• Agustino
    11.3k
    I've come to understand that original sin, the Christian religious doctrine, describes various systematic "wrongs" with the world, which make us conclude that it is a fallen world.

    On the physical level, the problem described seems to be the second law of thermodynamics - the entropic tendency of all closed physical systems towards energy dissipation, and the destruction of all structure and order given sufficient time - the asymmetry that exists regarding the probability of decreasing entropy compared to the probability of increasing entropy. Ultimately the second law of thermodynamics practically guarantees that the Universe will fizzle out of existence, thereby illustrating that the punishment of sin is death.

    On the social and economic level, original sin seems to describe the mechanism in virtue of which, that which is increasing the fitness of the individual, turns out to decrease the fitness of the collective. For example, promiscuity, both of a sexual and economic nature, may enhance the fitness of the individual, but if everyone becomes promiscuous, then there will be a decrease in the overall fitness of the species. Original sin in this case illustrates that advantages to the individuals are not passed on as advantages to the species, but quite the contrary, as disadvantages - and further, that ultimately, the individuals are more likely, given their nature, to take actions which will increase individual fitness but decrease collective fitness. Thus "free markets" ultimately break - there is an invisible hand which leads them to breaking - capitalism, as well as all other forms of political and economic organisation, are inherently unstable. There is no absolute - no communism which will escape from sin. In this manner, the punishment of sin will again be death, and death will be unavoidable. This is also known in economic circles as the prisoner's dilemma - scenarios where individual pursuit of self-interest ultimately leads to collectively sub-optimal outcomes. Thus, equilibrium in economics does not optimise for collectively optimal solutions.

    And of course, in moral matters, original sin illustrates the tendency of doing evil, all the while knowing what the good thing to do is. As St. Paul writes "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, that I do". This means forfeiting long-term good, and reason in favor of irrationality and short-term, ephemeral goods. Biologically it seems that there is a statistical tendency to prefer the pleasure that can be had now, rather than the greater pleasure that can be had in the long-run. And one may be aware of this - and yet still do evil, because it is the will that is corrupted, which also corrupts the mind. And thus, the punishment of sin ultimately again is death and suffering (the loss of happiness). Thus immorality does lead to destruction, and virtue is its own reward.

    (This is part of a series of threads regarding re-interpretation of religious doctrines. For a long time I could not understand the meaning of these doctrines - I did not agree with them, because the words simply did not speak to me - I just did not understand the meaning of the words. But now, hopefully, the explanations above inject new meaning in those words).
  • schopenhauer1
    4.8k
    Biologically it seems that there is a statistical tendency to prefer the pleasure that can be had now, rather than the greater pleasure that can be had in the long-run. And one may be aware of this - and yet still do evil, because it is the will that is corrupted, which also corrupts the mind. And thus, the punishment of sin ultimately again is death and suffering (the loss of happiness). Thus immorality does lead to destruction, and virtue is its own reward.Agustino

    What is evil and how does it have to do with short-term pleasure? Most would say murder, genocide, rape, purposely hurting people, and such is evil, but that does not necessarily correlate with indulging in short-term pleasure. If you allude to sex (with self or others), which almost all Church Fathers and "Saint" Paul were fixated on and essentially "alluding" to with sin it seems, then besides STDs, this does not seem in the evil category or even a short-term loss unless it is accompanied by feelings of remorse or shame which may be a cultural, personal psychological, or personal biological thing- again both not equating to what is normally deemed "evil".

    If we are talking about something like drugs- certainly the destruction that comes from the underground drug economy leads to evil. However, the personal consumption of drugs, starts out with the general human tendency towards boredom, and the pleasurable or altered state of the drug becomes an addiction. Addiction could be said to be an "evil" because it can consume a life and cause it to think of nothing else. However, a condition like addiction does not seem to fall under evil in the conventional sense of the word either.

    Also, a bigger point, at what time is it good then to indulge? The short term is forfeited to the long term, but usually with the goal to eventually cash in on all those original forfeits. You invest and wait to see it grow and reap the rewards. The emphasis being that you will eventually reap the rewards.

    "Virtue is its own reward" does not seem to be saying much to me. Pleasure seems to be the reward of "virtues". If you want to get good at something, patience, fortitude and such may be the way to get there, but the "reward" seems to be the pleasure of mastering something and feeling or seeing the result.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    What is evil and how does it have to do with short-term pleasure?schopenhauer1
    Evil is self or other destructive behavior. It has to do with short-term pleasure because to have short term pleasure (in this context) means to sacrifice long term pleasure. By definition in this case. Whatsoever pleasure you can imagine which does not sacrifice future pleasure is by this definition a long-term pleasure.

    Most would say murder, genocide, rape, purposely hurting people, and such is evil, but that does not necessarily correlate with indulging in short-term pleasure.schopenhauer1
    According to the definitions above it does, since what qualifies as short term pleasure is precisely that which prevents one from enjoying a greater good in the future. Thus it is evil because it does harm to one's own soul.

    If you allude to sex (with self or others), which almost all Church Fathers and "Saint" Paul were fixated on and essentially "alluding" to with sin it seems, then besides STDs, this does not seem in the evil category or even a short-term loss unless it is accompanied by feelings of remorse or shame which may be a cultural, personal psychological, or personal biological thing- again both not equating to what is normally deemed "evil".schopenhauer1
    Sex in the wrong circumstances (outside of a committed relationship) is evil as it harms the one who engages in it as it leads to them to: 1. sacrifice their capacity for developing intimacy with someone in the future, 2. fail to achieve the natural purpose of sex (intimacy and/or reproduction), 3. treat another human being as a means to an end, and thus objectify them, taking the dignity they rightfully deserve away.

