Author Topic: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?  (Read 3009 times)

ekim

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #50 on: December 10, 2015, 10:29:21 AM »
That wouldn't necessarily explain why we conceive of gods as such. Chimps have to put up with forces etc. greater than themselves, as do other animals, but do they allocate this phenomena to some supernatural being? Actually coming up with such an idea is something else apart from the encounter with overwhelming power and events etc.
Well, I don't remember ever experiencing what it is to be a chimp but perhaps they have some low level imagery equivalent to a leopard god to be feared.  I believe there are instances of mal imprinting at birth where an animal imprints upon a human and follows him as if he is a leader, like the flock of geese which followed in formation behind a man in his microlite, the beginning of primitive worship perhaps.

Jack Knave

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #51 on: December 10, 2015, 06:38:37 PM »
Descartes was wrong, we can conceive something we think is greater.

Where on earth did he get that assumption?

 :-\

Why is it a supposedly necessary principal?


IMO
Given enough time, the human race could improve itself, to be better in every sense, than the original.
So you can explain why you can even think, let alone why you can conceive of things beyond this material universe?

Rose

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #52 on: December 11, 2015, 07:29:03 AM »
So you can explain why you can even think, let alone why you can conceive of things beyond this material universe?

Imagination.

 ;)

It doesn't mean it's right.

But I can conceive it.

Just like some people like speculating what alien life could look like.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-will-extraterrestrial-life-look-180950029/


People do that sort of thing all the time in science fiction, they create their own worlds.

Someone could write a book and a story about things outside this material universe.

Look at the film "ghost " and others that deal with another realm.

Some films have different dimensions.......

Yes it's fiction, but people can conceive some good yarns........ And mystery.

Imagination is the answer.

You can use that to create imaginary places you have never experienced or been.

Even scientists do it, speculating what quantum mechanics might lead to.

Conceiving something though doesn't mean it's real, but I definately think we can conceive something greater than us.



Ramblin' rose, ramblin' rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown
Who can cling to a ramblin' rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin' days are gone

Rose

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« Last Edit: December 11, 2015, 07:45:38 AM by Rose »
Ramblin' rose, ramblin' rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown
Who can cling to a ramblin' rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin' days are gone

Jack Knave

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #54 on: December 11, 2015, 05:29:19 PM »
Imagination.

 ;)

It doesn't mean it's right.

But I can conceive it.

Just like some people like speculating what alien life could look like.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-will-extraterrestrial-life-look-180950029/


People do that sort of thing all the time in science fiction, they create their own worlds.

Someone could write a book and a story about things outside this material universe.

Look at the film "ghost " and others that deal with another realm.

Some films have different dimensions.......

Yes it's fiction, but people can conceive some good yarns........ And mystery.

Imagination is the answer.

You can use that to create imaginary places you have never experienced or been.

Even scientists do it, speculating what quantum mechanics might lead to.

Conceiving something though doesn't mean it's real, but I definately think we can conceive something greater than us.
Observing the phenomena does not explain why it exists or how it comes about. You can observe birds flying without knowing anything about how they do it aerodynamically. Just as people centuries ago observed chemical reactions without knowing what was going on to cause them.

Rose

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #55 on: December 11, 2015, 06:20:06 PM »
Observing the phenomena does not explain why it exists or how it comes about. You can observe birds flying without knowing anything about how they do it aerodynamically. Just as people centuries ago observed chemical reactions without knowing what was going on to cause them.

It's a start 🌹 ;)
Ramblin' rose, ramblin' rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown
Who can cling to a ramblin' rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin' days are gone

Jack Knave

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #56 on: December 12, 2015, 03:32:14 PM »
It's a start 🌹 ;)
But a rather meagre one.

Rose

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #57 on: December 13, 2015, 11:31:56 AM »
But a rather meagre one.

You see imagination as meagre?  :o

Ramblin' rose, ramblin' rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown
Who can cling to a ramblin' rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin' days are gone

Jack Knave

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #58 on: December 15, 2015, 08:20:28 PM »
You see imagination as meagre?  :o
No, your exiguous explanation for it or lack of an adequate understanding of its unusual nature to go beyond everyday experience.

