Two Ideas on the Nature of God and Salvation

A Sketch of an Ontological Argument for the Christian Trinity.

The Story of Salvation With No Author.

Both these short articles of mine at Academia.edu address the same basic question about God and the narrative of Salvation. Namely, why is there a God who is immanent in Creation?

My “The Souls of Animals and Other Short Philosophical Essays” is available here at Amazon kindle, for $0.96.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by RichardP on September 25, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Julian – you seem to be inviting philosophical comment, so here is one.

    1. Anselm = “I think about it, therefore it must exist.”

    2. The converse = “Since Point 1 is true, then – if I didn’t exist, neither would the thing I think about.”

    3. Sand in the gears = “Based on Point 1, can something truely exist if I never ever think about, but somebody else does?

    Much conversation has been expended over the years on those three points, both pro and con. I’ve not ever had the patience to get caught up in the esoteric details of the debate. I always go immediately to the question: “does that thing that exists because I think about it have the ability to affect the reality of someone other than myself?” If it doesn’t, then it is likely only a figment of my own imagination. It it does, then my question immediately goes to “have I apprehended this thing correctly”? I can never bring bymself to state dogmatically that I have apprehended anything correctly or fully. Therefore, I can’t get too excited about discussing the details, since I don’t trust that I know them completely.

    A subset of the the previous paragraph becomes this: I am sometimes presented with this statement from someone else: “You are not always right, you know.” Based on the previous paragraph, I respond “Yes I am. Because I don’t ever claim to be right unless I can provide evidence that I am indeed right. Other than that, I preface my statements with ‘I might be wrong about this, but my understanding is …’ ” Saying ‘I might be wrong … ” cannot ever be proven to be a false statement. Therefore, it is always right (that’s the simple version). Plus the few times I claim to be right because I can provide evidence to back me up.

    Reply

  2. Posted by RichardP on September 25, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    I intended to place this at the beginning of my previous comment, to set the stage:

    Consider those things that are true by definition and those things that are true because they exist.

    1. True by definition = truth that mankind creates. One plus one = two. This is a noun, this is a verb (we have created the words ‘noun’ and ‘verb’.

    I mankind did not exist, neither would the definition of one plus one, or the words ‘noun’ and ‘verb’.

    2. True because it exists = my neighbor, the color of my hair, the moon, nano-particles.

    I can be certain I know the truth of Point 1 if I have learned the definition. The more definitions I learn, the more Point 1 truths I can know for certain.

    By contrast, there are relatively few Point 2 truths I can ever know for certain out of all of the Point 2 truths that exist. For they exist whether I think about them or not. But, philosophically, if I don’t ever think about them, if I have never had their existance pointed out to me, then they don’t exist for me. But that statement says nothing about whether they exist in reality (rather than in my mind).

    I rest my thoughts on the truth of what Shakespeare said in “Hamlet”

    “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

    Reply

  3. Posted by RichardP on September 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    So, Julian – considering the two links you’ve provided on this thread:
    (this is intended to add to the discussion; it is not a challenge to you)

    1. Is the information presented there ‘True by Definition’?, or;

    2. Is the information presented there ‘True because it Exists?

    How can we possibly know what the correct answer is?

    3. If Point 1 is true, why should I pay attention to what ‘universal you’ says, rather than simply rely on my own thoughts?

    4. On the other hand, how can humans demonstrate that Point 2 is true rather than Point 1 – when we can’t know whether we have the ability or the tools to properly aprehend correctly and fully what the two links you have presented are actually about? That is, why should I believe, how can I believe, that anything you presented in both of your links is true.

    I think Point 4 is the basis for the thinking behind Reformed Theology that started with Calvin’s writings. Lazarus can’t call himself out of the grave. Those dead in trespasses and sin can’t perceive spiritual things. Hence, the basis for the point I made in my first point above: “does that thing that exists because I think about it have the ability to affect the reality of someone other than myself?” If it doesn’t, then it is likely only a figment of my own imagination. It it does, then my question immediately goes to “have I apprehended this thing correctly”?

    The only “proof” we have that the things you discuss in your two links are not just true by definition – that is, a figment of our own imagination – is if these entities have the ability to affect others, not just me. That is, those things being discussed must have the ability to reach down into our system and affect us – since we don’t have the ability to aprehend them on our own. Hence the basis of Reformed Theology, as expressed at this link. “I was lost and undone … til he reached down his hand for me.”

    All other conversation is suspect, and subject to being placed into the true by definition category.

    Reply

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