It looks like I might have timed out.  Hopefully this doesn't appear
two times.

On Dec 24, 8:55 am, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
Le 24-déc.-06, à 09:48, Tom Caylor a écrit :

> Bruno,
> ...
> I believe the answer to the question, "What is Truth?" which Pilate asked
> Jesus, was standing right in front of Pilate: Jesus himself.

Hmmm.... Perhaps in some symbolical way.

The "crux" is that he is not symbolic...

> The Christian definition of truth goes back to the core of everything, who
> is personal.  As I've said before, without a personal core, the word
> "personal" has lost its meaning.  In the context nowadays of
> impersonal-based philosophy, "personal" has come to "mean" something
> like "without rational basis".

Of course that *is* a pity. It is bad, for human, to develop such
"self-eliminating" belief.  It is not rational either.

I agree.  cf my examples (Skinner...) in response to Stathis.  But how
do *you* define rationality and persons?  You also seem to reduce it,
to numbers.  I think the sophistication of incompleteness simply hides
the fact that it is still a "castle in the sky".

> But when the personal IS the basis, not
> an impersonal concept of personal, but the ultimate Person, and with
> man being made in the image of that ultimate Person, we have a basis
> for truth, personality, rationality, good...

So you are emphasizing the "third hypostase" = the first person = the
ALL-SOUL = the universal knower. This is akin to David Lymann and
George Levy. It is not incompatible with your view if you accept the
idea that we "are all God(s)". Cf Alan Watts for example and most
mystical insight.

I think later down you see that I am addressing all of the hypostases.

> I'll just deal with the first 4 hypostases, since this is the basis of
> the rest, even though my John quote below addresses the others also.

> Perhaps the neo-Platonists couldn't see how the core could be personal
> (even though Plato called it the "Good"). It is hard to accept that the
> core could be both infinite and personal (and good), since our view of
> personality is finite (and flawed). But the infinite personal core, God
> the Father, which replaces the neo-Platonist "ONE" or 0-person (of
> course I maintain that the replacing was in the other direction :)

It looks you seem really to be an Aristotelician ....

By the "direction" of replacement I didn't mean chronologically, like
Plato replaces Aristotle.  I meant that the impersonal core replaced
the real personal core, independent of Aristotle's views.
You have said before that the Christians emphasize matter more than
mind, as opposed to the Platonists and neo-Platonists.  There may have
been a few Christians who reclaimed a belief in nature, like Thomas
Aquinas, when the mind/grace was being emphasized too much.  But, as
can be seen in the Christian "interpretation" of the Greek hypostases,
the core of Christianity, being rooted in the Hebrew God who is the
source of all things/persons, is really first of all a downward
emanation, like the neo-Platonists thought.   There can be no upward
emanation unless/until a sufficient downward emanation is provided.  In
Christianity, the downward emanation is "God loves us", and then the
upward emanation is "We love God".

> In a way this is true,
> in that our earthly fathers/mothers and others take part as persons in
> developing us as persons.  But there has to be an ultimate source.

Yes. To be a realist is to bet there is one, but from a scientist
(third person) pov, it is an open question as to know if such ultimate
thing is personal. Comp is going in the Plotinus direction where the
ultimate reality is not personal.

As you saw, I addressed the third person pov below.

> He (the Holy Spirit) fills in
> the gaps when we cannot find words to talk to him.

Like G* minus G does for any self-referentially classical machine. (The
lobian machine).

Yes. By the way, you said to Brent that "you" know that you are lobian.
How do you know?

> Then, the real clincher is the third person point of view, the
> neo-Platonist "INTELLECT".  The personal God did not stay silent and
> keep all of this personhood stuff at a purely theoretical level which
> we would have to take with blind faith.  Instead the hopes of the
> neo-Platonists were fulfilled in the Christ (Messiah) whose name was
> Emmanuel which means "God with us", who was the "wisdom and power of
> God".  "In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with
> God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through
> him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been
> made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light
> shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it... The
> Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

I can take this as a poetical description of the relation between the
internal modalities or the hypostases.

This is not poetry.  Heidegger said to listen to the poet, not to the
content, but just to the fact that there is a poet, which gives us hope
that there is meaning.  However, unfulfilled hope does not provide
meaning.  The content of these words speak of the *actual* fulfillment
of the hopes of the Greeks expressed in their hypostases.

