Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Un-Actuality of Time and Space; Relative to the Unreal Degree: Another Response to Commenter and Blogger James Jordan

Hi James,

Thanks for your thoughtful response!
“It doesn’t exist in a physical way. It “exists” as a concept, but as a necessary concept.”

Right…I would agree with this statement; I think for man to effectively organize his environment, “time” is extremely important.  It allows for the exceptionally effective interaction among people.  Dividing the “day” into “points” of contact has obvious positive implications.  Definitely.  But the fact that it isn’t “physical” has HUGE implications.  If we can correctly identify it as an abstract concept that exists as a function of man’s mind, then we will stop rooting our understanding of God and physics and metaphysics on the assumption that it not only is helpful to man, but that God, and the Universe are actually a direct FUNCTION of it.  That they are FORCED to submit to it as a matter of course.  If we can understand it is a concept, and nothing more, then we can begin to look beyond it for proper TRUTH.

“Time is real but not physical. The now is the set of positions of all physical objects and thoughts as the exist now. The past is the set of all physical objects and thoughts as they existed then. You can’t go back to the past, because this isn’t finite state machine. Nor can you go to the future. You are always in the now, but the now is not always the same now.”

From my perspective, it seems as though you rightly proclaim time as “not real” (which I describe as not “actual”), but then you proceed to argue as to why it is, in fact, real.  My posit is that if something is not physical, then it cannot be real (there is simply no evidence, physical or metaphysical, to defend the idea that the non-physical actually exists).  It is a concept…a concept is only real in that it occupies an area of biological brain space.  But the things the concept “denotes” still exist regardless of whether the concept is formulated in man’s mind or not.  The “concept” doesn’t create anything or destroy anything.  It merely describes it.  It cannot EFFECT anything.  It can only describe it, because it is only theoretical.  It has NO actual power.  Because it is not a real, physical thing.

“I don’t believe it is possible to live in a timeless moment where everything past, present, and future is the Now.”

James, by your own concession of time as “not real/not physical”, this is precisely what you must believe.  If time doesn’t actually exist, then as I said, it cannot effect the physical.  And as such, then, we must acknowledge that the reality of everything does, indeed, exist “now”.  The reason you struggle to accept my argument, I submit, is because you have spent your whole life assuming that the timeline actually has some kind of POWER to effect your world.  As you said, “denoting, something real”.  But again, time denotes nothing except in your MIND…because it isn’t actual.  And so, the real argument is that MAN denotes, not TIME.   Time is purely a conceptual tool.  So the reality of existence then MUST be that both WHERE and WHEN are purely the abstraction of time being extended cognitively to objects.  So, if YOU, the object, are the constant, and you are always WHERE and WHEN you are, then by definition, literally speaking, all must be NOW.

And further, movement does NOT imply time.  Because you see yourself move, and other things move, does not mean that time is REAL.  You are quantifying this RELATIVE movement by “time”.  The same way you do it by “speed”, or “distance”, or “dimension” or any other purely cognitive, theoretical abstraction.

“For one thing, if God had no sense of time, if everything was now to him, I don’t think he would have created anything, nor perhaps could he create anything if that were the case. If everything is now to God, in the sense you seem to be suggesting, then God can’t do anything. God becomes a prisoner of the future he foresees. He can only do in the now what he foresaw he would do, which means there must be some all-powerful fate determining God’s actions, and that all-powerful fate would then be God. So you end up with an infinite regress.”

Yes…I see what you are saying here. You are clearly using excellent discursive argument and inductive reasoning.  I LOVE to see this in people.  Occasionally I see this on the blogs…but usually these are the people who get booted pretty quick, because once they start thinking like this, it becomes increasingly easier to see the logical flaws in the arguments, even when the arguments are from “nice” Calvinists, like Wade Burleson.  And this really pisses people off, and they tell you that you are full of pride and want to force your ideas on others.  But the truth is that people don’t like having their long-held assumptions sacrificed up to rational scrutiny when they know they lack the tools to defend it.  And this has very little to do with intellect, and almost everything to do with two things:  they are lackadaisical and complacent thinkers, and the ideas are just plain bad.

But I digress.

James, the problem I see in your perspective is that you are still conceding that time is actual…in effect, anyway.  You are proclaiming that God is beholden to a “future” He sees, but the point is that since time is not actual, then He cannot, by definition, SEE a FUTURE.  He may be able to conceptualize a “future” in a theoretical sense, like man does, but that does not mean that He can create a future, because that would mean creating time, and then, you are right, HE would indeed be beholden to TIME.  HIS actions would be as determined and thus as obsolete as anyone else’s.  Which is precisely why I DENY that God can “know” the future, because if He knows a future then He MUST have determined it, and then time becomes the all determining Force and we wind up with the self-destructing metaphysical conclusions which doom the whole darn thing, as you rightly point out.  But since everything is, in fact, NOW, and all movement relative, then there is NO future for God to “foreknow”.  He operates as man operates in man’s existential reality…using conceptual tools within the machinations of RELATIVE movement  “like time and space and distance and love and hate, etc., etc.” in order to truly RELATE to man.

So IF we acknowledge that time is merely a concept, then we can actually concede a REAL and truly free-willed relationship with God without inexorably running into the impossibly irreconcilable determinism where ACTUAL time MUST eventually arrive.

By the way, I applaud you and everyone else that comes here to talk about this stuff.  Make no mistake, WE are the only ones doing it.  NO ONE else wants anything to do with this stuff.  I have engaged physicists, philosophers, etc., etc…they don’t touch it.  Time and Space are sacred cows.  I have brought up these questions on physics sites several times…it is surreal.  They don’t answer my observations about the subject, but they run me out of town on a rocket propelled rail.

Why?

Because they have no answer.  And their curse is that they are smart enough to KNOW they have no answer.  They aren’t merely lazy thinkers clinging to long-held assumptions because they just don’t feel like moving their minds.  They understand that the entire science hangs on ideas that are ultimately impossible to reconcile rationally (which is why so many, like Hawking, hate philosophers…philosophy, at least GOOD philosophy, like Aristotelian-type thinking, is their kryptonite).  I promise you, they have NO way to ever mathematically “prove” that nothing equals something.

For example, they laud the “big bang” and yet they understand that according to their own centuries of physics they cannot describe “where” or “when” it occurred, because, by definition, it can have NO time or space…because it “created them”.  Their silence is a mask for their “intellect”.  They love being the smartest people in the room…they will not suffer questions from philosopher types like us. As such, I have begun to question a LOT of what I assume.

Oh…one final thing:  There is NO beginning, for the very reason that a beginning for the “big bang” can never be concluded (there is no where or when, because space and time were “created” then). “Beginning’ is a function of “time”. Thus, even beginning is simply relative.

Think about that.  🙂

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God and Man Have the Same “Time” and the Same “Space”, the Difference is Purely Relative: Response to commenter James Jordan

Here at Unreformingtheology.com we have been having a tedious conversation regarding the issues of space and time, attempting to discern just which category (actual or abstract) they should be deposited in, existentially, in order to get the metaphysical presumptions right.

I am truly fortunate to have intelligent commenters (though my group is small) whose interesting insights, disagreements, and elucidations on such matters provide a seemingly endless supply of material for posts.

Today’s post is no exception.  This one springs from a comment by James Jordan with respect to my last post “I’m Laughing at the Superior Intellect”.

Oh…by the way, if you can name the movie and the character which said those words “I’m laughing at the superior intellect”, you…get a cookie.

James said:

“Again, since it doesn’t move, the timeline is static…so then the only ‘value’ you can give an object on a timeline that is static is ZERO, because you can never by definition know WHEN an object can exist on the timeline because the timeline itself is is NOT a function of time.”

My attempt to put that in English results in: “The only time that really exists is the present. The past is gone and the future does not yet exist.” I don’t know if I captured what you’re trying to say there or not.

