• Metaphysician Undercover
    4.5k
    Oh. I see. I use "separation" to mean physical distance and "distinction" to mean logical difference. What you are calling "separation" I would call "distinction."Dfpolis

    The problem is that it's not a logical difference though, it's an ontological division. That's because "the logical" is in the one category, and the other category is outside of this. So just like you cannot say that the distinction between the physical and non-physical is a physical separation, you cannot say that the division between the logical and the non-logical is a logical distinction. All logical distinctions occur within the category of "logical", and therefore cannot separate the category itself.
  • Dfpolis
    466
    In Kantian metaphysics though, "the object perceived" is the phenomenonMetaphysician Undercover

    This is an argument from authority, and does not respond to the arguments I gave rebutting the notion of an epistic gap,
    just like in Aristotle's epistemology, the knower becomes one with the abstracted form, but the matter, or thing in itself remains separateMetaphysician Undercover

    This is not at all like Aristotle's insight that in knowing, there is a joint actualization of the knower's and known's potential, and a partial unity of knower and known. Aristotle sees that for change to occur, bodies must not only be what they are now (have a form), but must also have the potential to become other (have hyle, "matter"). Of course, we can only directly know what a thing is now -- what it can do now. We can only know its potential, what it is not yet, indirectly, by analogy with similar cases.

    Our inability to know matter directly is not at all like Kant's claim that we can never know the noumenon. Why? (1) Because what we know is not something separate from the object, but an aspect of what it is now. If we could now nothing of the noumenon, this would be impossible. (2) We do know object's potential to change by analogy with similar cases. Again this is impossible for Kantian noumena.

    Finally, the knower does not become one with an abstraction, but with the known substance via the process of abstraction. These are very different statements.

    We hand identity to the abstracted form, the perception, so the perception, the abstracted form, has an identity.Metaphysician Undercover

    This is exactly backward. We don't hand identity to the form. The object's form informs us of the object's identity.

    Now, as Aristotle insists, we need to go beyond this, and allow that material things, what Kant calls noumena, also have an identity in themselves.Metaphysician Undercover

    I know no Kantian text in which noumena are restricted to material things. Rather, there is widely held that Kantian noumena, like the shadow-casting realities of Plato's cave, are immaterial. They have no intrinsic space or time, and so are very unlike the material objects of nature.

    Do you understand the need for this separation, or do you deny the need for it.Metaphysician Undercover

    There is nothing separable here. There is only the intelligible whole, and our direct, but limited knowledge of that whole.

    Only at one instant in time. As I noted, over time many properties can change without a loss of dynamic identity. That is why some aspects, such as life, are essential, while others, such as hair color, are accidental. — Dfpolis

    No, it's not a case of "only at one instant in time". That's the whole point, a thing, or object, has necessarily, temporal extension.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    First, this is a very strange claim for a Kantian. In Kant's view, time is not a noumenal property, but a "form" imposed by the mind.

    Second, in saying that many properties change over time, I am not denying dynamic continuity over time. I am only saying that that continuity does not guarantee the persistence of all properties, so many are not "essential" in identifying the kind of thing, or even the individual thing, we know.

    to be the thing that it is, any thing, or object, must have the exact same properties that it has, at every moment in time, or else it would not be that thing, it would be something else.Metaphysician Undercover

    I have already given counter examples. I do not have the same properties I had as a child, but I am still the same person.

    As energy is not identifiable, but simply a conserved quantity, the level of which changes in any individual over time, it has little to do with identity. We knew identities long before energy was ever defined.

    In response to your second comment, as logic is justified by the reality of its objects, there is no reason that logic cannot be applied to logical objects, which have intentional reality.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k


