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Old January 7th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #21
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I might mention that we are oft-times justified in blaming "our" leaders. Power is twinned with responsibility - they need to be held that much more accountable. So first, our actions should have some worth. You could start by introducing democracy? I know it's a radical idea, but i think you might have a shot.
Right, but whose power are we talking about here, as surely once these guys have been elected, it is also the responsibility of the citizens to watch their performance very closely and deal with them whilte it is happening, instead of waiting for the next election? The voters seem to be very passive and undemanding of their representatives in Congress? Almost as though they abdicated their power immediately after they cast their votes during election time?
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Old January 8th, 2010, 07:45 AM   #22
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Right, but whose power are we talking about here, as surely once these guys have been elected, it is also the responsibility of the citizens to watch their performance very closely and deal with them whilte it is happening, instead of waiting for the next election? The voters seem to be very passive and undemanding of their representatives in Congress? Almost as though they abdicated their power immediately after they cast their votes during election time?
Partially my point. The People don't rule the country. They relinquish their own sovereignty every four years to rulers. I mean, you can make demands, hell, a lot of people do. Will it get things done? I doubt it.

If people make a joint effort, a mass movement, then there's a chance. But even there, it's not for certain. At that point, out comes the riot gear and you're enemies of the state.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 02:15 AM   #23
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If people make a joint effort, a mass movement, then there's a chance. But even there, it's not for certain. At that point, out comes the riot gear and you're enemies of the state.
Do you think that the tea parties in United States have a chance of growing into "enemies of the State"?
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Old January 13th, 2010, 08:26 AM   #24
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Do you think that the tea parties in United States have a chance of growing into "enemies of the State"?
Well, thee's always the possibility. Depends how much they actualy want to change things.

Though it's usually lefties that are considered enemies of the state... I think they use different terminology for the right.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 09:51 AM   #25
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Well, thee's always the possibility. Depends how much they actualy want to change things.

Though it's usually lefties that are considered enemies of the state... I think they use different terminology for the right.
Those of us on the right prefer just being called Americans!
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Old February 2nd, 2018, 04:44 PM   #26
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"Man is certainly stark mad. He cannot make a worm and yet he will be making Gods by the dozens."
- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1553-1592)
. . .

We know that god exists because man invented god.
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Old February 6th, 2018, 02:53 PM   #27
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In my view, the best argument for the existence of God is the Ontological Argument of St. Anselm. Even most educated people do not understand it. Anselm defines God as: "that than which nothing greater can be conceived," id quo maius cogitari nequit. To exist in fact is greater than to exist merely in thought, therefore God exists. The Totality of Being is also "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." Therefore, God is Being.

It must be understood that God is the only subject for which this argument can be valid. All lesser beings may or may not exist, for they have opposites which may also exist---they are contingent.

All beings lesser than the Ultimate Being are contingent, but the Ultimate Being is a necessary being---the only necessary being, for only It is without an opposite. Once we understand the definition of God, it is inconceivable that God could not exist---for it is as inconceivable as the notion that Existence does not exist.

But what about Non-Existence? Is it not the opposite of Existence? Does it not make Existence a limited thing?

No! Non-Existence is a false opposition, a false idea. A conception of Non-Existence can exist, but Non-Existence per se cannot exist. Let us apply Anselm's procedure. There can be nothing emptier than Non-Existence. It is "that than which nothing lesser can be conceived," id quo minor cogitari nequit. But suppose Non-Existence existed in fact---then something lesser could be conceived: that Non-Existence is only a conception, and not a fact!

Ironically, if we define the Devil as the diametrical opposite to God, then Anselm's argument proves that the Devil cannot exist! It is a good thing that he lived before the Holy Inquisition was established, or else Saint Anselm might have been burned at the stake as a heretic!

As a logical argument, Anselm's Argument is perfect, and his conclusion inescapable---except for one fatal flaw. Can we say that to exist in fact is "greater" than to exist in thought? Anselm presupposed a hierarchical universe in which one could distinguish up and down, greater and lesser. This we can do in a local space where gravity gives us our directions. But in the inter-galactic depths of a relativistic universe, what is up and what is down? What is motion, and what is stillness? Which is "greater": thought or existence? Are forms "greater" than facts, or is it the other way round?

My own personal bias is that to exist in thought is greater than to exist merely in fact.

Eternal mathematical forms are clearly more real and solid and concrete than the shifting illusions of our trivial, dream-like experience of the world.

As a metaphor for the wonder of existence, I much prefer the Hindu notion of the Net of Indra over the Western notion of God.

Indra is the King of the Gods. He has a net in whose meshes the world is caught. At each node of the Net is a jewel. The substance of each jewel is clear and colorless---utterly diaphanous. Yet each jewel is also a perfect mirror of all that surrounds it. Each jewel reflects all the other jewels in the Net. The whole infinite Net appears in each jewel. Well, not quite the whole Net---in reflecting the Net, each jewel cannot reflect itself.

Yet, of course, each jewel does reflect itself---for it is reflected in every other jewel in the Net, and so is reflected back into itself an infinite number of times, with all the infinite reflections and re-reflections of all the other jewels in the Net.

So the Net is infinite in two directions: it is infinite in outward extent, and infinite inside each jewel. Each jewel is the entire Net, and yet the reflections inside each jewel contains variations which distinguish it from every other jewel in the Net.

However, are not "inward" and "outward" arbitrary distinctions in this dazzling display? In this endless glitter what is up and what is down? Which of any number of infinite directions shall we choose? And once chosen, do we know that our course runs straight?
.

Last edited by numan; February 6th, 2018 at 03:02 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2018, 02:59 PM   #28
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Gödel's ontological proof is a formal argument for God's existence by the world-famous mathematician Kurt Gödel. It is in a line of development that goes back to Anselm of Canterbury, (1033–1109). St. Anselm's ontological argument, in its most succinct form, is as follows: "God, by definition, is that for which no greater can be conceived. God exists in the understanding. If God exists in the understanding, we could imagine Him to be greater by existing in reality. Therefore, God must exist." A more elaborate version was given by Gottfried Leibniz (1646 AD to 1716 AD); this is the version that Gödel studied and attempted to clarify with his ontological argument.



or

Definition 1: x is God-like if and only if x has as essential properties those and only those properties which are positive
Definition 2: A is an essence of x if and only if for every property B, x has B necessarily if and only if A entails B
Definition 3: x necessarily exists if and only if every essence of x is necessarily exemplified
Axiom 1: Any property entailed by—i.e., strictly implied by—a positive property is positive
Axiom 2: If a property is positive, then its negation is not positive.
Axiom 3: The property of being God-like is positive
Axiom 4: If a property is positive, then it is necessarily positive
Axiom 5: Necessary existence is positive
Axiom 6: For any property P, if P is positive, then being necessarily P is positive.
Theorem 1: If a property is positive, then it is consistent, i.e., possibly exemplified.
Corollary 1: The property of being God-like is consistent.
Theorem 2: If something is God-like, then the property of being God-like is an essence of that thing.
Theorem 3: Necessarily, the property of being God-like is exemplified.

I prefer Anselm's argument for its simplicity, but Gödel's argument also is correct -- but, alas, vacuous, since the essential quality "positive" is given no concrete content.
.

Last edited by numan; February 6th, 2018 at 03:03 PM.
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