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  1. #91
    Over 1500 post club Arsenios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios
    Then you are reducing God to a datum of the created kosmos...
    Just another "also" of all that is "real"...
    God doesn't "reduce" so easily...
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign
    So let me ask...
    Sure - But i should probably warn you, that every once in awhile, I actually do speak the Truth!

    God is forgiving, is he not?
    I pray so, for if not, I am lost...

    Are you forgiving? I assume so.
    I still hold grudges... And my mind and emotions are often at odds... I think I should forgive yet harbor hidden resentful feelings... A work in progress - How about you?

    So both you and God are forgiving.
    I try to imitate God in forgiving others their transgressions against me... But more than this, I try to obey God's commandment to forgive all....

    Ah, but doesn't that reduce God to just another of all that is forgiving?
    Methinks you forgot the Ha after your Ah!

    We speak of God in this manner as a condescension to the fallen human condition, because God not only forgives, but He is the Source of forgiveness, and to those who do not themselves forgive others, them He does not forgive...

    Now, are you an intelligent man, Arsenios?
    I am a mongrel dog, even dumber than the post he urinates upon...

    I assume so.
    You obviously have more generosity than I will ever have...

    Those who do so tend to have short lives!

    No one would say you are a moron.
    I kneel at the feet of morons - To say nothing of Barlaam's Donkey...

    Is God intelligent?
    He is beyond intelligence, and its Source - Didn't we already have this little talk?

    Of course he is.
    Flattering God is even less efficacious than flattering my watering post...

    Ah (Ah-Ha!), but doesn't that reduce God to just another of all that is intelligent?
    In your mind, I guess so - But like I said, God doesn't reduce all that easily...

    I could go on like this with all sorts of examples.
    Were yu to neglect to do so, we could BOTH glorify God!

    Arsenios, you seem to have forgotten what LANGUAGE is for.
    In whatever defense there might be for me, I can only say that I TRY not to forget what SILENCE is for...

    So let me ask you again:
    Sigh...

    In your belief, is God real, yes or no?
    Yes AND no...

    God GIVES reality to what is real, and REMOVES it from what is not...

    He is the Source of real, being in His Essence unintelligibly far beyond it...

    If you can't give me a straight answer to this,
    then neither can you say that God is intelligent,
    forgiving, just or anything else.
    You are at the gates, finally... We say these things of God as a condescension to the human condition, in the only language fallen man knows, but we do not pretend that they even begin to bring God into any cognitively fallen human conceptual grasp...

    In fact, if you cannot give me a straight answer to this,
    you cannot say anything about God whatsoever.
    We can say a great deal, but only in terms of His interactions with His creation...

    We positively cannot attribute a single thing to Him, but only by negation...

    Welcome to apophatic understanding in Theology...

    So bite the bullet and answer the question: is God real?
    God is WAY beyond real...

    .177's are ok for kids - But you might want to consider larger calibers...

    Language is a product of creation, you see, and we worship the uncreated Creator of creation...

    As long as you are operating in language, you have not begun the ascent...

    The first step on the Ladder of Divine Ascent (Climacus) is:

    RENOUNCE THE WORLD!

    OR - As Christ Himself said:

    DENY YOURSELF...

    Or, as John the Baptist said:

    BE YE REPENTING!

    For the Kingdom of Heaven is AT HAND!

    Arsenios
    Arsenios

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  3. #92
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
    We positively cannot attribute a single thing to Him, but only by negation...

    Welcome to apophatic understanding in Theology...
    Arsenios, thanks for your comments. However, the Bible says lots of positive things about God. I prefer to follow in the Bible's footsteps. I don't see the point in discussing what we can't say about God. You are welcome to it.

    We speak of God in this manner as a condescension to the fallen human condition, because God not only forgives, but He is the Source of forgiveness, and to those who do not themselves forgive others, them He does not forgive...
    I forgive you for not answering my direct questions. However, If you could find me just one passage of the 66 books of scripture stating that mankind has fallen, then I would carry the discussion on.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

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  5. #93
    Over 1500 post club Arsenios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Arsenios, thanks for your comments.
    They were the least I could do...

    Thanks for your thanks...