    However, the personal consumption of drugs, starts out with the general human tendency towards boredom, and the pleasurable or altered state of the drug becomes an addiction. Addiction could be said to be an "evil" because it can consume a life and cause it to think of nothing else. However, a condition like addiction does not seem to fall under evil in the conventional sense of the word either.schopenhauer1
    Addiction is harmful to the flourishing of the organism, and is therefore evil. Addiction does not promote flourishing.

    Also, a bigger point, at what time is it good then to indulge? The short term is forfeited to the long term, but usually with the goal to eventually cash in on all those original forfeits. You invest and wait to see it grow and reap the rewards. The emphasis being that you will eventually reap the rewards.schopenhauer1
    At no point. Indulgence is always bad. What is good is skillful (as Buddhists would say) living. This whole idea of cashing in is part of the problem. There is no cashing in. The focus is on living a good life, which means growing and developing one's self and doing good for self and others. You're cashing in at all times. Going for short-term pleasures is being short-sighted and creating future trouble for yourself, thus, paradoxically, not cashing in. The virtuous man is the only one who cashes in, and he cashes in every moment.

    "Virtue is its own reward" does not seem to be saying much to me. Pleasure seems to be the reward of "virtues". If you want to get good at something, patience, fortitude and such may be the way to get there, but the "reward" seems to be the pleasure of mastering something and feeling or seeing the result.schopenhauer1
    Sure. Paradoxically, the only man who ever gets real, lasting pleasure is the virtuous man, and this is the ultimate Socratic irony.
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    Excellent post. However, I think at least in moral matters, human beings have always ever been fallen, for we now know that there never was an idyllic utopia from which to fall. Ancient man's life was just as nasty, brutish, and short as modern man's. And speaking of the world, ever since the Cambrian explosion 500 million years ago, it has been awash in a staggering, seemingly endless amount of violence and death. I greatly value the doctrine of original sin for its explanatory power, but it is crucially deficient in the above respects.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Excellent post. However, I think at least in moral matters, human beings have always ever been fallen, for we now know that there never was an idyllic utopia from which to fall. Ancient man's life was just as nasty, brutish, and short as modern man's. And speaking of the world, ever since the Cambrian explosion 500 million years ago, it has been awash in a staggering, seemingly endless amount of violence and death. I greatly value the doctrine of original sin for its explanatory power, but it is crucially deficient in the above respects.Thorongil
    The idyllic utopia from which we fell is the atemporal and eternal. The world is fallen only when we compare it to the world sub specie aeternitatis - thus, man's fall into time (and hence into death), is the effect of original sin. But, alas - there is still spirit in man, not only flesh, and thus not everything has fallen into time - something still remains which is eternal - otherwise there would be no truth but Cioran. As Spinoza has said, sometimes we feel that we are eternal; or as Wittgenstein has said, eternity is not to be found in time's infinity, but rather in the eternity of the present moment; life knows no end, the same way our visual field knows no end.

    The reason why we must presuppose an idyllic utopia from which a fall occurs is the following (this was by the way going to be the next topic I was going to post; why is this world fallen?): in this world, life is destroyed by death, health is destroyed by illness, order is destroyed by entropy. The ontological status of this world is one in which evil triumphs over good, ultimately. However - death, illness, entropy - all of them logically presuppose life, health and order. Thus, life is logically anterior to death and must necessarily be so. No death can be conceived in the absence of life. For this reason, we know that sub specie aeternitatis, life triumphs over death as it is prior to it. Only sub specie durationis does death overcome life, and so, we call this world, sub specie durationis, fallen, because the ontological status of good and evil are inverted compared to the world sub specie aeternitatis.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2k
    This is what I was talking about in the other thread: the notion the world (including human life) is inherently worthless because it is not perfect. It the failure to accept that we are human, that we live in a finite world, that we will die, that we live in the swirling chaos of the world sub specie durationis. Here the problem is not the identification of the world as full of evil (it is), but rather the delusion that we can ever escape it. Under original sin (or any other position which similarity considers the finite inherently worthless), we make the mistake of of think we (and the world) live world sub specie aeternitatis. So distraught at the failures of the finite, we run to the lie that our lives are something other, that there is somehow a place, a state, a life, sub specie aeternitatis. Not even the spirit of man escapes of the world sub specie durationis. When man dies and his feelings leave the world, there is no more feeling eternal.

    It's the fear of the finite, the fear of death, the inability to accept life is sub specie durationis and that we, as existing states, are outside the infinite. It's a mockery of Spinoza's insight into sub specie durationis and sub specie aeternitatis, a confusing of the latter for the former because one cannot accept the finite nature of life.

    Orignal sin doesn't merely point out the wrongness of finite life. It mistakenly proposes we are worthless because of it, that it means we must be something other than ourselves, something other than finite. God ceases to be the immanent expression of the world (i.e. the infinite) and is mistaken for a life, a utopia, which has never existed and never will. It forms a delusion about our life (that be can be infinite) and worth (that the world is worthless, without the immanent expression of God) with which we try to fill the whole in our heart.

    But it never really works because we are finite. We cannot escape ourselves, even when we throw our efforts into projects, such as ideology and empires which remain others. Ten years? Fifty years? One hundred and twenty years? Three hundred years? A millennia? It is never enough. In every case, the result is dissatisfaction because it is still finite and so ends in every case. When we wish to be infinite, the hole in are heart never closes because we want something that we never are. We become stuck on the treadmill of desire, desperately insisting the maintenance of life (the afterlife) and a whole host of fictions (nations, empires, duty, etc.,etc.) into to perpetuity, without actually paying attention to the communities of the world, what matters to them or how our polices would actual affect them (you would have us invading Iraq for empire building ).

