For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlink above it. You could also consider addressing any comments in situ, rather than here. – Thanks.
Norman – “While in word, you reject organized religion, in fact, you want to become the mad man at the helm of a new one. Keep in touch, let us know how that goes.”
Oh, by the way. Nothing new about what I’m saying. Just using my own language. How does this make me a megalomaniac?
Perhaps you just need to get out more.
Norman – ” Wait, did you just say the knowledge you represent is the absolute form? And you think this knowledge is your birthright? Well, that must make you the new improved Moses. …..”
Lot of wax in your ears?
You aren’t even trying to talk to the gist of my comments. Sorry, but this makes me less inclined to worry about what you have to say.
Without the Evil in the world, how would we know what Good is?
Who are these people that bent your head so early in life?
Why has the Abrahamic lineage of religions brought so much suffering along with it’s sometimes brilliant theological imagery? People! They come from so many starting points.
A religion that maintains the idea of a god with an agenda, outside of creation. Separate from it’s shadow. Will set weaker minds up for failure.
But my question, if I have to say it again, is; What does this have to do with God?
Everything on this planet is food for everything else. The only path to harmlessness is enlightenment. Not because nothing gets eaten. But, because the Truth is known. God is the Entirety. You the eater, are also the eaten.
Norman – “One can legitimately ask if we deserve to survive.”
Given the inertia of the current trajectory, we probably won’t. Isn’t this why we are having this conversation?
Norman – ” But, you are right that he has made a mistake by believing when he cannot present you with proof that he is right.”
If proof is impossible, it is a mistake to ask for it.
If it is possible, then the proof must match the scope and nature of it’s subject.
What are the rules of the game?
Norman – ” That is why agnosticism is the key. It can save the world. ”
I would say that Agnosticism can be ‘a key’. But I won’t ask you to prove that it is “the key”. How could you?
Jeff – “In your case, if your god lacks “intellect” and “sense of purpose” then why call that entity, that Entirety, a god?”
Using the phrase “a god” indicates the possibility of more than one.
Jeff – ” I don’t refuse to think of this infinity of connection as bigger than us, I just refuse to assume it must be.”
Actually, my foundational point about our relationship to the Entirety, (though I may not have made this clear), is not as lesser to greater, or vice versa.
By emphasising the Entirety, I am indicating our Identity with it.
The awareness of this ‘Identity with it’ is not essential to it. The spectrum of Awareness or lack of it makes up the manifest universe.
Jeff – ” I would rather provide to the next generation a definitive set of knowledge and the honest assessment for the limits of our knowledge.”
I don’t disagree with this. But suggest we don’t make it a cage. The type of knowledge that you represent is the relative form. It expands and contracts. The type that I represent is the absolute. It is unchanging. Both are equivalent in the singularity of the Entirety. Both are our birthright.
Jeff – ” I don’t know and you certainly don’t know if you’re unable to provide evidence.”
The evidence can only be, ‘You knowing it.’ I can’t do this for you. It is also not necessary; Only a possibility, as you have indicated.
As for prayer, like all humans, I engage in hope and focused intention. The longer I engage in contemplation of the Singularity the more this resembles the practice required to improve musicianship.
First, I’ll apologize for misreading your ” knowledge is more important ” statement. I got it backwards. Glad that I framed my reply as a question rather than jumping all over it. I don’t like the taste of crow.
I use the reference “God” to emphasize that I’m not really talking about a concept of a god, or some alternative new god. And since, in my frame of reference, God is a given, (Why on earth would I think otherwise?), I give the Entirety credit because any rational person, prone to a sense of the sacred, would. IMO
I have been quite specific about not attributing “intellect” or a “sense of purpose” to the Entirety. Leave that to Flatlanders. What we call the laws of physics; those known to us and those yet to become apparent, are an expression of the infinite potential.
The sense of Self I attribute, is the “I” pure and simple. At the very least, the prototype for yours and mine, and as such, as much a part of it all as gravity or light.
You say we are all connected but refuse to think of this infinity of connection as bigger than us. What am I suppose to do with that?
It is not really necessary for me to convince you. Especially if the criteria of the proof you require is constrained to physical evidence. You are welcome this attitude but it does not address the subject under discussion.
One last thought. I could adhere to a strict practice of “neti neti” (not this ..not this), thus abandoning my theistic rhetoric and getting right to the point. But I don’t want to burn the bridge but rather improve it. This will be helpful to the next generation as they step out of Flatland. Much like your agnosticism. Nothing that you or I say in our evangelistic zeal makes Reality any more or less real.
Norman Lycan – “As long as we are asking questions that have no answers, why would nature ever need to be expressed in the finite.”
You anthropomorphize with the best of them.
“The Emergent Property of Infinite Potentiality”
Needs, desires, will, reason, emotion, motivation. All precipitate out from the emergent “I Am”. That’s us.
The singularity does not have another. The multiplicity has nothing but.
God is the Entirety.
Norman Lycan – “But, this is the nature your creator has imposed upon us. It seems you want to discover a oneness with it, but, I suggest it doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you. You are cannon fodder as we all are. The only thing it cares about is it’s own entertainment”
I suppose you can keep picking at the scab, or,… let the wound heal. Eventually you may realize that the “you” i.e “me” you refer to is an artificial construct. The result of too many iterations in the hall of mirrors.
