I think what the problem is is that the delusions are real. There is more going on than our "sane" self can understand without being locked up in a looney bin. Therefore, everyone posting on this thread is right. Because one person's reality can be different from another's. Following Jesus as if you were a goat herder from 2,000 years ago is one reality. Thinking that Jesus was a Buddhist in secret is another. We're all right. We're all popes. I was visited by a Holy Spirit, so It must exist. And why couldn't It exist? But I'm still happier Buddhist than Christian. No one will believe that I was visited by a Holy Spirit, and I'm OK with that as well.
doone, Thanks fo the quote... interestingly enough, you express that the core of all realities is a "Being", and I concur. That infers personality, and intellect. You express that it is Conscious, and I concur as well. That infers will, and purpose.
Is it your position that said Infinite Uncreated Conscious Being had nothing to do with how then universe came into being? Is it your position that this Infinite Uncreated Conscious Being is knowable or unknowable by men?
DT. You Said "Could we say on a sideways sort of analogy that what you percieve god to be independent of all words, all ideas and at only raw point experience that which Doone just said, and to that Yes your experience in and of itself is true independent of all definition. "
Thank you, it is the truth.
It does go further... Remember the story of Moses, hiding in the cleft of the rock, for to see the Almighty would be the death of Him. God said that He would protect Moses, but that after God had passed, Moses could see the "afterglow" of the Glory of God. (Consider someone with a torch that has gone around a corner, but the ambient light trails behind.)
I look at my experiences and at the Scriptures, and that "afterglow" if you will is present to my perception in both. In a sense beyond words as well, I know they're connected..
doone is right as to the core absolute. Our opinions all ebb and flow like the tide, but that undefinable "Infinite Being" knows the real deal. It "is" the real deal.
You're right, as most have agreed so far. Funny thing is that I can bring up page after page of people disputing the existance of absolute truth.
Aside from the pedantic play. If you're trying to say that absolutely (in the gramatical sense) there are no absolutes (in the philosophical sense), then I agree, and your second point would be correct. That is, of course if we combine science, which deals with known facts, with philosophy, which deals with speculation, thereby using the logic of scientific speculation in our searching out of 'truths'.
On the other hand, if you're talking about an absolute in theological terms concerning say a believer of religious doctrine. Then such a person may indeed hold to the idea that their particular God they worship is absolute, then your second point would to them be incorrect.
Unfortunately, not all religious thinkers are able to keep these two very different views as complete seperates while thinking and reasoning upon things in their everyday lives, muddying the two together. And there, I think the problem lies.
I admire the Franciscan thinkers of the late 13th and early 14 centuries who began to adopt more modern lines of philosophical enquiry into the sciences while keeping their theology seperate enough not to impede their advancements involving greater scientific reasoning. By clearly seperating the sphere of intellect from that of faith, they intended to liberate theology proper from its dependence on classical philosophy. At the same time, of course, where possible, philosophy was in-turn served from its subservience to theological ends. But overall, along with a free persuit of philosophical speculation went their devotion to their scientific research.
More especially, the Franciscans marked a renewed emphasis of Neo-Platonic influence which encouraged the study of mathematics. The strict exclusion of rational enquiry from the domain of faith henceforth demanded that science and philosophy refrain from cavilling at articles of faith. But, likewise, faith was never to pretend to pronounce dogmata where rational science and philosophy could hold its own. These circumstances brought with it occasions for sharper conflicts than had till then occured. For if the ministers of faith decreed on matters which were found in fact not to be so, then it followed that they must retreat or else give battle on ground to which they held no title. Only by not entering the lists of dialectics could revelation maintain its independence. In this way men could devote their lives to scientific research and at the same time hold a variety of beliefs in God.
In contrast to the Franciscans at that time, other theological orders like the Thomists actually weakened their theological positions in always attempting to prove God's existence over the science, quite apart from the fact that their arguments were not successful. On the other side of religious belief this means that the criteria of reason simply do not apply, and in a sense the soul is free to give allegiance to what it fancies.
Thankfully, because of the Franciscans ability to seperate their scientific research from their theological activities, their great efforts were able to give rise to some of the greatest periods of scientific and mathematical advancements, which also hastened the breakdown of the middle ages.
I'm sure that many religious thinkers on this site today can learn from the fine examples of the Franciscans, wouldn't you say Jeff?
Ask people if there is such a thing as absolute truth, or is everything a matter of interpretation. You'll find a large contingent that say all expressions of truth (especially religious truths) are valid, because they are personal, so no there is no absolute or universal truth.
Ask them if that is an absolute/universal truth...
Wipe your feet as you leave because you will knee deep in "BS" in a very short time.