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Thread: The Fall.

  1. #16
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    Right. Then life could exist in all of those universes, not just the lucky ones as the anthropic principle would suggest. I assume our universe has a finite boundary. Olber's paradox about the dark night sky suggests it is so.
    Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. --Pascal

  2. #17
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    I found a copy of Richard Elliott Friedman's "The Hidden Book in the Bible: The Discovery of the First Prose Masterpiece" in a local library. His version of J's text goes from Genesis to 1 Kings. Bloom's stopped in the Torah. Since he also thinks J is female and is aware of Baruch Halpern, I think I will use his text rather than Bloom's to reference what J (who, according to him, is also the Court Historian) wrote.

    This still doesn't answer the question of this thread. J came up with the story of the Fall. Does it provide a way to resolve suffering in the world?
    Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. --Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post

    This still doesn't answer the question of this thread. J came up with the story of the Fall. Does it provide a way to resolve suffering in the world?
    Metaphorically, of course it does. I expect it to make symbolic sense. That is the point of it all. Is that what you are after, though?

    To believe in further attributes of God I have to first believe in God, as in feel sure. Otherwise one is speculating on the attributes of a conjectured presence. I want to speculate on the attributes of a known presence.

    I am not sure Spring is busting out all over just yet--as in every possible universe according to your interpretation of the Anthropic principle--or even in this one. An interesting case can be made both ways.

    I can only pinpoint a necessary intelligence under a scenario where things (and not just physical things) had a beginning. If I cannot exactly prove this, I feel I can hold my own against all opposing arguments.

    Under a scenario (notice I do not say universe, for universes are temporary, fleeting things) that has existed forever without beginning, I have not yet found God to be necessary in the logical philosophical sense. I have not yet even polished my argument for the case where things had a beginning, but because I can see ending like the conclusion of a chess game where one does not need to fulfill the final moves to know the result. I have jumped right to the hard case where things had no beginning.

    I would love nothing more than to take a serious stab at answering the OP's question. However, I am talking about the meanings of a symbolic fairytale unless I can prove the existence of God in the second scenario. There was no intention to hijack the man's thread, I simply approached the problem the way I had to.

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    The OP does mention the afterlife, a subject he is evidently interested in, and one I like to think about.

    I have to agree with Yes/No and Mark Twain. An afterlife without danger and risk does not seem interesting or useful, spent singing hymns and strumming harps for eternity. I prefer to think of heaven as an unassailable fortress to which residents of heaven can always return for a respite from their adventures "outside." As for the chains of the devil, he would be chained out of heaven only.
    Last edited by desiresjab; 06-21-2017 at 11:20 PM.

  5. #20
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    I see heaven the same way you do, desiresjab, not that I know much about it.

    When you mention, "I want to speculate on the attributes of a known presence", you could use your own subjectivity as evidence or proxy of that presence. Some would call that the "God within" or the "Holy Ghost". Its immanence might make it associated with a feminine deity while the God of J would be masculine and seemingly other.

    In reading Friedman, J does not speculate about God, she only describes the "divine-human relations" (page 46). "It does not deal with the nature of God: what is God? where is God?" (page 47). There is a lot of deception in J's story and a lot of punishments as a consequence that get passed on from generation to generation.

    I don't know if there is any concern about the afterlife here. Evidence for an afterlife come from near death or after death experiences or reincarnation experiences. The Christian Gospels would be a story of after death experiences. And then there is the God within, our subjective experience that is the only thing we really know which might intuit an afterlife.

    On a slightly different topic, I see Richard Friedman and Baruch Halpern's research working together. Friedman gives the full text of J from Genesis to Kings and suggests a female wrote it. Halpern gives evidence that the people around David's time actually existed because the texts of 2 Samuel and 1 Kings appear to be propaganda. One doesn't write propaganda about imaginary characters. It also means those texts must be as old Solonon's court or why write the propaganda at all?
    Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. --Pascal

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    I don't know what J is. King James version of the Bible?

    You see, I cannot nitpick over such issues as sprinkling opposed to full immersion in baptism, and the myriad others that various sects and denominations have wasted so much energy and argument on.

    Let us assume, then, that a logical proof of the existence of God is impossible. I still sense that quite convincing arguments are there to be found and made which rely on solid reasoning more than wishful thinking or blind faith. One has to dwell on the concepts a long time.

    You might ask, why did none of the great geniuses of the past find this argument, if it exists? Well, Beethoven was great, but he didn't write all the great music, either. He did not find every wonderful harmony so that none else need look.

    We might want to take this over to Cosmology. The OP could be annoyed at our desultory manner of answering questions.

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    From a lifetime of living within a Christian culture, one relgious parent and my own reflections, I take from the Bible that there is a negative force at large in the universe (and possibly beyond), therein called the devil.

    The devil is a big problem in my own philosophy, capable of almost infinite sidetracking of one still on a quest to prove (at least demonstate the reasonable possibility of) the existence of God. Personally, I will not bring the devil in just yet.

    * * * * *

    Let me attempt to buff the other case now where things did not simply exist forever. Supposedly, this seems like the easy case. But of course it is not easy. The greatest minds of philosophy have all had a crack at it. It could be gathered generally under the First Cause argument.

    So we jump immediately to our cogent Scenario. No things existed. Not even time or space, forget about matter. Squeezed out like this, what could possibly still exist? We are talking about existence itself. Leibniz himself asked, Why anything, as opposed to nothing at all? There seems to be a possible answer besides an intelligence or consciousness.

    The argument would go: there were no things, but there might have been some kind of meta things requiring no space or time which could still exist. Like logs piled on a hillside, these meta things are poised just right to bring actual things into existence at some point.

