On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> On Feb 19, 4:00 pm, "Stathis Papaioannou" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > On 2/20/07, Tom Caylor <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> >
> > > These are positivist questions.  This is your basic error in this
> > > whole post (and previous ones).  These questions are assuming that
> > > positivism is the right way of viewing everything, even ultimate
> > > meaning (at least when meaning is said to be based on God, but not
> > > when meaning is said to be based on ourselves).
> >
> > > Tom
> >
> > Can you explain that a bit further? I can understand that personal
> meaning
> > is not necessarily connected to empirical facts. The ancient Greeks
> believed
> > in the gods of Olympus, built temples to them, wrote songs about them,
> and
> > so on. They provided meaning to the Greeks, and had an overall positive
> > effect on Greek society even though as a matter of fact there weren't
> any
> > gods living on Mount Olympus. Just as long as we are clear about that.
> >
> > Stathis Papaioannou
> >
> It is a given that whatever belief we have falls short of the set of
> all truth.  But here we are talking about different "theories" behind
> beliefs in general.  Positivism is one such "theory" or world view.
> This problematic type of world view in which positivism falls has also
> been referred to as "rationalism in a closed system".  In such a world
> view there is no ultimate meaning.  All meaning is a reference to
> something else which is in turn meaningless except for in reference to
> yet something else which is meaningless.  We can try to hide this
> problem by putting the end of the meaning dependency line inside each
> individual person's 1st person point of view.  At that point, if we
> claim that we still have a closed system, then we have to call the 1st
> person point of view meaningless.  Or, if we at that point allow an
> "open system", then we can say that the 1st person point of view has
> meaning which comes from where-we-know-not.  This is just as useless
> as the meaningless view (in terms of being meaningful ;).  This is all
> opposed to the world view which allows an ultimate source of meaning
> for persons.  If there were such an ultimate source of meaning for
> persons, then, even though our beliefs would fall short of the full
> truth of it, it makes sense that there would be some way of "seeing"
> or discovering the truth in a sort of progressive or growing process
> at the personal level.  Gotta go.
> Tom

I don't see how ultimate meaning is logically possible (if it is even
desirable, but that's another question). What is God's ultimate meaning? If
he gets away without one or has one from where-we-know-not then how is this
different to the case of the individual human? Saying God is infinite
doesn't help because we can still ask for the meaning of the whole infinite
series. Defining God as someone who *just has* ultimate meaning as one of
his attributes is a rehash of the ontological argument.

Stathis Papaioannou

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