“Time” in the sense we think of it has a beginning, the creation, and an end, the end of this planet. But “time” to God is infinite. So we are dealing with two sets of “time.” This is the only sense in which I will allow that God “exists outside of time” — his timeline is longer, even infinite. But that doesn’t mean he sees everything, past, present, and future as present, as the sophists allege. Saying that time “is not real” I think could result in bolstering the claims of the sophists who believe God exists in a kind of timeless moment in which he sees all time at once. I don’t like that. Time to me is “Real” but only real as an abstract idea is real. Love is real, but it isn’t a physical existence. Anger is real, but also not a physical existence. So, time is real, but it doesn’t really exist. The only time that exists is now, and the past is past (hence the name), and the future hasn’t happened yet and so cannot be exhaustively known.

As for space, it is the very definition of non-existence. When nothing exists, what do you have? Empty space.”

Here is my response:

Hi James,

Your translation of my post in English (LOL!) was pretty good.  I only (of course) have a small issue with it…which, may be a big issue depending on your point of view, but anyway…

Yes…the “present” as being the only thing that exists is a relatively fair assertion, and very astute.  Still…I struggle to leave it there, the reason being that “present”, like future or past, denotes a value of “time”–the NOW moment, so to speak–and as such, for me, denying that ANY such value is actual, but that ALL temporal values must be abstract, forms the core of my belief on the matter.

“Present” is not really any different from “past” or “future” in that it places man someWHERE on a timeline.  But since no such timeline actually exists, you cannot remove “future” and “past” without also removing “present”.  For according to the definition of time, and timeline, if you do not have a “future” or “past” you cannot have a “present”.  Why?

Because, again, it cannot have a value.  If the timeline doesn’t move, as I said in my last post, then any value on it is referenced to ZERO (meaning the timeline starts at 0 time…then, by definition, its initial value is zero, so then you cannot ADD to it; meaning time itself is nothing, and adding MORE nothing to nothing still gives you NOTHING).  This is no different for “present”.  For even NOW can only actually be valued at ZERO if we are to look at the timeline as anything other than a theoretical abstraction.

The fact is that there is no “past”, “future”, OR “present”.  The only thing that is constant (i.e. ACTUAL) is YOU (or whatever object we are discussing…but we’ll just say YOU, for the sake of this post).  Thus, no matter “where” you are (space) or “when” you are (time), your location can only ACTUALLY (that is, non-theoretically) be described as YOU.  YOU are “when” you are; and YOU are “where” you are.  ANYTHING else is a relative abstraction.

Not that abstractions are bad.  Not at all.  The ability to abstract is precisely why we are at the top of the food chain (or is it “food pyramid” now?).  But it is also why we destroy ourselves in the name of Primacy of Consciousness.  We come to the weird conclusion that these abstractions are somehow the REAL “laws” which govern us.  And thus we kill ourselves in service to the external-to-man “truth” which guides humanity.

It is just so silly.  And so ghastly.

But you can thank Plato and his “forms”.  That peculiar philosopher is the greatest destroyer of humanity I can think of.  I submit that practically ALL wars are fought in service to an idea of the supremacy of a particular Primary Consciousness.

Let’s move on to man’s “time” versus God’s “time”.

This is my take…the (partial) conclusion upon which my thinking has been deposited.  The ideas may sound hokey…but, for my money, they are the only rational explanation which allows truly FREE interaction between God and man, ultimately.  Any other explanation, I believe, is determinism.

The truth is that time, being purely an abstraction, is no more real for us than it is for God.  And not only is this true for time, but it is also PRECISELY the same for any other abstract idea we wish to consider:  time, space, love, hate, anger, sadness, good, evil, up, down, language, run, walk, distance, length, width, and on and on.  I submit that ALL of these ideas are merely abstract qualifications and quantifications used by man to organize and express the many variations of the RELATIVE MOVEMENT of all objects outside of SELF.  And among these objects is God, Himself, who man also organizes according to abstraction, and who willingly submits to such organization because it is within MAN’S cognitive and physical frame of reference that God MUST operate due to the obvious and massive existential differences.

But even more than this, it is also the very way in which man observes HIMSELF.

As an aside, have you ever noticed that man’s consciousness can never look INWARD?  In other words, you cannot observe yourself from directly INSIDE yourself.  That all of what you know of YOU has come from the sensory input you derive from looking BACK upon yourself, from the outside.  And that you cannot look directly upon your own SELF from the same place you observe outwardly…that is, from your own consciousness.  I find this absolutely fascinating.

Moving on…

The primary temporal difference between man and God is:

God’s ability to “think” (engage in the self-aware oriented cognitive process), to “sense” and act (manipulate and effect creation towards a given objective) is found at the root subatomic particle level…that is, at the level of the basic, dimensionless (and thus INFINITE) particles of subatomics which under girds ALL of the physical universe.  And by this I am suggesting that God not only EXISTS at this level, but that He IS such a particle in root bodily form.  This works for me because it can be effectively argued that this would allow Him to be ACTUAL, and INFINITE.  A part of the universe, and in it and of it and around it, while at the same time maintaining His categorical integrity as the infinite I AM.  Able to be “anywhere’ and “anywhen”, and yet wholly observed by man to be, in fact, a separate causal power, capable of manipulating man’s world and environment without actually POSSESSING it.  This idea does away with all the metaphysical contradictions of a God whose existence is mutually exclusive to Creation.

At any rate, the main point is that God is not a “prisoner”–for lack of a better word–of a wholly relativistic, finite, existential reality.  God is able to somehow observe, act and think on a level which is essentially boundless…that is, bound only by the very self-derived and self-generated ABILITY to BE of the Creation which exists apart from Him.

He operates from an infinite–and thus, by definition, NON relative–place where He observes everything as HERE and everything as NOW in relation to Himself.  He is somehow able to bridge the gap between His infinite Self and the infinite selves of ALL of the infinite (dimensionless) subatomic particles that make up all that exists in the universe.  Nothing is relatively “near” or “far” from God in either space or time.  Everything is NOW to God.

It is from this vantage point and in this way that He does everything, which is why He is, and we observe Him, as purely an infinite I AM.  And we describe Him as “all powerful” because of the non-relative nature of EVERYTHING around Him.  His control is unlimited in this sense:  that He can manipulate everything “now” at will (and according to a conscious objective).

He is able to manipulate everything in Creation from the reference location of ZERO DISTANCE.  To God, everything, according to His conscious and self-aware Will, is immediately accessible and wholly able to be effected by Him…again, as long as the boundary between what is God and what is NOT God is not breached; not violated.  And this is never a problem because God cannot violate that which exists as a SELF wholly apart from God.  Breaching this boundary means breaching His own Self’s integrity.  For God cannot be an infinite Self AND also ANOTHER self simultaneously.  This would irrevocably create a metaphysical schism He cannot survive, having made Him and all He is and does utterly redundant.  Because if He IS that which He effects, then this completely destroys the OTHER which He is supposedly manipulating.

And the problem with this of course is that if there is no other by which God can be defined AS God, then you CANNOT define God at all; and He cannot define Himself.  Because God does not functionally EXIST apart from that which OBSERVES Him to be God…namely Creation. (I hear the cries of “heretic” and smell the fumes of the burning stake as I type.)

Remember this metaphysical axiom; Argo’s Universal Truth Number Eight:

The existence of SELF is always predicated on the actual existence of OTHER.

But this is for another post…

I Am Laughing at the Superior Intellect: An open challenge to the claim that Time and Space exist beyond the theoretical

Why oh why do I harp on the physics?  The “laws of nature”? The mathematical foundations?  I mean, it is clear from my recent left-boot of fellowship by the queens of Wartburg Watch–straight into the catatonic-closet of comment moderation–that not even those who claim to have it really care about TRUTH.

Oh…no, no, no.  Let’s not kid ourselves.  The Christians are the WORST offenders of all.  For they ironically reject TRUTH in the name of what IS actually TRUE. 

Somewhere, up there, the Right Hand of God is slapping His forehead.  Once, twice, again, again…in time with the relentless proclamations of impossibly contradictory ideas, flaccid premises, irrational metaphysics, relative moral definitions, utterly blurred existential lines between God and what is NOT God, the ruination of man and life and peace and love by Platonist science, and the appointing of mystic overlords as HIMSELF, standing in the stead.  Man is, quite contrary to God’s Will (which is a RATIONAL Will), replacing and summarily executing himself by the VERY ABSTRACTIONS he was born with in order to LIVE.

Yes…I hear a slap to the forehead of God right now.

In the words of one Christian I know, “Who cares?”

Ah…yes.  Indeed.  Trifling matters.  Piffle.  Pap.  Wholly necessary to the priceless and completely NON-redundant work (sarcasm alert) of proclaiming the gospel to the already-before-they-were-born-saved; and hellfire and brimstone to those unfortunate souls who fall just outside of John Calvin’s “limited atonement”.

Well…I don’t know precisely who cares.  But what I do know is that the importance of an issue is not necessarily defined by the number of people who “care”.  The number of Calvinist leaders who do not seem to care that certain para-church ministries have apparently been covering up the sexual abuse of children for the sake of “sound doctrine” seems to rise quite high.  Are we then to concede that this issue–the issue of the perverted larceny of innocence of those whom the Lord warned terrifyingly against causing to sin–is not worthy of pursuit?

Who cares?

I suspect anyone with a modicum of interest in truth, that’s who.  For if we cannot even get the BASIC existential ideas right and logical and rational and consistent…then we are doing something seriously wrong here.  And we–Christians, atheists, scientists, philosophers of any stripe–have no business preaching MORALITY OR IDEAS TO ANYONE.  We can’t even get EXISTENCE right.  Who are WE to lecture ANYONE about God.

How dare we approach other human beings with God or Math or Philosophy, or any moral or intellectual or artistic pursuit while walking in the fumes of farce and positively reeking of such preposterous ignorance.  I’d just as soon get my fortune read by a stray cat.

Now…on to my post, and my open challenge.

To scientists and philosophers and mathematicians everywhere:

I am laughing at the “superior” intellect.
EVERYTHING is a function of “time”.  Everything is a function of “space”.  Of course, this has serious implications in that it does not allow for any real rational understanding of metaphysics and the true nature of just what it means to exist.

It is hard to get people to understand this…it is so difficult for people to undo a lifetime of “observing” the “passage of time”.  That, plus it is built into the premises which guide every “law” of nature.

The problem is that explaining that transferring the abstraction of time into an “actual” entity amounts to a complete contradiction of the notion of time.  This is something I have found that not even physicists can (or will) grasp.  That isn’t to sound arrogant, it is just the way some people’s minds are wired.  I’m “different”, and so it is something akin to “nature” for me to look at things beyond the assumptions.

I like to say this in regards to space and time:

If time is real, then by definition it must be infinite, because “time” cannot have a “beginning” or and “end” because that would imply that it is derivative of something NOT time.  But time, by definition cannot both BE time and be a FUNCTION of something NOT time.  For time is time PRECISELY because it continues to MOVE infinitely.  If we concede it has an end (or beginning), then time by definition is static; and static time is NOT time because it does NOT move.

You see, the timeline doesn’t move in this scenario…and this must mean that the timeline itself is NOT a function of time.  But if it isn’t a function of time, because it is static, then how can you ever give an object at a certain “location” on the timeline a value?  For the timeline’s location itself, as we have said, is not a function of time–is not a function of “when”–and thus, without this reference, any location of any object on the timeline can also only be said to be “NO-WHEN”, because the reference for its location, the timeline, has NO TIME.   And NO-WHEN cannot have any rational value at all.

Again, since it doesn’t move, the timeline is static…so then the only “value” you can give an object on a timeline that is static is ZERO, because you can never by definition know WHEN an object can exist on the timeline because the timeline itself is is NOT a function of time. The reference for “time”, the timeline itself, has NO time.  Thus, zero time can be the only logical value for any object on it.

But if we concede that time is constantly moving; that the timeline IS time itself, then the timeline is infinite.  But if the timeline is infinite then how can you ever give a value to a thing on the timeline?  For any “part” of an infinite thing is INFINITE.  You cannot ever ascribe a FINITE value to an INFINITE thing.  Once again, then, the only practical value for an object on the timeline, the timeline having an infinite (UNDEFINED) reference value, is UNDEFINED.  And what this amounts to, practically speaking, is ZERO.

Now, let’s transition into space from time.

Let’s say time is created, then it has a beginning…be it by God or the big bang, or Stephen Hawkings Nobel prize, or Carl Sagan’s nostrils.

Okay.  When?  Where?  For if “when” cannot exist until time is created, then what is frame of reference for beginning your “counting” of time.  If the beginning of time then is ZERO, then how do you add ANY VALUE of a thing if the thing’s INITIAL, CAUSAL value is ZERO?  Time has a beginning that is by definition NOTHING.  And you cannot get something from nothing.

BUT NOW, the same must then be true for space.  If time does not have a “when” to its beginning, by definition, then it cannot possibly have a WHERE.  Since when is “when” and “where” separable for anything at all?

If space has a beginning, then it must be conceded that it is a function of something NOT space.  And if this is true, then space itself is, by definition, is in NO space, or is NOWHERE.  But if space itself is nowhere, then how can you establish a frame of reference for any object “in” space?  The only logical conclusion is that the location of a thing referenced to NOWHERE must also be NOWHERE.  So the “space” of an object is ZERO, by logical extension.

But if we argue that space is INFINITE, then…yes, you can see where this is going.  How do you have a value for an object in infinite space?  You cannot give a value of “space” that is anything other than infinite, because you cannot have a FINITE value of an INFINITE thing…just as is true for time.

The ONLY constant, then, in the universes is the object, the SELF.  Objects which are SELF are the only things that exist which are NOT mere abstractions.  Everything, including space time can only be given a real value if it is derivative of the things which are ACTUAL.

Time and space are illusions of reality; they are NOT reality itself.  Theoretical abstractions.  As are “laws” which “govern” nature, and the “language” of the heavens:  mathematics.

Are they not?

Abstractions.  Figments of man’s unique cognitive abilities.

I demand an answer to my assertions that spacetime only exists in man’s mind.  That what we might “observe” as space or “feel” as time do not, in fact, exist to be felt or observed at all.  I will no longer reject reason in favor of abstract-oriented reality.

As I said…

I am laughing at the “superior” intellect.

The Relativity of Existence Between Objects as a Function of Space, Time, and Velocity: Response to commenter A Mom

“Still don’t get the relative age in relation to speed thing.”

Hi A Mom,
I have an example that might help. I’m staring at a coffee mug right now, so we’ll just use that as the object in the example. For all my examples, by the way, the “object” and the “self” are the same thing…so if I use those terms interchangeably, you understand that they are the same thing. Object and self are realized ultimately at the subatomic level, but for my purposes (philosophical purposes…which are the most important to humanity), we can assume that any self or object is anything which is separated from anything else by “space”; and even more literally, separated by “space” as observed by a self-aware consciousness (which is, I argue, the only way by which anything can actually EXIST).   In my fight against Calvinism, the “self” I’m most interested in is the human being. The human being being the very epitome of ACTUAL, and LITERAL self, due to his awareness of SELF via his observation of OTHER.  (Nothing else, except God, can “observe” anything, and so outside of man, there is no existence at all; and yes, I argue…literally.  Existence does not occur without consciousness.  Take that atheists.  I’ll debate any of you right now on this.  Existence, in the words of the great Ayn Rand, is axiomatic.  And it can only be by God and by extension man (who IS consciousness) that anything exists.)

Moving on.

In this case, we’ll make the object the coffee mug.

Okay. Take a coffee mug and put it on the table. Sitting there, nice and still. Take a picture of it. That’s you “slow moving” object. Your still object. Next, take the mug and drop it on the floor….take a picture of it while it is moving (before it hits the floor and gets coffee all over your cat). Make sure you use an old camera with a real slow shutter speed so that the mug looks like a blurry line.

