@pacificmaelstrom It seems to me that your conception of reality would have serious theodicy issues. Wouldn’t you be claiming that evils such as child rape and genocide are created and sustained by the mind of God and that is the reason they can be experienced by humans? Wouldn’t they have to be if there is no independent physical reality?
I want to confine this discussion to this point, so without elaboration, there is no way anyone can identify a cup without first experiencing the physical reality that is identified by the word “cup”. The experience is of a physical object, and the perception remains in a person’s “brain” (or should we say perception and awareness). A person cannot dream of a cup first, and then search the world for the physical reality of the cup.
But a person COULD dream that he work up from dreaming of a cup … and part of that dream might include the absolute certainty that he had never seen a cup before.
Only WAKING from that dream will change that perception of reality …
In both cases, physical or not, God allows these evils to occur. God allows and facilities the actions of humans towards each other, good and bad. And Im sure you’ve read Job…
Or perhaps take a look at:
I think my conception helps anwser the problem of evil in several ways. Foremost by emphasizing the triviality of earthly suffering in light of an eternal perspective and the relative position of the soul to the body.
If this were so, there would be no cups. Nor would there be tables, chairs, cars or planes or anything else that was created by humans.
Both the physical reality that is understood by “cup” and associated meanings, and the imagined item, are required for humans to create physical objects such as a cup. My comment is directed simply to your insistence that it can all be a dream, or in any event, cannot be distinguished from a dream of a cup.
That reality doesn’t have to be physical.
First of all, I think you’re shifting the burden of proof here. If you want to eliminate the existence of physical reality, you need to demonstrate that your vision (without physical reality) has larger explanatory power than the standard framework (with physical reality). So far, you have not done so.
There are two threads I would like to pursue:
The measurement rod of “simplicity” for applying Occam’s Razor is explanatory power. The main success of modern science is in showing that physical reality can be described very well in terms of a relatively small set of principles. There is (as of yet) no known set of principles which can govern “mind” independently of physical reality. There is no explanatory power at all in assuming that everything is construed by minds. Every experience would require some ad hoc postulation by God, who would be giving us the illusion of physical regularities.
Consider also the following very serious problem. If you would follow your reasoning based on “empiricism” all the way through to the end, you would be forced to arrive at the conclusion that your mind is the only thing that exists. Other people’s minds are epistemologically speaking even further away from one’s own mind than the physical reality itself. The existence of another mind has be to inferred from physical interactions (e.g., from the light of your screen reaching your retina), while physical objects can be interacted with directly (e.g., the screen itself). The Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga wrote a book called “God and Other Minds”, in which he compared the rational inference of the existence of God to that of other minds. Your approach tries to reject the existence of physical reality, but in doing so it also rejects the existence of other minds and, for that matter, God as an independent being. If you follow your train of thought consistently, one’s own mind is the only one in existence and is therefore some sort of “god” in creating reality.
i will tell you why i think i have proof of Gods existence ,about 6
yrs ago after a biopsy i was diagnosed with a fatal liver disease .
During my NDEs 1987 i was told it would happen ,
I had to refuse medication and have faith it would be healed.
I had completely forgotten about it , but on my way into the doctors
office i heard in my head, refuse medication i will take care of it .
I asked the Dr.how long have i got without medication ,strange look on
his face , he said maybe 10 yrs
It wasn’t easy, but i got the courage to refuse .I have regular blood
tests and altho its not ten yrs my last 4 tests show a perfectly normal liver.
So there is documented evidence ,I will see how many more are normal
before bringing it to the attention of the Dr.who ordered the biopsy .
I have lots of tests for other problems . I have had many strange happenings that prove God to me, but this one is in writing .
Millions of people have had NDEs Dr. Eban Alexanda a neurologist or surgeon i forgot , he has a book and Movie .I know it was real and thought you might find it interesting .
PS you say minds require brains… I was led to understand there is ONE mind and it is the “transmitter” to all brains “receivers” and that’s how he gets us to do HIS work … that’s how i have done many things i wouldn’t have dreamed of doing.
Like having the courage to write to you when i am severely under educated in God or science .