    We become drunk on enacting power on others for to achieve the infinite (e.g. salvation, the never-ending empire, the utopia, punishing "moral decay, etc.,etc.") which never does what we say. Instead of sacrifice for the community, it the throwing of people on the altar for a present delusion of infinite life, so a certain group of people can FEEL like they will be infinite, that they will achieve transcendence from the finite world and their fear of it, even though nothing of the sort occurs.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    the notion the world (including human life) is inherently worthless because it is not perfectTheWillowOfDarkness
    Where do I say this. Please quote instead of assuming some notions that I have never stated nor agreed with. I don't understand why you like to imagine things about what I'm saying instead of actually look at what I've written. You say I have a trouble with accepting the finite nature of man, and I say you have a trouble with accepting what I wrote, and prefer instead to create an imagination of it...

    It the failure to accept that we are human, that we live in a finite world, that we will die, that we live in the swirling chaos of the world sub specie durationis.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Nope, original sin states that that is precisely what will happen.

    Here the problem is not the identification of the world as full of evil (it is), but rather the delusion that we can ever escape it.TheWillowOfDarkness
    That's not part of the doctrine of original sin - quite the contrary, as I have stated very clearly, the punishment for sin is death, and this is inescapable as I have illustrated. Therefore there is no delusion that we can ever escape from it. Original sin states quite the contrary.

    So distraught at the failures of the finite, we run to the lie that our lives are something other, that there is somehow a place, a state, a life, sub specie aeternitatis.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Nope, we run to something other merely because it exists - it is real, and it is a part of ourselves. If we neglected that part, then that would be the equivalent of neglecting part of our being. Kierkegaard wrote extensively on this - on the need for man to balance the finite and the infinite within him, on the fact that man is a contradiction, holding both finite and infinite within him, yadda yadda yadda...

    Not even the spirit of man escapes of the world sub specie durationis. When man dies and his feelings leave the world, there is no more feeling eternal.TheWillowOfDarkness
    No the spirit never escapes from the world sub specie durationis because it simply never is part of the world sub specie durationis. I don't know what happens after death - I can't imagine either that there is feeling or that there isn't feeling. Those categories, as far as I'm concerned, no longer apply, except perhaps metaphorically.

    It's the fear of the finite, the fear of death, the inability to accept life is sub specie durationis and that we, as existing states, are outside the infinite.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Part of ourselves - namely our bodies - are outside of the infinite. But our souls and minds never are.

    t's a mockery of Spinoza's insight into sub specie durationis and sub specie aeternitatis, a confusing of the latter for the former because one cannot accept the finite nature of life.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Re-read Book V of the Ethics. Spinoza is clear about this: "V.P23: The human mind cannot be absolutely destroyed with the body, but something of it remains which is eternal". It's ironic that YOU are the one talking about mocking Spinoza's insights...

    Orignal sin doesn't merely point out the wrongness of finite life.TheWillowOfDarkness
    It doesn't point out the wrongness of finite life.

    It mistakenly proposes we are worthless because of it, that it means we must be something other than ourselves, something other than finite.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Neither does it state this.

    God ceases to be the immanent expression of the world (i.e. the infinite) and is mistaken for a life, a utopia, which has never existed and never will. It forms a delusion about our life (that be can be infinite) and worth (that the world is worthless, without the expression of God) with which we try to fill the whole in our heart.TheWillowOfDarkness
    "In Him we move and have our being"

    But it never really works because we are finite.TheWillowOfDarkness
    This assumption is wrong. You have just not discovered the infinite part of man. We are BOTH finite and infinite.

    FEEL like they will be infiniteTheWillowOfDarkness
    Spinoza's words :) . Spinoza stated that "we feel and know that we are eternal" in the note to proposition 23 quoted earlier.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2k
    Careless, Agustino. I never said that we didn't feel infinite. We (well, some of us) do that all the time. I do that all the time, I might go as far to say in every moment. The infinite expression of each moment is clear. The problem with original sin is not that it a proposal that people feel infinite, but that it suggests they are meant to be and can be infinite (which triggers a sense of feeling infinite under the delusion they are).


    Part of ourselves - namely our bodies - are outside of the infinite. But our souls and minds never are.

    Re-read Book V of the Ethics. Spinoza is clear about this: "V.P23: The human mind cannot be absolutely destroyed with the body, but something of it remains which is eternal". It's ironic that YOU are the one talking about mocking Spinoza's insights...
    — Agustino
    In logical expression, yes (though our bodies are infinite there too). Not in life. Our minds aren't distinct form our bodies in the sense that former is finite and the latter infinite (you are regressing into the mind-body dualism Spinoza dispels here). This is an outright textual example of your refusal to accept the finite. You speak of if the indestructible nature of logical expression were the existing mind of a person. As if the feeling one was infinite actually qualified as part of a person existing for eternity.


    Nope, we run to something other merely because it exists - it is real, and it is a part of ourselves. If we neglected that part, then that would be the equivalent of neglecting part of our being. Kierkegaard wrote extensively on this - on the need for man to balance the finite and the infinite within him, on the fact that man is a contradiction, holding both finite and infinite within him, yadda yadda yadda... — Agustino
    Another example of not accepting the finite nature of man. Here you propose there is an infinite part of man such that it produces a contradiction. This is not true. Such a contradiction is impossible. No state of man is infinite.

    There is plenty of feeling the infinite, being aware of logical expression, but these are not existing states of ourselves. We are all finite. Sometimes we are finite states which are the sensing of the infinite. The supposed contradiction is an illusion created by us not distinguishing between sub specie aeternitatis (logical expression) and sub specie durationis (the existing state which is a sense of logical expression).