    Did you actually read them? Because your next question was answered in them:

    However, the Bible says lots of positive things about God.
    You will perhaps recall that I agreed with and explained why it does so...

    I prefer to follow in the Bible's footsteps.
    The REALITY of existence is not a matter of preferences, but in the good ol' US of A, they are constitutionally protected, so as long as you stay here, you are cool... Saudi Arabia, the Bible, and your preferences are not, however, a good combination...

    You are beginning with the reality of God's creation, and then ascribing to the God Who created that reality the characteristics of the creation which He created... Somewhat like, though infinitely greater, ascribing the characteristics of Henry Ford to his Model A, or an Edsel, or a crankshaft... You will come up infinitely short, you see...

    I don't see the point in discussing what we can't say about God. You are welcome to it.
    We do so because there actually ARE some people who think they can PROVE the nature of God cataphatically from the cataphatic statements ABOUT Him which are written in the Bible...

    Really!

    I know it sounds strange, but in the west, these are Legion!

    I forgive you for not answering my direct questions.
    Forgiveness is a blessed thing, thank-you...

    Did you actually read my post?

    You asked a question through the means of the "OR" fallacy of the false alternative, and I answered with the affirmation of "BOTH/AND"...

    Perhaps it flitted bye too quickly...

    However, If you could find me just one passage of the 66 books of scripture stating that mankind has fallen, then I would carry the discussion on.
    Adam's expulsion from the Garden, and God's curse of him, of eve, of the serpent, and of creation...

    Do you have any other questions?

    Arsenios
    Arsenios

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  7. #94
    Journeyman TIPlatypus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Constructive or not, it makes no sense because I can't get anyone to define terms!

    The existence of a thing does not mean it has value! Value is a subjective concept. What is valuable to me can very easily be worthless to you. It makes no difference what the society says about it so its not merely a social convention or construct. I've got a whole box full of things that I wouldn't get rid of for all the tea in china. My wife would throw every bit of it in the garbage tomorrow if I let her. The things in that box are what they are. They do not change in any way whether I cherish them or my wife wants to toss them in the fire.

    And be all that as it may, no one has yet explained to me what any of this has to do with establishing a rational framework for an objective morality. You simple have to make the actual argument!

    Clete
    value - the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

    So a scrap piece of paper that you could not care less about would still be worth your attention, even if it is merely to throw it away. Everything has value.
    But i should probably warn you, that every once in awhile, I actually do speak the Truth! - Arsenios

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  9. #95
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TIPlatypus View Post
    value - the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

    So a scrap piece of paper that you could not care less about would still be worth your attention, even if it is merely to throw it away. Everything has value.
    Alright fine, granting that, for that sake of argument, so what?

    How does the subjective notion of value help to construct a framework for the development of an objective morality?
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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  11. #96
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Alright fine, granting that, for that sake of argument, so what?

    How does the subjective notion of value help to construct a framework for the development of an objective morality?
    It isn't subjective. If it were, you would be able to treat this chair as a computer. I thought you already agreed that. What it is, is relational. As I said previously, You may call it a stool, or you may call it an armchair, you could even call it a 'sea of comfort' and I think I would know what you mean; so it is indeed relational, what you call it depends on your particular relationship to it. But you can't call it a computer because it is intrinsically not a computer. Its worth is intrinsic to itself and that is why it constrains you.

    In the same way, morality is not objective either. I think I made this clear in an earlier comment. I am not accepting Socrates' horn of the dilemma. Morality is relational just the same. But I will hopefully have time to expand on that in another post.

    But the important thing to note, as I have been saying, is that a thing's value is not defined externally. Nor is the state of the universe in any given moment determined by any external rule, force or being. Arsenios wants to go down that route. It only means that he cannot answer direct questions about God. And he uses lovely sounding words like apophatic and cataphatic to give some kind of credibility to his philosophy, but in reality they just mean that he cannot give a rational, coherent justification of his beliefs.
    But I have no desire to single him out (and he of course is only parrotting his Orthodox traditions): all hard dualists must suffer from one kind of paradox or another. He is unable to state that God is real, and that to me is the saddest thing - where have we got to, what have we become, if we cannot bring ourselves to make such an obvious statement about the God we are supposed to believe in?
    It is no wonder that Christianity falls into meaningless rituals, having lost its motivation, its ethics and finally its very God, and then trying to redefine itself through political activism, cultural richness or social welfare - anything to avoid having to admit to the obvious fact that God is real and that the consequences of this fact are also real. Because, like this chair, God doesn't let you call him a force, or say that he has two wills, or that his actions are arbitrary and because, like this chair, God is manifest to man - through Jesus Christ - and is not hidden so that we have to guess or deduce what kind of being or thing he is but he is directly and tangibly available and no one can say that he is unknowable or that nothing can be said about him.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 25th, 2016 at 04:27 AM.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

