As my readers probably already know, I do not concede that time is actual, but rather is a product of man’s conceptualizing brain, by which he organizes his environment in service to the survival, comfort, and propagation of his SELF.
In light of that, I will tell you that the answer to the question posed in the title of this article is: it is an irrational question.
The meaning…the definition of TRUTH isn’t one of cause and effect; that is, it is not “Does existence cause consciousness or consciousness cause existence?”. We waste MUCH time arguing “truth” from the assumption that it must somehow be a direct function of ideas man pulls from the ethereal recesses of his brain in order to conceptually organize his universe. The idea that something which cannot be rationally argued to actually exist, like time, which cannot be observed apart from any material object, thereby requiring the existence of the object “first” as an abject requirement for time to have any rational meaning or purpose…yes, the idea that that which is not materially actual is somehow causal is ludicrous. Further, since man is required in order to create the concept of time it would appear that those of us–which is almost all of us on earth–who concede the causality of time must somehow explain how time can be a causal force of man’s existence retroactively. (NOTE: Forgive me…since language is abstract in and of itself, I am essentially forced to use temporal concepts in making my arguments.) Meaning, man must exist before time can be devised by his brain; and then once it is devised by man’s brain we then must explain how it could have had a hand in man’s material creation, such that “before” man existed, this this and this other thing must have happened “first” in order to effect man’s existence; again, as though creation of material reality functions according to an external temporal force which cannot be directly observed thereby making it (time) existentially exclusive to what is material, which precludes its ability to effect material reality…and yet, all things happen according to “cause and effect”, which is merely arguing that time is somehow causing the movement of what materially exists which in turn effects the manifestation of material objects we now observe in our universe, including ourselves. Meaning, what these objects are is a direct function of the interaction of material objects in a process that is absolutely dictated by time. The argument, boiled down to its logical premise is this: Time (not God, not leptons, fermions or bosons, not electromagnetism) allows, utterly and absolutely, for the manifestation of material reality.: This must happen first, and then this, then that, and eventually you arrive at that.
Seems logical, but the problem is that there is simply no way to rationally argue it. By cursory reason and appealing to simple, logically reconcilable assumptions and conclusions I can, I assure you, dismantle anyone’s argument for the actual existence and causal properties of time. I don’t care how man Ph.D.s you have or how great your calculus is or what seminary you attended. I’ll go right now. Anywhere, anytime. I defy…I double-dog-dare anyone to rationally argue for the existence of time apart from man’s conceptualizing brain. I’ll go anywhere, anytime at my own expense and debate you for free.
Since we cannot observe time directly, as I said, it is impossible to argue its causal power, let alone its existence. What is time absent the objects we observe? It has no rational definition. It is, well…”time”, and “time” is not a rational definition of “time”. That’s what’s known as a circular argument, or appealing to the idea as proof of its own efficacious meaning. That doesn’t work. It’s the same reason the “biblical inerrancy” crowd is so fucking scary and insane: they do not appeal to reason as the basis for their truth; rather, truth exists in the “talisman” properties (John Immel) of the Bible. It is inerrant because it is the Bible. It is true because it is the Bible. It’s truth is nothing more than its name. It’s relevancy is itself, nothing more. And you must try to fit yourself into its absolute fortress of inerrant truth. It’s true because it is itself, without you, and so what the fuck does the Bible need you for? It is insanity like this passing for “faith” which is why Christians are so scary to the rest of the country. They are becoming terrorists before our very eyes and the worst part is that they are utterly blind to it. They have conceded that their very existence is wrapped up in the causal power of some abstract “truth” which is utterly exclusive of man and thus needs nothing of his existence. The greatest moral good in such a case becomes human death. And bring on the Marxist slaughtering hoards (Khmer Rouge among others), the Nazi purveyors of cooked human flesh, Islamic terrorist shitheads, and the cult of death known as the American neo-Calvinist movement which IS protestantism in the country these days.
Try to explain time without a reference to the material universe. I assure you it is impossible. You cannot even make a mathematical argument. For as soon as YOU open your mouth or tap on your keyboard or pen your letter or pick up your can and string you have already conceded the contrary argument. YOU, a material agent, are required to explain time. YOU must exist first, before time can have any rational meaning. Thus, the material reality which we attempt to argue is caused by time is a prerequisite for the relevant meaning of the concept altogether.
