Moreland on Consciousness

Re: http://www.jpmoreland.com/2010/11/18/critique-of-graham-oppys-objection/

There have been some further developments in this discussion. See:

Graham Oppy “Critical Notice of J. P. Moreland’s Consciousness and the Existence of God” European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3, 1, 2011, 193-212

J. P. Moreland “Oppy on the Argument from Consciousness: A Rejoinder” European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3, 1, 2011, 213-226

Graham Oppy “Consciousness in not Evidence for Theism” in C. Meister, J. P. Moreland, and K. Sweis (eds.) Oxford Contemporary Dialogues Oxford: OUP, forthcoming. (Should be out early in the new year. Also contains a chapter by Moreland, defending his argument from consciousness, which I haven’t yet seen.)

Re the above link to Moreland’s blog: In Arguing about Gods, I discuss two arguments from consciousness. First, I (briefly) consider the argument in Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding that is critiqued by Mackie in The Miracle of Theism. Second, I provide a fairly lengthy discussion of the argument in Swinburne’s The Existence of God. I do not think that the main criticism that I make of these argument in Arguing about Gods is that “the theist’s use of personal explanation regarding consciousness is a bogus form of explanation” (cf. the claim in Moreland’s blog). (See p.401 of Arguing about Gods for a summary of five of the criticisms that I make of Swinburne’s argument. The claim that Moreland attributes to me is not among these five criticisms ….)

The most important point to note — vis a vis this discussion — I think, is this: The worst case for the naturalist is one in which ‘conscious state’ is an ideological primitive, with an ideologically primitive connection to ‘neural state’ (or the like). But, for theists like Moreland, ‘conscious state’ is evidently an ideological primitive — for, of course, Moreland thinks that God is conscious, and does not suppose that God’s consciousness is explained in terms of something else — and the connection between consciousness and the rest of God’s ‘state’ is also ideologically primitive. So, on a proper accounting of theoretical costs, the worst case for the naturalist is no worse than par with the view that Moreland defends. (And, of course, if the naturalist can provide a ‘reduction’ of consciousness, then the naturalist has a theoretically more virtuous position.) But, if this is right, the considerations about consciousness cannot possibly favour theism (regardless of the outcome of attempts to provide a naturalistic ‘reduction’ of consciousness).

About Graham Oppy
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    I have asked this before, and think now is a good Time to again.

    Why is this a battle between Naturalists and Theists? At what point did the two become opposites? Surely the word “Naturalist” is being used here as a Euphemism for Atheist, but it doesn’t quiet work.

    As I have explained elsewhere, there are Natural Theologies. Some even posit God himself as a Natural being. So, what if I described myself as a Naturalist but then told you I believe God exists? Would I fit into the Naturalist Camp or the Theist Camp?

    As for the meat of the argument, I am unconvinced by either proposition. I do not see how Consciousness can be an Argument against Theism if Theism predicts God will make conscious beings in many, in fact most Theologies. (Though God didn’t have to I suppose… meaning he’d be the only Conscious being.)Nor do we need to evoke God to necessarily have Consciousness.

    I do not think that Consciousness really serves on its own as an Argument for or against. Surly the Argument rests on how Consciousness got here, and that alone depends on our interpretive model, not on the mere presence of Consciousness.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    ZAROVE said…

    Why is this a battle between Naturalists and Theists? At what point did the two become opposites? Surely the word “Naturalist” is being used here as a Euphemism for Atheist, but it doesn’t quiet work.
    ============
    Response:

    Atheists reject the belief that God exists. Atheists are not necessarily naturalists. An atheist can believe in ghosts, souls, angels, etc. An atheist can also deny the existence of matter and deny the existence of physical nature and natural laws. An atheist can reject naturalism.

    However, naturalism is a view that supports the rejection of belief in God, where 'God' is understood to be, among other things, a spirit (i.e. a bodiless person).