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  13. #97
    Over 1500 post club Arsenios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Arsenios wants to go down that route. It only means that he cannot answer direct questions about God. And he uses lovely sounding words like apophatic and cataphatic to give some kind of credibility to his philosophy,
    One cannot philosophize theology - You think philosophy is fundamental to theology, because you think God is a part of creation... I have the Theology of the Christian 2000 year old Church - I abandoned philosophy as having any meaning whatsoever in this regard when I first encountered God some 35 years ago... And I was pretty much Aristotelian at the time... Aquinas had a kindred encounter, and stopped writing and teaching, saying: "ALL that I have written is straw..." ONE encounter... That is all that is needed... And until you have had it, you really cannot know that God is not a part of the cosmos, but is radically Other than creation in a way that creates creation without being a part of it whatsoever... Even, for instance, in the two natures of Christ, they coexist in the One Hypostasis without admixture and confusion...

    The Theology of the Church is not rational-analytic, but empirical-descriptive...

    This is where Scholasticism erred, and the neo-scholastic West spit out the gnat of indulgences, and swallowed the camel of scholastic philosophic presuppositions, as you are doing here...

    He is unable to state that God is real
    I have consistently stated that "real" is not definitive of God Who is the GIVER of reality to ALL that IS real, and that God is infinitely more than merely real... So yes, we say that God exists, that He is real, and that He loves mankind... And all these things are true enough, but that they are fallen conceptualizations of fallen man in a fallen cosmos about the God Adam turned away from... Such concepts are in the wading section of the shallow end of the pool that can open into the river that flows to the ocean...

    Philosophy is words - Ankle deep, and miles wide, in terms of the time they can consume for the human soul on earth...

    Arsenios
    Arsenios

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  15. #98
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
    I have consistently stated
    You have consistently been unable to state that God is real. You have never answered my request to provide even a single scripture passage from the 66 books stating that mankind has fallen. And you have been consistent about misquoting, misunderstanding and misrepresenting me, saying things like
    because you think God is a part of creation.
    - a thing I have never said, nor would ever say. So, yes, consistent indeed.

    that "real" is not definitive of God
    See? In one breath, Arsenios, sensing that he is losing an argument because every Tom, Dick or Harry that bothers to read this knows that what I am saying is the plain truth and that Arsenios has been found wanting, bravely reasserts his view that 'real' is not a term that can be applied to God.

    So yes, we say that God exists, that He is real,
    but in the next breath has to backtrack and contradict himself out of fear of looking a fool in the face of obvious truths.

    And all these things are true enough, but that they are fallen conceptualizations of fallen man in a fallen cosmos
    But then, having appeared to concede the obvious truth, now he does a double backtrack to say that he didn't really mean what he just said after all. He would like to say that the statement 'God is real' is true and worth saying but he can't bring himself to do that unequivocally because he doesn't want to admit that man is capable of understanding anything about God. If he has to concede anything at all here, it is only at the expense of this claim that man is fallen and hence all his knowledge is false. There is a word for all this: equivocation.

    about the God Adam turned away from... Such concepts are in the wading section of the shallow end of the pool that can open into the river that flows to the ocean... Philosophy is words - Ankle deep, and miles wide, in terms of the time they can consume for the human soul on earth...
    And then, totally consistent with one who cannot speak straight words about a real God, gives us a practical demonstration of how to form a sentence using words that are all completely meaningless.