Whatever…my point is that the simple concession of time as an abstraction resolves MANY “paradoxes” which Christians and others assume is part of the “mystery” of God/universe and therefore unexplainable by man, nor attainable by his intellect.
It is useless to make ANY truth utterly dependent on the actuality of human conceptual abstractions. As soon as we realize that human material presence is required for concepts to serve any efficacious purpose, we realize the futility of such ideas of “truth”. To argue that this philosophy is superior to that because it more closely adheres to human abstract conceptual thinking is, itself, a fatally flawed presumption. Since concepts are not REAL any philosophy which depends on them for its “truth” will never actually be true. Truth is NOT a function of which process or manifestation of reality must precede this, or succeed that, but is only a function of reason: an understanding of the nature of reality absent any inexorable, inseparable link between human cognitive concepts and what actually IS, tangibly so.
Reason, I submit, is not tethered to conceptual abstractions…on the contrary, if reason is a slave to man’s abstract, psychological notions of how he happens to cognitively organize his surroundings, then it cannot be reasonable at all. To argue that the universe is caused by a force (time) which MUST be existentially exclusive of it, which has NO observable manifestation whatsoever apart from material reality, and has no relevant definition nor purpose until AFTER what it supposedly caused is already in existence…people, this is not reasonable. Rather, it is inextricably ridiculous.
And this is why I hate the question I pose in the title of this article. Reality is NOT a function of cause and effect. The idea of cause and effect ultimately relegates all of reality to the power of time…an abstract concept which cannot be argued to possess any causal force over anything at all, but only retains relevance as a means by which man cognitively organizes his environment for the purpose of survival. It isn’t a debate then about whether existence causes consciousness or consciousness causes existence, or which comes first. There can be no rational debate because once we inject “cause” into the argument we have conceded a faulty determinist philosophy; that is, we and everything else are all a function of the unseen and unknowable force of time. Which makes anything we argue moot by definition. We are all a direct function of the absolute power of time nothing more. And then we all go home and watch TV, because life isn’t real anyway.
The real issue is getting the definitions of each right,consciousness and existence, and understanding the nature of each as a rational extension of a rational understanding of reality. The ability of man to materially exist and the ability of man to be conscious proceed from the IS of man’s infinite and absolute being. Consciousness and existence are both equal and direct functions of man’s material SELF. Existence isn’t a concept which is causal any more than the concept of time is. Material reality, that is the actual SELF of man is the direct source of BOTH consciousness and existence. Another way of arguing my point is to state it this way: man’s material SELF, the IS of his being, is his ability to be conscious, which is his ability to devise a rational and efficacious concept of existence in order to describe his relationship to other agents and objects.
SELF = existence because it also = consciousness.
29 thoughts on “Which Comes First, The Chicken of Consciousness or the Egg of Existence?”
tic toc 🙂
the devil made me do it lol 🙂
“Self = existence = consciousness”
I believe God is happy when we hold dear our own life & hold in high esteem the life of others. This is what our creator wants.
This is NOT what is commonly taught in Christianity today. Instead, you need to know how bad you are before you can know God and before you can even be loved by God…. Knock em down, then build em up.
This self-loathing teaching is why you are so vehemently & quickly rejected. You speak of love instead.
True love doesn’t have an “I am better than you” mindset. Or a “me against you” mentality. This is what I find scary, appalling, sick, full of hate. And where “christian” entitlement which shamelessly takes advantage of others comes from, IMO.
Following Christ is not that way.
Btw, time, color, Bible, traffic lights are meant to aid / serve human beings. Add cars, water, air, etc. Tangibles & intangibles. That is their place. All the while, we don’t destroy or throw away that which helps us. But they are not more valuable than life.
A mom, how can believers be “built up” when their time is spent “going deep with their sin” and making excuses about sinning all the time? Jesus Christ gave us all the tools we need to be the light of the world. Why aren’t more growing and maturing past such excuses?
I have a question. Can “Christians be evil”?