    Atheism is simply the rejection of theism; it is not a postive point of view. Naturalism, on the other hand, is a positive position and is thus a positive alternative to theism. Naturalism implies that there are no supernatural beings, no ghosts, no souls, no bodiless persons, and thus no God. Naturalism is widely held by, but not universally accepted by, atheists.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    One reason in favor of the opposition of Naturalism to Theism is that this focuses attention on a basic metaphysical issue: Which is more fundamental: mind or matter?

    Theism posits the existence of a matterless mind that is the source of all other beings, including all material objects and the laws of nature. Naturalism, on the other hand, implies that mindless matter and the laws of nature are the source of all mental beings, including all persons.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Thank you, Mr. Bowen. However, as I have stated, there are Theological Positions that see God as Natural, as opposed to Supernatural. Therefore, I do not think Naturalism precludes Theism. I would hold even the idea of a disembodies Mind may be Natural in a way we cannot understand, and even if it can’t, some Theologies posit God as having some sort of Physical body, albeit one unlike our own.

    EG, and this is merely for example, the Mormons view God as the product of the natural World around us. God the Father was once a man, who lived in Mortality in Righteousness until the end when he was elevated to godhood, and became ruler of his own world, and father of all the people we see today.

    In Mormon Theology, Intelligences are Eternal, and pre-existent, but not really Supernatural. The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints has always maintained that even God himself is subject to the Laws of Nature.

    I use the Mormons not because I am one ( I am not) but to illustrate a point. Would Naturalism contradict Mormon Theology?

    Likewise, many Mainline Protestant Denominations follow Naturalist Theologies, though they are less famous for it, and often its a position of some, rather than all Clergy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10289884295542007401 Jeffery Jay Lowder

    Zarove — The incompatibility of supernaturalism (which includes theism) and metaphysical naturalism (as we have defined it) is widely accepted in the philosophy of religion. I recognize that you have a very different definition of naturalism which makes it compatible with theism, but I think it is safe to say that none of the contributors define naturalism the way you do.

    This, of course, does not mean that your definition is "wrong," but it does mean that we are effectively speaking two different languages. Since our use of philosophical terminology is well within the mainstream, I don't feel the need to modify our semantics and am getting a bit tired of this theme in your comments on various posts. I, for one, am not particularly interested in debating the definition of "metaphysical naturalism." On this blog, we are going to assume our definition of terms and trust that our readers, even if they define the same terms differently, will understand our content with the intended meaning. You are obviously welcome to adopt your own semantics on your own blog; if I post a comment there, I will adopt your definitions.

    It seems to me that anything else will make real communication impossible.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Mr. Lowder-

    Zarove — The incompatibility of supernaturalism (which includes theism) and metaphysical naturalism (as we have defined it) is widely accepted in the philosophy of religion. I recognize that you have a very different definition of naturalism which makes it compatible with theism, but I think it is safe to say that none of the contributors define naturalism the way you do.

    it isn’t my definition, and its not Naturalism that’s being redefined. What is being redefined, if you want to call it that, is Theism. What I am saying is that Theism need not be seen as Supernatural by necessity. If God is seen as natural, then God would fit into Naturalism. It’s not like God has to be Supernatural is it?

    This, of course, does not mean that your definition is "wrong," but it does mean that we are effectively speaking two different languages. Since our use of philosophical terminology is well within the mainstream, I don't feel the need to modify our semantics and am getting a bit tired of this theme in your comments on various posts. I, for one, am not particularly interested in debating the definition of "metaphysical naturalism." On this blog, we are going to assume our definition of terms and trust that our readers, even if they define the same terms differently, will understand our content with the intended meaning. You are obviously welcome to adopt your own semantics on your own blog; if I post a comment there, I will adopt your definitions.

    But that doesn’t address my question. Again, I am not defining Naturalism so that it includes Theism, I am saying that God may not be understood as Supernatural and thus wouldn’t contradict Naturalism.

    In other words, if God is not a Supernatural being, why can’t he be thus existent in a Naturalist view of the world?