    No the spirit never escapes from the world sub specie durationis because it simply never is part of the world sub specie durationis. I don't know what happens after death - I can't imagine either that there is feeling or that there isn't feeling. Those categories, as far as I'm concerned, no longer apply, except perhaps metaphorically. — Agustino

    If you want to describe it like that sure, but that means is incoherent to refer to it as our existing mind.




    Nope, original sin states that that is precisely what will happen.

    That's not part of the doctrine of original sin - quite the contrary, as I have stated very clearly, the punishment for sin is death, and this is inescapable as I have illustrated. Therefore there is no delusion that we can ever escape from it. Original sin states quite the contrary.
    — Agustino

    I never contested original sin stated that there was inescapable evil in the world. My point is it considered the world worthless because of that. It is the fear of existing in world in which there is at least some evil that cannot be escaped. Worthlessness is part of the doctrine of original sin.

    Rather than noting the presence of inescapable evil (sin) and the stating that such a world is nevertheless worthwhile, it proclaims the world with evil is completely worthless, such that things need to be infinite to matter.

    "In Him we move and have our being" — Agustino

    More like: "With the being of the world (including us), He moves (i.e. the infinite expressed by the finite), " if we are being careful in our language to avoid the equivocation of the finite with the infinite. The world is not a subset of the infinite as your quote might imply if read the wrong way.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I do that all the time, I might go as far to say in every moment.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Good to know haha!

    In logical expression, yes (though our bodies are infinite there too)TheWillowOfDarkness
    It is impossible that this is Spinoza's meaning for the following reason. If it was his meaning, then he would not state "the mind cannot be absolutely destroyed with the body", which implies that the body CAN BE and IS absolutely destroyed.

    Our minds aren't distinct form our bodies in the sense that former is finite and the latter infinite (you are regressing into the mind-body dualism Spinoza dispels here)TheWillowOfDarkness
    You are misunderstanding. Is Aristotle's hylomorphism dualistic? Absolutely not. The soul is the form of the body. The soul does not exist physically without the body. And yet, the soul is eternal and lives after death. Not because of a dualistic break between the two, but rather because the soul is an activity, which still remains as an activity even after death when it isn't instantiated in the physical realm anymore. Spinoza is similar.

    You speak of if the indestructible nature of logical expression were the existing mind of a person. As if the feeling one was infinite actually qualified as part of a person existing for eternity.TheWillowOfDarkness
    "We feel AND KNOW that we are eternal"

    Another example of not accepting the finite nature of man. Here you propose there is an infinite part of man such that it produces a contradiction. This is not true. Such a contradiction is impossible. No state of man is infinite.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Proof?

    My point is it considered the world worthless because of that. It is the fear of existing in world in which there is at least some evil that cannot be escaped. Worthlessness is part of the doctrine of original sin.TheWillowOfDarkness
    How come?

    Rather than noting the presence of inescapable evil (sin) and the stating that such a world is nevertheless worthwhile, it proclaims the world with evil is completely worthless, such that things need to be infinite to matter.TheWillowOfDarkness
    No, it merely states that it is the infinite which ultimately gives value to this world - in fact this world (the finite) cannot exist without the infinite, which must always be presupposed. It's strange you say this when the Christian position is clearly that this world is good - that God's creation is good, despite its fallenness.

    More like: "With the being of the world (including us), He moves (i.e. the infinite expressed by the finite, " if we are being careful in our language to avoid the equivocation of the finite with the infinite. The world is not a subset of the infinite as your quote might imply if read the wrong way.TheWillowOfDarkness
    But God is in this case logically prior to the world. The world can't exist without God, but God could (logically) exist without the world. Sub specie aeternitatis, even according to Spinoza, is the ONLY reality, and sub specie durationis is the illusion (in accordance to Hegel's acosmistic reading of Spinoza at least).
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2k
    But God is in this case logically prior to the world. The world can't exist without God, but God could (logically) exist without the world. Sub specie aeternitatis, even according to Spinoza, is the ONLY reality, and sub specie durationis is the illusion (in accordance to Hegel's acosmistic reading of Spinoza at least). — Agustino

    That's nonsensical. God is timeless. The infinite cannot be prior or afterwards. It only IS. God doesn't exist, as God is not finite. Logic is not a presupposition that enables existence. It's always true (the infinite) and runs concurrently with world the exists on its own terms (the finite).

    Indeed, with respect to the infinite, only sub specie aeternitatis is reality. The only reality which doesn't change, die or move on is sub specie aeternitatis. No matter how much each moment of my life might seem to be an endless, it's not. We are not of this reality. Here, we are the illusion. In the infinite, none of us matter, none of us exist, none of us were ever there at all. None of us will ever be there no matter what happens (even an immortal life is only transfinite; it has a beginning and a possible end).


    It's strange you say this when the Christian position is clearly that this world is good - that God's creation is good, despite its fallenness. — Agustino

    Yeah... only because of the divine. Take away God and it's all worthless, despite the fact it changes not one thing occurs in the finite world. For the Christian, the world is worthless because it is fallen. God then rescues it.


    "We feel AND KNOW that we are eternal" — Agustino

    No, that's just what many people think, confusing the logical expression they sense fort her own existence. It's false. We aren't eternal. As existing state we have not always been. We start and end.


    How come? — Agustino
    Because it doesn't accept the fallen world (in Christian terms, "the Godless" ) as good. It posits it must be destroyed, that it needs the being of God to save it, because it supposes the world doesn't matter without the divine (and the stuff which usually goes along with that, such as afterlife, judgement, retribution, etc., etc. ).


