Reality, Concepts, The State, and God

posted by Nima

January 9, 2010 · Posted in Philosophy 

Reality vs Concepts

Objects are tangible things in within the universe, for example a rock, a tree, a chair, or a human being. We humans can observe the attributes of such a thing and place it in a group with other similar items.

For example, there are different types of rocks, big ones, small ones, granite, marble, or limestone. But they all share the characteristics of being more or less solid pieces of accumulated, rather inorganic mass, they all behave in similar ways when touched or thrown, none of them possess the ability to act, etc …

Thus we group all those things into the concept of “rocks”. But the concept is a mere imaginative category of thinking. Grouping things into concepts helps us establish rules and expectations as to how certain things will react when their present state of nature is changed. For example, we deem it proper to use a hammer to work on rocks in mine shafts. We would certainly not evaluate the same action performed on a human in the same way.

But a concept does not exist in the universe, except for in the form of neurological reflexes in our brains, which to date we are still unable to fully capture and understand. A concept only emerges once we can actually observe objects that we can group into it. Thus empirical observation of objects always precedes and trumps over the concept itself. The concept is only a helpful construct if the objects that we conceptually assign to it by and large possess the attributes established as part of the concept.

For example, if we see something that looks like a rock at first, but then it starts moving around and turns out to be an organism, we would never maintain that it be a rock, but rather determine that it belongs to a different concept, say, that of seashells.

But it is completely counterproductive for us humans to establish a concept and group into it objects that don’t at all possess the attributes established in the concept. Just as it is completely useless, even harmful, for us to establish concepts that can’t be assigned any empirically observable objects whatsoever.

When I say there are solid objects on planet earth that vaporize once a human looks at them, I am proposing a concept, say “That Which Vaporizes Upon Sight”. But it is a completely useless concept as long as I don’t find observable objects that fulfill this criterion.

Whenever I claim that there is something that exists, but can’t point to any (at least yet) observable objects or instances, then I am proposing a mere concept. But it is an empty, meaningless concept. To give any meaning to it I need to go about and find empirical and observable objects that possess the attributes I ascribe to that concept. For as long as I don’t, the concept I am proposing is empty, meaningless, unproven, and thus simply false.

It is in the nature of such a fuzzy, meaningless concept, that man can ascribe to it any attribute he wants. For since there is no empirical and reasonable proof for any instances of this concept, there also isn’t any proof that the attributes assigned are false ones. Once can always claim that once the object is discovered it will possess all those attributes. To be sure, it is completely irrelevant whether or not the attributes are false, because, as long as it is unproven, the entire concept is already false to begin with.

When I establish such a fuzzy concept, yet manage to convince people that in order to be “good” they need to believe that this concept exists, need to worship it, bow down to it, and follow its decrees, I have free reign to make them do whatever I want. Why? Because as I outlined above I can assign whatever attributes I want to it.

The Concept “State”

As explained, some concepts are either falsely described or are assigned the wrong objects. Such is the case with the belief in the state. The state, in most people’s minds, is a false concept. It possesses all the good and virtuous attributes we can think of. It regulates, curbs our greed, re-distributes unjustly earned incomes, represents the “common good”, prevents pollution, maintains the peace, and protects us from harm. How could anyone object to such a glorious concept? The problem is that actually there is no such thing as that state. You can’t go up to the “state” and shake its hands. You can’t have a conversation with it. You can’t take a picture of it, touch it, etc.

What does exist in society as observable objects are people. And some of those people possess guns, bats, tanks, grenades, prisons, etc. They tell us to give them our guns and money because they will do good things for us. Surely we would be willing to voluntarily hand over our money if this was true. But unfortunately there is no such choice. For if we don’t pay them our tribute on a regular basis they will throw us in prison or shoot us in case we raise a gun to defend our property.

This is what people do under the sublime cover of the “state”, plain and simple. (To anyone who disagrees: feel free to refute this statement.) We call those people “the state”. But what they actually do has nothing to do with the concept “state” that most people have been raised to hold in their minds. This is of course not a surprise. For those same people who threaten us at gunpoint to hand over our property, also happen to run the public school system and determine its curriculum, subsidize higher education facilities, and grant or revoke concessions to utilize the airwaves for radio and TV stations, in other words fully or partially control all the means of communicating ideas about the concept “state” to the majority of those who carry the concept, the people.