    He reason I ask is because if you say that all Theism is about the Supernatural, you will find it impossible to discuss some of the more important Theologians, including 20th Century ones like Paul Tillich. How would metaphysical naturalism really contradict Tillichs view on God?

    And, this is hwo You define Naturalism. Its just not the way you understand Theism. Still, Tillich’s theology is influential. Why is Tillichs Theism unimportant?

    And Tillich isn’t even the only one. How can we discuss Spinoza? Spinoza obviously didn’t believe God was supernatural.

    A natural god would fit into Naturalism, and I really dont' think Theism is incompatabel with naturalism, again, nto becauae I define Naturlaism in a way that allows for Theism, but because I don't see why God can'r be understood as Natural.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Mr. Lowder-

    Zarove — The incompatibility of supernaturalism (which includes theism) and metaphysical naturalism (as we have defined it) is widely accepted in the philosophy of religion. I recognize that you have a very different definition of naturalism which makes it compatible with theism, but I think it is safe to say that none of the contributors define naturalism the way you do.

    it isn’t my definition, and its not Naturalism that’s being redefined. What is being redefined, if you want to call it that, is Theism. What I am saying is that Theism need not be seen as Supernatural by necessity. If God is seen as natural, then God would fit into Naturalism. It’s not like God has to be Supernatural is it?

    This, of course, does not mean that your definition is "wrong," but it does mean that we are effectively speaking two different languages. Since our use of philosophical terminology is well within the mainstream, I don't feel the need to modify our semantics and am getting a bit tired of this theme in your comments on various posts. I, for one, am not particularly interested in debating the definition of "metaphysical naturalism." On this blog, we are going to assume our definition of terms and trust that our readers, even if they define the same terms differently, will understand our content with the intended meaning. You are obviously welcome to adopt your own semantics on your own blog; if I post a comment there, I will adopt your definitions.

    But that doesn’t address my question. Again, I am not defining Naturalism so that it includes Theism, I am saying that God may not be understood as Supernatural and thus wouldn’t contradict Naturalism.

    In other words, if God is not a Supernatural being, why can’t he be thus existent in a Naturalist view of the world?

    He reason I ask is because if you say that all Theism is about the Supernatural, you will find it impossible to discuss some of the more important Theologians, including 20th Century ones like Paul Tillich. How would metaphysical naturalism really contradict Tillichs view on God?

    And, this is hwo You define Naturalism. Its just not the way you understand Theism. Still, Tillich’s theology is influential. Why is Tillichs Theism unimportant?

    And Tillich isn’t even the only one. How can we discuss Spinoza? Spinoza obviously didn’t believe God was supernatural.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    AS to language, mr. Lowder, that too is central to my point. We most often think in words, which are suppose to reflect Reality. However, all too often we use words to define reality, and not merley to explain it or to commnicate.

    By insistign that Theism is incompatable with Naturalism, you implicitely also preclude many possible Theological points that coudlbe raised in objection to many Theories, such as Tillich's Theory.

    We cannot approachthe topic of Paul Tillich if we demand Theism be understood as nesisarily Supernatural. Tillich did not describe, and actually rejected, a Supernatural God; However, Tillich still beleived in God.

    Where does Tillich fit then? He is nto a Natualist because he is a Theist ansd natualism precludes Theism on the grounds that Theism is a supernatural concept, but at the same Time, we can't discuss Tillicjhs ideas in a Supernatural cotnext as he denied the Supernatural.

    Then there is Midaevel Scholatiscism which we also can't really discuss. While some Midaevel Scholars beelived God was supernatural, others did not, and even those who did didn't define the word the way we do.

    No one beleived Angels, ibcluding Satan, were Supernatural, for instance. Preternatural perhaps, but not Supernatural. However, i'd wager you define Angels as Supernatural Entities.

