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Switch to Forum Live View Realism v. Nominalism (& Alternatives) in Christianity
2 years ago  ::  May 04, 2012 - 12:44PM #41
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,278

May 4, 2012 -- 12:05PM, Keyfer wrote:


I hope that something true, useful or interesting will be in the following thoughts about the incarnation of God’s Word.  



If we think of a plan leading to an action which leads to a result, we can see that the plan comes first and without it, there can be no result. By thinking in this order, it could be argued that the plan is more real than the resulting object ( a chair, for instance). 



Since we live in the physical world, we are used to thinking that physical things, a chair for instance, are more real than the plan which created them. Perhaps we are thinking from the bottom up when we should be thinking from the top down. By thinking from the top down, I mean thinking of God as the “Most Real” or the “Only Real” and of all created things as being less real, or not real but only appearances. I hope that we can avoid getting bogged down here. 



If we can imagine the desire, ability (and plan) to create and maintain the universe and mankind as residing in God (Reality), and that His Word represents His desire and ability in action, perhaps we can get a general idea of how His Word “framed the worlds” (Heb. 11:3) and became flesh. 



Using the above definition of God’s Word, His desire and ability in action, God’s Word is God Himself. God acting with Mary’s cooperation and consent fathered a human child, this is how God’s Word (God Himself) became flesh (but was not limited to it). 



Two potential difficult points for some (not me) are:


1- God is the only Reality.


2- God’s Word is His desire and ability in action, not a separate individual.




Interesting. The question that comes to mind is, how can a Christian enter the mind of an atheist and how can an atheist enter the mind of a Christian. This does not seem possible, except philosophically. But as neither side can relinquish the stable ground they walk on, it seems it can't even be done philosophically.


I understand perfectly the view that all talk of God is imaginary. Does that change for one second the fact that I hold that God is real and the source for everything that is? No.


I can appreciate the tightrope amcolph seems to be walking, but I can't live there practically, it seems almost schizophrenic (in the ordinary sense of the word, no disrespect intended).


Do I ever consider that it might be the case that the whole basis of my world might be illusory? No.


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 - 1:05PM #42
amcolph
Posts: 17,161

May 4, 2012 -- 12:44PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


 


I understand perfectly the view that all talk of God is imaginary. Does that change for one second the fact that I hold that God is real and the source for everything that is? No.



Why should it?


I can appreciate the tightrope amcolph seems to be walking, but I can't live there practically, it seems almost schizophrenic (in the ordinary sense of the word, no disrespect intended).



It doesn't seem like a tightrope to me, or schizophrenic either.  One of the reasons I brought this up is that I have the same wonderment about Christians who embrace Realism.


Do I ever consider that it might be the case that the whole basis of my world might be illusory? No.



And what would you do about it if it was?  But somehow, I can't imagine anyone thinking that a world without Realism was illusory. 

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2 years ago  ::  May 04, 2012 - 6:48PM #43
Rgurley4
Posts: 8,603

How do Christ-followers attempt to explain what happened in the Incarnation? (Birth of Jesus, the God-Man)


Although the word “incarnation” does not appear in the Bible, it refers to: " God becoming flesh " (John 1:1, 14).


It was prophesied in Genesis 3:15 (NASB)
And I will put enmity Between you (the serpent / Satan) and the woman (perfect Eve),
And between your seed (fallen angels) and her SEED; (Mary was born with SEED (not a first egg?), and Man's seed was unnecessary for conception)
He (Jesus) shall bruise you (Satan) on the head (a death blow) ,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.” ( a bloody serious wound)


God the Holy Spirit "came upon" (enlivened the SEED of ) the human virgin Mary, and she conceived (Matthew 1:18).
The “holy thing” (Luke 1:35) developed in her womb for nine months,
and when the child was born He was called the Son of God (Luke 1:35) and the Christ (Matthew 1:16).
Although He is equal with God (one in being with the Father—John 10:30),
in space and in time this One, even God Himself, partook of flesh and blood and became the same as us (Hebrews 2:14)
but without sin (Hebrews 4:15).


John 6: 27-29 (NASB)
Do not WORK for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give to you,
for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
Therefore they (people listening) said to Him,
“What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God,
that you BELIEVE (spirit-led FAITH)  in Him whom He has sent.”