Put the picture of the blurry mug next to the clear, still mug.

Define “moment”. Moment is a timeless instance of existence…it is the POINT where the object exists, in stasis, no longer a function of the timeLINE (moving time).

Next, create a visual of a moment for the static mug and a visual of a moment for the moving, blurry mug. In other words, use your imagination to put the still mug in the moment next to a 3D “cutout” of the blurry, moving mug from the picture…having the exact same dimensions and cubic volume as the still mug.

So, you have two mugs sitting next to each other. One is still and the other “moving”…both the exact same size and dimensions, because they are both captured in the singular MOMENT of existence when the picture was initially taken.

What is the observable difference between the two? Well, one looks like a solid, normal mug. The other looks like a “blurry” mug…or rather, an opaque mug, right. It doesn’t look solid. So…what does that mean? It means that for the blurry/opaque mug, at the MOMENT the picture of it was taken, while it was accelerating to the floor, more light was able to pass through it.

Okay…why is that?

Well, simple. Because at that MOMENT, it occupied less space than the still mug….in the same moment. Relative to the still mug, there wasn’t as much of it THERE. It is still a whole mug, but the velocity of the mug, added to it in the moment means that it doesn’t take up as much “space” as the still mug. And if it isn’t THERE in the same amount as the still mug, then the mug cannot be “aging” as much as the still mug either, relatively speaking.

Moving objects exist in LESS space and time than still objects, which is why they are “younger” relative to the still object.

This is the underlying premise of Einstein’s example of the person on earth versus the person traveling out and back at light speed. When they arrive back at the same moment of “spacetime”, the faster object is younger because at light speed, it simply doesn’t use as much space or time to EXIST.

Does this help? Or have I made it worse?

“Intelligent” Contradiction: The irreconcilable assumption of “time/space/quantity” in the intelligent design theory

Recently I was perusing the comments over at one of my favorite sites, “Stufffundieslike.com”, and the topic of conversation was that old Christian punching bag, evolution.

Of course, this inevitably leads to hyper-literal interpretations of the Genesis account (and it did) and Young Earth Indoctrin…er, Creationism.  And this of course leads one to the boxing ring of scientific experimental evidence versus endless appeals to the fact that God can do anything and punting reason into the great void of mystic shrugging of shoulders and the “mysteries of God”.

At any rate, for the Young Earth folks, this apparently includes punting the explicit assumption that God, in the creation process, engaged willfully and “intelligently” certain redundant actions by having Creation do at the beginning what five hundred plus years of scientific observation have concluded it cannot possibly do.

This boxing match is on round one million now, and though the Young Earth side is on the ground dead and dying, they cling to the hopes that before the referee will reach ten in the KO count their cries of “heretic” will somehow revive them.

Any question on where I stand on the issue?

Good.  I was laying on the sarcasm pretty thick.

The problem I see with the whole debate is that no one ever seems to bring up what is to me, the most obvious contradiction, and veritably proves that the Genesis account can only be man’s interpretation of the event, and can by no means be seen as a way to rationally explain what actually happened as a function of some kind of external objective time frame.

The contradiction is this:

Will some Young Earth dude or dudette please define “day”, “twenty -four”, “hour”, and “one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven” as applied to a God who all Creationists openly admit is not bound by space or time.  For the terms I have put in quotes cannot exist without explicitly being a function of both space and time; and this of course means that in order for God to have created in such a way, he must also explicitly operate as a function of space and time.  If he does not, there is no way to declare that he ever created anything in a specific amount of time in a specific number of days.  Because time and day can have no reciprocal value.

As I responded to one Creationist over at Stuff Fundies Like dot com:

“If God is not bound by space or time, how can he create in a specific number of days? Space time implies a where and a when to an action–day 1 was here and within this 24 hours; day two was here, and within a second set of 24 hours. This explicitly means God is in fact a function of space and  time, and is working within the parameters of them. But you just conceded that God doesn’t work within the confines of space or time.

Can you explain the apparent contradiction?”

I didn’t hang around the site for an explanation because my last question was clearly rhetorical.  It was rhetorical because I already know the answer, and so do you, because the answer is one we constantly hear from neo-reformed shills and  is a resounding and earth shattering, truth-surrendering, death cry of  “no'”.

Oh, I’m sorry.  A simple “no” is waaaay to logical for a Calvinist.  The appropriately obfuscating reply will be: “Who can explain His ways?”; “who are you o man to question your maker?”; “God has only revealed what we “need” to know, and that doesn’t include root understandings about the nature of reality and existence, because that would limit the power of the protestant despots to declare their interpretive premises of the Bible as “God’s Infallible Word””.

That’s the answer.  And, so really…the answer is (and I’ll fill in for them the non-propagandized version):  “No…it is in fact a contradiction, and that is all it really is.”

Now, I understand that one might be tempted–as is the case with the false idea of the “trinity”–to declare that, were man around to see creation happen, it would seem to man to take “six literal days”.

To which I would reply: No it wouldn’t, for a couple reasons.

First, you have already conceded that God is not bound by space and time; and the explicit assumption, and also oft-conceded (His ways are NOT your ways, you depraved beast…shut up and tithe, for you are merely a steward, and the master demands the mammon that he did not work for, because he takes what is his, that you must work for so that he will give it to you so you can give it to me and I will give it back to God)…

Oh…sorry.  Where was I?

Oh yeah.

…oft conceded fact that humans are of course bound by space and time.  So there is no reciprocity of existence, is what I mean.  You can never by definition experience the creative process from God’s frame of reference.  You can only experience it from your prison of spacetime.  And as such, there is simply no way in the world to define how God’s creative process would “look” to you; nor how you would “experience” it.  It simply isn’t possible…especially since the Young Earth folks have already conceded that man is bound existentially and God is not.  At best, you can only say that you would “experience’ it according to your own ability to observe as a function of space time.  That being the case–and according to the objective evidence which shows that the processes involved in creation are–to man–processes which take millions and billions of years to occur (like, for instance, the evolution of a planet and a star  from a weakly-interacting primordial subatomic ooze of mass-less, catatonic particles)–you would ‘observe” the creation process as millions and billions of years…much like you experience the waiting rooms of societies which offer universal health care.  And this being the case, you’d be dead before the “sun set’ on day one.

All this is to say that even if God says He made everything in six days, and we agree that that this is indeed what God’s Word really was (and we don’t agree, by the way), we have absolutely no way at all of verifying in any way that the definition of God’s “day” is the same as our day.  Doing that can never be a function of either empirical scientific experiment, nor can it be logically confirmed.  Because creation occurs from the divine frame of reference, there can be no reciprocity of “when” or “where” or “how” or “how long”, or “number” or even a reciprocal value of movement of any kind.  Since man’s observational frame of reference is wholly and utterly mutually exclusive to God’s, there is no way you can ever rationally make the the argument for “six literal day”.  For “six” and “literal” and “days” cannot be defined.  If you say they are defined by how man experiences it, you condemn God to the sheep pen of space time; for if that is how long it took Him, then that is by which He must create; and His actions are limited as a function of space and time. Which means He, Himself is bound by them.  Which means He isn’t really God, but space and time are. Because they are the only things that are infinite and “perfect”.  (And also self-contradicting, but I won’t explain why just now; unless you want me to.)

As I’ve often said, Calvinist despots cannot have their metaphysical cake and eat it too.  If God is infinite, then He cannot be bound by the same numbers man is.  That’s just the deal they make.  As soon as they define God as infinite, sovereign, in control, and wholly outside of man, they must concede then there are things He cannot do.  And one of the things is that He cannot create anything in six literal days.

Otherwise, you, the Calvinist,  are a rational thief.  And no one is obligated to listen to you; for you cannot even reasonably defend your own “truth”.  The more you talk such nonsense, the more we must realize that, by your own admission, you cannot really know anything at all.