    While the language I use may complicat things, int he end i still think it nessisary as i do wuestion the use of the words that has becoem common.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Mr. Lowder-

    Zarove — The incompatibility of supernaturalism (which includes theism) and metaphysical naturalism (as we have defined it) is widely accepted in the philosophy of religion. I recognize that you have a very different definition of naturalism which makes it compatible with theism, but I think it is safe to say that none of the contributors define naturalism the way you do.

    it isn’t my definition, and its not Naturalism that’s being redefined. What is being redefined, if you want to call it that, is Theism. What I am saying is that Theism need not be seen as Supernatural by necessity. If God is seen as natural, then God would fit into Naturalism. It’s not like God has to be Supernatural is it?

    This, of course, does not mean that your definition is "wrong," but it does mean that we are effectively speaking two different languages. Since our use of philosophical terminology is well within the mainstream, I don't feel the need to modify our semantics and am getting a bit tired of this theme in your comments on various posts. I, for one, am not particularly interested in debating the definition of "metaphysical naturalism." On this blog, we are going to assume our definition of terms and trust that our readers, even if they define the same terms differently, will understand our content with the intended meaning. You are obviously welcome to adopt your own semantics on your own blog; if I post a comment there, I will adopt your definitions.

    But that doesn’t address my question. Again, I am not defining Naturalism so that it includes Theism, I am saying that God may not be understood as Supernatural and thus wouldn’t contradict Naturalism.

    In other words, if God is not a Supernatural being, why can’t he be thus existent in a Naturalist view of the world?

    He reason I ask is because if you say that all Theism is about the Supernatural, you will find it impossible to discuss some of the more important Theologians, including 20th Century ones like Paul Tillich. How would metaphysical naturalism really contradict Tillichs view on God?

    And, this is hwo You define Naturalism. Its just not the way you understand Theism. Still, Tillich’s theology is influential. Why is Tillichs Theism unimportant?

    And Tillich isn’t even the only one. How can we discuss Spinoza? Spinoza obviously didn’t believe God was supernatural.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Queer. I post a comment and it dissapears.

    ******

    Mr. Lowder-

    Zarove — The incompatibility of supernaturalism (which includes theism) and metaphysical naturalism (as we have defined it) is widely accepted in the philosophy of religion. I recognize that you have a very different definition of naturalism which makes it compatible with theism, but I think it is safe to say that none of the contributors define naturalism the way you do.

    it isn’t my definition, and its not Naturalism that’s being redefined. What is being redefined, if you want to call it that, is Theism. What I am saying is that Theism need not be seen as Supernatural by necessity. If God is seen as natural, then God would fit into Naturalism. It’s not like God has to be Supernatural is it?

    This, of course, does not mean that your definition is "wrong," but it does mean that we are effectively speaking two different languages. Since our use of philosophical terminology is well within the mainstream, I don't feel the need to modify our semantics and am getting a bit tired of this theme in your comments on various posts. I, for one, am not particularly interested in debating the definition of "metaphysical naturalism." On this blog, we are going to assume our definition of terms and trust that our readers, even if they define the same terms differently, will understand our content with the intended meaning. You are obviously welcome to adopt your own semantics on your own blog; if I post a comment there, I will adopt your definitions.

    But that doesn’t address my question. Again, I am not defining Naturalism so that it includes Theism, I am saying that God may not be understood as Supernatural and thus wouldn’t contradict Naturalism.

    In other words, if God is not a Supernatural being, why can’t he be thus existent in a Naturalist view of the world?

    He reason I ask is because if you say that all Theism is about the Supernatural, you will find it impossible to discuss some of the more important Theologians, including 20th Century ones like Paul Tillich. How would metaphysical naturalism really contradict Tillichs view on God?

    And, this is hwo You define Naturalism. Its just not the way you understand Theism. Still, Tillich’s theology is influential. Why is Tillichs Theism unimportant?

