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On the standard of observation...

#11GBALoserPosted 2/26/2013 11:21:28 PM
The way I've been looking at it lately is we, as finite individuals, have limit restrictions on how we can perceive an infinite being. We can only perceive a Creator to the level of which we understand the machinations of natural world as we are natural creatures. Does this make using natural observation a useless venture? In my opinion no, because it was a construct designed by the Creator hence parts of his influence could be determined from said observation. It won't give us a full picture, though, not even close. As you said, God is beyond just a natural understanding.

So what we'd have to figure out is perception beyond natural boundaries. That sounds paradoxical -- a natural being cannot perceive beyond its natural limits, yet must figure a way to do so within such natural limits. There might be a thought of consideration.

There was a concept I'd heard of years ago, using what the presenter called "circles of perception." In it he said to consider all things as nested in a bunch of concentric circles reaching out to infinity. In the center would be single-celled organisms and on the outermost would be a Creator. The Creator can perceive everything as he is on the all-encompassing circle. The protozoa can only perceive their immediate circle entirely, but they also perceive in limited capability the next higher circles, say multicelled organisms. Likewise, multicelled can perceive its own and the singlecelled spheres but they also perceive in limited with the next higher circles, say insects. Insects would perceive in limited capacity small animals, small animals would perceive larger animals in limited capacity, larger animals like dogs and cats would perceive humans in limited capacity.

By this train of thought, maybe we can perceive another level above us, not necessarily God, but one step closer to understanding God.
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Every once in a while I realize the human race may be worth saving. Of course, then I come back here, but still, those are good moments. -Readyman
#12Moorish_Idol(Topic Creator)Posted 2/27/2013 12:20:03 AM
That is an interesting take -- I can see how we could be the protozoa to God, where despite being immersed by God's existence we regardless lack the ability to perceive it.

I suppose the question to this would be: Should we acknowledge our lack of perception and settle there, ultimately concluding the supernatural is unknowable and therefore not worth our attention; or Should we acknowledge our lack of perception and adopt a mindset which does not require explicit perception for belief?
#13GBALoserPosted 2/27/2013 6:56:09 AM
I suppose the question to this would be: Should we acknowledge our lack of perception and settle there, ultimately concluding the supernatural is unknowable and therefore not worth our attention; or Should we acknowledge our lack of perception and adopt a mindset which does not require explicit perception for belief?

I've wondered that myself because both views seem valid on their own merits. Going with our concrete understandings alone is, in and of itself, a limit. We have to make a lot of inferences based on what our limits are. For some people, learning everything about the natural world may be enough. For others, it doesn't satisfy their search.

I believe the first step would be to accept that, as a function of a Creator, we will never fully understand God so we should not be making any presuppositions as to what his nature is or is not. It's part of the reason why I stepped away from organized religion. If you fixate on postulations as definites, you put up another limit to your perception of any Creator, this time a self-imposed one.
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Every once in a while I realize the human race may be worth saving. Of course, then I come back here, but still, those are good moments. -Readyman
#14ThuggernautzPosted 2/27/2013 8:02:11 AM
squareandrare posted...
You talk as if the supernatural can't reveal itself. We simply don't see grandiose displays of god's power now that we have the means to really document and observe. And every claim of the supernatural is easily debunked.

Even when talking about the supernatural, the principle of parsimony should still apply.


This. As soon as a God interacts with the natural, it does something that can be observed. Further, there are a near infinite number of purely conceptual constructs that you could think of and apply a 'supernatural' moniker to; and of course being truly supernatural, they cannot be tested or observed. With no way to test or observe them, they are lost in the infinite chaos of ideas and can be safely ignored.
#15kozlo100Posted 2/27/2013 9:30:18 AM
A corollary to the point Square and Thugg are making is that if a supernatural being can not or does not, and will never, interact in any way with the natural then its existence is, for lack of a better word, unimportant. For every practical application, knowledge of this being has no impact on anything, and we can proceed as if it doesn't exist.
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#16Hustle KongPosted 2/27/2013 9:52:45 AM
Moorish_Idol posted...
I used the word conflicting perhaps in err, but what I meant was that it presents in a way that makes natural observation useless. Not necessarily a miracle, per se, but rather an idea which can't be observed in materialistic means.