    You are misunderstanding. Is Aristotle's hylomorphism dualistic? Absolutely not. The soul is the form of the body. The soul does not exist physically without the body. And yet, the soul is eternal and lives after death. Not because of a dualistic break between the two, but rather because the soul is an activity, which still remains as an activity even after death when it isn't instantiated in the physical realm anymore. Spinoza is similar. — Agustino
    Logical expression works as a "soul"; it something the world (including bodies) do, but it doesn't exist. It not the existing body. Since it is infinite (logical) rather than finite (existing) it does remain after death, but that's because it was never in instantiated in the physical realm at all. The activity was always logical, even when is person was living.

    Again, we see trying to make the finite into the infinite. You insist despite the obvious contradiction, that the soul was initially apart of the body, a state of the existing state of the world, a finite thing which passed into existence, which somehow changed and altered with time. Here the problem is not the soul as activity, but that you read it as the existence of man.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    That's nonsensical. God is timeless. The infinite cannot be prior or afterwards. It only IS. God doesn't exist, as God is not finite. Logic is not a presupposition that enables existence. It's always true (the infinite) and runs concurrently with world the exists on its own terms (the finite).TheWillowOfDarkness
    I said the infinite is logically prior. The infinite isn't logic btw - logic is merely a tool of the understanding.

    Yeah... only because of the divine. Take away God and it's all worthless, despite the fact it changes not one thing occurs in the finite world. For the Christian, the world is worthless because it is fallen. God then rescues it.TheWillowOfDarkness
    You cannot take away God under the Christian view. It's simply a logical contradiction to think a world without God given the Christian system. So your point is moot.

    No, that's just what many people think, confusing the logical expression they sense fort her own existence. It's false. We aren't eternal. As existing state we have not always been. We start and end.TheWillowOfDarkness
    It's what Spinoza thinks :) He wrote it. So it seems that you are the one mocking his insight. I think that in a certain sense, we have always been.

    Because it doesn't accept the fallen world (in Christian terms, "the Godless" ) as good. It posits it must be destroyed, that it needs the being of God to save it, because it supposes the world doesn't matter without the divine (and the stuff which usually goes along with that, such as afterlife, judgement, retribution, etc., etc. ).TheWillowOfDarkness
    These terms are incoherent under the Christian worldview. A world without a God is like a triangle without sides!

    Logical expression works as a "soul"; it something the world (including bodies) do, but it doesn't exist. It not the existing body. Since it is infinite (logical) rather than finite (existing) it does remain after death, but that's because it was never in instantiated in the physical realm at all. The activity was always logical, even when is person was living.TheWillowOfDarkness
    The activity (the soul) has effects in the physical world. For example the capacity for thought would be such an effect.

    You insist despite the obvious contradiction, that the soul was initially apart of the body, a state of the existing state of the world, a finite thing which passed into existence, which somehow changed and altered with time. Here the problem is not the soul as activity, but that you read it as the existence of man.TheWillowOfDarkness
    I insist that the soul's existence goes on before and after the body. Man is both soul and body. Only a part of man is eternal according to philosophy (according to Christianity, the body will be eternal too).
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2k
    I said the infinite is logically prior. The infinite isn't logic btw - logic is merely a tool of the understanding. — Agustino

    I know that. My point is it an oxymoron. Logic is timeless. To say it is prior or afterwards is incoherent. you are applying finite terms to the infinite.

    It's what Spinoza thinks :) He wrote it. So it seems that you are the one mocking his insight. I think that in a certain sense, we have always been. — Agustino
    No, it's your misreading of Spinoza, where you misread the infinite as existence. We are in a certain sense, logical expression, always infinite. We even mean before we exist. Even things which never exist have their meaning (all those possible worlds we might talk about). You are confusing this with existence.

    The activity (the soul) has effects in the physical world. For example thought would be such an activity. — Agustino

    There's that dualism again. Thought is a existing state. It is finite. Our thought emerge, pass on and result in changes to existing states. It's not the soul.


    These terms are incoherent under the Christian worldview. A world without a God is like a triangle without sides! — Agustino

    For sure, but we aren't talking about what makes sense to a Christian or whether they pose the worthless, Godless, universe is true. Rather, we are talking about what Christians think about the Godless universe. Whether they believe the Godless universe is true is beside the point. What's important is what they are saying about the world if it was Godless and how that ties worth to the presence of God.

    This point is anything but moot. My attack on original sin is not premised on the idea Christian's think the world is worthless, but rather on the idea it is worthless if there is no God. The presence of absence of God isn't even relevant to this point.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I know that. My point is it an oxymoron. Logic is timeless. To say it is prior or afterwards is incoherent. you are applying finite terms to the infinite.TheWillowOfDarkness
    I'm not saying logic is prior to anything. The infinite however is logically prior to the finite. That's what I've said, which is different.

    Rather, we are talking about what Christians think about the Godless universe. Whether they believe the Godless universe is true is beside the point. What's important is what they are saying about the world if it was Godless and how that ties worth to the presence of God.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Well what do you think of a triangle if it didn't have any sides? That's exactly what the Christian thinks about the world if it was Godless. Simple. Just because you can list a string of words and put a question mark at the end does not mean that the question makes sense within a certain system of thought.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    No, it's your misreading of Spinoza, where you misread the infinite as existence. We are in a certain sense, logical expression, always infinite. We even mean before we exist. Even things which never exist have their meaning (all those possible worlds we might talk about). You are confusing this with existence.TheWillowOfDarkness
    According to you, the body is also eternal. Spinoza clearly shows that only parts of the mind are eternal, and not the body. It's again you who are denying what is written plainly on the paper.