    And friends, I am glad that Arsenios has made these contributions. Because I promise you, he is one of the more educated and erudite of Christian dualists you are likely to come across. Certainly on this board. But the Calvinists are hardly any better: They ask us to believe that God is good and that he also wills things like the Sandy Hook massacre. And we are not allowed to question this because evil things, like said massacre, are said to be from God's 'hidden decree' and we are not allowed to know about it. Whatever they think of as good or which they think they can pass off as good, they will attribute to God's ordinary will, whilst all the things that embarrass them are said to be from his hidden will. Thus they redefine common words like 'good' and give us bland reassurances such as 'the Sandy Hook massacre had a good purpose in God's plan; we just don't know what God's plan is and have to trust him.' And, as I have said before, they then seek to blame these things on someone else by trying to tell us that God did not actually cause the Sandy Hook massacre (which is why this is sometimes called God's permissive will). They say that it was caused by whoever it was caused by and so they claim that God was not responsible for it, but that it happened in accordance with God's secret will. They redefine the word 'responsibility' so that God is not responsible for what he wills to happen but then they expect us to be responsible for the things which we will to happen. Friends, if we are to be perfect as our heavenly father is perfect in the way that Calvinists claim that he is perfect, then doesn't this mean that we also should be able to escape responsibility for all the evils we cause???

    The reasons are the same in both cases. They cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that this world is very good. That it is intrinsically good. Or that each moment is a moment of true life. Instead they try to pass off everything we do as imperfect, fallen, sinful or otherwise contaminated in some way. You saw how Arsenios did it. You have seen how Calvinists do it. It's your turn now, who will you believe, them or the Bible?

    And God saw all that he had made and behold, it was very good.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 25th, 2016 at 05:54 AM. Reason: I am still alive. So if something can be improved then it will be.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

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  17. #99
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    It isn't subjective. If it were, you would be able to treat this chair as a computer. I thought you already agreed that. What it is, is relational. As I said previously, You may call it a stool, or you may call it an armchair, you could even call it a 'sea of comfort' and I think I would know what you mean; so it is indeed relational, what you call it depends on your particular relationship to it. But you can't call it a computer because it is intrinsically not a computer. Its worth is intrinsic to itself and that is why it constrains you.
    Why are you using the words "value" and "worth" in place of "identity"?

    A things identity is not subjective, that much is certain. Something is what it is - period. A is A. This is called the Law of Identity. It is the foundation of all knowledge, all communication, all coherent thought. It cannot be denied without the denier acknowledging its veracity in his attempt to deny it. You might say it is the ultimate objective truth. It is the singular truth that makes truth itself meaningful.

    What that has to do with whether a thing is valuable or not I still don't see.

    In the same way, morality is not objective either. I think I made this clear in an earlier comment. I am not accepting Socrates' horn of the dilemma. Morality is relational just the same. But I will hopefully have time to expand on that in another post.

    But the important thing to note, as I have been saying, is that a thing's value is not defined externally. Nor is the state of the universe in any given moment determined by any external rule, force or being. Arsenios wants to go down that route. It only means that he cannot answer direct questions about God. And he uses lovely sounding words like apophatic and cataphatic to give some kind of credibility to his philosophy, but in reality they just mean that he cannot give a rational, coherent justification of his beliefs.
    But I have no desire to single him out (and he of course is only parrotting his Orthodox traditions): all hard dualists must suffer from one kind of paradox or another. He is unable to state that God is real, and that to me is the saddest thing - where have we got to, what have we become, if we cannot bring ourselves to make such an obvious statement about the God we are supposed to believe in?
    It is no wonder that Christianity falls into meaningless rituals, having lost its motivation, its ethics and finally its very God, and then trying to redefine itself through political activism, cultural richness or social welfare - anything to avoid having to admit to the obvious fact that God is real and that the consequences of this fact are also real. Because, like this chair, God doesn't let you call him a force, or say that he has two wills, or that his actions are arbitrary and because, like this chair, God is manifest to man - through Jesus Christ - and is not hidden so that we have to guess or deduce what kind of being or thing he is but he is directly and tangibly available and no one can say that he is unknowable or that nothing can be said about him.
    I understand and agree with everything here except the use of the term "value" (highlighted above).

    I totally get that things are what they are because they are real. Is that sufficient to proceed or is this use of the word "value" necessary to the rest of your argument?