Unneeded and unimportant correction: you can err or be in error. But you aren't "in err".
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Shooting Game never die.
It prays that the clover of luck be always in your mind.
#17GBALoserPosted 2/27/2013 11:38:06 AM
kozlo100 posted...
A corollary to the point Square and Thugg are making is that if a supernatural being can not or does not, and will never, interact in any way with the natural then its existence is, for lack of a better word, unimportant. For every practical application, knowledge of this being has no impact on anything, and we can proceed as if it doesn't exist.


Agreed. If a non-interactive entity, the Creator is irrelevant. For physical observation that can be replicated, we can consider nonexistence to be valid.

But let's stretch a little beyond. What if it's passive interaction, that is he established rules of conduct within a self-contained system that does not need constant input from said Creator? Would such need for an explanation from his creations still be deemed unimportant, especially for observations that cannot be replicated under physical standards? Or should such observations be deemed irrelevant to the larger picture?
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Every once in a while I realize the human race may be worth saving. Of course, then I come back here, but still, those are good moments. -Readyman
#18kozlo100Posted 2/27/2013 11:53:34 AM
Passive interaction is an awkward phrase, I don't think it actually means anything, but I do think I understand what you're getting at. My brain just tripped over it such that I had to mention it.

If a deity exists that created the universe just so, and then did not interact with it ever again, then knowledge of that deity is important insofar as it is different and distinguishable from other possible causes of the creation event. I'd point out that this is still direct interaction with the natural, even though it is not repeated.

I'm thinking of it like an unobserved historical event. If such an event has no discernible impact such that we can deduce that it did happen, then again, I think we're safe assuming that it didn't. That assumption might be wrong, but it makes no difference if it is.
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#19Moorish_Idol(Topic Creator)Posted 2/27/2013 1:19:13 PM
GBALoser posted...
I believe the first step would be to accept that, as a function of a Creator, we will never fully understand God so we should not be making any presuppositions as to what his nature is or is not. It's part of the reason why I stepped away from organized religion. If you fixate on postulations as definites, you put up another limit to your perception of any Creator, this time a self-imposed one.

And people who do this end up looking for confirmation. Yeah, that's a problem. I may myself be guilty in doing that from time to time, although I think the biggest presupposition I make is that God does not interact with us, but ironically that is based on my perception of the natural world. But I guess this brings up another problem: in order to determine how we should observe the supernatural, we must first define what is supernatural, but that requires presumption.

I think some presuppositions are safe though. It is safe to say God would be supernatural, for example.


Hustle Kong posted...
Unneeded and unimportant correction: you can err or be in error. But you aren't "in err".

English is my third language, so I always welcome corrections. Actually, I think I have been using "in err" in error for many years now.... Phonetic error, if anything, because at least in America they pronounce both the same. But thanks, lol


kozlo100 posted...
I'm thinking of it like an unobserved historical event. If such an event has no discernible impact such that we can deduce that it did happen, then again, I think we're safe assuming that it didn't. That assumption might be wrong, but it makes no difference if it is.

But this would be treating the manner as a problem instead of as a question.

Lack of knowledge of a Creation event would have no immediate impact on anything, and as such could be considered not a problem. But from an analytical standpoint, we would be accepting a part of our understanding being left in ignorance.

Ignoring the lack of difference knowledge of the supernatural would make, it still remains a question, and I think that is more than enough to warrant consideration in place of complacency.
#20kozlo100Posted 2/27/2013 1:24:22 PM
Moorish_Idol posted...
Ignoring the lack of difference knowledge of the supernatural would make, it still remains a question, and I think that is more than enough to warrant consideration in place of complacency.


The trick is that it's a question that is fundamentally unanswerable in this case. I guess sort of what I'm getting at is that we have a fundamentally unanswerable question who's answer would have no effect on anything if it were to be somehow found. I don't know why that question ought to be asked in the first place.
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick