On Feb 13, 11:35 pm, "Jesse Mazer" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> 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 
> athttp://www.wie.org/j34/swimme2.asp?%20from=lnk-zaadzdiscussing 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

Yes. Now we're startin' to talk!  I don't know much of the language,
but I think that when people experience what some may call words like
"enlightenment", "cosmic consciousness", etc. they are experiencing
something that is really there.  In fact, they use words like "seeing"
reality as it "actually" is, etc.  They speak of "wholeness" and
"integralness".  The dilemmas such as you speak of come from
projecting our own incomplete concepts onto Something/Someone who is
complete.  This is what I meant by a "straw-man caricature god".  C.S.
Lewis said something like, "Reach for heaven and you get the earth
thrown in too; take only the earth and you get neither." (Can't
remember exact quote.)  I like the aspect of Chardin's Omega Point
that it has a from-the-infinite-back-to-us component.  This very much
is in line with the Creator God of love, actually.  But not a god who
is in our image, i.e. from-us-out-to-the-infinite.

Have to go, so I'll get back to the other posts later.  Along these
lines, I finished reading the mathematical logician Smullyan's "Who
Knows? Some Thoughts on Religious Consciousness" (?).


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