Rose

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #59 on: December 16, 2015, 08:14:51 AM »
No, your exiguous explanation for it or lack of an adequate understanding of its unusual nature to go beyond everyday experience.

I just don't agree with the assumption in the OP. (that a lesser agent can't conceive of a greater one)

It looks to me like people just accept it, without question, because someone else has.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 08:17:01 AM by Rose »
Ramblin' rose, ramblin' rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown
Who can cling to a ramblin' rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin' days are gone

Rose

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #60 on: December 16, 2015, 09:48:43 AM »
I'll just through this argument for God into the arena.

In Descartes Cogito ergo sum his reason for believing in God was based on a supposedly necessary principle to the effect that the lesser cannot give rise to, or be the cause of, the greater. So because we can conceive of God, and God is taken to be greater than us and thus beyond our capacity to conceive of It, the only way that such an idea could enter our minds is by God placing it there in the first instance.

What arguments would the non believers give for showing this to be a bad reason for believing in God.

Quote

If it [that than which nothing greater can be conceived] can be conceived at all it must exist. For no one who denies or doubts the existence of a being a greater than which is inconceivable, denies or doubts that if it did exist its nonexistence, either in reality or in the understanding, would be impossible. For otherwise it would not be a being a greater than which cannot be conceived. But as to whatever can be conceived but does not exist: if it were to exist its nonexistence either in reality or in the understanding would be possible. Therefore, if a being a greater than which cannot be conceived, can even be conceived, it must exist.



Well I expect even the religious, can work out the problem with this........   ::)

People have many different ideas of God in their head and in some ways they conflict, even within the same religion.

If God who was greater and perfect put it there, in people's heads, then there wouldn't be so much arguing and strife and morons like Isis wouldn't exist.

The assertion that you can't imagine greater, is rubbish, I see no evidence for this......and to draw the conclusion God exists because of it, is nonsense and doesn't logically follow.

That is if you can twist your brain round the convoluted. argument he makes. ( or maybe because I've got the lergy, too many bloomin colds / sort throats about 😷)

The guy thought too hard and needed to be given something more practical to do, IMO



« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 09:58:28 AM by Rose »
Ramblin' rose, ramblin' rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown
Who can cling to a ramblin' rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin' days are gone

ekim

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #61 on: December 16, 2015, 10:03:46 AM »
I just don't agree with the assumption in the OP. (that a lesser agent can't conceive of a greater one)

It looks to me like people just accept it, without question, because someone else has.
Perhaps it depends upon the nature of 'agent' and the lesser agent's store of information and ability to form a concept from that information.  When it comes to the lesser agent's ability to form a concept of a greater agent that is clothed in absolutes e.g. omnipotent, eternal, omnipresent etc., the concept gets vaguer and virtually meaningless.  This is probably why some religions choose the 'via negativa' and say 'you cannot know what God is, only what he is not'.  Mystics within some religions choose the way of Henosis and seek union or oneness with the source/god and conceptualisation is dispensed with.

Rose

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #62 on: December 16, 2015, 10:21:12 AM »
Perhaps it depends upon the nature of 'agent' and the lesser agent's store of information and ability to form a concept from that information.  When it comes to the lesser agent's ability to form a concept of a greater agent that is clothed in absolutes e.g. omnipotent, eternal, omnipresent etc., the concept gets vaguer and virtually meaningless.  This is probably why some religions choose the 'via negativa' and say 'you cannot know what God is, only what he is not'.  Mystics within some religions choose the way of Henosis and seek union or oneness with the source/god and conceptualisation is dispensed with.

I guess to a knat, we would appear eternal 😉

Because we are still learning about the universe and especially time it doesn't do to be to sure about anything.

Eternal only means something, because we have ways of observing passing time.

If there was no time, it becomes meaningless.

I can imagine plenty, but it doesn't mean it exists or it was planted there.

If time was a constant everywhere, eternal has a meaning.

But time can vary from one place to another,  so how do you decide something is really eternal?

i guess you would have to be eternal to find out.

🌹


« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 10:22:47 AM by Rose »
Ramblin' rose, ramblin' rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown
Who can cling to a ramblin' rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin' days are gone

Jack Knave

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #63 on: December 16, 2015, 01:52:51 PM »
Well I expect even the religious, can work out the problem with this........   ::)

People have many different ideas of God in their head and in some ways they conflict, even within the same religion.