    Teleology is a projection of nature that explains its processes in terms of ends or goals.
    .
    “Nature” is an unfortunate word to use, because, to many, it refers to this physical universe (…and you’ve used it that way). I don’t think that teleology is always meant in that way, in that context, on that scale.
    .
    Intent as the basis of how things are—Yes.
    .
    I agree with those who say that good intent is the basis of how things are, and that, in fact, Reality is Benevolence itself.
    .
    People who demand evidence seem to forget that evidence needn’t be proof (and there can be no proof in matters regarding the nature or character of Reality).
    .
    Evidence is concisely defined by Merriam-Webster as “outward sign” (which could be more wordily called “reason to believe something based on its influence or effect on something else”).
    .
    Evidence’s convincingness is a subjective individual matter, and a matter of degree. The validity of evidence doesn’t depend on it being liked by or convincing to you.
    .
    Of course such matters, on the scale of how things are, overall—the matter of the nature or character of Reality--aren’t provable or meaningfully assertable or debatable.
    .
    I define faith as trust without or in addition to evidence. The convincingness of reasons or justifications for faith are at least as subjective and individual as is the convincingness of evidence.
    .
    1. It assumes vitalism, some extra life force beyond the laws of nature.
    .
    That objection assumes that the laws of physics rule all, and that this physical universe is all that there is, or at least that all else supervenes on it. I’ve answered that belief in other threads. But, anyway, from Merriam-Webster’s definition of Vitalism, teleological influence doesn’t depend on Vitalism.
    .
    4. It is “mentalistic,” assuming mind in nature when there is none.
    .
    That depends of which meaning of the vague word “Nature” is meant. This physical universe?
    .
    Some feel objection to the notion of Reality having intent. Presumably that objection comes from the fact that people are used to a mechanistic, intent-less physical world. But it’s a mistake to assume that Reality is necessarily like the physical world (…or even like the logic-governed, in-principle-fully-describable, metaphysical world). …or even that such an assumption should, for some reason, be more likely, or the default assumption.
    ---------------------------------------
    Dfopolis said:
    .
    …mechanistic and teleological explanations are not in conflict.
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    […]
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    Since mechanism focuses on means, while teleology focuses on the consequent ends they are not opposed, but complementary.
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    […]
    .
    3. This objection is based on irrational either-or thinking. As noted earlier, finality and mechanism are not op¬posed, but related as ends and means.
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    […]
    .
    Mechanisms can serve ends and ends require means.
    .
    Yes, and all of that is something that I was arguing to Dfopolis in a previous thread of his.
    .
    It’s desirable, if possible, to explain something at the lowest possible level of explanation, before appealing to or invoking a higher-level explanation.
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    Explain it physically if possible. Or explain it via an in-principle-fully-describable metaphysical “mechanism” if possible. …before invoking the indescribable, and positing something that appears, at the in-principle-fully-describable metaphysical level, as a brute-fact with no in-principle-fully-describable explanation.
    .
    For example, it isn’t necessary to say that God created the Earth and the human species in contravention of the laws of physics.
    .
    Likewise, a metaphysical “mechanism” (such as I propose) for there being our lives this physical world, as inevitable and metaphysically-self-generating, is NOT in conflict with Theism.
    ----------------------------------
    And, speaking of teleology, an advantage of my metaphysics is that it explains this physical world without positing that it (including its bad-parts) was created by Benevolence.
    .
    One thing that the Atheists are right about is their “Argument from Evil”.
    .
    Yes, as we’ve agreed, what-is, is overall good. …very good, in fact. The bad parts are temporary. So yes, there’s good reason to believe that Reality is Benevolence.
    .
    But what about those bad parts, temporary though they may be? Do you really think that Benevolence would make there be those?
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    So, it’s questionable to try to explain the (in some cases extremely) bad-parts of some lives as something created by the Uncaused Cause or First Cause. Why would those bad times be created by Benevolence? They wouldn’t.
    .
    I’ve been proposing a metaphysics that uncontroversially explains our lives and this physical universe as inevitable and self-generated …but things are still as good as they can be, given that inevitable system’s inevitable bad-parts.
    .
    Theists are used to the notion that God created this physical world, and that Theism requires that belief. But not all Theists agree with that. The Gnostics don’t, and neither do I.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.5k
    Our inability to know matter directly is not at all like Kant's claim that we can never know the noumenon. Why? (1) Because what we know is not something separate from the object, but an aspect of what it is now. If we could now nothing of the noumenon, this would be impossible. (2) We do know object's potential to change by analogy with similar cases. Again this is impossible for Kantian noumena.Dfpolis

    I do not believe (1) is true. There is a distinction between "form" in the sense of a thing's essence, and "form" in the sense of what is united with matter, complete with accidentals, in the case of a particular thing. This duality of form is important to understanding the philosophy of Aristotle. The form which is united with matter, complete with accidentals, in the case of individual, particular things, cannot be the same form as that which occurs in the mind through abstraction, because this form is the thing's essence, without the accidentals. So the form which appears in the mind, in knowing the object through its essence, is not an aspect of the object itself because it is not the actual form which the material object has. The form which the object itself actually has, is complete with accidentals. This distinction between the form which is in the mind, and the form which the material object has, is critical for understanding how knowledge is deficient and often mistaken.