We probably need to define ‘Christian’ ‘be’ and ‘evil’ before we can have a discussion on that short question.
I was going to respond similarly to A Mom. I don’t think they build up anyone…mostly because it is impossible to build up a person while at the same time denying their efficacious existence. YOU don’t exist in any relevant manner, so there is no ONE to build up. Their doctrine cannot define man; it is purely a philosophy of force and extension of force. In truth, they merely destroy individuals in service to their “authority”.
PS Good question. But I think Bridget is right. We need to rationally define those terms as a premise for the answer.
Your definition of true love is spot on. And further, it must also apply to SELF before it can rationally apply to others. Loving SELF is a prerequisite to loving others. Loathing of the SELF, as I said in the last article, MUST and can only logically lead to a loathing of its Creator.
“We probably need to define ‘Christian’ ‘be’ and ‘evil’ before we can have a discussion on that short question.”
Oh dear. Might be here a while.
Seriously, I had someone tell me recently that Christians are both good and evil. I just wondered what the Cross/Resurrection was about if they can continue doing evil. All that says to me is don’t trust Christians, then.
Christian- Those who follow Christ as in “repenting” and believing. Repenting being much more than “I’m Sorry”.
Metanoia means a complete change from inside out. It means “From……To” and the 1st Century hearer would have known it was a total change of your innermost being from inside out. It would mean one does not stay the same.
Evil is deception personified and doing harm to others on purpose.
Be– as in lifestyle. (think Hebrews 10: 26-31 OR the book of 1 John)
Trying to make as much fame and money as possible off the Name of Jesus is evil.
Protecting child molesters is evil.
Both are continuous, willful, purposeful
Not all “sin” is evil, btw. Yelling at your kids is not evil but sinful.
Does this make sense? This is one of my pet peeves about the whole sinners, sin thing. Not all sin is equal at all. If that were so there would be NO lists in the NT telling “believers” what will keep them from inheriting the kingdom. All of them list things are willful, continuous. Not a lie but “liars”. That sort of thing.
Been reading around the meta on the Nate Morales conviction. It is kind of strange how people view God when you stop and think about the words used to describe Him. Over at TWW this was posted by Deb:
“God is in complete control, and all of this is playing out in front of a watching world thanks to the internet, Facebook, and Twitter. There’s no where left to hide! 😉 ”
If God is in complete control then why did all of it happen? Was God’s “plan” to wait on justice so long for a reason? Did God wait to invent the internet so that it could happen at that appointed time?
What does saying “God is in complete control” communicate to a victim who lived with the shame and trauma for 25 years. And if God is in complete control why did he use a professed Christian in a church to do evil?
Do people not realize how one simple sentence totally blasphemes God when they think it glorifies Him?
Obviously God was not in complete control if we see God as totally loving, merciful, full of justice. And if we see Him as full representation of Jesus Christ.
I don’t get why more people don’t see the problem with “God is in complete control” and speak up in God’s defense.
The thing I find hilarious is the tweet at the top of yesterday’s post over at Wartburg. They are complaining that the GC site is blocking comments from people criticizing their support for CJ. Wartburg does the same thing!!
Even with the good rapport Dee and I share on this blog, I’m still in permanent moderation over on her site.
Because I openly criticize the impossible and evil conclusions of the idea that “God is in control”, among others. They don’t like me rocking the reformed boat. So I do not get posted. Period. I have never insulted anyone nor demeaned personally any commenter nor Dee nor Deb in any of my contributions over there. I have only challenged ideas. And for that I am removed from the group. My relegation to pariah status at Wartburg Watch is purely doctrinal. I am silenced for speaking ideas they don’t want to hear. And they rail at the heavens when someone else does the same thing.
Which also is why I find the whole outrage over the Nate Morales scandal a laughable hypocrisy. The same behavior which leads to that kind of life-wrecking abuse is a direct function of the doctrine that Wartburg PROMOTES, and actively vilifies others in order to defend. The very notion that “God is in control” is the bedrock of mystic authoritarian practices which drive both abuse and the shuffling of its perpetrators through the evil Underground Railroad of the the American church’s criminal cover up.
