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  1. #201
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    But I mean everything, both as we experience it and as it is. Insofar as ideas and experiences exist, I include them, but everything else is also included. "Everything" is just what I meant by "universe."

    It seems nonsensical to me to say the universe is "infinite in all respects." Besides using the term "infinite" in a peculiar way, there are obvious respects in which it is not "infinite." When I mention one or two, "they don't count" is the response.
    The finite forms you've brought up have all been forms incidental to our finite experience of reality. Which is to say, forms which do not, in and of themselves, have any nature of existence sans perception. Can you discover a "time" outside the human mind? An "even number" disporting about the universe? A "unit of length" merrily going about its existence without being perceived by any conscious being? Now consider how all of the objects you hold in your mind are built up of these concepts.

    Even in modern-day quantum physics it's becoming increasingly clear that reality exists only as infinite potential, merely "collapsing" into a perceivable form upon perception. I'm not saying that the finite forms you've brought to the table don't count -- I'm saying that all finite forms are perception-imposed "collapsations" of the infinite reality, or the "noumenal realm", as Kant referred to it.

    Also, Evan, if you (and I use this pronoun in its general, not specific, sense) carry about a notion of "reality" which allows for the idea that it could be suspended in non-reality, your conception of reality is still too tied to your finite, human experience of the infinite reality. The point, when worded, is simple: non-reality cannot exist. However, coming to terms with this simple truism involves imagination and mental effort to truly grasp. I'm not saying that I'm a genius and grasped the notion intuitively and immediately; when I first encountered Kant's formulation via SW's posts, I dismissed it. It was only after literally months of reflection that the undeniable strength of Kant's formulation became clear to me.

    As Bryan Magee points out, while Kant was unaware of it, it was in this formulation that he had essentially tied Western philosophical thought with Eastern. The Buddhists, for example, spend years learning to, as Jung phrases it, "[empty the consciousness] as far as possible of its contents" in order to experience on some level that we, conscious beings unknowingly adhering within an infinite reality, are merely "the greatest thought thinking only of itself". (I forget whose notion I'm paraphrasing here. If someone could help there, it would be appreciated.) Because perception requires a reality to perceive and reality must be perceived in order to have a form, at some ultimate level which is unfathomable to us, reality and perception are one and the same. Our finite experience is reality regarding itself in a mirror.

    I'll admit that it's my inclination to lay these points upon the table and allow people to regard them as they will; accuracy in speech is a help to an extent, but only to a limited extent. There's a reason why the Buddhists utilize koans rather than logic puzzles and treatises.

    (Also, to be clear, I'm not saying that I consider Buddhism the "one true religion" or anything of that nature. Like any reasonable religion, Buddhism was founded by an individual or individuals who'd discovered a method to experience, to the degree that we are able, our place in the infinite reality. Do to the nature of speech- and/or writing-based idea transmission, this person or these people transmitted their ideas in terms and notions intimately tied to their cultural surroundings, "decorating" the original experience with thought-baubles which are not inherent to it. Also, over time their message was misconstrued and consequently cluttered with meaningless rituals, like any other religion.)
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  2. #202
    meat popsicle r.a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    (Also, to be clear, I'm not saying that I consider Buddhism the "one true religion" or anything of that nature. Like any reasonable religion, Buddhism was founded by an individual or individuals who'd discovered a method to experience, to the degree that we are able, our place in the infinite reality. Do to the nature of speech- and/or writing-based idea transmission, this person or these people transmitted their ideas in terms and notions intimately tied to their cultural surroundings, "decorating" the original experience with thought-baubles which are not inherent to it. Also, over time their message was misconstrued and consequently cluttered with meaningless rituals, like any other religion.)
    actually, rituals are one of the only aspects of religions that actually have meaning in them. ritual is tangible. belief is not.
    "All authority of any kind, especially in the field of thought and understanding, is destructive and evil. Leaders destroy the followers and the followers destroy the leaders. You have to be your own teacher and your own disciple. You have to question everything that man has accepted as valuable, as necessary."
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    J.Krishnamurti

  3. #203
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Mycroft,

    Your comments are as clear as mud. Although I understand the Buddhist concept of "Big Mind" and clearing the conscious of "attachments," leaping to "reality is infinite" still seems like nonsense to me. Either you are very confused, or I am just not understanding what you are trying to say (especially with your irregular use of the word "infinite"). And I am even more puzzled as to what any of this has to do with God. But, truth be told, I don't really care that much.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  4. #204
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Mycroft,