Jeff – … “is a really ignorant place to work from if you think knowledge is more important than beliefs and a blind faith.”
What are you saying here; “more important” than what?
The first thing both Atheists/Agnostics as well as Theists have to do is start from an honest definition of God.
I’ve done my best to offer you something completely beyond debate.
You still choose to debate it using the Flatlandian criteria you have always used.
Also, you’re mixing the quote from Norman with your idea of what I said. This really confuses things.
To help you get back on track with my points. Please consider that the complete relationship with the God described here, is seamless.
The infinite God, as I defined it, shares the experience of finite existence through us. We also share in the (potential of) infinite singularity. From this I deduce that our faculties of reason and intuition evolve towards this. Self Knowledge. Not knowledge as acquisition, but of being.
There is plenty of testimony to this effect. But you are either not aware of it, or have chosen to discount it in deference to your own superior faculties. You wouldn’t be the first to take that path.
I do value the practice of “I don’t know”. Combined with a vigilance regarding it’s cousin, “I don’t want to know.”, one evolves.
Norman Lycan – “But, here is an idea you must consider, that if there is a creator, his personality is demonstrated by the artwork he creates.”
For me there is even less chance that God will fiddle with what you call “the artwork he creates”.
Creation is the nature of the Creator expressing in the finite.
Ourselves are the original Self experiencing otherness.
There isn’t need to add much more to it.
The relationship of Created to Creator is in the journey of discovery.
The laws that govern this are inevitable, natural. Born from infinity.
Norman Lycan – “If you are a hair’s breadth from being an atheist, but, the lessons you’ve learn in life keep you from taking that last step into anti religion, you have found your home.”
Sorry, I will have to remain a guest.
For me, God is a given. The clumsy and often tragic religious mumbo jumbo of many fellow humans in no way changes this.
Also the, Atheistic demand for proof before belief.
God being the Entirety, manifests all such preoccupations in it’s microcosmic aspect.
Norman Lycan – “But, what is evident is that organized religion is based on caveman to goatherder mythology that attempted to make sense out chaos. But, there is no sense, only chaos. Jehovah (Yahweh), actually, divinely inspired prophet, Moses, didn’t even know dinosaurs existed. Big surprise! Mythology is bullshit, ….”
I see the work of our intuitive faculties at work. The functions of our right hemisphere deserve an equal respect to the left.
There are several assumptions of a personal nature mixed in here; “But, there is no sense, only chaos.”, “Mythology is bullshit,…”. Are you sticking to the plan and waiting for proof?
Norman Lycan – “But, they are brainwashed by their parents to believe in witchdoctor tales of gods and glory. I understand their plight because that is how I was raised, but, it is entirely upon them to escape their demons. There are no social services designed to help you escape your cult. Silly fucking humans.”
I pretty much agree with this, at least on an emotional basis. Rationally I would look for people (myself included) to evolve.
I guess my main point is that mankind’s religious speculations, are flawed and limited in effectiveness because, they are mostly habitual and misunderstood parroting of someone elses enlightenment.
Religion is not God.
Also science, by it’s nature, cannot provide ‘proof’ of God, so making that a condition of belief seems flimsy and artificially limiting.
Science is not God.
Today I have decided to leave off discussions with atheists, at least for awhile, and learn something about the agnostic view.
Your’s is the first agnostic blog that I’ve ventured into.
Working with the atheists I have come away thinking of myself as “differently theistic”. This, because I find a similarity between atheistic and theistic conceptualizations of God. I have been referring to it as “Flatlandian”. (As in a two dimensional perception of multi dimensional reality). A more traditional term might be “dualistic”. God the creator and Us the created.
This doesn’t fly for me after nearly 40 years of monistic speculation and practice.
Things that you have said here, especially in this posting seem to be closer to something I can understand. But there are still traces of “That and This” influencing and limiting your enquiry. Or so it seems to me.
Let me present a few of my own “working theories” and see what the agnostic take on them might be.
– The only reasonable definition of God would have to be something like. “The Emergent Property of Infinite Potentiality”. Emergent property and infinite potential not separate. The Entirety.
– God thus neither exists nor does not exist. The concept of “existence” requiring “non existence”, belongs in the world of opposing forces. The manifested, ever changing Universe. The realm of Laws. The inevitable expression of God’s nature.
– Neither existing or not existing does not in anyway change God.
– God being the Entirety simply is.
– The fundamental question is not about existence but rather about “sentience”. Is the sense of “I Am” the first effect of infinite potential?
– Is the sense of “I Am” a singularity only seeming to manifest in endless iterations? Like light, a property shared by the candle and the sun alike, but itself fundamentally integral to the Entirety.
– What would the relationship of the sense of “I Am” experienced as “me” be to a sentient singularity?
– If, as Zen masters and Yogis testify, the relationship is in reality seamless, how should I spend my life, if I want to know this?
– Who would actually know it? The distinction between knowledge and knower now being re-evaluated.
– Upon resolving of a paradox, what remains?
– The primary practice of Zen and Yoga is “unknowing”. Extracting oneself from concepts and habits of thought, making way for direct experience. This is similar to, but not the same as, what you have described. Perhaps it could be called “Agnostic Theism”.
– The “Entirety” being a priori.
Hoping that I have made this coherent and interesting enough to warrant comment from you. Let’s see where it goes.