Finally, consider this:

The Law of Relativity in part states that if a person leaves earth at light speed and returns ten minutes later, a person remaining on earth would have aged ten years (or thereabouts) and the person who left at light speed would have aged only ten minutes (or thereabouts).  Both would have experienced the passage of time identically, however, when together, it would be clear that time did not “pass” the same for both.

Their frames of reference are utterly exclusive, which is why the numbers cannot be reconciled (ten minutes does not equal ten years…the time was relative).  So…what we learn from this is that the frame of reference is not really spacetime at all, it is self.  And since it is not spacetime, and can never be, time and space can only ever be, particularly in that little example, relative.  And if time and space are relative between two selves, like man and God, then there is no way to reconcile the behavior of either according to some kind of external standard.  If God is infinite and man is not, then the numbers can never be reconciled.

God could not have created the earth and the universe in six literal days.  Because, as I said, “six”, and “literal” and “days” are purely relative terms.  The have no reciprocal value.  Period.

Young Earth Creationism operates on false assumptions.  Therefore, its conclusions are false.

JeffS, Commenter at Wartburg Watch: A response to his very kind comment; why I’m not admitting I was wrong, and why I am still commenting on Wartburg, and what is the disturbing new trend

Last night on Wartburg Watch I received a very nice comment from self-admitted Calvinist, JeffS.  JeffS and I have gone a few rounds over there, and our dialogue is part of the reason for the new and improved  “moderated Argo” over there.  Apparently, I have a problem with “tone”.  And while I do not want to concede that my tone is “wrong”–for I maintain complete adherence to my last post on the matter–I did want to acknowledge that sometimes, in the interest of love, we make attempts to differentiate between the ideas we hate and the people–the human beings–we love.  And that might mean that you swallow your pride and you work with the system.  If the system has corners you do not agree to…well, you either modify your ways so that you can continue existing in it as best your can; or you jump off.  If you don’t own the system (like I don’t own Wartburg Watch), then you don’t make the rules.  It is as simple as that.

At any rate, my reply is still sitting in the corner with a dunce cap on, so it hasn’t appeared yet.  I’m sure it will in time, but just in case I never find my way out of blog jail I wanted to post it here so that JeffS doesn’t think I’m ignoring him.  I am not, and I appreciate his heart and his words.  I want him to know this as soon as possible.

JeffS said:

@ Argo:
I hope we are cool. I am glad you are still posting. And I know an earlier comment I made may have come off as judging your motives, which was not my intent. I reacted a little strongly to reading your statement that you didn’t care about TWW. I hope you can forgive any insult I might have given there.

I do believe you have good motives, even if we are completely opposed in what we think is good and right in terms of theology and philosophy. I do think you and I agree on what is good and right in action, though, and that is something (even the most important thing, in my view).

Argo said:

JeffS,

Totally cool. Thank you so much for your time and the dialogue.

And…yeah. I’m not really proud of that comment.

I’m walking a weird line here. It’s a bit surreal. A good learning experience. I mean…I’m not quite acknowledging that I was “wrong” in my “tone” per se; but I DO NOT ever want to get in a place where HUMAN BEINGS are sensing some kind of…hmmm, attack or assault or something. And I think that that means, though I might have my opinions as to the “wrongness” or “rightness” of my communication style, as A Mom put it, sometimes you just have to…well, deny yourself and keep trying.

I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant. I just mean I don’t ever want…uh…hmmm…technical “correctness”, or MY assumptions as to whether or not I did anything “wrong” to be the plumb line for loving others. Or empathizing with them. I want the affirmation of THEIR human worth to be the plumb line for empathy. In other words, the plumb line for love should be love.

But again, that doesn’t mean I will ever let up on the doctrine, LOL. (And I suspect you won’t either!! :-) ) Because I really feel that the plumb line for love in many doctrines is the doctrine. And what is wrong with that to me is self-evident. But that’s just me.

But the fact that someONE disagrees with me will not affect my love for THEM.

And that is where this whole communication thing takes us…what is the best way to communicate love for PEOPLE, while trying to communicate my disdain for their doctrinal assumptions which I strongly believe ultimately drives the abuse we see in so many churches, and which I have witness firsthand in SGM (and to communicate that this does not mean I assume that THEY are an abuser by default or something creepy like that…because that’s a TERRIBLE thing to suggest…and I think people think I’m suggesting this, and I can see why).

I understand that sometimes, I am not successful in making that distinction. And I feel terrible about that, because that? Is not my message.

And A Mom is right: it is at THAT place where you must make a conscious effort to defer to their needs. And that means, yep…toning it down so that you don’t subvert your own message by risking hurting someone on some emotional level.

It’s a tough line, but we’ll get there I think. :-)

I hope that makes sense.

Still, the Double Standard, and the Disturbing New Trend:

Now, like I said, I’m still working out the whole “communication” thing.  I am NOT…repeat NOT conceding Dee’s point, that you can separate delivery and message.  I’m not conceding that I was wrong to point out the double standard, because I think it is clear by even a cursory reading of the comments thread.  My ideas are called “silly”, I am “haranguing”, I am “forcing”, I am “equating trinitarians with suicide bombers”, I am “becoming unhinged”, I am accused of “telling others what to think”; accused of calling people “stupid”, and that my statements are “somewhat nonsensical”.  Still…no peep from the moderators.  Oh…sorry, there was some action taken.  The action was to dump all MY comments immediately into moderation.

Which is fine, as I said.  If I want to comment, I have to be a big boy about not making the rules.  And I have to work on my tone.  I’m okay with that because HUMAN BEINGS are worth the work.

But…

And here is a huge BUT here.  Recently (like, yesterday), Dee posted THIS very telling comment.  To say the least, it will certainly make it much harder, if not downright impossible (for not only reasons of logic but for reasons of conscience) for me to continue commenting there.  Dee wrote this:

“Last night I did not approve two comments which accused Calvinist theology of causing the sexual abuse we have been reading about.”

And then, she explains her follow up to those comments, which resulted in her ultimately deciding to “give up”:

“When I asked one of those people if they believed that Arminian theology can also causes abuse, I was told that classic Arminianism is Calvinism so that theology leads to child sexual abuse as well. I gave up.”

Now, this, to me, is nothing more than acknowledging that it cannot–not at all–be the IDEAS which drive abuse, because if two or more ideas lead to abuse, somehow the ideas cancel each other out and we are left with what…behavior?  Just bad people not doing the bad ideas “nicely”?  That good people, like Wade Burleson, doing the bad ideas right somehow proves that the ideas are not bad.  That two or more bad ideas means that bad ideas cannot exist, because if that were true then there would only be one bad idea and the rest would be good?  As if pointing to one bad doctrine as providing the mandate for abuse can be disproved by pointing to another bad doctrine?  That two wrongs make a right?

That’s like saying:

“The Nazis had some bad ideas”

“But what about Marxism…didn’t that lead to millions of deaths under Stalin?”

“Yes…because they share the same presuppositions about the state owning man.”

“What?  How can this be?  How can two different governments share the same destructive assumptions?  That’s impossible.  I can’t argue with you.  I give up.”

Honestly, I must say I’m struggling to understand just what Dee is saying here.

But what I do understand is that when you decide that criticism of ideas is off the table, it is a short walk to the end of the plank, or the firing squad, or the burning stake, or the gas chamber. 

This is nothing more than conceding the Primacy of Consciousness premise.  The belief that at their root, ideas are only “good”; and that destructive human behavior is NEVER and can NEVER BE the result of the ideas they filter all of their reality through.  The “logic” goes:  ALL ideas are good, ergo, if abuse occurs in the name of them, it is merely because humanity does not possess the capacity to employ them effectively, because humans are unable by default to ever do GOOD.  They are too “depraved” (or selfish, or evil, or lost, or stupid, or capitalist, or racist, or unenlightened, or bad at math…whatever the primary consciousness happens to be).  And this of course is a tacit acceptance of the “authority” of the “gnostics”.  Those special people divinely gifted to rule over the rest of us slobs. 

