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Passions in Poetry

How can omniscience exist independently of a predetermined future?

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Opeth
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50 posted 03-04-2002 01:30 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Stephen stated, "That's why Christianity is ultimately based upon faith and then revelation.  A revelation that will be given for those who honestly seek (with no self-dictation) the truth."

I honestly sought the truth and not for my own glory or for my own selfishness, but because I wanted to know the truth in order to live the way the creator desired me to live.

But my truth that I found is different than yours. So who knows the truth?  

Stephanos
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51 posted 03-05-2002 01:03 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jesus said...

" . . .For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice".  (John 18:37)

Opeth
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52 posted 03-05-2002 08:32 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Stephanos quoted Christ,

"For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice".


- But what I believe to be what Christ taught as the truth isn't the same as what you believe Christ taught to be the truth...so whose truth is the true truth?  
Brad
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53 posted 03-05-2002 03:06 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Stephan and Opeth,

And you guys wonder why I argue that the search for TRUTH is an impossible game?

The only way out of the game is revelation but then you have the problem of two different revelations in opposition to each other and then you're in exactly the same game again or/and we end up killing each other.

Stephan said:

I never said I didn't doubt anything.  I just don't doubt everything.  I do believe in absolute certainty.  It is possible, and in the pragmatic sense, inevitable.

--How so? Absolute certainty is a concept. In the pragmatic sense, we neither worry about certainty nor contingency. We simply do what we do do and these two ideas remain unthought in our daily lives. Only at certain points, do they move to the forefront. Does anybody really sit in front of a computer screen and think, "I am absolutely certain that I am typing on my computer right now."?

--It is simply not an issue pragmatically.

"You can say from some philosophical/ metaphysical standpoint that nothing is certain, but as you yourself said, you don't live that way.  You at least "pretend" that some things are certain for practical reasons."

--You don't have to pretend anything because you don't think about it. When you drive a car, do you really think about turning the wheel a certain many degrees will result in the car turning a certain direction? Neither side of this coin is pragmatic, they are both questions of philosophy. In fact, the moment you do begin to think about it, the might begin to doubt it. Don't confuse the way we consciously think about living our lives and the way we actually live our lives.

"But what I am saying turns this concept... I believe there are things that you believe absolutely  (your own existence being one example), but you "pretend" it isn't absolutely certain only in a metaphysical sense."

--Doubting one's existence is simply doubting one's previous ways of thinking about existence. It's the difference between believing in permanence and contingency. If you stare at the snow on a broken television for a long time, shapes begin to appear. Do they exist? Do they exist on the screen? Do they exist in my mind? That they exist is irrefutable from your point of view, and the same can be said for my personal existence. But that doesn't mean much, does it? My self may have no more substance than that jumping rabbit I see on the screen.

--Does that mean existence in the way that you want to imply, Stephan?

"But You see that this is completely theoretical."

--Both sides are completely theoretical. Metaphysical pedantics slices both ways.  

Brad


[This message has been edited by Brad (03-05-2002 03:39 PM).]

Stephanos
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54 posted 03-06-2002 01:46 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad,

you said,

"you guys wonder why I argue that the search for TRUTH is an impossible game?
The only way out of the game is revelation but then you have the problem of two different revelations in opposition to each other"

I never meant that merely personal revelation is the whole answer.  I believe a great part of it is one's experience with Christ... hence personal revelation.  This is always balanced with revealed truth in scripture.  You may say that anyone can interpret it any way they wish?  Perhaps, but it will be obvious for anyone who reads it for themselves.  Go ahead Brad, read the scriptures (especially the New Testament Gospels, and the epistles), and tell me how far you can scripturally go (without absurdity) from the simple truth that Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ.  Maybe it can be argued, but not very well from scripture.  Scripture has it's own message... it's not as cloudy as some would make it.  

I'll respond to your "uncertainty argument" a little later (don't have the time now).

Opheth,

your "different" truth, I am still unsure of.  I merely know that salvation comes through Jesus Christ and only through him.  The scriptures do not vary from this, regardless of doctrines about Hell, the Sabbath, the trinity, or whatever.  Wranglings are useless if we don't get this foundation right.  The question is,  have we trusted Christ Jesus unto salvation?  Are you saved?  If you are saved, then there is no such thing as a different truth.  He is the truth incarnate.  Truth is a person...  Know him and then doctrines have their important secondary place.  My prayers are that you and I both may know him ...

Stephen.


Brad
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55 posted 03-07-2002 03:18 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Stephan,

"You may say that anyone can interpret it any way they wish?"

Hmmmm, when did I say or imply that? The only way that would be possible would be to assume that we are the ones outside of time and space -- playing God again -- and that's certainly not what I want to say. Humans are historically situated creatures, we are limited to our background, our situation, and to those around us. This necessarily means that we can't interpret things anyway we want.

Or put another way, if somebody wants to say we can interpret it anyway we wish (and many do, I agree), it is the wish that can't be wished for.

Brad  
Stephanos
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56 posted 03-07-2002 04:37 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad,  I think you may be taking this out of context...


