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Switch to Forum Live View Realism v. Nominalism (& Alternatives) in Christianity
2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 10:16PM #11
Adelphe
Posts: 28,705

May 3, 2012 -- 8:57PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


I'm in a little over my head here, so if you have to educate me, feel free.


I'm going to presume a metaphysical realist can't have a conception of something they can't directly experience?


Let's assume that there was a person, Jesus, who actually existed. So a metaphysical realist can deal with that he existed, but not who he was, because that goes beyond what they are willing to admit?


My position is that God exists, is very real. Blu (for example) says that God is imaginary because I can't (objectively) demonstrate that God is real.


Let's say that Blu would admit that as a person, Jesus existed. But Blu couldn't admit that Jesus is God, because, to Blu, God is imaginary.


I'd better stop here.......according to.......... 


sdp




Actually, I know Blu's position well from his arguments in similar discussions on Science & Religion and he is most definitely, manifestly, and decidedly NOT a realist.


Here's a brief (could be better but) "serviceable" overview :


The oldest use of the term "realism" appears in medieval scholastic interpretations and adaptations of Greek philosophy. Here, however, it is a Platonic realism developed out of debates over the problem of universals. Universals are terms or properties that can be applied to many things, such as "red", "beauty", "five", or "dog". Realism in this context, contrasted with conceptualism and nominalism, holds that such universals really exist, independently and somehow prior to the world. Moderate Realism holds that they exist, but only insofar as they are instantiated in specific things; they do not exist separately from the specific thing. Conceptualism holds that they exist, but only in the mind, while nominalism holds that universals do not "exist" at all but are no more than words (flatus voci) that describe specific objects.

May 3, 2012 -- 9:09PM, amcolph wrote:


None of the above.



Agreed.



The classical position of Nominalism is that generalities exist only in minds.  For example, there are many objectively existing chairs, but the abstract concept chair has no objective existence outside of the minds of those who think about it.



Agreed.


The Realist, on the other hand, believes that the concept chair exists objectively, independently of any objectively existing chairs--indeed, whether any actual chairs exist or not--and independently of anybody thinking about chairs.



Sort of--there was Platonic realism (and continues to be a sort of Platonic realism--realism "neat", I guess we could say) just as you describe above but then there is a non-Platonic or moderate realism that states that generalities are instantiated in particulars.



Mind you, the whole question is a complex one,



Agreed!


But navigable.


and many intermediate positions have been taken up by various philosphers over the ages.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_univers...




Agreed.


Think they can be sorted into a handful of positions, though.

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 10:18PM #12
Adelphe
Posts: 28,705

May 3, 2012 -- 9:17PM, Bob_the_Lunatic wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 6:29PM, Adelphe wrote:


Per a certain...gentleman's (a real gentleman's) (beautifully, btw, humble) request...    (yet, of course, anyone can and should feel free to chime in.)

Let us begin and with this:

If a Christian isn't a metaphysical realist what do they say, exactly, happened in the Incarnation?




Clearly you're not aware that a REAL lady doesn't have an attitude of bitterness, hostility nor superiority.  Which are all the nature of the OPPOSITE of a lady I'm afraid...


Unless you suggest that a "gentleman" is defined while a "lady" is whatever one wishes.





May 3, 2012 -- 9:33PM, Bob_the_Lunatic wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 9:19PM, amcolph wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 9:17PM, Bob_the_Lunatic wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 6:29PM, Adelphe wrote:


Per a certain...gentleman's (a real gentleman's) (beautifully, btw, humble) request...    (yet, of course, anyone can and should feel free to chime in.)

Let us begin and with this:

If a Christian isn't a metaphysical realist what do they say, exactly, happened in the Incarnation?




Clearly you're not aware that a REAL lady doesn't have an attitude of bitterness, hostility nor superiority.  Which are all the nature of the OPPOSITE of a lady I'm afraid...


Unless you suggest that a "gentleman" is defined while a "lady" is whatever one wishes.




I think you have mistaken her tone, which is one of gentle teasing arising out of our preliminary remarks in other threads concerning this topic.


At least, that is how I take it.







While I respect your optimism, I think you're the one making the mistake, due to a good heart or not :)




Lunatic, do you have some erudition exceeding your knowledge of Christianity or Judaism to contribute?


If not, thank you in advance for not disrupting the thread.

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 10:22PM #13
amcolph
Posts: 17,145

May 3, 2012 -- 10:01PM, Adelphe wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 8:28PM, amcolph wrote:


The classical position of Nominalism is that generalities exist only in minds.  For example, there are many objectively existing chairs, but the abstract concept chair has no objective existence outside of the minds of those who think about it.


The Word is an objectively existing entity--at least, so we believe--not an abstract concept.


Likewise the body of Jesus, whose body was a real, objectively existing body, not the abstract concept body.


The Incarnation is a Mystery because no one knows in detail how it was effected, but it was clearly the union of two objectively existing entites, not two abstract concepts.




Okay, but what is the Word's nature or essence?



If this was a Catechism class I would say "Divine" and be assured of my answer, but I fail to see what it has to do with the topic at hand.

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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 10:29PM #14
Adelphe
Posts: 28,705

May 3, 2012 -- 10:22PM, amcolph wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 10:01PM, Adelphe wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 8:28PM, amcolph wrote:


The classical position of Nominalism is that generalities exist only in minds.  For example, there are many objectively existing chairs, but the abstract concept chair has no objective existence outside of the minds of those who think about it.


The Word is an objectively existing entity--at least, so we believe--not an abstract concept.


