Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

An Interesting Philosophical Argument

December 07th, 2017 by G.

1.  “Reality is . . . in a realm untouched by communication, not dependent on communication – a realm that we can know directly – each for himself.”
2. “we can only know that reality we conceptualise, and conceptualising means thinking – we cannot know anything of un-thought reality, because to know is to think.
Therefore assuming God wants us to know reality, things must be set-up such that we can know reality by thinking…”
3.  Reality is itself a kind of thinking; else we could not know it.  Reality therefore seems to be God’s thinking, and God’s thinking is knowable creation.
4.  If we ourselves are to participate-in reality, we must affect the universal divine thinking – which (I believe) implies that we ourselves need to be divine.

It’s not laid out with the rigor of analytic philosophy, which is all to the good.
I am also not a philosopher, thanks be to God.  So I will only say that I have my doubts about #1–I find it hard to express, but I am pretty sure that sociality is inescapable and is part of how we know things.  In fact, I think that the latter parts of the argument would entail that reality is a form of divine communication–and #3–because our own ability to participate in reality implies thoughts that are not thought by God, which implies an outside to divinity, which need not be limited to us.  In other words, I reject the notion (though I don’t think this is precisely what Bruce C. intends) that our delight in the sun and the moon and the wind in the pines is solely a delight in some aspects of God.  I reject it because it is not my experience.  I don’t think #3 is flat wrong either, of course.
Comments (5)
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December 07th, 2017 06:36:32
5 comments

G.
December 7, 2017

That said, you should read the whole thing, because the actual point is the conclusion reached, not the argument broached along the way, and the conclusion is very sound. In fact, the logical structure of the argument probably is ‘knowing that the conclusion is sound, which premises must be true’


Dang
December 7, 2017

“In the beginning was the word…” for me would imply the importance of communication, perhaps even the primacy of communication. We read that reality was constructed when God said certain things.

I think that reality is something that is co-created….that is through the act of communicating that we construct the reality around us, in both what the things around us mean and in what is or comes to pass. My impression is that what Bruce means by thinking is in actuality a form of divine communication but that because it isn’t necessarily vocalized the term thinking is more descriptive? Please correct me from putting words into your mouth though.

As a post script, this is why I see meditation (as practiced by many secularists) as downwind of prayer. Through meditation we can know ourselves, but we have no assurance that we are in touch with the divinity within us or if it is our carnal side. Prayer on the other hand, when properly done is as powerful as meditation but opens up an avenue through which God can guide and direct us.


Bookslinger
December 7, 2017

D&C 88:1-13 seems to support Bruce.

The Light (intelligence) of Christ is in and empowers everything.

Where the Light of Christ is not, is Outer Darkness, where things can “exist” but are not really alive.


Bruce Charlton
December 8, 2017

Thanks for the comments.

For the moement – I understand what Dang means…

I am implicity saying that there is an indirect and multistep and unrelaible form of communication (which I simply call ‘communication’ – and it involves making perceptible signals -e.g. writing, pictures, the whole range of ‘public discourse’) which are received by someone, ‘decoded’ and interpreted etc etc… This process is subject to an almost infinite range of possible distortions and failures; and can never be wholly relied-upon.

But there is also a direct, one-step, non-sensory form of communication that I refer to as ‘direct knowing’.

This direct knowing is divine-commnunication, if you like – and is necessary if knowledge is to be anything other than solipsistic – it is the way that knowledge can be one truth and also a shared truth – because we all can directly know it.


Bruce Charlton
December 8, 2017

@G – I shall try to clarify a little, as best I currently can:

“about #1–I find it hard to express, but I am pretty sure that sociality is inescapable and is part of how we know things. ”

I agree, but real sociality goes beyond five-senses conventiona-communication – there is something ‘direct’ about it (‘knowing’).

“In fact, I think that the latter parts of the argument would entail that reality is a form of divine communication–and #3–because our own ability to participate in reality implies thoughts that are not thought by God, which implies an outside to divinity, which need not be limited to us.”

Yes – on the one hand there is an outside, and *something* is our selves is outside of the shared world; not everything in us is transparent to God or to anyone else. We are not submerged in God. ie pluralism, goes all the way down.

On the other hand real, true, perfect knowing (or ‘communication’) is also possible, and happens.

A middle ground – we can rreally and truly know, but not everything; we stand apart, but relationship is real, solid, personal.

“In other words, I reject the notion (though I don’t think this is precisely what Bruce C. intends) that our delight in the sun and the moon and the wind in the pines is solely a delight in some aspects of God. I reject it because it is not my experience.”

I agree – that would be a monist view, that ultimately *everything* is God.

I think Mormonism hinges on the fact that there is a relaity apart from God – this based on our eternal pre-existence as ‘intelligences’.

God’s creation is something ‘built’ – with love, from relationships, ‘elaborated’ from chaos, and generated/ born from what God gave us, adding to those simple intelligences when our Heavenly Parents procreated us as their children.

But the eternal existence of those primordial intlligences is what unerwrites our individuality, agency, and capacity for autonomous creation.

We begin apart and in chaos; and creation is birthed and grown by God as an ever expanding manifestation ‘within’ that boundless chaos…

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