> We have seen his
> glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of
> grace and truth." (John 3:1,2,3,14)  So the particular finite form that
> we have, God somehow took on that same form.

This, on the other way, could be a comp sort of blasphemes. Comp
"ethic" could even makes God eliminating any creature so arrogant that
they take they their realities and images of God for granted. With
comp, if we are divine, we can only be divine *hypotheses*. We can hope
being God last word, but this is really something which depends on our
work and can never be taken for granted.

It is the ultimate irony that Jesus was taken to be blaspheming when he
said he was "one with the Father" and "before Abraham was, I AM", for
"no one can say that they are God"..... the mistake is the missing
phrase at the end: "...except God".

> In this way God showed us
> (who are in his image) true truth about himself in a way which we can
> understand (just as a father tells truth to his children), without
> having to tell us infinite exhaustive truth.

Again this can have Plotinian sense. But there is a danger (for us
human) to take those assertions too much literally.

Yes it is a mistake to say that we understand God fully, but it would
also be a mistake (would it not?), if God were to tell us something
true (but of course not exhaustive), for us to say that we do not know
the thing that he told us.  It is like (in fact IT IS) the relationship
between a father and a child.  (In fact, the earthly father/mother and
child relationship is a shadow/projection of the heavenly, rather than
the other way around.)  I agree that it is dangerous for a child to
keep taking a father too literally when the father tells him/her
something.  At first, the child should take the father/mother's words
at face value, trusting that the parent is saying the right words for
the child to understand what the parent wants them to know.  But to
keep living with only those words, and not continue to try to learn a
deeper understanding and grow through more communication and exchange
of love, would be to deny the true nature of what it means to be a
person.  Any time we stop because we think we have attained all of the
knowledge we need, that is when start to die.  I know you are saying a
similar thing.  But I am saying that as a person, we are always able to
look at any description or approximation, for instance described by G,
and say, "I am more than that".  We are always able to change our
paradigm to a higher understanding.  This is the sense that I mean when
I say that, "I am not a machine."  And this can be done only on the
basis of the ultimate infinite Person.

> This bridges the gap
> between the celestial/divine and the terrestial/human.  Christ is the
> fixed-point between heaven and earth, the axis of the universe for us.
> In Christ, we all see in third-person the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Again if "Christ" denotes a symbolic value I can make sense of what you
are saying, but in my opinion the relation between Christians and the
Christ are extremely fuzzy. There has been a lasting confusion of power
which makes me skeptical. Too much propositions has been deformed by
their authoritative institutionalization. Still today "theology" tends
to be separated from science (i.e. from accepting doubts and the
infinite number of attempts of clarity and rigor). This separation
resulted into the abandon of the fundamental questions to the fanatics
(who mocks clarity, rigor, and doubts).
Now I am aware of the last century "repentance" of the Catholic Church,
including the necessity of restricting faith with rationality, like
many open minded school of Muslims already warned us in the eleven
century, but not for a very long time).

This has been very unfortunate.  This is a result of Christians
thinking that they understand everything about God.  This ironically
results in the Church turning into a (pre-Godelian in your opinion)
machine.  When you think you understand everything about God, then your
God turns into a machine and strangles you to death.

But on the other hand, I think that our post-Godelian ignorance results
in our being even more lost that before!  The fact that now we CANNOT
know, if we are a machine, which machine we are, makes us even more
lost in a sea of meaninglessness than before.  Our hope has become even
more hopeless, not that the reductionist hope was well-founded either.
As you say, "We can hope being God last word, but this is really
something which depends on our work and can never be taken for
granted."  I agree that we will never get God's last word (they are
infinite), and as above it is deadly to assume we have.  But you are
saying that we have not received ANY words from God.  In this case, we
have absolutely NO downward emanation, it is ALL upward.  If
"Arithmetic Truth" is our God, there remains an *infinite* gap to
fulfill our aspirations, which will always remain unbridged.  By
working from nothing, one step at a time, we will never get there.
"Forever Unfulfilled", there can be no true fulfillment, only through
deceiving ourselves, which also leads to death...


P.S.  I am about to read Smullyan's "Who Knows?" about "religious
consciousness".  Sorry I am not yet committed to reading Forever
Undecided, but I am halfway through Cutland's book on recursive

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at

Reply via email to