    First, this is a very strange claim for a Kantian. In Kant's view, time is not a noumenal property, but a "form" imposed by the mind.Dfpolis

    You are forgetting though, that "object" is the identity we give to the phenomenon. For Kant we can't give any identity to noumena, because that is unknowable. And for Kant time is an intuition required as a condition for the apprehension of phenomena. Time is not a form "imposed" by the mind, it is an intuition required by the mind in order that we may perceive phenomena, and objects. That's why temporal extension is a necessary aspect of being an object.

    I have already given counter examples. I do not have the same properties I had as a child, but I am still the same person.Dfpolis

    You don't seem to understand. To be the person that you are, it is necessary that you had the exact same properties as you had, this morning, yesterday, the day before, the day before, the month before, the year before, and when you were a child as well. If, at any point in your life, the properties which you had were not exactly the same as the properties which you had at that point, then from that point onward through time, and therefore today, you would not be the same person as you are. Your history is your identity.

    So, it is necessary that you had the exact same properties, as a child, that you did have as a child, and likewise as a ten year old, a fifteen year old, and every moment of your life, in order that you are the same person that you are today.
  • EnPassant
    74
    Teleology clearly exists in human affairs; a house is built from the ground up with a plan in mind. Why do materialists argue that while this is ubiquituous in human affairs it is absent in the rest of the natural world?

    The example of rain is sometimes cited to illustrate the argument; it does not rain 'to' water the plant. But, looking at it from the opposite view point, we can say that the plant is there 'to' make use of the rain. That is, if the plant is evolved by an intelligence with a view 'to' make use of rain.

    So the question of teleology comes down to whether there is intelligence driving evolution.
  • EnPassant
    74
    Yes, the natural world is fallen, like the spirit is. This answers the 'problem' of evil. Not all natural things are directly created by God. Some of it is corrupt, as Hildegard says.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    If one is fully committed to physical determinism, one is necessarily committed to the proposition that the laws of nature, together with the prior physical state, fully specify future states.Dfpolis

    That doesn't amount to a goal, or to anything intentional (as you mention in your response to (2))

    Mind in nature is a conclusion drawn from the data of teleological processes, not a premise in deriving them. Thus, the “mentalistic” objection is question begging. Rather than engaging the evidence, it uses an a priori denial of the conclusion to reject data.Dfpolis

    No, that response is what's question-begging. You're concluding a mind in nature because you're assuming teleology (assuming goals, intentions, etc.) That's literally what question-begging is--packing the conclusion into a premise.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k


    Yes, though that was considered heresy when the Gnostic were saying it, all the way back to Medieval times, and maybe before, and of course is still resisted by many Theists.

    If someone tries to come up with some rationalization for why God would make there be lives that end early, and with excessive suffering, in the belief that God must be omnipotent, then ask them if they also want to blame God for the fact that there can't be a true-and-false proposition, or a pair of mutually-contradictory facts.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Dfpolis
    466
    “Nature” is an unfortunate word to use, because, to many, it refers to this physical universe (…and you’ve used it that way). I don’t think that teleology is always meant in that way, in that context, on that scale.
    .
    Intent as the basis of how things are—Yes.
    Michael Ossipoff

    As I said before, there is the fact of processes tending to determinate ends, and there is the conclusion that tending to a determinate implies a mind intending that end. There is a tendency to confuse these, but they are separate issues. Clearly, there are ends in nature: physical processes tend to well-defined final states; grains of wheat sprout wheat stalks, not oaks; spiders build webs to catch insects. These processes are part of nature, even if they point beyond nature.

    Of course such matters, on the scale of how things are, overall—the matter of the nature or character of Reality--aren’t provable or meaningfully assertable or debatable.Michael Ossipoff

    I must disagree. I think we can both reason by analogy and make strict deductions leading us to an understanding of the existence and general character of God. Of course, a finite mind can't know an infinite being in any proportionate way.

