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Write4U – “@brmckay, I think we are in general agreement.“
Probably not so much. The point of divergence remains significant.
Write4U – “IMO, Potential is a common denominator of all that exists at all levels of the universal hierarchy, in that it must be present for anything to happen at all.
It is a simple formula, all that exists, has existed and will exist in any form is (must be) preceded by potential. If the potential for something does not exist there can be no IMplication of what is to become reality (in any form).“
Hierarchically speaking, ‘potential’ is preceeded by infinitude. That means that there is no actual limit to “potential”, so the term itself becomes ‘something extra’. It is as intangible as the emergent characteristics of ‘mind’. (Isn’t this what Occam’s razor is about?)
Write4U – “The Word that theists use for the exact same condition is God, I call it Potential. There is no difference in function, just a different Word.
The one difference is that the function of Potential is observable and well defined, whereas the function of God cannot be observed or defined AND it is presumed to be purposefully motivated. IMO, this is the only difference and causes a fatal flaw in the proposition of a sentient (by human standards) God.“
You have merely circumvented the intangible characteristic to allow your paradigm credence. It is equivalent to the ‘fatal flaw’ referred to above.
The finitely infinite version of potential, remains an encapsulated, and therefor a relative understanding. Useful within it’s sphere, but necessarily partial and anthropomorphic. The concept of it does not acknowledge the unbounded and absolute nature of the ‘true’.
Write4U – “Sentience (as in human sentience) is not a property of the universe, it is an emergent property in living things.“
This is the ‘preferred framework’ I mentioned earlier. I would suggest that it is akin to an optical illusion. Consider the possibility that sentience is the emergent characteristic of infinitude and that what you describe as emergent from the brains of living beings, is an abstracted sense of localized sentience. In spiritual circles, the overly specialized ramification of this is often referred to as ‘ego’. Or, the ‘false self’.
Write4U – “But a mental image has no substance, it is an emergent mental construct, a variable mental hologram, requiring a physical brain. Just as music requires an physical instrument to be produced, but when the music stops, it no longer exists except as a faint memory in our brain, but not outside our brain (in the universe).“
What is gained by excluding the intangible? It certainly does not lead one to ‘truth’.
I would have to point out, that the absolute intangibility of infinitude, makes the fleeting and ephemeral dreams of man as heavy as lead.
Write4U – “Of course we can say that as humans are part of the universe, everything a human does or thinks is part of the universe, but that would only be a fleeting moment, dependent on the activity of the thinker/musician, emerging, then dissolving. What I think is not produced by a universal mind, but is an emergent product of my perceptions and mental processes, which are at best relative to truth, but not necessarily Truth in Reality.“
‘Truth’ is foundation as well as the manifestation; Entirety. The parsings of science and religion only pay homage, and most certainly do not circumvent or supplant ‘truth’.
That homage that we pay, can be inadvertent or intentional. It makes no difference to the Truth. The effects manifest as experience. The potential of that, is unbounded.
Write4U – “IMO, if you cannot create a mental image of your “firmly” held belief, then how do you relate to your belief in a (any) God,
the Word which you choose to use. I prefer to identify the exact same “condition” with the word Potential and we can certainly relate to that concept in every facet of our lives.“
It is not clear to me how or why you arrive at this conclusion.
Write4U – “The only question that remains is our personal relationship with the Word. You may believe you can communicate and influence your God. I do not believe the function of the greater universal Potential and its expression in reality can be influenced, except at very, very small levels, such as in a testing laboratory, in order to test the functions of potential in our reality. In a theist world, the testing laboratory is ritualized mental exercises in a church or temple. Do you believe prayers have an influence on a universal God?“
Potential is infinitude. But not the linear kind as in a set of possibilities. I think that this must be what you envision, and it explains the exclusion of the intangible from your version of the Universe.
Write4U – “As Carlin said, what about God’s grand design? Can it change by wishing (praying) it to be different?“
Even in the relative primitivity of my (and presumably your) experience, reality is wonderfully malleable. George’s too. He must be talking about something else.