The implications are predictable: If the concept of state embodies all that is good and just, then naturally, every action taken by those who are considered to belong to the state are considered good, heroic, and justified, no matter how cruel, base, or immoral they may be. One person taking money from another by use or threat of violence is theft, but when the minions of the state do it it is just taxation. A man who takes money to invade other people’s homes and shoot at them because someone told him to is a heartless hitman. But put a helmet and a green costume with a state coat of arms on him and he is a heroic solider.

All proper perception of reality is lost when concepts overshadow it. Any excuse will do. “The people who are the state are stealing and murdering? Well, we voted for them so it is just by majority rule.” This again is a concept that immediately breaks down when examined from a realistic view point. For how does an unjust act become justified just because more people have agreed to it than objected? If I am not justified to kill my neighbor and take his property, then does it become just when all other people in my building agree that I may do it? I hope not. Does it become just when the entire world agrees? Of course not, quite the opposite, it turns into mass tyranny.

Then there are those who say that we humans are just too selfish, greedy, stupid, immoral, sinful, dangerous, base, and filthy to be left without oversight from the state. This argument is self-refuting. For who is it that sits in the state apparatus? Are they super-humans? Would anyone dare to argue that out of all people politicians are mankind’s shining beacon, society’s prime example of perfectly altruistic, humble, intelligent, moral, virtuous, and trustworthy human beings?

Most people who are for the first time in their lives confronted with these ideas will try to do one simple thing: bend reality. They will come up with excuses such as the one above or things like “taxation is really voluntary because we chose to live here”, “we have entered into a social contract with the state”, “but someone has to do it”, “public goods can only be provided by the state”, etc.

This is of course understandable. Again, if one has been raised for his entire life with the idea that the state represents the common good, it is hard to accept the exact opposite, no matter what meets the eye when peeking through the foggy concept. It is important to realize that one can always concoct an excuse for any act one performs, no matter how immoral it is. Any excuse will do. Most people will thus choose to shrug at the facts above and find excuses, they will try to bend and mold reality in order for it to fit into their form of the concept “state” as they know it and as they want it to be.

It is not my objective to convert those people right here and now. To believe I could do that would be completely foolish. All I intend to do is give them an opportunity to question established concepts, use their own best judgment, and to lift the veil for at least a few seconds. Who knows, maybe I am wrong? In that case I would be truly delighted if someone can point out what I missed and help me improve my theories and ideas. However, what I do have little patience with are arguments that have been long refuted and that introduce nothing new at all into the debate.

The Concept “God”

As explained, some concepts don’t find any instances in reality whatsoever. Such is the case with the concept God, “the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe”.

The well known contradiction of this concept is of course this: If a being is perfect in wisdom this implies that this being knows all its future actions beforehand. But if it is perfect in power then it should be able to alter the course of action it will take in the future at any point in time. But then it can’t be perfect in wisdom.

But it doesn’t just end there! God cannot be detected materially, yet possesses consciousness (which is by definition an effect of material brain matter), and exists (while the definition of existence is the consisting of one or more particles). God is alive, yet has never been born and will never die (while the definition of being alive live involves birth at least), etc.

Thus the commonly understood concept of God faces a whole array of insurmountable logical contradictions.

Furthermore, there are no observable objects that can be placed in that category whatsoever. There is no evidence that would prove that this (contradictory to begin with) concept is a derivative of observable matter in reality.

Thus, whenever humans talk of God they are not talking about any specific thing, they are referring to an empty, unproven, logically inconsistent and contradictory concept.

One can arguably say that the proposition of the existence of God is the most unfounded, contradictory, illogical, and bigoted proposition ever advanced and defended in the history of mankind.

Thus, agnostics who take the high road and say “What’s so difficult about saying I don’t know?”, need to be aware that in that in uttering such a statement they are rendering the word knowledge completely and utterly meaningless. If you can’t even say you don’t know whether the most ridiculous, contradictory, and unproven proposition is false, then what in the world can you actually know?

There are certainly differences in degree in the empirical proof of concepts. The galaxy, distant stars, planets, black holes for example are rather remote objects which we humans believe to observe via helpful devices. But they remain distant and unclear. We believe to know what the attributes of a black hole are, and we base those ideas on strenuous research and we try to obtain as much information as humanly possible, yet remain open to differing theories.

But it is quite striking to see that many people are so sure that a “God” exists that they will make their religion the moral compass of their lives, while not even that low a level of evidence exists to support their beliefs.

Some will say that God is outside the universe and thus not open to such base human inquiry. But by saying that something is outside the universe, one may as well say that it doesn’t exist. It is impossible for someone to say that a thing is outside of the universe, yet it exists. Anything that is outside the universe is by definition and for all practical purposes non-existent.

