being was an issue? And this easy enough: everything ancestral to what there is now.

    I don't agree that "religion is a philosophical matter." For one thing, religion answers unanswerable questions all the time, and in so many different ways, step right up, take your pick something for everyone at every price point, catering to every belief. Non-sense, then, seems to be a common choice of an answer.

    And as to nonsense, my own view is that people are not completely stupid, so if they deal in nonsense, it must be for some reason, some purpose to some end.

    Beyond that, however, what would you have philosophy say? That is, what's your point?
  • Prishon
    984
    The other, what was there before there were beings for which being was an issue?tim wood

    Prishon say: trinity undivided.
  • T Clark
    6.3k
    I don't agree that "religion is a philosophical matter."tim wood

    Religion generally deals with issues of the origins and nature of reality, ontology, so, of course it's philosophy. You have a history of kicking areas of study you don't have any respect for out of their appropriate place. Religion is not philosophy, psychology is not science, [joke]ice dancing is not a sport, Mitt Romney is not a Republican, bleach is not an appropriate treatment for the Covid 19 virus, Velveeta is not really food.[/joke]
  • Constance
    465
    The idea that reality inhabits "the dark places where language cannot go," is pretty common. Kant's noumena, Lao Tzu's Tao, Schopenhauer's will are all grappling with what comes during "the original encounter with the world."T Clark

    Kant had one thing in mind: NOT to go there. Read his transcendental dialectics. No, they do not bring into its thematic distinction. Saying the Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao is indicative merely and presents no substantive work on threshold philosophical experience. Schopenhauer , as far as I've read (will read into it if you have something in mind) does not make an existential issue of the alienation that constitutes the encounter with the world logically prior to all else. He presents the concept of the will, , but does not examine it fully as a crisis that lies beneath the mundanity of normal affairs and a real underpinning to being in the world that can be exposed, brought to analysis. This latter can only occur when a philosophical assault is brought to bear upon the living event of being in the world.

    What I have in mind is the truly hard question of philosophy, which is not consciousness (though indirectly, one can claim this) but presence.
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    I do indeed; a self-assigned doorkeeper. Having too often found the cute furry little creatures to have grown into devouring monsters.
    Religion generally deals with issues of the origins and nature of reality, ontologyT Clark
    And I'm a heart surgeon. Except I'm not, nor does religion. Religion doesn't "deal with," at least in any respectable sense, it instead imposes upon. So let's set religion out apart and away from this discussion, until and unless it earn its way in.

    There is still philosophy of religion, a different animal. Maybe you were thinking of that?
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    Your answers, glib as they may seem, seem as good as any.
  • T Clark
    6.3k
    Religion doesn't "deal with," at least in any respectable sense, it instead imposes upon. So let's set religion out apart and away from this discussion, until and unless it earn its way in.tim wood

    No further questions. I rest my case.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    938
    Hello.
    This is an interesting post, but there seems to be a lot of different topics here. What is your main point?

    If it is about whether things can exist beyond our conception of it and language, then the answer is yes, so long as it abides to the Principle of Sufficient Reason (which you have alluded to): It is logically possible, but we must have a sufficient reason to posit it. Something like Aquinas' Five Ways: Since all things in the universe are contingent, it is necessary to posit a necessary being as their cause; even if such a being is not imaginable to us since we have never perceived such a thing.
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    encounter with the world logically prior to all else.Constance
    What does this mean?

    What I have in mind is the truly hard question of philosophy,... which is presence.Constance
    And this?
  • Prishon
    984
    glibtim wood

    Whats glib about them. GLIBberrig in Dutch means slippery. Whats slippery about them?
  • Prishon
    984
    seem as good as any.tim wood

    "Seem". Indeed. Seem...
  • Prishon
    984
    Religion generally deals with issues of the origins and nature of reality, ontology,T Clark

    Not true.
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    Maybe glib not quite the right word. In any case English, not Dutch. I meant insubstantial. But that may be the best that can be done.
  • Prishon
    984
    If it is about whether things can exist beyond our conception of it and languageSamuel Lacrampe