If God who was greater and perfect put it there, in people's heads, then there wouldn't be so much arguing and strife and morons like Isis wouldn't exist.

The assertion that you can't imagine greater, is rubbish, I see no evidence for this......and to draw the conclusion God exists because of it, is nonsense and doesn't logically follow.

That is if you can twist your brain round the convoluted. argument he makes. ( or maybe because I've got the lergy, too many bloomin colds / sort throats about 😷)

The guy thought too hard and needed to be given something more practical to do, IMO
Firstly, what you have quoted in your post is the ontological argument but what I have presented in the OP is a step on from that; if you like ontological argument 2.0 (OA 2.0).

As I have said elsewhere on this thread and others God is just a word and could be replaced by the word "Something", and as such, because man is not perfect, his thinking beyond what is natural and beyond his experience will create imperfect 'images' which will not only conflict with others' ideas  but with himself.

But my point with you has not been on this issue (OA 1.0) but on the fact that we humans do think beyond our natural conditions and experiences and as such this can't be explained by these natural conditions. This is what OA 2.0 says, that the lesser (natural experiences and conditions) can not give rise to our imagination's fantasies etc. which are 'above' the lesser conditions of our natural experiences. So how do we explain and give an account of how we have such an supranatural imaginational function?

Let me give you an example. If we have a sculptor in stone of a figure and it gradually over time erodes away into dust then that would be seen as natural; in effect the greater giving rise to the lesser - a created form going into an entropy of a pile of dust. This can be explained by natural means as it is a possible aspect of our experiences of our lives. However, if the reverse occurred this would be seen as supernormal. A pile of dust gradually forming together into a perfect intelligible stone figure. A lesser producing a greater. This would need an explanation beyond what was available to the natural order of things, and much more than what you have offered of the like, "Well, I've seen it happen, it just managed to come about." The same is true of our imaginations as they create much more than what is seen in the world of our experiences and as such must be the product of "Something" greater than our natural experiences of life on Earth.

ekim

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #64 on: December 16, 2015, 03:08:14 PM »
I guess to a knat, we would appear eternal 😉

Because we are still learning about the universe and especially time it doesn't do to be to sure about anything.

Eternal only means something, because we have ways of observing passing time.

If there was no time, it becomes meaningless.

I can imagine plenty, but it doesn't mean it exists or it was planted there.

If time was a constant everywhere, eternal has a meaning.

But time can vary from one place to another,  so how do you decide something is really eternal?

i guess you would have to be eternal to find out.

🌹
'Time' could be seen as a relative term invented to measure change of states and in that context, the word 'eternal' is used in the sense of a state lasting or existing forever, like eternal damnation, and is beyond measurement.   Some religions express that absolute as 'timelessness' i.e. it is beyond time and form, and use practices like meditation in which it is consciously experienced together with formlessness.

Outrider

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #65 on: December 16, 2015, 04:30:09 PM »
Let me give you an example. If we have a sculptor in stone of a figure and it gradually over time erodes away into dust then that would be seen as natural; in effect the greater giving rise to the lesser - a created form going into an entropy of a pile of dust. This can be explained by natural means as it is a possible aspect of our experiences of our lives. However, if the reverse occurred this would be seen as supernormal. A pile of dust gradually forming together into a perfect intelligible stone figure. A lesser producing a greater. This would need an explanation beyond what was available to the natural order of things, and much more than what you have offered of the like, "Well, I've seen it happen, it just managed to come about." The same is true of our imaginations as they create much more than what is seen in the world of our experiences and as such must be the product of "Something" greater than our natural experiences of life on Earth.

Except that the theory of evolution coupled with a volcanic eruption gives us exactly that - a stone figure in the shape of a human. An entirely unthinking, natural progression of events, individually simple but complex in their number and interactions, that leads to a stone figure of a human.

These things in fact can happen from simple, natural forces.

O.
Universes are forever, not just for creation...

New Atheism - because, apparently, there's a use-by date on unanswered questions.