    And Tillich isn’t even the only one. How can we discuss Spinoza? Spinoza obviously didn’t believe God was supernatural.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Mr. Lowder-

    "Zarove — The incompatibility of supernaturalism (which includes theism) and metaphysical naturalism (as we have defined it) is widely accepted in the philosophy of religion. I recognize that you have a very different definition of naturalism which makes it compatible with theism, but I think it is safe to say that none of the contributors define naturalism the way you do. "

    it isn’t my definition, and its not Naturalism that’s being redefined. What is being redefined, if you want to call it that, is Theism. What I am saying is that Theism need not be seen as Supernatural by necessity. If God is seen as natural, then God would fit into Naturalism. It’s not like God has to be Supernatural is it?

    "This, of course, does not mean that your definition is "wrong," but it does mean that we are effectively speaking two different languages. Since our use of philosophical terminology is well within the mainstream, I don't feel the need to modify our semantics and am getting a bit tired of this theme in your comments on various posts. I, for one, am not particularly interested in debating the definition of "metaphysical naturalism." On this blog, we are going to assume our definition of terms and trust that our readers, even if they define the same terms differently, will understand our content with the intended meaning. You are obviously welcome to adopt your own semantics on your own blog; if I post a comment there, I will adopt your definitions."

    But that doesn’t address my question. Again, I am not defining Naturalism so that it includes Theism, I am saying that God may not be understood as Supernatural and thus wouldn’t contradict Naturalism.

    In other words, if God is not a Supernatural being, why can’t he be thus existent in a Naturalist view of the world?

    He reason I ask is because if you say that all Theism is about the Supernatural, you will find it impossible to discuss some of the more important Theologians, including 20th Century ones like Paul Tillich. How would metaphysical naturalism really contradict Tillichs view on God?

    And, this is how You define Naturalism. Its just not the way you understand Theism. Still, Tillich’s theology is influential. Why is Tillichs Theism unimportant?

    And Tillich isn’t even the only one. How can we discuss Spinoza? Spinoza obviously didn’t believe God was supernatural.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Mr. Lowder-

    "Zarove — The incompatibility of supernaturalism (which includes theism) and metaphysical naturalism (as we have defined it) is widely accepted in the philosophy of religion. I recognize that you have a very different definition of naturalism which makes it compatible with theism, but I think it is safe to say that none of the contributors define naturalism the way you do. "

    it isn’t my definition, and its not Naturalism that’s being redefined. What is being redefined, if you want to call it that, is Theism. What I am saying is that Theism need not be seen as Supernatural by necessity. If God is seen as natural, then God would fit into Naturalism. It’s not like God has to be Supernatural is it?

    "This, of course, does not mean that your definition is "wrong," but it does mean that we are effectively speaking two different languages. Since our use of philosophical terminology is well within the mainstream, I don't feel the need to modify our semantics and am getting a bit tired of this theme in your comments on various posts. I, for one, am not particularly interested in debating the definition of "metaphysical naturalism." On this blog, we are going to assume our definition of terms and trust that our readers, even if they define the same terms differently, will understand our content with the intended meaning. You are obviously welcome to adopt your own semantics on your own blog; if I post a comment there, I will adopt your definitions."

    But that doesn’t address my question. Again, I am not defining Naturalism so that it includes Theism, I am saying that God may not be understood as Supernatural and thus wouldn’t contradict Naturalism.

    In other words, if God is not a Supernatural being, why can’t he be thus existent in a Naturalist view of the world?

    He reason I ask is because if you say that all Theism is about the Supernatural, you will find it impossible to discuss some of the more important Theologians, including 20th Century ones like Paul Tillich. How would metaphysical naturalism really contradict Tillichs view on God?

    And, this is how You define Naturalism. Its just not the way you understand Theism. Still, Tillich’s theology is influential. Why is Tillichs Theism unimportant?

    And Tillich isn’t even the only one. How can we discuss Spinoza? Spinoza obviously didn’t believe God was supernatural.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Is someone erasing my post ?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    I will summerise.

    Naturalism is not what I am redefining, its Theism. I am not defining naturalism in such a way as it allows Theism, that’s like when you mistook me saying Atheism was a religion and thus considered Secular Humanism a Denomination within the Religion of Atheism. It’s actually the reverse.