    There's that dualism again. Thought is a existing state. It is finite. Our thought emerge, pass on and result in changes to existing states. It's not the soul.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Yes our thought - noun. What I'm talking about is the activity of thinking - the process.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2k


    That's saying the infinite is present before the finite, Agustino. Finite terms. It's nonsense if you are talking about the infinite.


    Well what do you think of a triangle if it didn't have any sides? That's exactly what the Christian thinks about the world if it was Godless. Simple. — Agustino

    For sure... but that's been my point all along: that under original sin our world on it own, without the existing infinite, in-itself, is worthless and doesn't make sense. You've been the one asserting this isn't true.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2k


    That's not what I said. The meaning of the body, it logical expression, is eternal. Spinoza shows the difference between meaning and existence, which are, in many cases, is referred to "body" and "mind" historically.

    I know you are referring to the activity of thinking. But's that your confusion. It doesn't exist. In the sense you are talking about, the meaning of "thinking," as opposed to any individuals thoughts, there is no finite state and no casual relationship.
  • Wosret
    3.2k
    I see original sin, and the fall of the human species as quite a beautiful story. We are the only species that are truly culpable. Adam's legacy that we inherit is to lose our innocence, become self aware, feel ashamed, contrite, and cognizant of the moral weight of our actions. We can never be innocent like other animals again. We ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and became truly capable of guilt.
  • Bitter Crank
    9k
    Harvey Cox, an American theologian, writes in his book "On Not Leaving It To The Snake" that Adam and Eve were meant to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, but that this would only be a good thing if they made the decision themselves. Instead, they were seduced into eating it by the Serpent. The snack of knowledge therefore had to backfire.

    It had to backfire, because the story of Adam's and Eve's fall reads like the typical fairy tale: "Here's the deal: You can go everywhere you want in the forest, but you MUST NEVER STEP INTO THE GROVE OF SACRED ASH TREES." So our hapless hero and heroine wander about the forest, and sure enough they come to the grove of sacred ash trees. In the middle of the grove is a fountain of sparkling water (it's naturally carbonated--Perrier--) and the heroine suddenly is terribly thirsty and must MUST have a sip of the water. She carries on hysterically until the hero says, "OK I'll get you a drink of water." What a bitch, he thinks. As soon as he steps into the circle of sacred ash trees he turns into a stag, and runs away.

    Maybe, after much folderol, he will be turned back into a hero and maybe they will live happily ever after. Or maybe he decides stags are better company than hysterical maidens.

    Adam and eve stay human, but the deal they get in life soon turns shitty after they eat the fruit. God, in place of the witch, says "I told you not to do it, and you did it anyway. Now you have to be punished -- otherwise, what kind of limp-wristed fairy tale would this be? Out, Out, Out. Raus! Raus!

    And forever after it's been one damned thing after another for the children of Adam.
  • Bitter Crank
    9k
    I like your interpretation. Jews don't take the story as a sign of man's perpetual damnation.
  • Bitter Crank
    9k
    I can see that this discussion is going to be mostly too high concept for my Calvinist upbringing.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    That's saying the infinite is present before the finite, Agustino. Finite terms. It's nonsense if you are talking about the infinite.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Yes but not in the temporal sense of before. I can also say that the infinite is bigger than the finite. Bigger is a finite term. Does that mean that my assertion is now false? It's a category error? I don't believe so. It's possibly to compare the infinite with the finite, what is not possible is to compare infinite with infinite, that's when comparison terms break.

    For sure... but that's been my point all along: that under original sin our world on it own, without the existing infinite, in-itself, is worthless and doesn't make sense. You've been the one asserting this isn't true.TheWillowOfDarkness
    No what you are saying misses the point simply because it is impossible to judge something that is incoherent. It is impossible to judge or say anything about a triangle without sides. Likewise, under the Christian worldview, it is impossible to judge or say anything about a Godless world.

    That's not what I said. The meaning of the body, it logical expression, is eternal. Spinoza shows the difference between meaning and existence, which are, in many cases, is referred to "body" and "mind" historically.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Why do you think Spinoza means meaning by body, and existence by mind?

    In the sense you are talking about, the meaning of "thinking," as opposed to any individuals thoughts, there is no finite state and no casual relationship.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Rather it is that which makes any thought possible in the first place. It is a ground of possibility.

    I see original sin, and the fall of the human species as quite a beautiful story. We are the only species that are truly culpable. Adam's legacy that we inherit is to lose our innocence, become self aware, feel ashamed, contrite, and cognizant of the moral weight of our actions. We can never be innocent like other animals again. We ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and became truly capable of guilt.Wosret
    More a literalist interpretation than I prefer, but interesting.

    Harvey Cox, an American theologian, writes in his book "On Not Leaving It To The Snake" that Adam and Eve were meant to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, but that this would only be a good thing if they made the decision themselves. Instead, they were seduced into eating it by the Serpent. The snack of knowledge therefore had to backfire.

    It had to backfire, because the story of Adam's and Eve's fall reads like the typical fairy tale: "Here's the deal: You can go everywhere you want in the forest, but you MUST NEVER STEP INTO THE GROVE OF SACRED ASH TREES." So our hapless hero and heroine wander about the forest, and sure enough they come to the grove of sacred ash trees. In the middle of the grove is a fountain of sparkling water (it's naturally carbonated--Perrier--) and the heroine suddenly is terribly thirsty and must MUST have a sip of the water. She carries on hysterically until the hero says, "OK I'll get you a drink of water." What a bitch, he thinks. As soon as he steps into the circle of sacred ash trees he turns into a stag, and runs away.

    Maybe, after much folderol, he will be turned back into a hero and maybe they will live happily ever after. Or maybe he decides stags are better company than hysterical maidens.