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Rose

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #66 on: December 16, 2015, 05:40:20 PM »
Except that the theory of evolution coupled with a volcanic eruption gives us exactly that - a stone figure in the shape of a human. An entirely unthinking, natural progression of events, individually simple but complex in their number and interactions, that leads to a stone figure of a human.

These things in fact can happen from simple, natural forces.

O.

Or the stone could have just accidentally looked like a stone figure because it weathered that way.

A bit like animals that appear to imitate others.

Atheists claim it was a progression of survival of the fittest, but it is also claimed to be too intricate a thing to have occurred in some cases.

Sometimes it is unbelievable that a seahorse can end up looking like a passable bit of weed, just by those more weed like, surviving.

Which one first looked weed like and why?

It's easy to draw the conclusion something else must be involved.

I think lots of people see that as being " super normal" I know I do sometimes.

But it isn't good as a proof God exists.

Ramblin' rose, ramblin' rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown
Who can cling to a ramblin' rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin' days are gone

Jack Knave

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #67 on: December 16, 2015, 06:19:58 PM »
Perhaps it depends upon the nature of 'agent' and the lesser agent's store of information and ability to form a concept from that information.  When it comes to the lesser agent's ability to form a concept of a greater agent that is clothed in absolutes e.g. omnipotent, eternal, omnipresent etc., the concept gets vaguer and virtually meaningless.  This is probably why some religions choose the 'via negativa' and say 'you cannot know what God is, only what he is not'.  Mystics within some religions choose the way of Henosis and seek union or oneness with the source/god and conceptualisation is dispensed with.
Via negativa is stupid because you just end up with God is God.

Jack Knave

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #68 on: December 16, 2015, 06:27:58 PM »
Except that the theory of evolution coupled with a volcanic eruption gives us exactly that - a stone figure in the shape of a human. An entirely unthinking, natural progression of events, individually simple but complex in their number and interactions, that leads to a stone figure of a human.

These things in fact can happen from simple, natural forces.

O.
What the hell are you talking about? I'd need details here to believe such rubbish.

Jack Knave

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #69 on: December 16, 2015, 06:35:21 PM »
Or the stone could have just accidentally looked like a stone figure because it weathered that way.

I'm talking about a sculptor like a Roman one. Well formed, smoothed and shaped, with the facial features well defined and normal. Not something that vaguely looks like a human figure. And I said from a pile of dust.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 06:38:17 PM by Jack Knave »

Rose

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #70 on: December 16, 2015, 07:28:41 PM »
I'm talking about a sculptor like a Roman one. Well formed, smoothed and shaped, with the facial features well defined and normal. Not something that vaguely looks like a human figure. And I said from a pile of dust.

It could be in the eye of the beholder  ;)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3326288/It-Face-God-MARS-UFO-hunters-claim-spotted-ancient-statue.html
Ramblin' rose, ramblin' rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown
Who can cling to a ramblin' rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin' days are gone

Jack Knave

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #71 on: December 16, 2015, 07:36:05 PM »
It could be in the eye of the beholder  ;)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3326288/It-Face-God-MARS-UFO-hunters-claim-spotted-ancient-statue.html
I'm talking about a process of cause and effect not some nutters making claims.

Rose

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #72 on: December 16, 2015, 07:39:15 PM »
I'm talking about a process of cause and effect not some nutters making claims.

But Descartes is a nutter making claims.

That's the problem.

One persons cause and effect, is another persons "nutter"
Ramblin' rose, ramblin' rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown
Who can cling to a ramblin' rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin' days are gone

Jack Knave

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #73 on: December 16, 2015, 07:57:42 PM »
But Descartes is a nutter making claims.

That's the problem.

One persons cause and effect, is another persons "nutter"
But I had moved on from talking about God and on to the phenomena that we can imagine things and ideas that are supernormal and supernal and this needs an explanation of its root and cause. You can say well it just happens, that's missing the point.

ekim

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Re: Lesser Agent Can't Conceive of a Greater One?
« Reply #74 on: December 17, 2015, 09:47:41 AM »
Via negativa is stupid because you just end up with God is God.
I expect that this is the idea ... don't waste time trying to form concepts of the inconceivable.  It only agitates the mind, instead, 'Be still and know that I am God'.