This is the Incarnation of the Messiah, the Christ...
this is the birth of the first and only God-Man. Truly Divine...Truly the perfect Man.
—a being having two "lives", human and divine,
living together as one life,
and having two natures, humanity and divinity.


Galatians 4: 4-5
But when the fullness of the time came,
God sent forth His Son, (Divine)
born of a woman, (Human)
born under the (Mosaic) Law, (Jewish descent)
so that He might redeem those who were under the Law,
that we might receive the (spiritual) ADOPTION as SONS.(into family of the TRI-UNE God)


God's unconditional love resulted in a "pouring out" (kenosis) of Divinity into flesh without loss of Divinity, resulting in the ultimate condescension to save Man.


Philippians 2: 5-11 (NASB)
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
who, although He existed in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped (held onto) ,
but emptied Himself (poured Himself out spiritaully),
taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow,
of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD,
to the glory of God the Father.

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2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 8:02AM #44
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,278

I still like Kant, there is an exterior world independent of mind, but we cannot know the noumenal world. Our own physiology and psychology, our neural network, only allows in what corresponds to its structure. Mind filters and shapes the information coming in through the senses, and gives us our phenomenal world. Now, there is a direct correlation between the exterior world and our interior world, but what we know as the phenomenal world is not exhaustive concerning the noumenal world.


How does this help us understand the relationship of God to the world, but more specifically, the relationship between Jesus and the Father? Jesus had a different, more elaborate, filtering system. Jesus was able to directly experience more of the noumenal world. More than that, at some point in his life, we could say that Jesus experienced the totality of the noumenal world. He said he came from the Father and that he actually seen the Father, like no one else. John one tells us that Jesus had been with the Father always. Elsewhere we are told in scripture that the Second Person of the Trinity was actually the agent for creation of the material universe and is what holds it together.


So it would seem metaphysical realism is an accurate description of reality, however, it does not give the full picture of man's relationship to reality. What man is capable of knowing about ontology is subject to our epistemology. But Jesus and the Bible tell us that man is capable of having his psychological structured altered in such a manner as to be able to take in more of the noumenal world. This change is in fact an ontological change, changing the very nature of what a particular man is.


So to some, Jesus is just an ordinary man. To others, in Jesus dwelt the fulness of the Godhead, bodily. Jesus was, and is God, from all eternity. Close your eyes and imagine for a few seconds that you have never been able to see. This world with no light is your phenomenal world, all you have ever known. But science has come up with a new operation that will fix your type of blindness and allow you to see. You have the operation and a new world opens up, light and vision. Your new neurological structure allows you to see now, and see (understand) more of the noumenal world.


(If Adelphe posts the definitions from her electronic philosophical encyclopedia, will supply later in the appropriate places).


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 05, 2012 - 8:46AM #45
amcolph
Posts: 17,161

May 5, 2012 -- 8:02AM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


I still like Kant, there is an exterior world independent of mind, but we cannot know the noumenal world. Our own physiology and psychology, our neural network, only allows in what corresponds to its structure. Mind filters and shapes the information coming in through the senses, and gives us our phenomenal world.



I agree with that view,


 



So it would seem metaphysical realism is an accurate description of reality...




but unlike you, I find Realism inconsistent with it. 

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2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 9:16AM #46
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,278

So it would seem metaphysical realism is an accurate description of reality...


but unlike you, I find Realism inconsistent with it. 


Please elaborate. Metaphysical realism is different from Realism? In the Cambridge there are eleven listing for realism, all qualified. There is no Realism (period).


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 05, 2012 - 9:31AM #47
Keyfer
Posts: 2,617

May 4, 2012 -- 12:44PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


I understand perfectly the view that all talk of God is imaginary.


I think that we are in agreement but I would use the word appearance instead of imaginary, “...all talk of God is according to appearance.” We see things the way we see them according to our understanding and sometimes the appearance is so strong that even when we are aware that it is only an appearance and not factual, we still speak of it according to its appearance. For instance, we know that the earth revolves around the sun which gives the appearance that the sun “rises” and “sets” when, in fact, the sun does not rise or set. However, the appearance is so strong that we, regardless of facts, still speak of sunrise and sunset.


Does that change for one second the fact that I hold that God is real and the source for everything that is? No.


I agree.


Do I ever consider that it might be the case that the whole basis of my world might be illusory? No.