    I define faith as trust without or in addition to evidence. The convincingness of reasons or justifications for faith are at least as subjective and individual as is the convincingness of evidence.Michael Ossipoff

    I agree in a general way. I see faith as justified by worthiness, not evidence. To be worth of belief, a doctrine cannot contradict what we know for a fact, it needs to resonate within us, and it must issue in virtuous behavior.

    Likewise, a metaphysical “mechanism” (such as I propose) for there being our lives this physical world, as inevitable and metaphysically-self-generating, is NOT in conflict with Theism.Michael Ossipoff

    Of course.

    One thing that the Atheists are right about is their “Argument from Evil”.Michael Ossipoff

    I disagree. The problem of evil has great emotional, but not logical, impact.

    But what about those bad parts, temporary though they may be? Do you really think that Benevolence would make there be those?Michael Ossipoff

    Without responding in depth, evil, like darkness, has no positive existence. That does not mean we don't encounter it. It only means that it is a void where there should be some good. So, it is uncreated.

    I’ve been proposing a metaphysics that uncontroversially explains our lives and this physical universe as inevitable and self-generated …but things are still as good as they can be, given that inevitable system’s inevitable bad-parts.Michael Ossipoff

    The problem is not how the universe originated, but that it's continuing existence is not self-explaining.
  • Dfpolis
    466
    The form which is united with matter, complete with accidentals, in the case of individual, particular things, cannot be the same form as that which occurs in the mind through abstraction, because this form is the thing's essence, without the accidentals.Metaphysician Undercover

    Abstraction is a subtractive process. It adds nothing to sense data but awareness. So, the universal, abstracted form in the mind is just the individual form in the object of perception with the individuating notes of intelligibility left behind.

    So the form which appears in the mind, in knowing the object through its essence, is not an aspect of the object itself because it is not the actual form which the material object has.Metaphysician Undercover

    There is no evidence that we know forms through essences. We can explain everything we know about abstract forms in terms of selective awareness of sense perceptions.

    For Kant we can't give any identity to noumena, because that is unknowable.Metaphysician Undercover

    Which is precisely why noumena need to be rejected as unparsimonious constructs.

    And for Kant time is an intuition required as a condition for the apprehension of phenomena.Metaphysician Undercover

    This is clearly an error. The concept of time is not prior to (not intuited as a condition for) our perceptions of the changing world, but one deriving from our experience of change. Babies have no <time> concept, but they do recognize change.

    To be the person that you are, it is necessary that you had the exact same properties as you had, this morning, yesterday, the day before, the day before, the month before, the year before, and when you were a child as wellMetaphysician Undercover

    I understand your claim. I simply disagree with it.
  • Dfpolis
    466
    So the question of teleology comes down to whether there is intelligence driving evolution.EnPassant

    Yes. You might want to read my paper: "Mind or Randomness in Evolution (https://www.academia.edu/27797943/Mind_or_Randomness_in_Evolution).
  • Dfpolis
    466
    Mind in nature is a conclusion drawn from the data of teleological processes, not a premise in deriving them. Thus, the “mentalistic” objection is question begging. Rather than engaging the evidence, it uses an a priori denial of the conclusion to reject data. — Dfpolis

    No, that response is what's question-begging.
    Terrapin Station

    No, I am assuming nothing. Read my paper. I give detailed arguments for the origin of the operative laws of nature and their intentional character. If you wish to criticize those arguments, I would be glad to respond.
  • EnPassant
    74
    Half way through it. Very interesting. I like your analysis of 'randomness' and probability.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    I give detailed arguments for the origin of the operative laws of nature and their intentional character.Dfpolis

    An argument for laws of nature being intentional wouldn't cut it. You'd need empirical evidence of laws being intentional. (And this isn't even mentioning that apparently you're committed to realism for natural laws.)
  • Dfpolis
    466
    Obviously, the arguments are based on empirical evidence. Also, evidence without reasoned analysis can teach us nothing.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    Also, evidence without reasoned analysis can teach us nothing.Dfpolis

    Evidence doesn't need analysis to show you what is.