And this is why I submit that regardless of what they say, that people who will NOT confront ideas are really still utterly committed to the belief that man, fundamentally, IS the problem.  And thus the implicit notion is that it is therefore okay for “special” people to compel (force) them into right actions and thinking. 

If Calvinism cannot be called out for the destructive and abusive conclusions it INEXORABLY leads to (and I will debate anyone, anywhere, anytime on this), then what is being said is HUMAN BEINGS are the problem.  The VICTIM has no real recourse and the perpetrator can never be held accountable and the “authority” cannot be culpable for pushing the doctrinal assumptions which drove the abuse in the first place because the doctrine cannot be blamed, because the paradigm is: doctrine wholly GOOD, and human beings wholly EVIL.  And a wholly evil human can NEVER be expected to actually employ or behave in accordance with that which is completely beyond him. 

So, the VICTIM was merely the unfortunate target of a poor, depraved sinner, being taught his ideas by another poor depraved sinner.  And who then can really blame the poor sinner? For but for the grace of God go all of us, right?  So, let’s just get better gnostic in there who do a better job of getting these idiots to DO the doctrine right.

And maybe we do.  Maybe we get lucky and get a Wade Burleson in there. And maybe things are fine for a while because he isn’t “on fire” for the “truth” like SGM is.  He, because he may have some sense of human decency and love, refuses to take the doctrinal assumptions to their logical conclusions.

But sooner or later, Wade retires.  And maybe the next guy is okay. And the next.  But then…we get a guy who thinks, wait a minute.  I’M in charge here, and MY responsibility isn’t for the depraved masses, it is to GOD.  And God SAYS x, y, z…and “sound doctrine” is everything.  And “who are YOU o man, to argue with God, and His divinely called Authority in the Stead?  Who are YOU to judge your COVERING?!! And to the rapped three year old I say, FIRST take the log out of your OWN eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your rapist’s eye!!”

And all this from a little telling comment:

“I have removed two comments that blame Calvinism for abuse.”

Oh yes. For who are we to argue with God’s “infallible Word”.  Who are we to argue with ideas whose corpulence we are too busying crawling in the dirt like worms to grasp?

The Masses-Applied Double Standard for “Teacher”: Marxism in communication

Once the facade is dropped, the double-standard is as clear filtered water.  You’ve heard it before…you’ve seen it before.  Shoot, even by a cursory glance at the Stockdale comments thread over at Wartburg Watch it is difficult to miss.  What is it?

The idea that if you have a perspective that is both logically unassailable and difficult for people to grasp, then you have some kind of obligation to-somehow, someway-make not your POINT the focus of your argument, but your “tone”.  In other words, not offending the delicate sensibilities of the masses subverts the entire discussion by crying “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”.

But if it is NOT what I say, then what difference does it make how I say it?  If it is untrue, state your reason…appeal to the logical fallacy.  Oh…they will say, we do that, but you are just so mean.

What they mean is that they do that—they argue their points—but when the other person does not concede on the grounds that their argument is not logically consistent, instead of dropping the discussion, they assault “tone”.

And once again, the Marxism and determinism implicit in so much of the evolution of Western thought breaches the surface like a lazy whale.  You see, it isn’t THEIR fault they aren’t able to effectively defend their ideas…no, no.  It is YOUR fault because you aren’t saying it nicely.  They are blinded by their offended egos…and the fault is yours.  YOUR meanness is such an affront  that it creates an insurmountable hurdle to their reason; to their communication.  YOUR tone has DETERMINED that they cannot possibly be responsible for not conceding what they might otherwise concede if you weren’t such a meanie.

If you were just nicer they would be able to engage their will, and perhaps might have their minds changed, or at least part amicably with an understanding that either they don’t understand, you are not communicating your point clearly, or that they are confident that you have not argued away their own ideas.

But it never ends there because what happens is that the implicit Marxism and its twin brother, determinism, ALWAYS have to have their say.  They ALWAYS need to remain the nucleus of ANY debate or discussion.  You see, if they agree that the communication is either not sufficient or that they are actually wrong…well, in either case, this implies two things:  Human culpability for actions; and that those in positions of “power” (intellectually or otherwise) are NOT actually obligated according to the morals of the Primary Conscience to FIRST consider the subjective well-being of the helpless and ignorant masses BEFORE making their point.

And in light of thousands of years of Platonist thinking culminating in Immanuel Kant and then finding its political footing (and inevitable human destruction) in the Communist Manifesto…these trends are not surprising.

Which…you know, it wouldn’t be so bad (well…okay, it would) if it wasn’t such a double standard.  A reading of the Stockdale comments thread over at Wartburg Watch illustrates this perfecting.  Look at the number of posts complaining that it isn’t so much that I don’t have a right to my opinions…no, this they concede.  But unfortunately this argument is made utterly moot by the explicit proclamation that I DON’T have the right to my way of communicating those ideas. And in this sense, again, the right to my opinions is moot.  For ideas are THINGS.  They have corners.  They have a premise, an argument for that and then an appeal to behavior modification in service to the premise.  They can be defined, dismantled, organized, applied, rejected, and modified with objective outcomes.

But this is impossible with DELIVERY.  Delivery or “tone” is massively subjective, and the power to interpret this is EXCLUSIVELY reserved for the listening party.  The person communicating knows the delivery; the person listening seems to reserve the categorical right to determine if the communicator is delivering it right or not. It’s all how the listener subjectively interprets it.  And if they are “offended”,  the debate is screwed.  It is no longer about ideas, it is about CONTROL.  And he who controls tone, controls content.

And that is exactly what Dee is doing at Wartburg.  She claims that ideas are fine, but if she doesn’t like your tone, you are summarily assaulted.  This is merely the functional equal of content control.  Which she has every right to do.  But don’t pretend ideas and tone are separate functions; are able to be “moderated” separately.  That is a false assumption.

The two (ideas and communication style) are inseparable in this regard.  IF one has the right to ideas but NOT the right to decide how to communicate them, then there is no functional difference between not having the right to communicate and NOT having the right to the IDEAS you communicate.  If they can control HOW you say what you say, they can control WHAT you say.  It is as simple as that…and it is the root of the first amendment, by the way.  This understanding of the impossible separation of the two.  (And here, understand, I am talking about communicating ideas; I am not suggesting that abusive language designed to only inflict psychological violence on the listener applies in this situation.  That is not communications.  Again, that is violence.  That is not what I am excusing.  I am referring to communication styles:  abrasive, perhaps; gentle, perhaps; frank, perhaps; roundabout, perhaps…etc., etc.)

The worst part though, is the double standards.  Look at the vitriol directed at me over there, without a peep from the moderators…and when I respond in kind (sarcasm for sarcasm; tongue in cheek for tongue in cheek), I’m lambasted by Dee and a host of other offended parties.  Why…well, because for some reason, by virtue of my surety of my ideas and the inability of other commenters to dismantle my reason, I am “privileged”.

And therein lay the Marxism.  The idea that the “haves” must sacrifice what they “have” in service to the poor masses…the have-nots.  If you are perceived to have some kind of position which is “superior”, and others are “subordinate”, you are on the hook for catering to their subjective needs first, and EVERYTHING else second.  In other words, say it the right way so that the “people” are happy.  Give the people whatever they want first, because this is the only morality a person of “privilege” can actually do.

Kill themselves, their ideas, their labor, their produce, their time, their profit and their status for the “good” of the masses.  Your death, your pain, YOUR sacrifice is the only good you can do.  The greatest good for you is to NOT be YOU so that what you have can be divided up among the “workers”.   You are nothing more than the collective; and you better get this straight.  Your ideas don’t matter, but only the subjective “good” of the people who, by virtue of your “superior” and “privileged” position claim the moral right to own you, and all you have and all you think.

And we think Calvinism is being confronted on these blogs.

Hardly.