I agree but my impression is that some parts of my (our) world are illusory due to my (our) lack of understanding or perception. Lets take God’s nature as an example. I have moved from being afraid and suspicious of God to being more trusting. I believe that I know God better now than I did and that I now have a better understanding of my relationship with Him. I believe that God is infinitely loving and just and I see that I am not, therefore, I need to trust and obey Him. I believe that I learn and grow as I trust and obey God.  







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2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 9:50AM #48
amcolph
Posts: 17,161

May 5, 2012 -- 9:16AM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


So it would seem metaphysical realism is an accurate description of reality...


but unlike you, I find Realism inconsistent with it. 


Please elaborate. Metaphysical realism is different from Realism? In the Cambridge there are eleven listing for realism, all qualified. There is no Realism (period).


sdp




We seem to be struggling with an inconsistent set of definitions.  Whatever the Cambridge Dictionary has to say, the existence of objective reality is not being called into question in this discussion.


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


The Realist, on the other hand, believes that in addition to objectively real chairs, 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.


Check out the link:


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


I suppose that from a Kantian perspective the question would be, are abstract concepts part of the noumena or the phenomena?




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2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 10:21AM #49
dio
Posts: 4,675

The word always existed. at a point in history humans became aware of the word. Later the word became alive in humanity. The purpose of creation was that the word become incarnate in all humanity, relating to all animals plants and things the whole creation through humanity.

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2 years ago  ::  May 05, 2012 - 11:30AM #50
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,278

May 5, 2012 -- 9:50AM, amcolph wrote:


May 5, 2012 -- 9:16AM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


So it would seem metaphysical realism is an accurate description of reality...


but unlike you, I find Realism inconsistent with it. 


Please elaborate. Metaphysical realism is different from Realism? In the Cambridge there are eleven listing for realism, all qualified. There is no Realism (period).


sdp




We seem to be struggling with an inconstent set of definitions.  Whatever the Cambridge Dictionary has to say, the existence of objective reality is not being called into question in this discussion.


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


The Realist, on the other hand, believes that in addition to objectively real chairs, 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.


Check out the link:


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


I suppose that from a Kantian perspective the question would be, are abstract concepts part of the noumena or the phenomena?




For me this raises the question: What does God know and when does he know it?


For me, God doesn't know everything that will ever been known, IOW, for me, God's omniscience is not comprehensive in relation to time and all the created worlds. That probably doesn't mean anything so I'll give an example. But first, additionally, I believe God created with the purpose of intelligent life being able to be independent creators.


My (maybe poor) example. Say when God created the universe it was open-ended, there would be things God would be surprised by. OK, we have plant life that after hundreds of thousands of years would become crude oil and natural gas. Man comes along and through a series of happenings, investigations and experiments, invents the internal combustion engine. Now, I can see God saying to mankind, yea guys, that was good....keep it up. IOW, before creation, God didn't "know" that the internal combustion engine would some day be. (An example of the non-comprehensive omniscience of God).


Therefore, although there would have been many things God had conceptual knowledge of previous to their physical existence, the internal combustion engine, previous to creation, would have had neither physical existence nor even conceptual existence.


So, if we accept that God exists, and my example is correct, there cannot be only one position, either Realist or Nominalist. For some things there exists concepts apart from things (if only in the mind of God) and for some things, concepts can't exist apart from things. Realist as specifically defined by amcolpm, is pretty stupid.


...........


Just thought of maybe a better example. Edison was in favor of DC (direct current) electricity. Tesla and Westinghouse were in favor of AC (alternating current) electricity. Tesla actually invented the alternating current motor on which a great deal of our industry is based (cool story, he was actually walking and reciting a poem in his mind, a poem that had nothing to do with electricity, but he suddenly envisioned and saw whole the alternating current motor, from the words of the poem).


To use DC you would have to have an electrical generating plant on just about every block (because of the limitations of DC power, batteries are DC power). Did God know Tesla was going to invent the alternating current motor? Did God create Tesla to invent the AC motor? The advantage of AC electricity is that electricity can be transmitted thousands of miles with a little boost here and there. Would we now have a DC electrical system if Tesla hadn't existed?


................................


Anyway......I don't see how you can possibly have concepts apart from brains, or some otherwise ordering intelligence (God). IOW, Realism


Adelphe, do you accept amcolph's definition of Realism?


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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