    Adam and eve stay human, but the deal they get in life soon turns shitty after they eat the fruit. God, in place of the witch, says "I told you not to do it, and you did it anyway. Now you have to be punished -- otherwise, what kind of limp-wristed fairy tale would this be? Out, Out, Out. Raus! Raus!

    And forever after it's been one damned thing after another for the children of Adam.
    Bitter Crank
    Hah this was a funny re-telling!
  • Janus
    9.6k
    Ultimately the second law of thermodynamics practically guarantees that the Universe will fizzle out of existence, thereby illustrating that the punishment of sin is death.Agustino

    This is an inconsistent claim from one who argued so tenaciously against the rational justifiably of any generalized inductive inferences not so long ago!
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    This is an inconsistent claim from one who argued so tenaciously against the rational justifiably of any generalized inductive inferences not so long ago!John
    I still maintain that position. But I did say that it is justified based on custom (and NOT that it is unjustified pure and simple). If we take a larger view of reason, and include custom in it, rather than merely deductive reasoning, then we can say that inductive inferences are also the result of reason (although negatively so - there simply is no reason to question these inductive inferences).
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2k


    The issue runs deeper than merely thinking that the infinite runs prior to the finite. It goes to the how of how much you respect God as real in (acosmist terms). How you speak about God treats God as a as a possibility, such that we might be born into a world in which God (in acosmist terms) might or not be real. You hold our existence to ransom based on the idea of the presence infinite over the absence of infinite, as if it were possible for the infinite to be or not be. You are still running in fear with belief in the godless world. You haven’t realised that God (in acosmist terms) is real and necessary, such there is no possibility of the godless reality, making the supposed issue, whether or not God is true, entirely moot. The very question is nonsensical.

    Confusion of the infinite and finite isn’t just a shallow statement that places the infinite in time, it’s one which fundamentally misunderstands the infinite and it relationship to possibility. It creates the illusion of the meaningless (godless) world which then people try to fill in with various imaginings. God gets treated as an action, a state, one possible outcome, which must be inserted into the world for it to mean, for God to be true (i.e. “the saviour”). In the relevant terms, the Christian world is godless, for it denies God is real (in acosmist terms) and suppose God is illusion for God is a possible (finite) outcome of the world which acts, causes and changes finite states. It is the ultimate category error which denies the infinite then tries to use the finite to paper over the nonsensical gap that denial leaves.

    Spinoza's split between thought and extension is not between the existing minds and bodies, but a logical distinction between that which is present to mind (meaning) and that which is existing (states of the world, bodies, existing thoughts). It's the difference that the mind/body split has been trying to grasp and failing for its entire history. The meaning (infinite) which we access every time we think and the various states of the world we observe or know about. It's how Spinoza dispenses with the mind/body problem. The infinities of mind are given with the finites of body, removing any need to give priority to either, and so eliminating the "hard problem" and the question of "where does meaning come from?" Since meaning is infinite and unchanging, it never had a beginning or end, it came from nowhere and can go nowhere. All meaning is necessary. It given by definition, with all the finite states which are given in themselves (as opposed to by the infinite).

    Thus, it makes no sense to claim the infinite as a ground for possibility. It's necessary. Possibility is not made by anything. God is never in doubt such that it makes sense to say: "Well, the presence of the infinite constitutes the ground which allows us to have possible finite states as opposed to not." Any finite state is, by definition, possible. To argue something has to come in (God, the infinite) to insert possibility into a world without it, or which might not have any, is incoherent.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    The issue runs deeper than merely thinking that the infinite runs prior to the finite. It goes to the how of how much you respect God as real in (acosmist terms). How you speak about God treats God as a as a possibility, such that we might be born into a world in which God (in acosmist terms) might or not be real. You hold our existence to ransom based on the idea of the presence infinite over the absence of infinite, as if it were possible for the infinite to be or not be. You are still running in fear with belief in the godless world. You haven’t realised that God (in acosmist terms) is real and necessary, such there is no possibility of the godless reality, making the supposed issue, whether or not God is true, entirely moot. The very question is nonsensical.TheWillowOfDarkness
    How strange you are, now you're saying exactly what I've been saying. I entirely agree with you, and in fact have told you that it is a mistake to treat God as a possibility (the way you did when you asked me to consider whether a godless world is worthless). -> No doubt that now you'll go on saying that in fact I don't agree with you, and on we'll go :D

    Confusion of the infinite and finite isn’t just a shallow statement that places the infinite in time, it’s one which fundamentally misunderstands the infinite and it relationship to possibility. It creates the illusion of the meaningless (godless) world which then people try to fill in with various imaginings. God gets treated as an action, a state, one possible outcome, which must be inserted into the world for it to mean, for God to be true (i.e. “the saviour”). In the relevant terms, the Christian world is godless, for it denies God is real (in acosmist terms) and suppose God is illusion for God is a possible (finite) outcome of the world which acts, causes and changes finite states. It is the ultimate category error which denies the infinite then tries to use the finite to paper over the nonsensical gap that denial leaves.TheWillowOfDarkness
    I disagree with your interpretation of the Christian worldview. I think Aquinas would also disagree, as well as a few other theologians.

    Spinoza's split between thought and extension is not between the existing minds and bodies, but a logical distinction between that which is present to mind (meaning) and that which is existing (states of the world, bodies, existing thoughts). It's the difference that the mind/body split has been trying to grasp and failing for its entire history. The meaning (infinite) which we access every time we think and the various states of the world we observe or know about. It's how Spinoza dispenses with the mind/body problem. The infinities of mind are given with the finites of body, removing any need to give priority to either, and so eliminating the "hard problem" and the question of "where does meaning come from?" Since meaning is infinite and unchanging, it never had a beginning or end, it came from nowhere and can go nowhere. All meaning is necessary. It given by definition, with all the finite states which are given in themselves (as opposed to by the infinite).TheWillowOfDarkness
    I agree with everything, except the second half of the last sentence. The finite is the expression of the infinite and DOES NOT have independence from the infinite.

