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← A very atheist Christmas

digofthedump's Avatar Jump to comment 95 by digofthedump

Thanks Steve Zara

Something can exist and be as simple as you like but it can't have a mind and be simple.

Oh but it can!! Something can BE simple and HAVE a complex mind (or even a simple mind)...it can't BE simple and BE a complex mind...by definition. You equate self or being with mind itself...because any sort of awareness requires mind. But the spiritual world-view does not ultimately equate self or being with mind...mind is a reflection of self (self here refers to the singular 'universal self' rather than a personal self that is distinct from other 'selves'). An illustration. Imagine having the most powerful torch in the universe and shining it into empty space...you wouldn't see the light, no matter how bright it was. Only if the light shines on to something will you be able to see the light reflected back at you. Supposing a speck of dust is in the way of the torch beam. The speck of dust would appear to be the source of light itself...whereas it would only be reflecting the light coming from your torch.

This is simply an illustration of course...here the light represents the self, and the speck of dust represents mind, through which the self is percieved. Since the mind is not actually the self, but only the lense through which we 'see' the self...the self does not depend on some pre-existing mental structure capable of manifesting human self-awareness....mind exists as a continuum of complexity, mind grows but the self is unchanging and eternal.

Incidentally...I'm describing self and mind as distinct from one another here for the purpose of describing the nature of life but ultimately they are closely related to the extent that they are different aspects of the same thing...this is what is meant by life being a process of becoming or self realization.

God is necessarily of vast complexity, no matter what you believe about mind, being, naturalism and so on. This is inescapable, and it is one of the reasons why the belief that God is simple is logically false. It's impossible.

Certain notions about God are not logical...this I grant you...but this is ultimately a theological debate. The spiritual notion that places life or being at the beginning of our enquiry so to speak is perfectly logical.

What is 'higher' or 'real' meaning supposed to be?

This was a discussion concerning our attitude to human values, experience and culture. I was simply pointing out that human celebrations will naturally have more significance to people who believe that life is the basis of reality...much in the same way that particle physics will be regarded differently by those who think that reality is based on fundamental particles....but we weren't discussing particles, we were discussing Christmas.

Mon, 26 Dec 2011 11:13:52 UTC | #902748