Okay, but I don't think that because no-one can approach God-like objectivity mortal objectivity ceases to exist or that it ceases to have any rational application. I think one of the most popular errors of our age is the attempted assimilation of various irreconcilable belief systems primarily as a result of a seemingly impossible tangle of contradictory teachings. The objective theist--some through childlike faith, some through dauntless reason, even more still through an intricate union of the two--approaches this with the hope of distinguishing truth from error. Through the cultivation of virtue--that is, through the honest and sincere perseverance to know and do the will of God--the deceptive diversions fade away and truth becomes clear. The subjective theist--some by a lack of complete abandonment to God's guidance, some as the result of the desire for a convenient solution to the puzzle, some, too, through honest confusion--conclude that the tangled web of teachings can't be solved; that man's expression of his divine experience has been necessarily perverted by the fallibility with which he has been cursed. The only explanation, they say, is that God wills this.
From this conclusion logically follows two questions:
1) does the subjective theist claim that God willed (i.e. allowed) such (if I might be so bold as to call it) 'inspired pandemonium' as a consequence of the very human nature with which He has endowed mankind? (--that the utter chaos and destruction caused by warring creeds, whose truths have all been necessarily distorted by human fallibility, is a consequence of man's own deplorable, yet God-designed, human condition?)
2) or does the subjective theist claim that God actually desires such 'inspired pandemonium'?
First, I’ll have to take exception to your terminology.
Sure, but I intentionally painted the spectrum with a very broad brush.
There is essentially a diversity of theologies; this diversity only becomes a “pandemonium” through the insistence of one or more of the religious tribes decreeing their own singular superiority.
Not necessarily. It is only pandemonium if there are more than one. The causation/correlation fallacy implicit here is: the cause is not "decreeing . . . singular superiority"; the cause is rebellion against the decree of singular superiority with other claims of singular superiority. And this is logically so because the most logical way to justify rejecting the authenticity of another is to validate one's own.
So, as I've said before, there are two options: (1) acknowledge the interests in claiming singular superiority to counter this same claim from an uncomfortable truth and then find out whose claim is legitimate, or (2) conclude that since no-one can agree, they must all be wrong in this claim.
But then that shifts the mode of evaluation to a very subjective platform. Now it is you who who has the power to uncover the mysterious truths of God and not these individual "expressions of the divine experience", but only as it concerns the areas in which you disagree with them. More simply, they are wrong where you subjectively determine they must be wrong. In an attempt to reconcile all of them so as to keep any of them from being singularly right, it could almost be said that you perhaps manifest a subtle bias revealed by your own quest to impugn the claim of authority made by any individual religious entity. But what is the cause of these imperfections found in each of God's private revelations? There is no other way to explain it than to say that these are all the product of human fallibly, which has 'inevitably tarnished the clarity of the Messenger's words.' Though this scoffs at--what seems to be from this view--God's pathetic desire to make Himself known to His creation, or at the very least makes a mockery of His will to be known, this is a convenient spot for you to be in, for where something doesn't add up, you can quite simply conclude that it must be the result of human imperfection. In this way, you sit above the thrones of God's miserably incompetent revelations and by impugning their own claims of singular theological superiority you consequently validate your own.
It's clever, but but that's about all it is. It's just not truth.
Am I claiming that this is your motive? Of course not. However, I don't see how the above can't be as equally--and perhaps more so--chauvinistic as that of which you might accuse the alternative.
If I actually have a point somewhere in this confusing discussion, it’s that fundamentalism ruins a good thing. These claims to objectivity are the cause of the pandemonium.
As I said above, I believe you have falsely attributed the cause to "claims of objectivity" (though the plural 'claims
' could be correct if interpreted according to my view). What if God did desire to make Himself known . . . objectively . . . as unsullied as humanly
possible through a fallible medium, though incomplete and lacking as it would necessarily be? Does He keep trying so hard but His own human design just keeps getting in His way? I agree that the correlation coefficient seems to rise with claims of objectivity--indeed, it does with most causation/correlation fallacies--, but be careful not to falsely attribute the cause to the wrong variable. The consequences wouldn't be short-lived if you were wrong.
(great word choice, though)
Thanks, but I think we each like the word choice for different reasons.
What is asked is: are we going to know God experientially—or just theologically, or not at all?
In this life, we can only know God incompletely in both.
With the rest of humanity.
Oh! I wasn't expecting something so broad.
I didn't realize they were included in the parameters of your comment.
You’re a good egg
I think that's a compliment. In any case, thank you.
and the philosopher does us a service even if victory is forever out of grasp. Objectivity notwithstanding, it’s probably more worthwhile to care about these things than to not give a crap at all. Even Faulkner cared, or he wouldn’t have written more pages about Isaac McCaslin than he did Jason Compson.
Of course, but do you really think God makes His heaven out of dangling the truth in front of us laughing as we strive in vain to know what it is? If subjective truth were relative to our temporal happiness, atheism
would be less depressing.
Really, however, I did not reply with the intention of getting into this discussion because 1) we've been here before, and 2) I don't have enough time to devote to it.
Understandable; we have, indeed, been here before. Maybe it’s been done to death. You’re welcome on the other thread, of course, since I think the discussion has been recast in a more interesting scenario. I’ll probably be posting less often, too, though, since I started an art project during the forum outage.
I have not yet seen the thread given that my forum time at the present is mostly limited to this conversation, but I would like to see it.
Right. But the problem I’ve always had with this “idea of external proof” is that it assumes what needs to be proven.
Well here's the problem: the premise of such proof relies on the existence of God. Until one proves that, every "external proof" is going to necessarily assume "what needs to be proven".
Even Pius XII does this.
Pius XII's encyclical didn't set out to prove the validity of these external proofs. He simply alluded to the framework.