Re: Hypostases (was: Natural Order & Belief)

From: Tom Caylor <>
Date: Sun, 03 Dec 2006 23:34:52 -0800

Bruno Marchal wrote:
> >
> > Schaeffer maintained that the basis for antithesis is not that it was
> > an invention of Aristotle or anyone, but that the basis for antithesis
> > is reality itself, based on the God who is there (as opposed to not
> > being there).
> I agree with this a priori. At this stage making a difference between
> reality, nature and god seems to me to be 1004 fallacies. In order to
> have the motivation for doing science you have to believe in some
> reality.

OK. I'm just saying that (a belief in) the existence of a personal God
entails (a belief in) antithesis. You get a lot more than antithesis,
as I say below.

> > The existence of the personal God answers the questions:
> >
> > 1) Why is there something rather than nothing? i.e. the question of
> > the origin of the form of the universe, why does it "make sense"? What
> > is the basis for the nature of reality and beauty?
> Here I disagree. The "existence of God" does not explain why is there
> something rather than nothing. It could be a promise for such an
> explanation but using "god" or "reality" as an explanation does not
> work, indeed such belief are related to faith.
> There is a difference between believing or trusting God, and using
> badly the God notion for explaining genuine problem away.

The existence of a personal God who is not silent answers the questions
in a way that an impersonal god or reality does not...

> > 2) Why is man the way he/she is? Why is man able to have language and
> > do science, and make sense of the world? Why is man able to love and
> > figure out what is right? What is the basis for meaning? What is the
> > basis for mind? How can persons know one another?
> > 3) Why is man able to know anything, and know that he knows what he
> > knows? What is the basis for truth? What is truth?
> Here the comp hyp provides genuine answers including testable
> predictions. Of course the comp hyp presuppose a reality (number's
> reality, truth about numbers). Then it can explain why we have to have
> some faith in numbers in the sense that we cannot explain numbers from
> something simpler.

Numbers are impersonal. An impersonal origin results in everything
finally being equal. Only an infinite personal God is big enough to
produce personality. Impersonal+complexity does not produce personal.
This is the problem Plato had. He knew that you need absolutes in
order to have meaning. Plato's gods weren't big enough to be the point
of reference needed to define a person. The gods and fates were
continuously fighting one another. I know you get some nice relative
forms, G*/G and all that. But in the end it is all meaningless. As
Satre pointed out, no finite point has any meaning without an infinite
reference point.

> ...
> That is a poetical way to put the things, but remember that if we are
> machine there are at least about 2 * 8 utterly different (and
> interacting, sometimes conflicting) sense for "ourselves", some
> including notions of faith. So some care is needed here.

But this is all a relative faith, which ends up being faith in faith
in...(?) When talking about ultimate questions, a relative faith
doesn't do. When your life is on the line, an impersonal structure
just doesn't do.

> You add:
> > I want to be clear that it isn't modern science that is to blame, but
> > the abandonment of faith (being certain of what we do not see). It
> > isn't that there's something unique to this time in history either.
> > This has happened multiple times in history. Now we are seeing perhaps
> > a backlash from man as a machine, in lots of different ways e.g.
> > postmodernism, fundamentalism... But if there is a God who is there
> > and is not silent, then faith takes on a different meaning. Faith in
> > and of itself does not do the trick. It has to be faith in a real
> > reality, a true truth.
> I agree (with the proviso that I suppose that by "machine" you talk
> about the old pregodelian conception of (non universal) machine.
> We don't know what universal machine are capable of, and I don't see
> why a present "God" would abandon them. I hope you can harbor some
> doubt about the proposition that machine are stupid, lack subjective
> phenomenality, etc.
> Bruno

I don't want to commit my future to a machine.


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Received on Mon Dec 04 2006 - 02:35:09 PST

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