Posted: Feb 25, 2018 12:36 pm
by Thommo
zoon wrote:
Thommo wrote:The problem with that is that from the point of view of the delusion, he's not right, so it makes no sense within his philosophy to ask "outside". And that's starting from a presuppositionalist viewpoint, if one admits the possibility of error as you suggested he should and starts from a neutral standpoint, then things only get worse.

All of this is also perhaps being uncharitable to James and assuming that he has deluded himself into believing he's the second coming of Christ, and I'm really not sure he has done anything quite so silly here.

I think jamest's position may in some ways be closer to Buddhism than to mainstream Christianity, which insists that the historical, unique, individual Christ is the one gateway to God and salvation? In Buddhism, as far as I can tell, the Buddha is the enlightened one who has spotted the Noble Eightfold Path, but the rest of us have the potential to be equally enlightened, provided, as a start, we agree with what the Buddha or his local priests tell us.
jamest wrote:......
I'm trying to give this some serious thought, because of course my philosophy makes possible The Christ in all, as indeed does the message of some other theists.

I think human social thinking probably does involve some fairly intractable confusions when it comes to subjectivity and objectivity, the independence of an external world from thought, but then I'm starting from the physicalist assumption that thoughts are the products of entirely physical brains, so I would expect jamest to dismiss any views I may have on resolving the confusion.

Where I disagree both with Buddhists and with jamest is that as far as I can tell they think that some human-like being or force is in overall charge, they assign a moral structure to the universe so that human moral concerns are addressed, and good and bad deeds are punished or rewarded by something other than human actions. From the stars to the molecular structure of human brains, there's a huge amount of evidence that the mathematical laws of physics and chemistry provide accurate descriptions and predictions, and that human-like supernatural interventions are not there. I want miracles from jamest before I become a believer.


You may well be right about all that, and I don't have much to say in response.

The truth is I'm not much interested in "positions" or "philosophies" (and by this I really mean metaphysical commitments). If I die and suddenly awaken in the god-mind and find out idealism is true, I won't be thinking "wow, I should have listened all along", because a specious argument is still a specious argument. It's the quality of reasoning that interests me.

There are plenty of positions I hold that I object to here on ratskep because the arguments people put forward are (in my evaluation) extremely wanting.

The thing is we don't actually get anyone arguing for physicalism by and large. The closest we ever get is people saying that physicalism accounts for features in the world that idealism does not (e.g. why consciousness only occurs where there's a brain or other similar physical structure).