The point is that those who ask people to worship God, claim that God does interfere inside the universe. But by making that claim they do concede that their claim is that God does exist, at least partially, inside the universe which then again most certainly opens the concept up to human inquiry.

The Bible, just as one example, is full of stories where God talks to humans and asks them to do things. If that was the case, then surely there should be at least the slightest empirical evidence, before one unconditionally submits oneself to such a being as God.

Seeing Through Concepts

This is not an assault on concepts per-se, it is a reminder that not all concepts are valid by the virtue of their mere existence and acceptance in the minds of most people. An object is an object, and a concept is a concept. A concept helps explain the attributes of different objects, but it can never become an object in and of itself.

In order to understand one’s surroundings, explain phenomena, make proper decisions in life one needs to understand what is behind the concepts that most people commonly accept in society. So long as false or empty concepts remain in one’s mind as such, it will always be difficult to make sense of complex historical and present phenomena.

It is, for example, impossible to truly come up with an ethical framework that tells us what is good and what is bad in human society without applying observable facts about human beings in the process of arriving at such a framework.

Use your own nature given capabilities of human reason, question existing concepts, make sure they match up with reality, and you will know what is good for yourself and your fellow humans.

Try to look for concepts that have seemingly morphed into actual objects in people’s minds, and you will quickly discover the roots of all evil in society.

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Comments

17 Responses to “Reality, Concepts, The State, and God”

  1. Jonathan Gardner on February 10th, 2010 12:22 am

    Your discussion is interesting, but you’re hardly breaking any new ground in philosophy.

    With regards to God, a single observation is enough to validate His existence. I am a witness of Him, having personally observed Him in my life. There are millions more like me. Many of them have written this testimony of Him you may have heard of in the Bible. Just because you haven’t observed Him yet doesn’t mean He’s not real.

    Because He exists above us, He gets to set the terms of how He intends to reveal Himself to us. We don’t get to control this experiment, any more than we can control which photons hit our telescopes or which random event among the possibilities unravel every time two protons collide at high energy.

    Unfortunately, His requirement is that you first place at least a little faith in Him. What His purpose is and why is something you cannot understand until you start this process. However, I assure you, He is no hidden being. He is “hiding” in plain sight. When you learn to recognize Him, you’ll soon see why people say the entire universe is witness to Him.

  2. Nima on February 10th, 2010 2:41 am

    Thanks for your comment. I must be missing something then. Because so far not one single Jesus freak has pointed “Him” out to me or to anyone for that matter. This is your chance, my friend! Tell me, WHERE IS “HE”? :)

  3. Mike on February 27th, 2010 4:46 pm

    Interesting…. so by your philosophy and explanation of how human beings ought to think and reason and how the world works…. how do you classify Albert Einstein’s intense study of the universe and how orderly the universe works and the conclusion by his own human reasoning that this order could not come about by some cosmic accident? What is your explanation (based on your above philosophy) to this order that he observed? Albert Einstein asserting this order as a result of intelligent design by a supernatural being is quite clearly just a lack of obvious reasoning skills by your declaration.

    I sure wish he was alive today so that you and he could debate his observations and conclusions. That would make for a very interesting discussion… after reading your philosophical ideas it is now clear to me that you have a much greater gift of reasoning and observing the world around you than Einstein and I’m pretty sure you would win that debate.

    Yes, I keep bringing it back to Einstein and his observations…. and it probably frustrates you, but this is the reality of your very reasoning. Bottom line… your philosophy refutes Einstein’s study of science.

    Jesus left us His Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of man. The Holy Spirit isn’t a rock that cleanly fits into your philosophical world, so clearly the Holy Spirit cannot exist. You win… I will now deny the Holy Spirit who opened my eyes and heart 10 years ago and revealed Himself to me because you have reasoned him to not exist. Must of just been something i ate that day that changed my life of staunch atheism…

  4. Nima on February 27th, 2010 5:41 pm

    … still awaiting your refutation of what I wrote above.

  5. Mike on February 27th, 2010 9:14 pm

    … as i am also waiting on your explanations to my questions as well. What part am I supposed to be refuting? Einstein’s observations clearly refute your philosophy of how you view the world around you… in my opinion I don’t need to say much else when he has already refuted it for me.

