JustJim wrote:Mitch wrote:This presumes an absolute separation between what is imagined and what is real. When I assert that there is an irreducibly subjective aspect to reality itself, I am calling that presumption into question, and in fact asserting that since imagination is necessarily part of reality, that such a separation is not absolute.
Okay... I understand what you mean when you say that, and I'm fine with it. I agree with it. But when I ask you if you believe Zeus was an actual, real person/god/being who existed outside the imaginations (the perceived subjective realities) of those who believed he did, I'm asking you if you think Zeus was as real a person/being as you or I are. Was there a being called Zeus who walked around on top of Mt. Olympus, even if not observed doing so, or not? Just because some (many?) ancient Greeks seemed to have believed so doesn't mean it was actually so. I understand that the answer is YES as regards their subjective perceptions and interpretations of their subjective realities, but the answer is NO as regards my own and probably (I hope) your own. So I'm not really asking about whether the Greek pantheon existed subjectively in the minds and experiences of those who believed it did, or even in your mind or mine; I'm asking your opinion on whether you think the Greek pantheon objectively existed outside of the subjective realities of those who believed it did. Do you have no opinion on that?
People believe and say things about perfect real people that are incorrect or only based on a small grain of truth. Some of the stories of gods in some cultures could very well have been based upon human rulers whose spirits were thought to hang around in some way until they were eventually thought to be gods (in fact, in Japanese culture they use the same word and there is no distinction between god and spirit). I think that is a far more likely possibility for many of these gods than that they were purely works of fiction. So I cannot even answer a question with regards to how much of their existence was part of this subjective aspect of reality and how much was a part of the objective apsect of reality. Are you asking if I believe that everything that was ever said of these gods could be true? Since I don't believe everything that was ever said of the Christian God that I believe in, then it is only natural for me to think that this is highly unlikely that everything that was said of the Greek gods is true of whatever was real in their case.
JustJim wrote:And if there is no such thing as an objective reality that exists independently of our subjective perceptions of it, then... Wow...........
There is a difference between saying that there is no objective reality and saying that reality has both subjective and objective aspects to it -- i.e. that reality is not PURELY objective. The point is that I reject this view of reality where what we want and choose is irrelevant, and that reality just is what it is. What we want and choose is not irrelevant but in fact one of the most important parts of reality. Nevertheless the experience of science that there is an objective reality out there, outside of our minds and perception of it, that IS independent of what we may want or believe to be the case, is ALSO something I consider undeniable. Thus I believe that reality has both aspects to it -- a part which is shared and has no regard for what we may want or believe and a part that is not shared and where what we want and choose is paramount.
Brad wrote:mitchellmckain wrote:Brad wrote:1) Would it be fair to think of Mitch as sort of a postmodernist, at least as regards religion?
How and in what way since I don't actually agree with the vast majority of philosophers that are called postmodern? You seem to be using this as an epethetical label of some kind rather than any serious examination of what that set of philosophers are actually saying. My thinking certainly is not based on their ideas.
I don't claim to be a scholar, armchair or otherwise, of philosophy. I don't think that should prevent me from using a philosophical term within the limits of my general understanding and to the degree that I think other non-academics might comprehend. Your reply reminds me of Don Johnson's insistence that Emery shouldn't critique Christianity because he's not a theologian.
But there is no similarity at all. I am not saying you have to have a degree in philosophy in order to make a comment on this. But Don would be completely within his rights to ask Emery to give some concrete substantiation for any claims he made regarding Christianity. That was all that I was asking from you.
Dave B wrote:You seem to be using "reality" to mean either an individual's subjective picture of how the universe works
Dave B wrote: or something which includes both the objective universe and the supernatural.
Well duh!!! I am a Christian therefore I believe in a spiritual aspect to reality. I simply think that this spiritual aspect to reality is to be largely found in the subjective rather than the purely objective.
Dave B wrote: So do you mean that two people's contradictory beliefs can both be correct because they can both be justified by each person's subjective experience, or because the supernatural can contain actual (and not just apparent) contradictions?
Yes I beleive that the spiritual aspect of reality is fundamentally a subjective one because there are no mathematical laws governing that part of reality. While physical things are what they are by the mathematical relationship they have to the whole physical universe, spiritual things are what they are by their own nature alone.