    Thus, it makes no sense to claim the infinite as a ground for possibility. It's necessary.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Yes it is necessary. That is exactly what a ground of possibility means. The ground of possibility is itself not possible, it is necessary, just the same way that that which makes vision possible (the eye) is necessarily not present in the field of vision (well, except when you look in the mirror, but you get the point).

    God is never in doubt such that it makes sense to say: "Well, the presence of the infinite constitutes the ground which allows us to have possible finite states as opposed to not." Any finite state is, by definition, possible. To argue something has to come in (God, the infinite) to insert possibility into a world without it, or which might not have any, is incoherent.TheWillowOfDarkness
    I agree!
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2k
    The finite is the expression of the infinite and DOES NOT have independence from the infinite.

    Yes it is necessary. That is exactly what a ground of possibility means. The ground of possibility is itself not possible, it is necessary, just the same way that that which makes vision possible (the eye) is necessarily not present in the field of vision (well, except when you look in the mirror, but you get the point).
    — Agustino

    The ground of possibility assumes that something must come in an act as the foundation for the emergence of possibility. It takes possibility to be a finite state which must be created out of the infinite, rather than being necessary itself.

    I know you think you agree, but your disagreement amounts to the outright denial of acosmism. You subsume the infinite back into the illusion of the finite, arguing it to be responsible for the emergence of possibility.

    The eye is never what makes vision possible. Vision is possible at any point. Logically, any moment might have an experience of seeing. It just takes that state itself.

    Eyes are just finite states which are causal of some actual instances of vision. Logically, any other state might play a similar casual role in the emergence of vision. There might even be the presence of experiences of seeing all on their own (i.e. without any specific causal relationship to an information receiver, such as an eye). This remains the case even when its only eyes which are causing experiences of vision. The thing about a possibility is that it doesn't need to actual to be true.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    The ground of possibility assumes that something must come in an act as the foundation for the emergence of possibility.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Nope, not must come in. Rather it inevitably and necessarily always is there.

    It takes possibility to be a finite state which must be created out of the infinite, rather than being necessary itself.TheWillowOfDarkness
    It is necessary itself, but only because it emanates from the divine.

    The eye is never what makes vision possible. Vision is possible at any point. Logically, any moment might have an experience of seeing. It just takes that state itself.TheWillowOfDarkness
    I actually am not sure about this point. Some things may appear logically coherent/possible if we think lightly about them, and don't imagine it clearly and distinctly with the entire surrounding context.

    Eyes are just finite states which are causal of some actual instances of vision. Logically, any other state might play a similar casual role in the emergence of vision. There might even be the presence of experiences of seeing all on their own (i.e. without any specific causal relationship to an information receiver, such as an eye). This remains the case even when its only eyes which are causing experiences of vision. The thing about a possibility is that it doesn't need to actual to be true.TheWillowOfDarkness
    Again, I am not sure about this.
  • unenlightened
    5.3k
    Christian doctrine is not univocal, but the way I heard it God looked at his creation and saw that it was good. I assume he was aware of thermodynamics already. The goodness of thermodynamics is the radical freedom it confers on creation.

    The Fall is rather more human-specific than this thread allows.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Christian doctrine is not univocal, but the way I heard it God looked at his creation and saw that it was good. I assume he was aware of thermodynamics already. The goodness of thermodynamics is the radical freedom it confers on creation.

    The Fall is rather more human-specific than this thread allows.
    unenlightened
    As far as I know, at least in Orthodox Christianity, the fall of man is the fall of creation as well. Remember that in the Garden of Eden, there was no death (hence no thermodynamics). I don't even think the story refers to anything we can conceptualise except negatively (apophatically) compared to this life.
  • unenlightened
    5.3k
    Yeah, thats a bit too literal for my wishy washy blood. I see the fall as primarily a psychological theory. Thus lions and lambs coexist in the garden with the lions eating the lambs and the lambs eating the grass, but there is no death because there is no separation of self. Rather as my cells die and replenish themselves without my having to die with them. The fall into knowledge of good and evil is the awakening of an identification with a continuing self-entity, which entity then will die, sooner or later. I don't think there is a need for some other earth with different physics; indeed I cannot make sense of a fall in a world without the freedom of entropy.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Yeah, thats a bit too literal for my wishy washy blood.unenlightened
    Maybe but I think it's what most forms of Christianity profess.

    there is no death because there is no separation of selfunenlightened
    I have a few qualms with this essentially Buddhist/Humean idea. The Orthodox Christian idea is that, after death, ALL souls (even those which go to hell) are re-united with God, wherein they move and have their being. Those who hate God will perceive it as hell, those who love God will perceive it as heaven. The individuality (soul) of each remains. Now of course, ultimately, only God exists. But, we human beings, are not (fully) God. We cannot exist as infinite, and must therefore exist only as finite. In no way do we therefore avoid death by losing our self-identification - it would be like saying one avoids death by committing suicide, or by being already dead. We cannot be held to even exist as human beings without our self identification. What value does any of this have to US? None. How can we even be held to fall, when we don't even exist yet? Not to have self-identification for humans simply means not to exist.

    I don't think there is a need for some other earth with different physics; indeed I cannot make sense of a fall in a world without the freedom of entropy.unenlightened
    Why is an arrow of time logically necessary for freedom? Freedom could be time-less.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.