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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  19. #100
    Over 1500 post club Arsenios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertReign
    This world is very good.
    It is intrinsically good.
    Each moment is a moment of true life.
    Ever smell a rotting corpse?
    Are you 95 and all pain yet?
    Or are you still 13 and saving the world?
    This fallen world ends in pain and death.

    All good, right?

    Lord have Mercy!

    Arsenios
    Arsenios

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    Over 1500 post club Arsenios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios
    You think God is a part of creation.
    Quote Originally Posted by DR
    - a thing I have never said,
    nor would ever say.
    Are you forgetful?
    Or is it worse than that?

    Quote Originally Posted by DR
    God is also real
    and that 'reality'
    (the real universe)
    includes everything that is real
    .
    Grandstanding is not a good idea...

    Arsenios
    Arsenios

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    TOL Subscriber Nihilo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    equivocation.
    I've been doing a lot of thinking about equivocation recently. And with it, these other terms: ambiguity, and homonyms.

    I feel that there is a lot of trouble communicating within the same language with others because of these issues, and that equivocation frequently occurs inadvertently and unconsciously. The most obvious manifestation of this is when we put into our own words what our interlocutors are saying---IOW, what we think they're saying, how we hear and read and otherwise interpret what is being said.

    So frequently, the discussion/argument degenerates immediately into retorts like, "I never said that," and, "That's not what I meant."

    I think it's a plague. I don't have a solution.
    "To be deep in history, is to cease to be Protestant"---Newman

    Matthew 16:18 AENT "I say also to you that you are Keefa, and on this Keefa I will build my assembly, and the gates of Sheol will not subdue it." (BR, emphasis mine)

    He is risen. [yellow][b][size=4] RESURRECTION [/size][/b][/yellow]

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  25. #103
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
    Are you forgetful?
    Or is it worse than that?



    Grandstanding is not a good idea...

    Arsenios
    What does your oddball doctrine say about lying?

    Or is it stupidity that is the problem?

    DR was very clear, he was making the point that God is real and that he was using the term "universe" to include all real things.
    You either understood that when you read it, in which case the above post is a lie or you're stupid.

    You pick!
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  27. #104
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Why are you using the words "value" and "worth" in place of "identity"?
    False assumption. I am using the words 'value' and 'worth' in the ordinary sense, like TIP suggested.

    the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something
    It seems like a useful definition to me. You gave examples of where the worth of something was external, such as a currency note. I don't dispute that such value exists in some specific cases due to conventions, but the value I am talking about is universal, value which is intrinsic.

    A things identity is not subjective, that much is certain. Something is what it is - period. A is A. This is called the Law of Identity. It is the foundation of all knowledge, all communication, all coherent thought. It cannot be denied without the denier acknowledging its veracity in his attempt to deny it. You might say it is the ultimate objective truth. It is the singular truth that makes truth itself meaningful.
    Things can have more than one kind of value. It may be a potato peeler to one person but a lethal weapon to another. But in either case that value is intrinsic to the object. It is a lethal weapon because someone can use it as such. It is a potato peeler because someone can use it as such. It could probably be used for other things too. It is quite a valuable object.

    I totally get that things are what they are because they are real. Is that sufficient to proceed or is this use of the word "value" necessary to the rest of your argument?
    It is value that gives rise to morality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
    Are you forgetful?
    Or is it worse than that?
    Grandstanding is not a good idea...
    Arsenios
    What Clete said. Your inabiity to use words with their plain sense seems also to extend to understanding them in their plain sense too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    I've been doing a lot of thinking about equivocation recently. And with it, these other terms: ambiguity, and homonyms.

    I feel that there is a lot of trouble communicating within the same language with others because of these issues, and that equivocation frequently occurs inadvertently and unconsciously. The most obvious manifestation of this is when we put into our own words what our interlocutors are saying---IOW, what we think they're saying, how we hear and read and otherwise interpret what is being said.

    So frequently, the discussion/argument degenerates immediately into retorts like, "I never said that," and, "That's not what I meant."