Why Reason Trumps Trinity: Why the doctrine of the “trinity” denies the metaphysical I AM

I understand that my take on the trinity is different. It is the NUMBER I cannot accept. I understand that on its face this also may smack a bit of the Primacy of Conscience interpretation of reality because I deny that numbers actually exist; I see them as merely another way man qualifies relative movement of other objects; which, as this movement is always relative, means that numbers are NOT constant. They are only constant in a particular theoretical construct which has a consensus of definition. The OBJECTS we observe are constant, and their existence is HOW numbers and everything else we abstract about them can be arrived at.

This is not an appeal to the idea that TRUTH is beyond us, though it may look like it. It is an appeal to reason as the foundation of how man knows anything he knows. It is not that the senses are insufficient to measure their surroundings, that three isn’t really three. It is the recognition of logically contradictory assumptions directly related TO the efficacy of the senses. If we know that three is an abstract concept man uses to organize his world, we understand that we when say “three object”, that the only thing ACTUAL is the objects. Three is a way to communicate meaning effectively. Beyond man’s cognitive abstraction, three does not really exist…and this is easy to see because without man’s mind, three is a wholly irrelevant concept. What in the universe, including God, needs “three” to be an ACTUAL thing in the universe? Nothing. God doesn’t need three. God doesn’t need the universe. God is God, the universe the universe. Numbers go away as soon as man’s mind evaporates into ether.

And so reason, that thing which allows man to know anything he knows, true or false or up or down, is the root of knowledge. Sense feeds information, reason organizes the information in ways that are effective for the promulgation of his life. And this information CANNOT then be reasonably contradictory because contradiction can never affirm life, it can only destroy it by declaring that man cannot ultimately know what is good or bad; what is of value to life and what is not. And if this is true, man is dead before God takes the breath to speak him into existence. And so the objective reason of man can and should routinely discern between what is actual, and what is abstract. As soon as the abstract becomes the actual, you get primacy of consciousness, and destruction inexorably follows. You get the death of TRUTH.

And so, you cannot look at God, and make the reasonable declaration of his infinite absolute-ness and then in the same breath contradict yourself by saying “trinity”. Whatever you may sense, your REASON allows you to take the information and plug it into a rational construct and get an answer about TRUTH. I may “read” three “persons” in the bible. I may “see” “three” persons before me. But IF I concede that the rational conclusion of God is that he is absolute, we can quickly understand that what I see is NOT necessarily the proper description of what actually is. We can understand that an infinite absolute can manifest itself however it wants, with no regard for the limitations of space and time…and if we understand this, we can understand how we may observe “three” and yet know that God is not really three of anything at all, because three contradicts absolute.

This is not unprecedented. The theory of relativity is rooted in the idea that what we observe is, well, relative. Meaning that truth can be known, but not merely as a result of “seeing”. Because what we see is only rooted in how an object acts relative to WHERE we are. The action of God as three is relative to our observation. But our reason dictates that He cannot, in fact, be three.

This is the root of the disagreement. Obviously, its tedious…but it isn’t that hard to understand if people actually WANT to understand it.

Conflict on Wartburg Watch: A Rough Brush with the Primacy of Consciousness Doctrine of “Trinity” (Response to commenter Patrice)

Frequent and highly intelligent, interesting, and refreshing commenter on TheWartburgWatch.com blog, Patrice, wrote a very kind reply to my last post here.  Her comment was not in reference to the post, but instead was a soothing and encouraging word concerning an exceedingly unpleasant experience yours truly had over there yesterday when I (foolishly?) attempted to point out the metaphysical impossibility of the “doctrine” of the Trinity (see the thread under TWWs post “The Stockdale Paradox: We know the end of the story”).  My response to Patrice is below:

Patrice,

Thank you for your support and your kind words.  Your voice is a very refreshing one; one willing to challenge long-held assumptions, based upon your own personal experience.

You have experienced the “logical” conclusion of contradictory doctrines first hand.  In this way, you and I are kindred spirits.  Our mutually abusive fathers, as well as my time in SGM.  These experiences are painful…but they are eye-opening.  You can ignore contradiction; you can pretend that if we were all just “nice” Calvinists like Wade Burleson everything would be all Christian kumbaya and koinonia and all that.  But you cannot ignore the pain; and you cannot ignore the pain as a rational indication that something is seriously wrong.  You are not held captive by a rank fear that somehow deciding that a doctrine, whether in the bible or not, cannot be true if it contradicts God and man’s metaphysical nature according to all we know must be true for us and God to actually exist.

You may not think so, but this puts you light years ahead in your thinking from most people on the “survivor blogs”.  Even Dee and Deb and Wade.  For all of their raging and just vitriol at all the abuse which occurs in American Christianity, they still concede the very doctrines which drives the destruction.  This is why Wade and Dee and Deb and Kris and Guy and a hundred other bloggers are simply not a credible threat to neo-Calvinism.  They are not taken seriously, and their comments are summarily deleted from neo-Cal blogs.  It has nothing to do with them being a “threat”, but everything to do with the fact that the neo-Calvinists do not want to cloud the purity of the doctrine with the implicit hypocrisy of those who “ride the fence”.  Ultimately Mark Dever, and Driscoll, and Piper, and Mahaney and Mohler and the rest KNOW (if they know them at all) that Dee and Deb and Wade will, when it comes down to brass tacks, concede the VERY determinism which puts man at the mercy of the destructive, violent, abstract collective called the “local church”.  They don’t need them coming around and confusing people when ultimately, there is no need.  THAT’S why they delete the comments.  Because the comments are irrelevant.

I know I’m venting…and I am.  But you must understand that ultimately I don’t care about Wartburg Watch so much…I went there because a lot of people read there, and they REALLY need to hear someone challenging the doctrinal assumptions at the root, because the doctrine is the boot on their necks.  Otherwise, I can tell you, nothing will ultimately change.  Sooner or later, Dee and Deb and Wade will once again succumb to the weight of their own devotion to Primacy of Conscious (the idea that real TRUTH is found beyond man’s reason…which means, it really can’t be known) and the cycle will begin again.

As for me leaving TWW…

Well, I think that’s a foregone conclusion at this point.  My goal is to challenge the Primacy of Consciousness paradigm at every turn (which is why I go after the “golden calf” of trinitarianism, and total depravity, and church discipline, and biblical inerrancy…because at the root these are really merely appeals to “well…truth is a mystery, who can understand God’s ways?”), because it is abusive and hates humanity.

Dee has made it clear that my opinions will no longer be tolerated, and so there is little point in me commenting anymore.  Dee is utterly devoted to reformed orthodox interpretations of the faith, and because I have dared to call out Wade on his reformed beliefs; I pissed her off…so, she no longer hides her devotion anymore.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist for me to get the message.  And what is the message? You know it well:

“Don’t you dare challenge the doctrine.”

I’ve heard it before.  It is the hallmark of the very abusive churches TWW pretends to challenge.  That’s why I said the more things change, the more they stay the same.

I appreciate your advice regarding tone.  It is good advice, except the problem is not my tone.  If you look at my posts, I haven’t in months made a personal attack.  My posts ALL have only to do with denying the Primacy of Consciousness assumptions in reformed doctrine.

For a while, I “toned it down”.  I chose to believe that it really did have to do with my presentation. I understood that my sarcasm or my bluntness was off-putting…and it was, and Dee and Deb were right to ask me to pull the reigns.  But then I noticed that people like “Daisy” were able to assault me and my character with impunity without so much as a peep from Dee.  And then yesterday when Dee took the mask of “love” off and did the same thing, clearly distorting my comments for the sake of insult, the truth hit me smack in the faith.

It isn’t that they want me to “be nicer” or “tone it down”.  No, they want me to say that “I could be wrong”.  Or that the people I disagree with “have a point, too”.