God who is in control specifically appoints “leaders” to govern the rest of us. By definition then these leaders cannot be held accountable by any outside agency, civil or otherwise. So what is all this bullshit about going to the police? Since when shall reformed pastors listen to “men instead of God” ?
These people have absolutely no business being in discernment blog practice.
Brent Detwiler is another fucking doozy of a hypocrite whose fervent and belligerent support and succor for the very polity structures and doctrines which spawned SGM’s despicable and evil authority structures should not be ignored by anyone who actually cares about the HUMAN BEINGS whose lives were and likely still are wrecked by the monsters who were loosed upon the innocent little ones whom God lauds as the epitome of His love’s objective.
I have no invective vile enough to describe what I think of this hypocrite.
And to see him paraded around the virtual universe and radio shows and journals and papers as the fucking Paul Revere of SGM’s destruction makes me ashamed to be a human being. That we share commonalities as a species makes me which I never evolved out of the fucking ocean.
Finally, what about the parents of these children. Where is their culpability in this matter?! They can’t pick up a fucking phone to officer Smith and say there’s a fucking child rapist in the preschool class at the church they send their kids to?!!
I guess I should have issued a profanity alert. But Islamic terrorist shitheads and child rapists bring out the worst in my language. (Or the best.:-) )
There is a special circle of hell reserved for these evildoers.
Tear down to build up meaning put back together, rearranged, but not in a good way. Thanks for that question. I definitely want to clarify.
Destroy for purposes of control, assimilation into the collective “borg”. ST Next Gen was my fav, btw.
God is in complete control? If so, what does that say about this God’s justice before internet, twitter, facebook, printing press? God likes post people better? What about the never abused? God likes those better? Is that a fair God who loves fairness, right, justice?
Let’s think about the attributes of that God….
Well I agree with your entire diatribe and understand the expletives. It is maddening for God to be blasphemed in that way.. And will add that the “God is in control” mantra is a direct repudiation of SELF. It is a direct repudiation of personal responsibility. Combined with ” we are helpless sinners” and “God is in control” and you have total moral chaos.
My guess is they listen to Wade too much and are fooled by his supposed support of victims while he goes about telling victims suffering is good and God is in control. Of course if you nail him to the wall, he says you misunderstood him and he should have communicated better and then words it differently.
To be honest, they have to admit God was also in control while children were being raped by trusted people in the church. God was in control when parents listened to charlatans and did what they said. God was in control of Mohler and company protecting Mahaney.
Can they not see they are actually mapping God to the evil, too?
The irony is that God created humans to be in control and they blew it. He interacted with patience and long suffering of their evil. Then He came here and gave us the tools we need to actually live out the kingdom now. Do they not see that Jesus Christ is the representation of that “God in control” they espouse?
I do not see how people live in that cognitive dissonance anymore. To what end? What is the attraction? My guess is it is about being liked more than truth.
“The thing I find hilarious is the tweet at the top of yesterday’s post over at Wartburg. They are complaining that the GC site is blocking comments from people criticizing their support for CJ. Wartburg does the same thing!!”
So does Rachel Held Evans. And now she is tweeting we should only focus on the victims and leave TGC and CJ out of it. Truth is too negative, I guess.
Now that makes any sense? There would be NO victims if not for CJ’s system of evil. CJ would be long gone perhaps selling life insurance if T4G and TGC had not protected and promoted him. But it is “loving” not to mention their part in the evil. We are wrong to “warn” people but it is ok to stand up for victims. these people make no sense.
See, too many of these people have found a market niche with their blogs and gotten many followers and they are afraid to offend with truth. RHE makes a living off her followers. But even more powerful than money is fame even if in a little pond. Every year I read the survey in the WSJ about what people want: Recognition always topped the list before time or money. I have never forgotten that. Year after year. It was a reminder to me to make sure I gave my staff plenty of recognition for great work. But it was also reminder to me of what I saw back stage at the megas.
What is it about professing Christians they cannot discern evil deeds? Is it because they are too busy blaming God or excusing evil because we are all sinners and don’t even know our own motives?
There is one thing in common with all of this: They want to define our existence for us.
God is not in control. He gave that to us. He intercedes, interacts, etc but He does not control. We are responsible for our sins and whether nor not we expose evil deeds.