Likewise the body of Jesus, whose body was a real, objectively existing body, not the abstract concept body.


The Incarnation is a Mystery because no one knows in detail how it was effected, but it was clearly the union of two objectively existing entites, not two abstract concepts.




Okay, but what is the Word's nature or essence?



If this was a Catechism class I would say "Divine" and be assured of my answer, but I fail to see what it has to do with the topic at hand.




Okay, but what does "Divine" mean? 


For example, does it have any properties?

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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2 years ago  ::  May 04, 2012 - 7:05AM #15
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

It's a confusing bit of terminology. "Realism" means a worldview where the Platonic forms or universals - the universal idea of "chairness" for example - are "real" things that exist somewhere independent of all other examples of chairs. 


"Nominalism" is the view that the Platonic universals are not real things but just "names" that we give to groups of objects based on their common properties. 

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2 years ago  ::  May 04, 2012 - 7:22AM #16
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,278

May 3, 2012 -- 10:16PM, Adelphe wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 8:57PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


I'm in a little over my head here, so if you have to educate me, feel free.


I'm going to presume a metaphysical realist can't have a conception of something they can't directly experience?


Let's assume that there was a person, Jesus, who actually existed. So a metaphysical realist can deal with that he existed, but not who he was, because that goes beyond what they are willing to admit?


My position is that God exists, is very real. Blu (for example) says that God is imaginary because I can't (objectively) demonstrate that God is real.


Let's say that Blu would admit that as a person, Jesus existed. But Blu couldn't admit that Jesus is God, because, to Blu, God is imaginary.


I'd better stop here.......according to.......... 


sdp




Actually, I know Blu's position well from his arguments in similar discussions on Science & Religion and he is most definitely, manifestly, and decidedly NOT a realist.


My dictionary says that "metaphysical realism is shared by common sense, the sciences and most philosophers. ....and that the answers to the questions we put to the real are provided by reality itself--whatever the answers may be, they are substantially what they are because it is reality itself that determines them to be that way". 


sdp 

The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

A map is not the territory.                                                                 Alfred Korzybski

God is that function in the world by reason of which our purposes are directed to ends which in our own consciousness are impartial as to our own interests. He is that element in life in virtue of which judgment stretches beyond facts of existence to values of existence.      Alfred North Whitehead
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2 years ago  ::  May 04, 2012 - 7:34AM #17
Adelphe
Posts: 28,705

May 4, 2012 -- 7:22AM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 10:16PM, Adelphe wrote:


May 3, 2012 -- 8:57PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


I'm in a little over my head here, so if you have to educate me, feel free.


I'm going to presume a metaphysical realist can't have a conception of something they can't directly experience?


Let's assume that there was a person, Jesus, who actually existed. So a metaphysical realist can deal with that he existed, but not who he was, because that goes beyond what they are willing to admit?


My position is that God exists, is very real. Blu (for example) says that God is imaginary because I can't (objectively) demonstrate that God is real.


Let's say that Blu would admit that as a person, Jesus existed. But Blu couldn't admit that Jesus is God, because, to Blu, God is imaginary.


I'd better stop here.......according to.......... 


sdp




Actually, I know Blu's position well from his arguments in similar discussions on Science & Religion and he is most definitely, manifestly, and decidedly NOT a realist.


My dictionary says that "metaphysical realism is shared by common sense, the sciences and most philosophers. ....and that the answers to the questions we put to the real are provided by reality itself--whatever the answers may be, they are substantially what they are because it is reality itself that determines them to be that way". 


sdp 





That's all true but...incomplete (and inadequate.)  Do you have the entire passage?  Anyway, you said "dictionary" but I wouldn't go to a dictionary for a treatment of this topic.


And whoever accused Blu of "common sense", btw?  Tongue Out


You'll also get vociferous and emphatic arguments from non- and anti-realists on the above.  Some are actually reasoned arguments, though (Faustus5's come to mind), unlike some others we've seen on the S&R board...)

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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2 years ago  ::  May 04, 2012 - 8:11AM #18
amcolph
Posts: 17,145

May 3, 2012 -- 10:29PM, Adelphe wrote:


 


Okay, but what does "Divine" mean? 


For example, does it have any properties?




Divine is an adjective.


Are you going to actually discuss this subject or continue to carry on like a Mormon missionary?

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2 years ago  ::  May 04, 2012 - 8:38AM #19
Adelphe
Posts: 28,705

May 4, 2012 -- 8:11AM, amcolph wrote:


Divine is an adjective.


Are you going to actually discuss this subject or continue to carry on like a Mormon missionary?




I've never been approached by a "Mormon missionary" so I have no idea how to "carry on" like one.


I am discussing this subject.  That you don't recognize that is indicative of your inability to carry on a discussion on this topic--if anything--rather than mine.


Remember, my original question was "If a Christian isn't a metaphysical realist what do they say, exactly, happened in the Incarnation?"


So far I've essentially gotten that the Word became flesh, it's "a Mystery", that Word "objectively exists", and was "divine" which is an "adjective."


iow, a whole bunch of nothing.


As you claim you are a Nominalist and at least seem to understand the position and I also assume you read post #11, then are you saying that divinity "do[es] not "exist" at all but [is] no more than words (flatus voci) that describe specific objects"?


In which case, again, what happened in the Incarnation?

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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2 years ago  ::  May 04, 2012 - 8:45AM #20
Blü
Posts: 24,649

Adelphe


So far I've essentially gotten that [...] it's "a Mystery" [...]


iow, a whole bunch of nothing.


I'm delighted you agree with me about the Trinity.

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