    I do not think of Naturalism as different form how you define it, I think of Theism as different. I do not think Theism presupposes a Supernatural order. If God is not Supernatural, then God is not incompatible with Naturalism.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Mr. Lowder-

    "Zarove — The incompatibility of supernaturalism (which includes theism) and metaphysical naturalism (as we have defined it) is widely accepted in the philosophy of religion. I recognize that you have a very different definition of naturalism which makes it compatible with theism, but I think it is safe to say that none of the contributors define naturalism the way you do. "

    it isn’t my definition, and its not Naturalism that’s being redefined. What is being redefined, if you want to call it that, is Theism. What I am saying is that Theism need not be seen as Supernatural by necessity. If God is seen as natural, then God would fit into Naturalism. It’s not like God has to be Supernatural is it?

    "This, of course, does not mean that your definition is "wrong," but it does mean that we are effectively speaking two different languages. Since our use of philosophical terminology is well within the mainstream, I don't feel the need to modify our semantics and am getting a bit tired of this theme in your comments on various posts. I, for one, am not particularly interested in debating the definition of "metaphysical naturalism." On this blog, we are going to assume our definition of terms and trust that our readers, even if they define the same terms differently, will understand our content with the intended meaning. You are obviously welcome to adopt your own semantics on your own blog; if I post a comment there, I will adopt your definitions."

    But that doesn’t address my question. Again, I am not defining Naturalism so that it includes Theism, I am saying that God may not be understood as Supernatural and thus wouldn’t contradict Naturalism.

    In other words, if God is not a Supernatural being, why can’t he be thus existent in a Naturalist view of the world?

    THe reason I ask is because if you say that all Theism is about the Supernatural, you will find it impossible to discuss some of the more important Theologians, including 20th Century ones like Paul Tillich. How would metaphysical naturalism really contradict Tillichs view on God?

    And, this is how You define Naturalism. Its just not the way you understand Theism. Still, Tillich’s theology is influential. Why is Tillichs Theism unimportant?

    And Tillich isn’t even the only one. How can we discuss Spinoza? Spinoza obviously didn’t believe God was supernatural.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    ZAROVE said…

    Naturalism is not what I am redefining, its Theism. …

    … I do not think Theism presupposes a Supernatural order. If God is not Supernatural, then God is not incompatible with Naturalism.
    ===============
    Comment:

    There are many different possible ways of defining the term 'God', and thus many different possible ways of understanding the word 'theism'. I will quote myself on this point:

    "233,280,000 definitions of 'divine person' can be generated from just four divine attributes (power, knowledge, freedom, goodness), specified in relation to three degrees of strength (human, superhuman, perfect) in relation to four degrees of duration (finite, infinite past, infinite future, eternal), in the case where all four attributes are treated as being relevant. Millions more definitions can be created by using only a subset of the four attributes to construct definitions (e.g. creating definitions using only three of the four attributes)."

    See this post for details:

    http://secularoutpost.infidels.org/2011/02/how-many-ways-to-analyze-word-god-part_12.html

    One can even define 'God' in such a way that having a physical body is a necessary condition for being God.

    Given the large number and wide variety of concepts and definitions of 'God', no reasonable atheist can deny the existence of 'God' under any and all possible definitions. To rationally reject belief in God, one must have some sort of definition of, or at least rough conceptual boundaries for, the word 'God'.

    But the most widely held concept of God, requires that God be a spirit (i.e. a bodiless person).

    My atheism is primarily the rejection of belief in God as traditionally understood by most Christians and Jews and Muslims (i.e. an all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal, and perfectly good bodiless person).

    But as a naturalist, I also reject all beliefs about the existence of any sort of bodiless persons (such as: ghosts, souls, angels, and demons).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Thank you, mr. Bowen, but I even have to wonder aboru that. Spirits aren't themseves nessisarily Supernatural. I will repeat, whent he wrd was firtys used by Midaevel Scholastics, it was not used as it is today, to refer to any Mystical or Metaphysical reaity. They did nt udnerstand thstthere was a supernatural world filled with Angels and Ghosts and other Supernatural beigns.