    Yes they can.
  • Prishon
    984
    . I meant insubstantialtim wood

    Thats because you dont understand.
  • T Clark
    6.3k
    Not true.Prishon

    Is too.
  • Constance
    465
    See the question about the big bang. There is no beginning. The universe is eternal. Once in a while, when the remnants of a big bang have fled into infinity, there are only fluctuating (virtual) quantum fields in spacetime. Giving rise to excitement. ie, reality. After new inflation (new big bang).Prishon

    But the question is begged: Prior to the Big Bang as a meaningful notion at all, there is the language out of which this theory in physics is constructed. Big? What does this mean? It is a particle of language, so what it means is contingent on what language means. How can language be examined, given that it takes language to do the examining? Now you are in a world of thought bound, not open, for the struggle to make language make sense ends, inevitably, with a compromise, a reduction, and delimitation, and this approach has been exhausted, evidenced by the bankrupt endeavors of analytic philosophy.

    No: the matter has to be taken more, if you will, personally: there is no objective world of mountains and valleys and car washes simpliciter. Such thinking is naive to philosophy. There are only worlds and mysterious connections. This mystery has to be experienced intimately, just as one experiences one's daily affairs with all the passions being diffused among trivialities, and one is always already spent prior to getting even to the threshold at all.
  • Prishon
    984
    Is too.T Clark


    Partially. It does indeed deal with creation.
  • T Clark
    6.3k
    Partially. It does indeed deal with creation.Prishon

    I meant what I said and I said what I meant.
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    Don't be a troll, Prishon. If there is any substance in your answers, it is not in your answers. Implied? But on this topic, nothing that can be substantively implied.
  • Prishon
    984
    But the question is beggedConstance

    Not if there is an eternal universe. A 4d spatial static substrate on which our universe evolves. And a next one.
    There was a fluctuating time before it took of in one direction (entropic time).
  • Prishon
    984
    Don't be a troll,tim wood

    Sigh... the usual accusation.

    Prishon say: troooooolls. Likey likey
  • T Clark
    6.3k
    Don't be a troll, Prishon. If there is any substance in your answers, it is not in your answers. Implied? But on this topic, nothing that can be substantively implied.tim wood

    @Prishon is a pain in the ass, but he's not a troll. Calling someone a troll is just another example of the malady I was referring to - delegitimizing an argument without good reason because you don't like it.
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    The hazard, and a real one, is to answer the mystery. Your answer might "satisfy" you, but that is the maximum bound of its efficacy. And this all worked out by the heavy thinkers in most religions long ago. That is, they understood better than all others that if, "The butler did it," could ever stand as answer, then game over. So religion never allows answer, and thus we all keep playing.
  • Prishon
    984
    Prishon is a pain in the assT Clark

    Prishon say: pain in the aaaaass. Auw!

    another example of the malady I was referring to - delegitimizing an argument without good reason because you don't like it.

    :ok:
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    Only partly so, but partly both.
  • Prishon
    984
    I the beginning... What if there was no beginning? What if every beginning is manmade?
  • Constance
    465
    I don't agree that "religion [[i]is[/i]] a philosophical matter." For one thing, religion answers unanswerable questions all the time, and in so many different ways, step right up, take your pick something for everyone at every price point, catering to every belief. Non-sense, then, seems to be a common choice of an answer.

    And as to nonsense, my own view is that people are not completely stupid, so if they deal in nonsense, it must be for some reason, some purpose to some end.

    Beyond that, however, what would you have philosophy say? That is, what's your point?
    tim wood

    But what is nonsense? Vague talk about the limits of logic and how this renders the most salient dimensions of human existence unspeakable is just dismissive, and sets one on a course of inquiry that, in positivist fashion, prizes clarity over substance, and if "Making our Ideas Clear" (Peirce) were the be all and end all of philosophy. This is rubbish of the worst kind, closing doors to contents of meaning and experience.
    My point is to ask basic questions as if we actually existed, to follow Kierkegaard, and inquire as if the weight of the world and all its significance were more than an abstract study of the law of the excluded middle. Such questions go to the core of what a question is, which is never to be exceeded by what is abstracted FROM it, as with cognition in search of cognitively constructed equations that can neatly packaged and sold off to deluded academics.
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