  6. Nima on February 27th, 2010 10:27 pm

    … stop babbling about Einstein and point out in your own words the logical flaws in the lines I wrote above, at least one for Christ’s sake! (no pun intended)

  7. Mike on February 28th, 2010 9:17 am

    Hahahaha…. that’s pretty comical. I’m babbling about Einstein…. apparently his work and conclusions don’t fit neatly into your world of classification, therefore it must be excluded from consideration. That’s a pretty neat trick…. If you cannot take a hard look at Einstein’s scientific conclusions, then what on God’s green earth can I possibly put before you as evidence that you’d consider as valid. If you cannot consider the work and conclusions of a brilliant scientist, then how valid can your philosophical views on a topic such as the discussion of God be? I am not dodging, diverting, or doing anything except presenting you with a factual conclusion that Einstein came to from his intense scientific study. Maybe you should devote an article titled “Science Gone Wild” about how Einstein was a loony for concluding that the order of the universe itself testifies to an intelligent design.

  8. Nima on February 28th, 2010 12:23 pm

    … I’m still waiting. So far you have not advanced a single argument against what I outlined above regarding God.

  9. Mike on February 28th, 2010 7:50 pm

    “Whenever humans talk of God they are not talking about any specific thing, they are referring to an empty and unproven concept, and thus a false one.”

    OK very well… how can you say a concept that doesn’t fit your model of the world is false. So by your very definition there is no such thing as wind… because you cannot see it with your eyes, you only know it exists because you see how it impacts the earth by moving objects… yet it still exists. By the very same concept, just because you cannot visibly see God does not mean he exists… there is plenty of evidence that he exists however when you observe the earth and creation.

    This is exactly what Einstein did… he observed the evidence of the universe and creation and concluded that it had to come about by an intelligent designer. Just because you cannot place this intelligent designer in your own box that you call reality does nothing to refute that this Being does not exist. The Holy Spirit is also a real being who obviously as the name implies is a spirit that does not fit neatly in your view of reality… your view of the world does nothing to refute the existence of the Holy Spirit just because you personally cannot see Him and do not believe that spirits exist.

    Now that I’ve answered your request, why do you continue to avoid my basic question for how you explain Einstein’s conclusion that the order of the universe itself testifies to the existence of an intelligent designer. Are you willing to state that your philosophical theory is enough to disprove Einstein’s conclusion on intelligent design?

  10. Nima on March 1st, 2010 2:56 am

    “OK very well… how can you say a concept that doesn’t fit your model of the world is false.”

    - That would indeed be an erroneous thing to say. Luckily I’m not saying it anywhere and you are back to the boring game of putting words in my mouth. Yaaawn.

    “So by your very definition there is no such thing as wind… because you cannot see it with your eyes, you only know it exists because you see how it impacts the earth by moving objects…”

    - It is really (really, really, really) hard to take you serious, my friend. The wind is a very clearly visible, measurable, and definable phenomenon. It is the motion of air particles brought about by air pressure discrepancies in different regions.

    “Now that I’ve answered your request, why do you continue to avoid my basic question for how you explain Einstein’s conclusion that the order of the universe itself testifies to the existence of an intelligent designer.”

    - I don’t avoid your question: How do I explain Einstein’s conclusion? This question implies a few things: That I in fact do explain it. But I don’t. Since when is it my task to do this? And how does it matter? It also implies that Einstein ever considered his fuzzy speculations about some higher being a “conclusion” in any way, shape or form. But I do recognize one thing: The fact that you as a Christian keep bringing up Einstein when he has called your holy book childish and primitive and the notion of a personal god illusory.

    Your inability to even remotely refute what I wrote above speaks for itself.

  11. Mike on March 2nd, 2010 5:36 pm

    “Whenever humans talk of God they are not talking about any specific thing, they are referring to an empty and unproven concept, and thus a FALSE ONE.”

    Isn’t this your quote here? Am I really putting words in your mouth? So this is not YOU defining YOUR worldview model… one where God CANNOT exist?

    So what do you mean when you say an empty and unproven concept such as God is thus a false one… Did you redefine the term FALSE somewhere in your writing and I simply missed it?… You are stating here that just because YOU believe God to be an empty and unproven concept, therefore it MUST BE FALSE…. That is incredibly fuzzy logic…. let me give you an example of why:

    Flat earth vs. round earth:
    So by your logic here due to the fact that the concept of a round earth was an unproven concept centuries ago, hence it had to be FALSE…. Hmmm and how did that turn out in reality?????? Do you recall how incredibly debated that topic of round vs. flat earth was? To the point where round earth scientists were mocked and some considered to be loony??? This is where the concept that “JUST BECAUSE A THEORY IS CONSIDERED TO BE UNPROVEN BY CERTAIN PEOPLE, DOES NOT MAKE IT INHERENTLY FALSE UNTIL ALL THE EVIDENCE CAN BE CONSIDERED AND EXAMINED” God has proven Himself to be real to me and millions of others, I am sorry that you don’t believe there is enough evidence for the existence of God… in my opinion, it is because you are refusing to look at all of the evidence from an objective standpoint… you have already stated that He can’t possibly exist so to exclude even the possibility of God’s existence shows you to be unobjective about this subject. The earth has been proven to be round my friend despite centuries of staunch opinions otherwise…

    God has proven Himself to be real to millions of people through His Holy Spirit including myself despite the staunch opinions otherwise.

    You may consider me to unobjective as well, but I have the peace of knowing that I do not need to disprove Him when He has already revealed Himself to me and I know that He exists. For me to deny God and say that He does not exist equates to someone trying to argue again that the earth is really flat not round, when further observation and evidence (ship masts lowering on the distant horizon for example) has proven the earth to be round. The evidence was there all along for many centuries right before their very eyes, yet they missed it somehow…

    “I don’t avoid your question: How do I explain Einstein’s conclusion? This question implies a few things: That I in fact do explain it. But I don’t. Since when is it my task to do this? And how does it matter??”

    Einstein’s conclusions (and yes they are clearly conclusions as he spoke substantially about what he studied / saw / and determined to be the work of a Creator) are completely relevant to this discussion as you are trying to refute the existence of God!!!!!
    You dismissing it does absolutely nothing to strengthen your own theory… as it is clear evidence which supports the existence of God.

    “It also implies that Einstein ever considered his fuzzy speculations about some higher being a “conclusion” in any way, shape or form. But I do recognize one thing: The fact that you as a Christian keep bringing up Einstein when he has called your holy book childish and primitive and the notion of a personal god illusory.”

    Again.. like I stated in a previous post, this is EXACTLY why I like to use Einstein as an example… he was not a Christian man out to prove the bible right or wrong, simply observing scientific facts from his research. To believe in God requires the belief in a supernatural being… Einstein at least believed in this supernatural being as the reason for the order of the universe. If I was to quote brilliant Christian men like Pascal… then you would immediately eliminate them as invalid because he is biased towards Christianity by coming to believe in Christ… just as you eliminate the validity of any witnesses of Christ and the events of what occurred 2000 years ago as invalid because you need an “uninterested party” as you previously put it.

    Einstein’s quotes concerning the bible and Christianity are excellent points and so are his points on atheism as well…

    Einstein:
    “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”… “Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source . . . They are creatures who can’t hear the music of the spheres”

    LOL… well in my case, I went from dogmatic atheist to God revealing Himself to me through the Holy Spirit and me surrendering my life to Christ, so I guess this is a double whammy for me. Is it possible he may also be describing you when he mentions one trying to unfetter himself from religious indoctrination received in youth?
    … but I can understand exactly where Einstein is coming from with a personal God being a childlike idea because I myself (like you) believed the bible to be a bunch of fairy tales before having my personal encounter with Him… Jesus even says as much when He said this:

    Matthew 18:2-4 (NIV)
    The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

    1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    Paul also concludes that the Gospel is foolishness to many and sums up God’s wisdom rather nicely here also:

    1 Corinthians 1:18-31
    Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

    18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[c]
    20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
    22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
    26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

    I do not blame you or Einstein or anyone else for concluding that the Gospel is foolishness or that it is frustrating just as Paul states; however, I am presenting you with basic observations from someone who we humans consider to be one of the most intelligent men to ever live… and there was enough evidence from these observations concerning the order of the universe Einstein examined thoroughly and scientifically to at least come to the conclusion that a Creator HAD to set this order in place…and he presented no other logical explanation for this phenomenon. I am asking you if you have that logical explanation to refute Einstein’s conclusion… I am simply asking you to justify your theory that God cannot exist by giving me a logical explanation.

    To argue that this was something fuzzy and not a conclusion by Einstein is baseless, because he was not in the least bit fuzzy about sharing his amazement and awe of this order, he was rather outspoken about it.

    Hmmm… again, maybe you should write an article titled: “Science Gone Wild” about Einstein’s fuzzyness… and how can we possibly take Einstein seriously when he spoke his mind about such unproven and fuzzy ideas.