When I spoke about people not being able to interpret scripture "any way they want" ... I meant that they cannot do so and still be right with God.  The sad part is that multitudes do interpret the way they want.  I myself am subject to bending the truth of God through my own lens.  Now I feel that you'll say that we're more than merely subject to this, but bound to do it.  It's the same existential argument that goes as such... everything we perceive is filtered through ourselves... imperfect vessles...  Imperfect sensory receptors.  And I agree to a point.   But in my mind it is less of an infirmity and more of a rebellion in us all... it's called sin.  By nature we twist and distort truth  (and I readily admit our culture and environment play a large part).  Romans chapter one describes it as "supressing the truth in unrighteousness".   Now I do agree that apart from God's intervention we are trapped in our own paltry understanding of God, life, and reality.  


Here is where I disagree... the final outcome.   I believe that God is able to give us adequate revelation unto salvation.  I believe He can (and does) show us things that are TRUE.  We can know them from his vantage point, by faith.  


It all ties in to what you said about the inadequacy of "pedantics".  This knowledge of God (for those who attain it) does become second nature.  It becomes a point of doing and not merely knowing.  It far exceeds intellect.  Only when we pull back can it be discussed as "certainty of knowledge"... and we Can do this.  But we  can do this about anything.  I can tell you, even write an essay on how certain I am that I exist.  But every morning I just get up and I already exist.  (As you do).  The knowledge of God is like that.  The only purpose of getting into didactics at all is to stir some to search.  His truth is a  knowledge he gave me and I no sooner question it than I question that the sun is in the sky.  But it even goes further than that,  the sun itself may be transient and contigent on conditions, but not the eternal God.  He is the first cause.  


I know this gibberish can never convince you that God is real.  But perhaps you will meet someone in your day to day walk who knows him in such a way that you will see his light and radience through them.  


I know it gets tricky with the idea that we can know things from God's vantage point.  Because people can always get it wrong and say (with full belief) that they are speaking from his truth.  There are those who make great boasts of their own ideas about God.  There are those who make great claims of the true things God has said, but do not walk in them, nor in humility.  But there are those who walk in truth.  I am desirous to be more and more in this last category of those who live it.


I just don't want to see you reject truth because there are so many "private" versions of it.  As with some differences with Opeth and me...  It doesn't matter what either of us say, but what is confirmed by God.  I am not pointing you to believe like me, but to search for him.


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (03-07-2002 04:39 PM).]

Brad
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57 posted 03-07-2002 06:50 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Fair enough, but while you're right that what you say doesn't prove God's existence for me, I certainly don't think what you write is gibberish. I feel pretty confident that I understand your view. I think you would have to say I don't, not really, because I don't feel the way you do. Nevertheless, I can see it as a possibility.

But I'm not sure you understand my point yet. People CAN'T believe or interpret what they want because that already implies that they have control over that wanting. Whether you want to call it the unconscious, instinct, genetics, cultural conditioning or whatever, that wanting is outside the control of the conscious self. They say they do, they say they can control it, but practice indicates otherwise.

Think of the teen-ager who whines, "Why can't I just do what I want?" but completely oblivious that what they want is determined by an explosion of hormones. I don't think adults ever really escape this oblivion.

It just may not be hormones.

Again, you use existence without defining a certain type of existence and without defining a certain type of existence, existence just doesn't mean all that much.

I am not taking a half-way position here. If I give up God (even tentatively), I give up the soul, on a fully coherent, unified self, on even a lens from where 'I' can see, because that self-image of the 'I' comes into question (the 'I' becomes the effect, not the cause of other factors, but that 'I' can then cause things to happen. I'm redescribing the everyday world, not positing a different one).

I can show how this position works, I can show how the things we do everyday backs this up, and I can show how a certain historical movement has attempted to cover it up (de-emphasize -- no one really denies that these things don't happen), but the examples I give will be so obvious, so completely common sensical, that most people will think I'm being silly.

And will necessarily cover up (de-emphasize)other aspects that give credence to your view. So, while I believe this, I still believe that there's no way to be certain. I can't prove it to you because our beginning assumptions are different. What I'm not convinced of is that this is a bad thing.

A good example would be poetry and the endless arguments between form and content. It always seems that you have to choose one or the other: content is more important than form (the more common position) or form is more important than content (the 'elitist' position perhaps), but why do we have to choose either? Does it really matter when you are actually reading a poem?

Yes, it does. But we forget that the poem is a poem and the form/content distinction is an abstraction. I think we should read the poem in multiple ways and thereby read multiple poems and, if it's any good, gain multiple thoughts and experiences from these multiple readings.

TRUTH, the right answer, gets in the way of that.

============================

If this makes any sense (Stephan, I bet I can out-gibberish you any day of the week), you can see that I'm not interested in convincing you of my position (though I wouldn't mind if you conceded its plausibility), I want to talk and discuss things precisely because you work from different assumptions, I can gain from these discussions even if nobody ever convinces anybody of anything. How can I gain?  
  
By reading the poem again and again and again.

Brad    
Brad
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Posts 5896
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58 posted 03-07-2002 07:02 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Ha, if you want to read a few examples of what I'm talking about (the idea of self-control, self-determination, lack of soul etc.), take a look at Ron's post in P. Gloom's facade thread.

The only difference is that Ron still implies and I think still believes that there's something underneath all those masks.

I don't.

Maybe.

Brad

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