If you can see evidence of a purpose in the evolution of the universe and life and If there is purpose of the universe then there is a God. Since there is a God then there is our savior Jesus Christ. I believe that evolution does not disprove a God but in my mind affirms God. Evolution shows God’s work. The Bible doesn’t tell us how God does His work. That the universe is still evolving shows God’s continual presence. God is the creator and there is purpose in His work. The world is driven toward a higher order.
You seem to be referring to monistic idealism. Monistic idealism used to declare that there is no physical existence. But then came quantum physics? What do you think of the monistic idealism concept written about by the quantum physicist Amit Gaswami? Would this be consistent with arguments or not?
That statement is the flaw in your logic. Your mind is simply a part of your physical brain (4). If the brain is injured or not functioning correctly, then your mind does not function correctly either. You assume that your mind is functioning correctly to determine truth while deigning the reality that it is based on physical properties.
Your number 5 assumes that you can segregate mind from physical and go on from there to insist that proves God exists. Sorry, you only prove that you can imagine a supreme being. Without physical evidence, you have no more reality than the crazy guy in a mental hospital.
I already addressed this in my original post.
“It also turns many basic assumptions on their head. For example, one may argue that all this is rubbish because minds require brains. But we only suppose that they do because of what we see in our experience of the “physical world”. And so we realize that we have barely any idea of the TRUE NATURE OF OUR REALITY. But at least we figured out that minds are the basis of objects, not the other way around.”
Have you ever seen your brain? If you saw a picture of it in a brain scan, how would you know it was actually your brain you were seeing? What if you saw your brain in a dream? Would that be your real brain? No. So how do you know your brain in reality is actually where your thoughts come from and not just a reflection of them?
Why is it that you think that the existence of a physical reality should be the null hypothesis? Can you come up with some argument more scientific than “common sense” or “intuition”. I don’t think you can. There is none. My central argument is that the existence of at least one mind is certian, while the existence of physical objects is unprovable.
To your second point, it is true that you are rationally permitted to conclude that you are the only mind in existence. In other words you are free to believe you are God. But since you can’t exercise total control over your experience, that suggests to me at least that there must be something else out there. In other words, I don’t think it is the best hypothesis given my experiential evidence.
You said: “Other people’s minds are epistemologically speaking even further away from one’s own mind than the physical reality itself.” That is nonsense.
Since I know that one mind exists, (mine), and I know that mind is responsible for parts of my experience that I can control, (Dreams and my actions), it is very rational to suppose there could be other minds responsible for the parts of my experience that I cannot control. Specifically my interactions with other people lead me to suppose that they have minds of their own, and my interaction with the broader universe needs me to suppose the existence of a great mind (God) responsible for real life. This is a metaphysical hypothesis based on the evidence of my knowledge of my existence and my experiences.
This hypothesis has superior explanitory power. It explains all of my experiences with things that i know exist (minds) and without reference to things (physical objects) for which I have no evidence. To say that physical objects are simpler as an explanation for experience is both false and also irrelevant. If you invoke physical objects you must then explain their existence. That is a very serious problem and also the basis for the cosmological argument. You also have to explain the existence of minds as physical entities. This is also a very serious problem known as the hard problem of consciousness. Finally you must rationalize as to why you reject the explanation of your experience provided by minds alone, in favor of one involving both minds and physical objects.
It should be obvious that it is simpler not to invent new modes of existence to explain things that can already be explained with what is already known. The problem is that you don’t ever remember inventing the idea of physical objects because you have always assumed it and therefore the mistake you are making is to assume that the existence of physical objects is known or obvious. It is not. It may sound ridiculous to say there is no evidence for physical objects, but it is true. Once you accept that, you see that a view of reality that includes physical objects is one based on an unnecessary and irrational assumption. The use of Occam’s razor in this situation is more than justified.
But keep in mind that science as a systematic way of organizing information about real life is not any less important or helpful just because reality is not physical in its ultimate nature.
Sorry… I believe in the existence of God, but this is not a powerful argument or even a very good argument for the existence of God. Furthermore, I think it is detrimental to a belief in God because it replaces faith in God with faith in a lot of incorrect assumptions. And that sounds like idolatry to me.
Empiricism is NOT the foundation of science.
#1 is an assumption and a flawed one as well, therefore we already have a contradiction between 1 and 2. But there is a serious problem with #2 because without assumptions, logic cannot be used.