  12. Nima on March 2nd, 2010 6:35 pm

    Thanks for pointing out my formally incomplete point about why the concept of god is not just an unproven hypothesis, but also completely contradictory and false as a concept in itself. I added some more information to that line which clarifies that point and am still eagerly awaiting a refutation of what I wrote. The earth being round was NOT a logically inconsistent concept, and thus not false, but rather unproven at the time.

    It is unfortunate indeed that 90% of your comment consists of unrelated and tangential assertions, conjectures, and bible quotes which don’t add the slightest value to our discussion. Oh, and yes you were absolutely putting words in my mouth. I am not sure what was unclear about that since you yourself did not stand by your accusation, but rather decided to redefine it.

  13. Mike on March 6th, 2010 11:35 am

    \It is unfortunate indeed that 90% of your comment consists of unrelated and tangential assertions, conjectures, and bible quotes which don’t add the slightest value to our discussion. Oh, and yes you were absolutely putting words in my mouth. I am not sure what was unclear about that since you yourself did not stand by your accusation, but rather decided to redefine it.\

    I’m confused by your reply here… I simply followed up with your quotes and then responded to them. How is this a tangent when my statements above are questioning your logic and explaining what the bible has to say about this whole debate in the first place?

    Please clarify… I do apoligize if I am putting words in your mouth, but I am not seeing where or how I did this.

  14. Nima on March 6th, 2010 11:40 am

    @Mike
    I was just referring to your statement “OK very well… how can you say a concept that doesn’t fit your model of the world is false.”

    I never every said anywhere that MY model of the world is relevant. I am insignificant and irrelevant to reality. It would exist whether I am here or not. I hold objective reality as the highest standard for truth, and nothing but that.

  15. Mike on March 6th, 2010 11:51 am

    To respond again to your post above I will use another example that I believe does not fit into your theory:

    A transmitted television signal or wave sent though the air:

    These signals are completely invisible to the naked eye and cannot be discerned without the proper equipment to take these signals and transform them into something with which we can see through our televisions, etc. Invisible, yet real and surrounding us everywhere we go.

    To anyone who does not have receiver equipment, what tangible proof do we have that these waves actually exist… and how do you fully explain this to someone who refuses to believe that such a thing is possible when they refuse to believe in this wave technology as being possible unless they see with their own eyes that the waves themselves are indeed real and can be placed as an object in their hands.

  16. Mike on March 6th, 2010 12:05 pm

    “I never every said anywhere that MY model of the world is relevant. I am insignificant and irrelevant to reality. It would exist whether I am here or not. I hold objective reality as the highest standard for truth, and nothing but that.”

    If you consider yourself the possibility that your model of the world may not be relevant… I’m confused how I’m supposed to interpret your philosophy then. From all your statements to date, you seem to be using this world view as a solid way to interpret the world around you…. or at least concrete enough to argue and make statements about things in the bible that you don’t understand, as well as argue against the concept that God created us and the world we live in.

    I would have to argue that in your statement “I hold objective reality as the highest standard for truth, and nothing but that.”, is actually “subjective reality” because you are basing arguments and statements on YOUR OWN worldview which you now seem to be saying is possibly irrelevant.

    Again, please clarify so I can understand this more….

  17. Nima on March 6th, 2010 1:37 pm

    @Mike
    This example is the pretty much same as the wind. Yes, the signals are completely invisible to the naked eye. But as you say yourself above, with the proper equipment we can actually see them.

    “To anyone who does not have receiver equipment, what tangible proof do we have that these waves actually exist…”

    We have the tools to prove it. Just because he doesn’t have the equipment, that doesn’t mean that you or I or someone else doesn’t have it.

    ” … and how do you fully explain this to someone who refuses to believe that such a thing is possible when they refuse to believe in this wave technology as being possible unless they see with their own eyes that the waves themselves are indeed real and can be placed as an object in their hands.”

    Then he is contradicting himself because waves of those wavelengths are by definition invisible to the human eye. This is a plain biological phenomenon and has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of these waves.

    If that same person refuses to accept the existence of these waves, then he would have to refute the validity of the evidence provided by the devices used. I would be delighted to read his earnest treatise on this matter. But during his research he may not use a phone or the internet. Because those are mere products of such illusions, right?

    In fact, he would also need to denounce that illusion of sound waves while trying to convince me and in fact throughout his entire life. So he would by necessity need to me a deaf-mute.

    He would also have to stop watching TV, listening to the radio, etc. because all those things that are only functioning through those illusory non-existing waves and thus are also mere illusions in the minds of all those foolish and gullible followers.

    But hey, maybe the Lord is the medium that facilitates his cell phone conversations … :)

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