    There is no evidence of intentionality in "natural laws."
  • Dfpolis
    466
    We had best stop as we do not have a common understanding of the nature of evidence and the role of logic.
  • jorndoe
    614
    As I said before, there is the fact of processes tending to determinate ends, and there is the conclusion that tending to a determinate implies a mind intending that end. There is a tendency to confuse these, but they are separate issues. Clearly, there are ends in nature: physical processes tend to well-defined final states; grains of wheat sprout wheat stalks, not oaks; spiders build webs to catch insects. These processes are part of nature, even if they point beyond nature.Dfpolis

    :roll:

    ... teleology ... "ends in nature" "final states" ruled by the lonely photon in deep cold, for unfathomable amounts of time (even compared to 14 billion years). Heat death, where perhaps even black holes have "evaporated".

    Life, as we know it, has a window, somewhere between formation of solar systems and the beginning of the degenerate era, with ever ongoing energy dispersion, marching towards heat death.

    I think we can both reason by analogy and make strict deductions leading us to an understanding of the existence and general character of God. Of course, a finite mind can't know an infinite being in any proportionate way.Dfpolis

    Cart before the horse?
    One day it's "greatest", another "infinite", the next "simplest", the day after that "triune", ... One for each occasion. What gives?
    How'd you came up with "infinite being" anyway?
    "Simplest" is typically an assertion in response to an infinite regress (sometimes humorously called "simpleton").
    It's almost like anything goes.
    Personification fallacy.
  • macrosoft
    381


    Hi. I'm not a theist myself, but I have enjoyed reading your posts. Others have also responded well, and this is generally an exciting thread. Thanks!
  • Dfpolis
    466
    I think we can both reason by analogy and make strict deductions leading us to an understanding of the existence and general character of God. Of course, a finite mind can't know an infinite being in any proportionate way. — Dfpolis

    Cart before the horse?
    One day it's "greatest", another "infinite", the next "simplest", the day after that "triune", ... One for each occasion. What gives?
    How'd you came up with "infinite being" anyway?
    "Simplest" is typically an assertion in response to an infinite regress (sometimes humorously called "simpleton").
    It's almost like anything goes.
    Personification fallacy.
    jorndoe

    Not giving the details of an argument does not mean that there is no argument. Clearly, I was asserting there are arguments, and referenced my paper in which I give some of them. You are welcome to read and criticize the arguments I give. Judging them before reading them is not reasonable.
  • Dfpolis
    466
    Thank you for the kind words.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k