Occam’s Razor is pure baloney. If two ways to explain things are equally valid then our experience in science is that both are typically useful in different situations. But this is rare. Most of the time they simply are not equal and the only question is which is more accurate and simplicity doesn’t come into it at all unless… the more simple less accurate one is close enough and then we say something like… to the first approximation it is like this, but to be more accurate it is actually more like this…
Incorrect. The whole point of the methodology of science is to get beyond that which is generated by the mind (i.e. the subjective) and does this by only accepting conclusions based on written procedures which give the same results no matter who does them and no matter what they may want or believe.
Incorrect. The methods of science provides excellent evidence that there are things true of the universe completely independent of any minds. Those written procedures give results which clash strongly with what people expect and force them to accept things regardless of what makes sense to them.
This is an assumption derived from the experience of only some people. Other people have experiences which do not agree with this.
That is not empirical evidence. That is a philosophical argument and thus necessarily founded on assumptions made by the one who makes that argument. For example, you only assume that you are a mind.
Not only is there excellent evidence that an objective reality exists apart from the mind, but the methods of science most certainly does give objective evidence for the existence of physical things of matter and energy.
Incorrect. This does not agree with the evidence.
This does not follow from 9 even if 9 were correct. Nothing establishes that the supposed mind generating reality is singular.
You can call such a mind many different things. Plato and the Gnostics called it the evil Demiurge.
Incorrect. The complex and ordered nature of reality demonstrably reflects the fact that all of nature is governed by mathematical space-time laws. That is all. People can only make assumptions about where those mathematical laws of nature come from, and if they come from anything at all.
No it is not. Furthermore it is obvious that if the all-powerful God of most theistic religions exists then God could make His existence clearly evident. But He does not. The conclusion must be that if God exists then making people believe He exists is not His highest priority.
Your notion of “rational” sounds more like insanity to me. I believe in a different sort of rationality founded in these three layers:
- Logical coherence, which is the requirement for anything to be meaningful.
- Consistency with the objective evidence of science, which is the requirement for things to be reasonable.
- Compatibility with the principles of a free society, which is the requirement for things to be morally acceptable.
Let me repeat. I believe in the existence of God. In fact I am a Trinitarian Christian. But none of that means that I have to accept the assertions of things which sounds like nothing but nonsense to me.
Who is God? Jesus gave us the most concrete answer to that. If want we know something about God then He said that we should look at Him, for in Him we will see God.
Obviously it is not enough for Jesus to claim that we would see God in Him. You have to give it a try and see if this is true. Apparently people who make this claim that Jesus did are not all that uncommon, so we have to ask, what do we actually see when we look at them? On the other hand, it has been suggested that the ability in to see God in others is a God-like quality – saint-like at the very least. Also… what do we do with the fact that many people who looked at Jesus did not see God? Apparently that just becomes a measure of whether there is anything of God in them.
This suggests to me that we rationally have to take a look at what it even means to say that someone or something is God-like – apart from pointing a particular person? How do we know to believe what Jesus claimed? What is there that is God-like about Him?
- We see someone who is without the self-destructive habits of sin.
- We see someone who puts the well being of others above themselves.
- We see someone who embodies the idea that greatness is found serving others.
- We see someone such that we can see no righteous cause against them.
- We see someone who reaches for the highest ideals so that we seem to become a better person just by associating with them.
- We see someone who can see and bring out the good in people that other people cannot.
And I will not even pretend that I can give anything like an exhaustive list, so it might be a good idea to appeal to others to add to this list by telling us what they have seen of God in Jesus.
That was my reaction as well. Seems like trading something of real value for tin money.
I disagree. I think therefore I am doesn’t say that I am a mind. A conscious being utilizes the information in The Mind of God (which is the only mind) to think, but that doesn’t make them a mind.
Thinking is one action that points to existence but so too does subjective experience.
There are arguments for and against God. The choise is yours to pick .An argument i have and people who know me here is good.Iva had in the past depression.Now its almost gone (not really but a whole new me if you ask me).I f i didnt became a Christian there was nothing holding me back from commiting suiciide.I would sleep forever and all will be gone.After these years ive realized if theres no God there is nothing for me .Just a painfull mindless existance.And ive had a lot of pain trust me. Anyway thats my point of view just wanted to share it .Take care!
Good to hear you are doing better. Depression is a difficult thing, I lapse into that myself. For no apparent reason.