That was my diatribe sans the expletives. :o)
If God is in complete control of everything that happens on planet earth…. then we are robots & God is responsible for each & every one of our actions. We have zero responsibility in that proposal of God.
You are right: popularity breeds compromise, which always equals an open sewer from which evil ideas like Reformation theology crawl and infect.
“God is in complete control? If so, what does that say about this God’s justice before internet, twitter, facebook, printing press? God likes post people better? What about the never abused? God likes those better? Is that a fair God who loves fairness, right, justice?”
Exactly, A mom. One of the things I learned from a Jewish Rabbi I know is that we totally misunderstand the commandment which says not to take the Lords Name in Vain. He said it is attributing things to God which are NOT of God. Dangerous stuff. saying that God wants this or that and it NOT be the truth is serious. Since we have Jesus Christ as the representation of God’s glory we should know better. Was Jesus in control? He said he could call down armies of angels but did not. He CHOSE not to be in control of every molecule while on earth when He could have.
So when people say, God is in control or God will protect you (because they won’t) they could very well be lying about God. They should think instead, God gave me control to be responsible and active…..Or God wants me to provide protection best I can in this situation.
In a way, it is a way to blow people off more than anything. There is nothing comforting about it if taken to it’s logical conclusions.
So when spiritual abusers use God as an excuse to treat people unjustly, they are going to be in for a big surprise.
The reason your comment resonated with me is because I know of a celebrity pastor spiritual abuser who has used both while he blithely and smilingly ruined some people. And his thinking went like this: If it does not turn out well for that person I just dumped on the curb, then God did not like them as much as me in my fortress office with bodyguards, my fame and wealth. As those things are indicators to him that God smiles on him. It never occurs to him that HE MADE THOSE THINGS HAPPEN. God did it. And he insists that because God did all that, it makes him humble to say so.
“You are right: popularity breeds compromise, which always equals an open sewer from which evil ideas like Reformation theology crawl and infect.”
I saw it all the time in the mega world. And boy does that compromise integrity, independent thinking, creativity, etc. It brings group think. we don’t want to disagree with people we like because we want to be in the club.. I am often shocked when people agree with me online because I disdain the Totalitarian niceness and these days people fall so easily for charm, flattery and outgoing personalities with no substance.. I saw enough of that in the mega world to last me a lifetime. . I am sure you saw it at SGM. The fake nice. In fact, that fake nice is what initially builds the numbers in those systems. It can take a long time to root it out.
I would rather have trustworthiness, truth, disagreement, etc. In fact, I prefer the consistent jerks because I know where they stand! It is the deception and passive aggressive types that wear me out.
Hmm… I could book a flight to an exotic location with a sparkling lagoon, and splash around…or I could read this conversation on Argo’s blog. Not much difference.
Wow…that is so nice of you to say. We really appreciate that!!
Oasis, I find you a refreshing soul… just like your moniker: Oasis.
The TANC conference starts Friday, June 20th & runs thru Sun, June 22.. 🙂
To be discussed: The Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion (Calvin’s own writings) and it’s Doctrines, Tyranny, & Societal Impact. God’s sovereignty vs. mankind’s freewill. Check Paul Dohse’s website for more info.
Now that’s worth talking about!
Indeed. I can guarantee that the speakers will not disappoint.
Same goes for the attendees! 😉
Wow, thanks, A Mom! 🙂 I think I come across as angry on blogs most of the time. Refreshing sounds pretty good!
Not wanting to bleed all over the blog again (ha!) but I just could not rest until I expressed my appreciation. Just reading these conversations comforts/strengthens me and helps me heal, reaffirming and validating my sanity and everything good, lovely, sensible… Thank you for your voices.
Oh, and thanks for the info, will check it out.
Yes. It’s a great group of people. Paul’s family in particular is amazing. He is a great person and he has been blessed in kind. Susan is just an angel; and his boys are two very warm people. Just kind, kind folks. Makes you really loath Paul’s vicious critics (even more than one already does).
Although I am a little jealous of Paul’s youngest son. Let’s just say he is the kind of kid that when you meet him you immediately start looking for the line of girls stretching around the block.
Reblogged this on Philosophical Phragments.