    Yes, because we’re used to things happening for inanimate reasons in the physical world, some people have a natural tendency to want to assume the same, or at least call it the default or parsimonious assumption about Reality too. But of course theres no justification for such a claim.
    .
    Of course a Materialist is committed to that claim by his belief that the physical world is all that there is.
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    ”Of course such matters, on the scale of how things are, overall—the matter of the nature or character of Reality--aren’t provable or meaningfully assertable or debatable.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    I must disagree. I think we can both reason by analogy and make strict deductions leading us to an understanding of the existence and general character of God.
    .
    Sure, there are valid discussions about reasons to believe that there’s good intent behind what-is, and that Reality is Benevolence. …reasons that suggest an impression about that. I like the general idea of the Scholastic arguments, though I prefer the word “discussion” to “argument”, and though their reasons, from their discussion, aren’t the same as mine.
    .
    But I don’t think matters regarding God are a matter of logic or proof. That’s why I always refuse to debate it with attack-Atheists (…well, there’s also that I don’t like talking to them).
    .
    I agree with Aquinas, and people long before him, about there being nothing (or at least pretty-much nothing) that can be said about God, other than Benevolence.
    .
    ”I define faith as trust without or in addition to evidence. The convincingness of reasons or justifications for faith are at least as subjective and individual as is the convincingness of evidence.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    I agree in a general way. I see faith as justified by worthiness, not evidence.
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    Yes, there’s evidence (“outward-sign”, or reason-to-believe something based on influence or effect on something else). There’s also reason for faith--trust without or in addition to evidence.
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    I suggest (It’s my impression…) that there’s reason to believe that what-is is, overall, good, and that there’s good-intent behind what-is.
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    That impression comes from metaphysics, but also from considerations (...at least some of which are suggested in some Buddhist writing) that would apply even under Materialism.
    .
    That’s “outward sign”, also called “evidence”.
    .
    Evidence and reason for faith are individual and subjective. No person can validly say that something called evidence isn’t evidence unless it’s evidence to that person. …or that something called a reason for faith isn’t a reason for faith unless it’s a reason for faith to that person.
    .
    One reason for faith that Reality is Benevolence is this:
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    Arguably, benevolence is good. Arguably, good is right. Arguably best could only be good.
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    Within a physical world, a thing (of which there are many) can randomly be good or bad, obviously right or otherwise. If “Reality” is defined as “All that is”, then there’s only one of it, and so there’s only one way that it can be. Reality reasonably would be of some character or nature. Would its character or nature, the way that it is, be other than good? In fact, would it imperfectly be other than best? …when there’s only one of it, because it’s all that is?
    .
    As I said, the notion that parsimony calls for Reality being neutral and inanimate, as the parsimonious default assumption, because we’re used to that attribute in a physical universe, amounts to an unjustified conclusion. …because Reality isn’t a physical universe (…except to a Materialist, of course.), so why expect it to be like one?
    .
    The (as definitionally goes without saying) subjective nature of our experience, with experience being the center and source of what we know about our physical surroundings, suggests that there’s no more reason to believe in the Materialist’s inanimate and neutral Reality than in is his objective Realist metaphysics.
    .
    I emphasize that these reasons for faith, as well as the “outward sign” that I’ve spoken of above, are a matter of subjective personal impression, and needn’t be evidence or reason-for-faith for anyone else, and I don’t claim that they are or should be.
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    To be worth of belief, a doctrine cannot contradict what we know for a fact, it needs to resonate within us, and it must issue in virtuous behavior.
    .
    Fair enough.
    .
    ”But what about those bad parts, temporary though they may be? Do you really think that Benevolence would make there be those?” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Without responding in depth, evil, like darkness, has no positive existence. That does not mean we don't encounter it. It only means that it is a void where there should be some good. So, it is uncreated.
    .
    Okay, and I’m not saying that it’s created either. And all the bad parts are temporary, and Nisargadatta pointed out that what’s temporary isn’t very real, overall in the long-run. Arguably what isn’t real can’t really be very bad. Anyway, I’ve been admitting that I don’t claim any reality or existence for the physical worlds, each of which is a temporary part of a temporary sequence-of-lives, which is a blip in Eternity. Increasingly-deep sleep at the end of lives is final and timeless.
    .
    …which is why it can be said that what-is, is good, in spite of the bad parts in lives (which can sometimes mar and become the nature of entire lives).
    .
    But neither what I’ve just said, nor what you said, answers the question about why Benevolence would (in some lives) put us through a pretty horrible experience. …even though it’s temporary, arguably not real, and not-itself-created.
    .
    That isn’t part of Benevolence.
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    Benevolence wouldn’t do that.
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    It’s something that sometimes happens in lives in worlds, making it arguable that Benevolence didn’t make there be those lives or those worlds.
    .
    …hence the Gnostic position, which I agree with, that God didn’t create the physical universes, or make there be them.
    .
    Just as there can’t be a true-and-false proposition or a pair of mutually-contradictory facts, so there couldn’t not be the inevitable logical systems that are the lives and the physical worlds that are their settings.
    .
    Well, it could be argued that the lives can be justified because their protagonists want them. …but, when those lives are sometimes extremely bad experiences, why would Benevolence want there to be those protagonists and their wish for life, in the first place?
    .
    I’ve been proposing a metaphysics that uncontroversially explains our lives and this physical universe as inevitable and self-generated …but things are still as good as they can be, given that inevitable system’s inevitable bad-parts. — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    The problem is not how the universe originated, but that its continuing existence is not self-explaining.
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    Isn’t continuation inevitable for each timeless, inevitable logical-system? …and for the experience-stories in time, and the universe-chronology implied by that experience.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k
    There is no evidence of intentionality in "natural laws."Terrapin Station

    As I've said several times, evidence isn't, and needn't be, proof.

    The convincingness of evidence is subjecttive, individual, and a matter-of-degree.

    Convincingness for Terrapin Station isn't a requirement for evidence. It might not be evidence for you. that doesn't mean that it isn't evidence.

    By the way, I don't think anyone has said that the laws-of-physics are evidence in support of Theism.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    As I've said several times, evidence isn't, and needn't be, proof.Michael Ossipoff

    Of course, since empirical claims can't be proved in the first place. No one is asking for proof. Just any evidence.

    Is this necessarily a religious idea, by the way? I wasn't thinking of it that way. Although if some people are seeing it that way, the assertion that there's evidence of intentionality in natural laws in conjunction with the complete avoidance of providing any of the supposed evidence makes a lot more sense.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    The teleological argument for god seems to be a main source of interest in teleology in the first place.

