Tom Caylor wrote: > >I'm talking about ultimate meaning, meaning which is ultimately based >on truth. Purpose would go along with that. I think that this >situation is similar (metaphysically isomorphic? :) to the "primary >matter" situation. I think you maintain that experience is enough. I >maintain that if all you have is relative references, you are having >faith that there is ultimately something "there". I'm not interested >in any straw-man caricature god who decides what is valuable etc. on a >whim. I'm interested in the source of the wonderfully unexplainable >good in us.
In mentioning the idea of God deciding morality on a whim, you perhaps allude to the old counterargument to grounding morality in God in the first place, known as "Euthyphro's Dilemma" from one of Plato's dialogues--if God *chose* these supposed laws of morality, then they are ultimately arbitrary since God could have chose a completely different set of laws, but if moral truths are in some sense beyond God's ability to change, much like many philosophers would say the laws of mathematics or logic are, then it's not clear why you need "God" in your explanation at all, you could just cut out the middleman and postulate eternal platonic moral truths in the same way many on this list are prepared to postulate eternal platonic mathematical truths. The only way in which I could see that it would make sense to relate goodness to "God" is to imagine a sort of pantheist God that represents a sort of ultimate pattern or harmony connecting every individual part of the universe, so goodness would represent some kind of orientation towards the ultimate pattern which encompasses all of us, and which would override individual conflicting interests. A variation on this might be the "Omega Point" idea that every individual finite being is on some sort of long-term path towards being integrated into an infinite superorganism (perhaps only as a limit that can never actually be reached in finite time), or in the concepts of this list maybe a single infinitely complex observer-moment with memories of every other observer-moment, which could also be seen as an ultimate pattern connecting everything (one might say, as in Frank Tipler's speculations about the Omega Point, that an infinite mind would itself contain simulations of every possible history in every possible universe leading up to it, so that the Omega Point would both be an endpoint of history but also contain all history integrated within it). In this view, every instance of individuals trying to cooperate and to understand and connect with each other is an incremental "step in the right direction", so one could ground "ultimate goodness" in that. I recently came across an interesting interview at http://www.wie.org/j34/swimme2.asp?%20from=lnk-zaadz discussing Teilhard de Chardin's thoughts on the Omega Point, and many on this list will be familiar with Frank Tipler's version which I mention above (even if Tipler's specific ideas about using the Big Crunch to do an infinite amount of computation in a finite time are proven wrong, as a transhumanist I'm still crossing my fingers that intelligence will find some loophole in the laws of physics that will allow it to continue forever without violating the laws of thermodynamics). But neither of these versions of "God" bears much resemblance to the creator-God separate from the rest of the universe that's imagined by most mainstream religions. Jesse _________________________________________________________________ Invite your Hotmail contacts to join your friends list with Windows Live Spaces http://clk.atdmt.com/MSN/go/msnnkwsp0070000001msn/direct/01/?href=http://spaces.live.com/spacesapi.aspx?wx_action=create&wx_url=/friends.aspx&mkt=en-us --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---