    I think it's a plague. I don't have a solution.
    Actually, I already suspected Arsenios had totally misunderstood me but at first I didn't react because I had more important things to do. It was not me degenerating the discussion. It was only at a later point that I chose to raise the issue. Arsenios has such strong presuppositions that he is unable to appreciate what others are saying. He sees everything in a single light, a single context, which in this case has led him to say some quite unkind things about me. Not that I mind. This is TOL. And it only shows him up, not me. He was equivocating whether or not he misunderstood me.
    You don't have a solution, but I do. It is called openness. It is not merely a theological or philosophical system but it is an ethic. It's an ethic based on the nature of reality. Everything that is real exists through its dynamic relationships with everything else in reality. God is the same. He is open to his relationships with things in his creation. Openness is very much at the heart of God because openness is the basis of life. Our openness to one another is crucial to our ability to love and to grow. Being closed only stifles life and growth. Sadly, Calvinism and other forms of dualism such as the one Arsenios preaches, are the antithesis of this openness.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; February 26th, 2016 at 10:43 AM.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

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    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

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    Journeyman TIPlatypus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Why are you using the words "value" and "worth" in place of "identity"?

    A things identity is not subjective, that much is certain. Something is what it is - period. A is A. This is called the Law of Identity. It is the foundation of all knowledge, all communication, all coherent thought. It cannot be denied without the denier acknowledging its veracity in his attempt to deny it. You might say it is the ultimate objective truth. It is the singular truth that makes truth itself meaningful.

    What that has to do with whether a thing is valuable or not I still don't see.


    I understand and agree with everything here except the use of the term "value" (highlighted above).

    I totally get that things are what they are because they are real. Is that sufficient to proceed or is this use of the word "value" necessary to the rest of your argument?

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    I answered this question here:
    Quote Originally Posted by TIPlatypus View Post
    value - the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

    So a scrap piece of paper that you could not care less about would still be worth your attention, even if it is merely to throw it away. Everything has value.
    This is the relationship between value and identity.

    You replied:
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Alright fine, granting that, for that sake of argument, so what?

    How does the subjective notion of value help to construct a framework for the development of an objective morality?
    To which Desert Reign Replied:
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    It isn't subjective. If it were, you would be able to treat this chair as a computer. I thought you already agreed that. What it is, is relational. As I said previously, You may call it a stool, or you may call it an armchair, you could even call it a 'sea of comfort' and I think I would know what you mean; so it is indeed relational, what you call it depends on your particular relationship to it. But you can't call it a computer because it is intrinsically not a computer. Its worth is intrinsic to itself and that is why it constrains you.

    In the same way, morality is not objective either. I think I made this clear in an earlier comment. I am not accepting Socrates' horn of the dilemma. Morality is relational just the same. But I will hopefully have time to expand on that in another post.

    But the important thing to note, as I have been saying, is that a thing's value is not defined externally. Nor is the state of the universe in any given moment determined by any external rule, force or being. Arsenios wants to go down that route. It only means that he cannot answer direct questions about God. And he uses lovely sounding words like apophatic and cataphatic to give some kind of credibility to his philosophy, but in reality they just mean that he cannot give a rational, coherent justification of his beliefs.
    But I have no desire to single him out (and he of course is only parrotting his Orthodox traditions): all hard dualists must suffer from one kind of paradox or another. He is unable to state that God is real, and that to me is the saddest thing - where have we got to, what have we become, if we cannot bring ourselves to make such an obvious statement about the God we are supposed to believe in?
    It is no wonder that Christianity falls into meaningless rituals, having lost its motivation, its ethics and finally its very God, and then trying to redefine itself through political activism, cultural richness or social welfare - anything to avoid having to admit to the obvious fact that God is real and that the consequences of this fact are also real. Because, like this chair, God doesn't let you call him a force, or say that he has two wills, or that his actions are arbitrary and because, like this chair, God is manifest to man - through Jesus Christ - and is not hidden so that we have to guess or deduce what kind of being or thing he is but he is directly and tangibly available and no one can say that he is unknowable or that nothing can be said about him.
    To which you replied: (the quote I started this post with)
    I hope you get the picture.

    We agree with you Clete. Please, agree with us. Then we can get on with it.
    But i should probably warn you, that every once in awhile, I actually do speak the Truth! - Arsenios

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