But I won’t do that because I’m not wrong.  The rage against me has to do with the fact that I DON’T have to concede they have a point.  Because they don’t.  The idea that God is three AND one is impossible.  It is not only literally impossible, it utterly denies God’s infinite absolute; an absolute which by definition cannot be numbered, regardless of what humans “see” or what “the bible says”.  And the bible never says “trinity”, and it only says “three” when it says “and these three are one”.  Which brings us squarely back to the disagreement in the first place…which isn’t really a disagreement. It is a logically and metaphysically IMPOSSIBLE doctrine.  And I’m a liar if I say it isn’t.  And I won’t do that.

Three are One is a METAPHYSICAL statement.  It is not a LITERAL numerical interpretation of God.  That is what “Daisy” is saying, and that is simply wrong.

At any rate, the point is that TWW is no longer a place where I can safely and without abuse promote a truly anti-Calvinist message.  Dee and Deb are all about “getting along” which is why they have partnered up with a Calvinist Pastor.  But getting along must always find a root cohesion of premises and beliefs.  And I deny every doctrinal assumption that is reformed, pretty much, as mysticism and Platonism.  And I’m not familiar with the “creeds” that Dee has decided are inerrant, but I’m pretty sure I deny them, too.

I have no interest in agreeing with ideas that I know are false.  And I will not say they are not false when I know for a fact that this does nothing except further Calvinism’s worship of death and its abject hatred of humanity.

Anyway, thanks, Patrice.  You are a marvelous and wonderful and GOOD person.  God loves you very much, and know this…you and your human body are sacred and affirmed by God.

-Argo

More On the Unworkable “Logic” of the Neo-Reformed Concession of Free Will (Part Two)

Let’s take a moment to define “free will” so that we are all proceeding from the same meaning…and, more importantly, the proper meaning.  Not the false, tortured, and grotesquely distorted meaning the neo-Calvinists insist on inflicting upon everyone.

When we speak of free will we must realize that human volitional control (determining one’s desires and pursuing them) is only part of the definition.  Free will is an idea that says that ALL objects in Creation, including man and his ability to reason/abstract/determine/declare/decide, etc., are the categorical sources of their own ability to act, and to be acted upon.  NOTHING is the driving force of any object of Creation except itself.  Before it can act, it must possess the innate, selfderived ability to act.  Before it can be acted upon by another object, IT must possess the innate, self-derived ability to effect an “equal and opposite reaction” to the force of the other object acting upon it.  For without the innate ability to ACT as an EFFECT of another force the object cannot recompense in the form of an “opposite reaction”.  In short, it must be able to react FIRST, or there can be no reaction; the cause cannot not cause anything.  The cause is moot.  There is no cause without an object which is able to react; and that ability belongs solely to it.

NOTE:  Tangent alert

Incidentally, this is why I deny the (unbiblical) notion of “first cause”.  For if NOTHING exists to be caused upon, then there can be no “first cause”, by definition.  What exactly is God, as an infinite object, and the sum and substance of Himself so that no definition can be given to Him in a non-relative (to Creation) way except to say “Himself” (and even that is really an external qualification…for really the title “Himself” applied from within Himself is redundant and thus impossible…but anyway, you get the point)…yes, what exactly is God “causing” if ALL–and yes, ALL…and you must understand what is being said here; all means ALL–which exists is Himself prior to Creation?  There is nothing existing except Himself; and He cannot cause Himself…for that is a contradiction in terms; and certainly a contradiction to “first cause”.  If nothing existed until God created it, then from what material did God create creation?  No material existed.

So did God make Creation from Himself?  Well…if that is the case then Creation must be God, and God completely, because how do you “part” God.  How do you have part of an infinite absolute?  An infinite PERFECT absolute.  Creation cannot be part of God because there is no such thing as partly infinite, partly perfect, partly absolute, partly I AM.

Well…the “logic” goes, He created Creation out of “nothing”.  Hmmm.  Well…how does that work, exactly?  How does one get something from nothing?  By definition nothing is nothing…so it must be wholly contradictory to declare that nothing can be something (and yes, I certainly deny the existence of “empty space”, or “the vacuum”….I can prove it does not actually exist).  You see, elementary mathematics declares that anything times zero is what?  Zero?  Exactly.  And why is that?  Because no matter how many times you multiply nothing by itself, nothing is the only resultant product.  You can have a trillion nothings, and what do you get?

Right.

It is as simple as that.  So, if God makes, but there is no material from which to make, then God makes nothing.  And if God causes, but there is nothing to be caused upon, then there can be no effect.

Well, it comes from God’s imagination, and He just speaks it and there it is, some will say, without a hint of shame.

Okay.  Question.  What exactly comes from God’s imagination?  What exactly is God’s imagination? And where exactly is God’s imagination?  What is God’s forethought?  In an environment that is purely His infinite perfect Self, where exactly does this imagination exist that cognitively conjures up abstract things based upon abstract notions and ideas that do not involve Himself?  From what can these divine ideas possibly come from, if nothing else exists? What does God sense besides Himself that is the onus for an external idea?  What could God possibly be “imagining” within Himself that isn’t Himself, when by definition, within God, as an absolute, there is no rational way to incorporate an imagination, or abstract thought, or plans, or a “future”…in order to predestine those things which do not exist.  In other words, to predestine nothing at all.  And how can God be imagining Creation, and predestining it, when it does not exist?  Again, what is there He is imagining?  If all is Himself, and there is nothing from which to imagine something not God, then how can it be imagined?  If God does not see anything except Himself, how can He imagine anything NOT Himself? If nothing exists except God, then there is nothing else to imagine. 

Yes…clearly we have some serious existential problems with a priori divine imagination.

There is no way around this except to concede contradiction at the root of creation.  The idea of nothing actually being nothing is axiomatic.  There is no way not to concede it and yet formulate a rational argument.

But I digress…as usual.

So, yes…in order for there to even be a an “effect”, the object must possess an innate ability of itself to be caused upon.  To react in a specific way to the external force.  The reaction is wholly a function of its ability to react to the cause.  And of course the root of this is existence, and I submit that since all things must cause and react according to their innate, self-derived ability to do so, their existence is FIRST a product of their own ABILITY to exist.  Meaning, divine Creation must imply a source material which is NOT God, and never was, with which to create. And that material’s existence must be self-derivative FIRST, before God can cause upon it in order to create something from it.  Since there is no creating something from nothing, then the something must exist first, prior to divine creation, and because IT is able to.  God is not its ability to BE…it is its own ability to be at its root.  And what this means then is that the foundation of every object in creation is a material that exists of its own free “will” to exist.  It was not created by God, it has always, eternally existed along side God.  It is uncreated…the material from which Creation is formed.  And again this means that at the root of all objects in creation is an ability to be which is utterly self derivative. 

So even if God causes, the ability to be caused upon belongs to the object…and this contradicts the idea of God as “first cause”; which “orthodoxy” interprets as “something from nothing”; or DIRECT creation.  But this idea on the other hand is much more rational, and submits that the first cause of something’s existence is the something.

Deny this, and all of Creation becomes God (or God becomes Creation).  And the entire paradigm of rational existence and all knowledge of any kind comes crashing down in a spectacular implosion of moral and metaphysical anarchy.

So basically what “free will” boils down to is not the idea that man can do “anything”, but that anything man does is a direct function of his own ability to do it, apart from God.  Whatever he thinks, desires, or does, or anything else, is wholly of himself.  It is free…it is its own cause.  MAN is able to observe his surroundings and determine values for himself concerning them.  MAN is able to conceptualize himself and his life and take actions which are objectively and efficaciously in service to his own life.  Man’s will is thus free in the same way the rest of his body and mind are free; and because there is no functional difference between man’s will and the REST of man.  So the moment man himself ceases to be the root and ultimate cause of his own thought and action, man is no longer man.  Man is nothing more than that which is compelling him from beyond himself.  If man’s will is not free, and free to effect whatever ultimate conclusion upon which he arrives at the end of his life, as a function of his ability to organize his surroundings, rooted in the efficacy of the senses (for there is no “other” without the senses; and without a concept of “other” knowledge cannot exist…think about it; more later), then there is no such thing as man.  He is an illusion. And by definition man can know nothing, least of all God.