    For example, bananas:
    Reveal
  • Dfpolis
    466
    I don't think this is the thread to discuss the soundness of proofs for the existence of God, which is a huge question. I will simply say that in my considered opinion there are sound proofs for the existence of a self-explaining being capable of doing any logically possible act, and that this being concurrently holds all others in being.

    As for the nature of good, I think we're in general agreement. Following Aquinas, I see "good" as an analogous, not as a univocal term. It means different, but analogous, things in different contexts. What makes automotive grease "good" is not what makes non-slip flooring "good." What makes anything "good" is suitability to its correlative end. This makes the issue of teleology fundamental to ethics. Teleology allows us to bridge the is-ought gap. It nullifies arguments for a "naturalistic fallacy."

    The (as definitionally goes without saying) subjective nature of our experience, with experience being the center and source of what we know about our physical surroundings, suggests that there’s no more reason to believe in the Materialist’s inanimate and neutral Reality than in is his objective Realist metaphysics.Michael Ossipoff

    As I have said before, experience is inescapably both objective and subjective. There is necessarily both an experiencing subject and an experienced object. Materialists forget this -- focusing on the experienced object to the exclusion of the experiencing subject -- thus committing Whitehead's Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness.

    But neither what I’ve just said, nor what you said, answers the question about why Benevolence would (in some lives) put us through a pretty horrible experience. …even though it’s temporary, arguably not real, and not-itself-created.Michael Ossipoff

    Yes. This is a profound question. The best I can come up with is, as you suggest, it is a small thing in the "big picture" -- a side effect that will be made up for in other ways. But, I claim no certainty here.

    …hence the Gnostic position, which I agree with, that God didn’t create the physical universes, or make there be them.Michael Ossipoff

    I see this solution as ruled out by the need for a sufficient explanation -- which must terminate in one, self-explaining source. Perhaps the answer is that we see things too anthropocentrically -- as though everything needs to be judged in terms of what is goof for us, instead of what is good for creation as a whole.

    Isn’t continuation inevitable for each timeless, inevitable logical-system?Michael Ossipoff

    No, I don't think so, for two reasons. First, from an Aristotelian perspective, the persistence of a being through time is the ongoing actualization of its potential to exist in the next instant. As it does not already exist in that instance, it can't act to actualize its own potential. From the perspective of a space-time manifold, just as existence here does not imply existence there, so existence now does not entail existence then. Thus, we need something outside of the space-time manifold to effect the continuity we observe.
  • Dfpolis
    466
    Is this necessarily a religious idea, by the way?Terrapin Station

    No. There are three related issues.
    1. Are there observable instances of teleology:
    a. Do natural processes tend to determinate ends?
    b. Are there means-ends relations in nature?
    2. If there are observable instances of teleology, can they reasonably be called "intentional"?
    3. If there is intentionality in nature, is it reasonable to see God as its source?

    Each of these is a philosophical, not a religious question. Religion comes into play when, after affirming the existence of some god or one God, one relates to it with more than bare assent.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.5k
    Abstraction is a subtractive process. It adds nothing to sense data but awareness. So, the universal, abstracted form in the mind is just the individual form in the object of perception with the individuating notes of intelligibility left behind.Dfpolis

    That does not make sense. If the "individuating notes" are left behind, then the form in the mind is not the same as the form in the object. Necessarily, it is a different form. Whether the process subtracts or adds, or does some of both, is actually nonsensical, because the mind never has the proper form of the object within, it has something different. So it cannot use this as a base to add or subtract from. It must create the form, using whatever information it has, but the created form is clearly in no way the same form as that which is in the object, it is created separate from the object..

    This is clearly an error. The concept of time is not prior to (not intuited as a condition for) our perceptions of the changing world, but one deriving from our experience of change. Babies have no <time> concept, but they do recognize change.Dfpolis

    If you read Kant's Critique of Pure reason, you will see that time and space are intuitions. Further, space is an external intuition while time is an internal intuition. These intuitions are not derived from our experience of change, but necessary conditions for the possibility of experiencing change.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    If you read Kant's Critique of Pure reason, you will see that he claims that time and space are intuitions.Metaphysician Undercover

    Fixed that for you.
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