    It might seem like the potential is there, but on close examinarion, it is not. For there is no at some point, but only one point, because time does not pass. Either it is done in one take or it is not done at all. It does not do the meta things any good to be stacked to create real things, for they would be frozen without time, and therefore without any potential.

    I do not favor the word intelligence. Urge is very basic, almost smacking of instinctual. Consciousness is general and comfortable. Spiritual, Passionate, God...many substitutes get the point across, but add their own inflections.

    A Consciousness could supply the spark, if you want to believe the lovely world is real. (There is a Snodgrass tribute in that line.)

    But even using a liberal interpretation of the Bible, it seems like you could make a good case that God (the consciousness) created the world (everything) out of its imagination.

    There might be no world at all but only God's imagination keeping this whole light show on. Ours might in fact be a secondhand, ersatz existence. We may be less real than we popularly imagine. Our world of dirt and meat might exist only in God's imagination. Descartes did not note we were real, he just noted we were conscious. We feel real enough.

    Back to the point...

    Our hypothesised Meta things have only illusory potential. They contain no potential. Nothing further can happen with regard to them, because no time passes for it to happen in. Only an acting Will could supply the necessary First Cause, even if so called meta things were stacked to create real things.

    Consciousness might get along fine without space, time or matter. If anything I can think of possibly could, consciousness would be a top candidate. Since no one presently even knows what it is or where it hails from, it is a doubly good candidate.

    The primal consciousness had an imagination out of which it must have conceived of time. From our perspective it seems it would have to have conceived of time separately, before adding a pinch of it to its broth pot. The same with space. But we cannot know so much, or keep clear of paradox if we try to know too much.

    * * * * *

    I am satisfied with this argument for the necessity of Consciousness under Scenario #1.
    Last edited by desiresjab; 06-23-2017 at 01:28 AM.

  8. #23
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    The Urge, the Passion, the Consciousness, the Awareness, the Intelligence, the Imagination...

    Was it a mere Urge that created Everything? Many see a plan, but use bad examples. A plan requires Intelligence. Complexity does not imply intelligence.

    The qualities of the primal consciousness are presently unknowable. We can only guess (under Scenario #1) at why it did anything, or whether it had any choice.

    But there is an interesting counter argument left against us. Why was Consciousness allowed to operate without any time to act in, and thereby create everything, when Meta things could not do the same?

    Meta things are like precursors of things to come. They also smack of determinism. Without time, they obviously cannot come.

    The physical constraints of imagination are unknown. An absence of time, space and matter may be of no or little hinderance to it. For us its activities seem to take place within the confines of a certain region of space, but perhaps only occupy space as the information content of a spark between synapses, not even the synapses themselves, and not even the spark, just the space occupied by the information content of the spark. You may ask if that is any space at all?

    The answer is even simpler. Imaginations can create what is not there. Within no-time an imagination, a consciousness, could conceive of time. It should be able to. It could also dream up a novelty like Light. My imagination can dream up qualia not present or possible. Unlike the primal imagination my efforts do not impart the utter feel of reality even to the characters living within my fiction. It is as if you wrote a novel, and everyone who read it lived it and believed it as reality, and the characters within it had consciousness and believed they were alive and in reality. Only God's fiction was that good. Its feel of reality is utter.

    Because I feel that words like Consciousness, Imagination and God are interchangable in this particular context we are exploring, you will notice I do interchange them whenever musical (and other) sense calls for it.

    A Meta thing could not create Time, unless it, too, had an imagination. End of that argument.
    Last edited by desiresjab; 06-23-2017 at 03:29 AM.

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    This space formerly occupied by an unsightly double post.
    Last edited by desiresjab; 06-23-2017 at 03:26 AM.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    I don't know what J is. King James version of the Bible?
    In the 19th century people who wanted to know who wrote the bible, in particular the first five books, identified four sources. They were identified by letters. The J source referred to God as Yahweh or Jehovah. The E source referred to God as Elohim. The D source was concerned with laws contained which occupied Deuteronomy. The P source was concerned with priests. The underlying claim in having these four sources is that one person, say Moses, did not write these texts.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    You see, I cannot nitpick over such issues as sprinkling opposed to full immersion in baptism, and the myriad others that various sects and denominations have wasted so much energy and argument on.

    Let us assume, then, that a logical proof of the existence of God is impossible. I still sense that quite convincing arguments are there to be found and made which rely on solid reasoning more than wishful thinking or blind faith. One has to dwell on the concepts a long time.

    You might ask, why did none of the great geniuses of the past find this argument, if it exists? Well, Beethoven was great, but he didn't write all the great music, either. He did not find every wonderful harmony so that none else need look.

    We might want to take this over to Cosmology. The OP could be annoyed at our desultory manner of answering questions.
    I don't nitpick over those issues either.

    Humans reason differently than machines. We are not rational like Spock in Star Trek or an AI computer calculating the optimal next move. We are motivated rationalizers of our prior beliefs or decisions. I am getting some of this from Jonathan Haidt's "The Righteous Mind".

    So if someone does find a logical proof of the existence or nonexistence of God, another person will accept or reject it based upon their prior beliefs. They will not be convinced by the logic alone as one should be if this were a mathematical theorem's truth or falsity. By the way, this is a good thing. It allows us to more rapidly arrive at truth or better approximations of truth at the expense of some pigheadedness. Even the refusal to accept a well rationalized argument is a good thing. It forces proponents of the truth to keep looking for a better rationalization.

    We could discuss this under cosmology, but the fall is a different way of looking at cosmology. The difference between cosmology and the fall is the cosmologist does not assume the universe is good. The fall assumes the universe is good. Both try to explain everything given these two different starting points.
    Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. --Pascal

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