    While beleivign in Souls, Angels, and other thigns we call "Supernatural', they did not, and could not, beleive those thigns were Supernatural. To thm, those things were simply an aspect of the material world created by God.

    God alone was Supernatural, as God alone coudl suspend Natural laws.

    Even then, the terms use was disputed, becsuse if od is the surce of Nature, then whilehe is soverign over it, itid natural for him to be so.

    As a consewuence, whiel I may be irritating, the truth remaisn that if th Spernatural exists at all, only God is supernatural in classical Christian Theology. Angels are not Supernatural at all, nor are other Spirits.

    That said, mios Atheist arguments I see online attemot to prove Atheism agaisnt heism in general, and never bother to look past the Atheistic simplistic defintion of "Supernatural being that is external to creation bu has o evidence".

    I just want to widen the discussion.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Thank you, mr. Bowen, but I even have to wonder aboru that. Spirits aren't themseves nessisarily Supernatural. I will repeat, whent he wrd was firtys used by Midaevel Scholastics, it was not used as it is today, to refer to any Mystical or Metaphysical reaity. They did nt udnerstand thstthere was a supernatural world filled with Angels and Ghosts and other Supernatural beigns.

    While beleivign in Souls, Angels, and other thigns we call "Supernatural', they did not, and could not, beleive those thigns were Supernatural. To thm, those things were simply an aspect of the material world created by God.

    God alone was Supernatural, as God alone coudl suspend Natural laws.

    Even then, the terms use was disputed, becsuse if od is the surce of Nature, then whilehe is soverign over it, itid natural for him to be so.

    As a consewuence, whiel I may be irritating, the truth remaisn that if th Spernatural exists at all, only God is supernatural in classical Christian Theology. Angels are not Supernatural at all, nor are other Spirits.

    That said, mios Atheist arguments I see online attemot to prove Atheism agaisnt heism in general, and never bother to look past the Atheistic simplistic defintion of "Supernatural being that is external to creation bu has o evidence".

    I just want to widen the discussion.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11030669424412573308 Chris

    "I will repeat, whent he wrd was firtys used by Midaevel Scholastics, it was not used as it is today, to refer to any Mystical or Metaphysical reaity. They did nt udnerstand thstthere…"

    Dear God, man, can you proofread before posting?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17668854596329493360 ZAROVE

    Christ, I am dyslexic, and if not aided by a freind my posts are often rather ill struck togather. grammatically they are fine, but spellign has ever been a bane.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01191196135772633101 Brian

    Would someone be so kind as to tell me what 'an ideological primitive' means.
    Thanks

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11030669424412573308 Chris

    Okay, Zarove, good to know.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05211466026535549638 Bradley Bowen

    I found a paper that discusses ideological primitives in relation to metaphysics. Here is a paragraph contrasting ideology, ontology, and typology:
    ==================

    2. Ideology, ontology and typology. Any formulation of a theory has to rely on an arsenal of concepts that are well-understood but cannot be analysed or defined within the theory. This reservoir of primitive concepts is the theory’s ideology. Ideology is standardly contrasted with ontology. A theorist uses the primitive concepts on which she relies to formulate theoretical assumption to the effect that there are things of a certain kind, such as electrons and photons. But consider fundamental physics. It does not only assume the existence of certain basic particles. It also assumes fundamental states in which, or types of which these particles can be, such as the masses, charges and spin states. The amount of theoretically postulated fundamental states or types I call the typology of a theory.
    =================

    http://www.uni-regensburg.de/Fakultaeten/phil_Fak_I/Philosophie/Theoretische_Philosophie/Ralf_Busse/Texte/VORTRAG_Properties_Genf_Sept08.pdf

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01191196135772633101 Brian

    Thanks Bradley.


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