    Your comments are as clear as mud. Although I understand the Buddhist concept of "Big Mind" and clearing the conscious of "attachments," leaping to "reality is infinite" still seems like nonsense to me. Either you are very confused, or I am just not understanding what you are trying to say (especially with your irregular use of the word "infinite"). And I am even more puzzled as to what any of this has to do with God. But, truth be told, I don't really care that much.
    1.) Non-reality or non-existence cannot exist.
    2.) If reality possessed any form of finiteness, this would require that reality ends, giving way to non-reality.
    3.) As non-reality or non-existence cannot exist, reality must be infinite in all respects.
    4.) Our experience of reality is, in every respect, finite.
    5.) As reality is infinite, our finite experience, built on the basis of many finites, must merely be our interpretation of reality.
    6.) As reality is infinite, it could not have been created.
    7.) While the idea that there are levels of reality which would seem godlike to us, calling these godlike manifestations "God" would not be in keeping with the definition most major religions have of God as creator of reality.

    My use of the term "infinite" to mean "unlimited, i.e. not finite, in any way" has been quite consistent.

    (More importantly, difficult ideas are, by nature of their difficulty, never clear. They require personal thought and effort to come to terms with. Your final comment makes it clear the extent to which you're prepared to make this effort.)
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  5. #205
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Also, Evan, if you (and I use this pronoun in its general, not specific, sense) carry about a notion of "reality" which allows for the idea that it could be suspended in non-reality, your conception of reality is still too tied to your finite, human experience of the infinite reality. The point, when worded, is simple: non-reality cannot exist. However, coming to terms with this simple truism involves imagination and mental effort to truly grasp. I'm not saying that I'm a genius and grasped the notion intuitively and immediately; when I first encountered Kant's formulation via SW's posts, I dismissed it. It was only after literally months of reflection that the undeniable strength of Kant's formulation became clear to me.
    My view of reality does not allow for being suspended in non-reality, because that's self contradictory.

    I don't know what you mean by infinite (and it seems most people reading this don't either). I think there is a finite amount of matter/energy in the universe, and some coordinates for where this matter/energy is. I guess if you were looking at some 3 dimensional graph (or 11 dimensional, or whatever, it doesn't matter), the coordinates of the matter/energy aren't bounded, as in, there would be no end to the blank space. But that doesn't mean the amount of stuff in that blank space is also infinite.

    I guess if you count the blank space beyond the furthest matter/energy as the universe, then yes, it's infinite (at least in however many spatial dimensions it exists in). Is that what you're talking about?

  6. #206
    Your time is gonna come. Oom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    My view of reality does not allow for being suspended in non-reality, because that's self contradictory.

    I don't know what you mean by infinite (and it seems most people reading this don't either). I think there is a finite amount of matter/energy in the universe, and some coordinates for where this matter/energy is. I guess if you were looking at some 3 dimensional graph (or 11 dimensional, or whatever, it doesn't matter), the coordinates of the matter/energy aren't bounded, as in, there would be no end to the blank space. But that doesn't mean the amount of stuff in that blank space is also infinite.

    I guess if you count the blank space beyond the furthest matter/energy as the universe, then yes, it's infinite (at least in however many spatial dimensions it exists in). Is that what you're talking about?
    I respect you standing by your argument. I'm one of those people that will not take a stand on something because there could be the slightest chance I could be wrong.

    But you're right if you go by what the most popular theories of the universe are.

  7. #207
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Mycroft,

    I think you are wrong and that my original objections still stand, but I don't want to continue going over the matter with you. Try reading my previous posts again, because I don't think you understand them ... or don't, whatever.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  8. #208
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    It is well known that many NTs fervently worship the diety they name Lo'jik. They act as if this diety is all powerful when the only thing it affects is in the current reality. Their blind fervor veils their eyes to what is Beyond measurable reality. Since it is beyong the reality Lo'jik can affect, it must not exist. To them, only if Lo'jik can affect it, will that thing exist.

    Most people find the zealous followers of Lo'jik to be either amusing or irritating.



    Quite frankly, things I've experienced as a Christian transcend petty arguments about the existence of god. Faith is the belief in things that logic cannot concretely support. Just don't have too much or the NTs will keep thinking that religious people are stupid and god cant exist because why would he exist for such stupid people. Makes me wonder if those NTs believe in love. Love is God's central emotion, and he created that in man. That's how I believe it and I wont be swayed easily.
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
    -Nightwish

    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

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