Does Anything Make Sense?

Is God not subject to secondary causes because He is total act, and secondary causes have potentially? So to say the seed has the potential to become a sprout, but has no casual power in itself to become a sprout.

Why would an eternal, unchanging God desire to create creation? Wouldn’t it seem He lacks something in Himself to want something?

The seed has an intrinsic end to becoming a sprout, but it could not exist to operate to that end without God.

Creation adds nothing to him. It doesn’t increase his beatitude, joy, or goodness. Since it adds nothing to him, creation is a selfless act. The Catechism says,

III. "THE WORLD WAS CREATED FOR THE GLORY OF GOD"

Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth: “The world was made for the glory of God.” St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things “not to increase his glory, but to show it forth and to communicate it”, for God has no other reason for creating than his love and goodness: “Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand.” The First Vatican Council explains:

This one, true God, of his own goodness and “almighty power”, not for increasing his own beatitude, nor for attaining his perfection, but in order to manifest this perfection through the benefits which he bestows on creatures, with absolute freedom of counsel “and from the beginning of time, made out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal. . .”

294 The glory of God consists in the realization of this manifestation and communication of his goodness, for which the world was created. God made us “to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace”, for “the glory of God is man fully alive; moreover man’s life is the vision of God: if God’s revelation through creation has already obtained life for all the beings that dwell on earth, how much more will the Word’s manifestation of the Father obtain life for those who see God.” The ultimate purpose of creation is that God “who is the creator of all things may at last become “all in all”, thus simultaneously assuring his own glory and our beatitude.”

1 Like

More on the illusion of the self: “Vasubandhu states that what is real can only be known from perception or inference. Perception allows one to observe directly the objects of the six sense spheres. Inference allows one to infer the existence of sense organs. However, there is no such inference for a solid real Self apart from the stream of constantly changing sense perceptions and mental activity of the sense spheres.”

“Vasubandhu shows that the Hindu view of the Self as ‘controller’ is refuted by an analysis of the flux and disorder of mental events and the inability of the supposed Self to control our minds and thoughts in any way we would like. If the Self is truly an eternal un-caused agent, it should be unaffected by mere physical and mental causes, and it also seems difficult to explain how such a force existing independently outside of the mind could causally interact with it.“

What do you think?

This thread generally seems to follow the philosophy of nihilism (life is meaningless) and that nothing in the world has a real existence.

It occurred to me some years ago that such beliefs are rooted in the perspective of worldly creatures observing 4 dimensional worldly events.

As an analogy, our world might resemble one of those domino designs set up on the gymnasium floor with thousands of upright dominoes. When one domino is pushed, it sets up a chain of flip-flopping, tumbling dominoes WHICH APPEAR COMPLETELY RANDOM AND MEANINGLESS from the perspective of an observer with his head resting on the floor,

BUT…from an overhead perspective (God’s perspective…in a 5th dimension), a beautiful rose pattern could be seen developing in an orderly sequence.

So, nihilism may be completely relativistic (and untrue in the universal sense). Our observation says the world is meaningless. God’s perspective confers sense, meaning, and beauty to events. Which perspective you CHOOSE to grasp onto grants depression and hopelessness on the one hand, or hope and joy on the other.

What do you make of my most recent post (#23)?

Not sure I read your post #23. Your posts remind me (smiling) of myself, many, many years ago when I took university philosophy classes. I thought as you do, until God decided to reveal himself to me.

I think that your observations and posts make sense from the worldly plane of existence (four dimensions…length, height, width, time).

But, from that perspective, we have no valid claims or observations to make about God (who is above us, in another dimension). Jesus called that dimension “The Kingdom of Heaven.”

I hope God will reveal himself to you soon. In the meantime, keep seeking the truth. As Jesus said “Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.” You are a truth seeker, Veritas6!

FROM THE BIBLE

John 14:6

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

Begin to fill your soul (not your intellect) with these mysteries of the Bible, and God WILL reveal himself to you

So how would a “true projection” occur? The idea seems to be there isn’t an “inference for a solid real Self” separate from the stream of “changing sense perceptions and mental activity” of the senses. If there can’t be an objective way to know you exist apart from the senses, what can be real?

The dream argument: the Realist position that external things must exist because they are consistently located in space as well as time, Vasubandhu responds by saying that objects also appear to have spatial and temporal qualities in dreams, whereas nothing external is present in the dreams. This means that the appearance of cognitive objects does not require an actual object external to the consciousness cognizing it… Vasubandhu does not deny that cognitive objects exist. However, what he denies is that such cognitive objects have external reference points.”

There is a self because there is a fantastic correlation between what we want and what happen.

What do you make of Spinoza’s God and pantheism:

“Spinoza was critical of some Christian thinkers’ advocation of both a finite and an infinite substance. Aquinas had assumed the that finite beings and God are not substantially the same. Spinoza reasoned that, if finite beings are not substantially the same as God, why, then, are they called substances? He saw this as absurd.

A substance… is that which has its existence in itself [is entirely independent, i.e. it relies on nothing else for its existence]. Spinoza believed that Aquinas put forth this assumption in order to satisfy Christian dogma, for Christianity taught that everything must be dependent on God for its existence, and that certain of these ‘finite substances’ required individuality, viz. humans. This was done to avoid a monistic absorption into an all-encompassing One, such as is found in Hinduism (Jones 200).

Spinoza also believed that more than one substance inferred more than one universe, and this was nonsense to him. He believed our universe is infinite itself. There is no need to pass beyond it to discover God, as Aquinas taught in asserting a transcendent God”.

The theory seems to me to resemble what people come up with when they’ve been smoking pot, right after they get over their amazement that “wow” is spelled the same forwards and backwards.

In that case, we’re no longer talking about God. Honestly, who comes up with this stuff?

If nothing falls in a non-forest and no one is there, does nothing make a sound?

Here’s my thing: Perception isn’t reality. If that were the case, psychotics would be the people with the greatest grasp on reality. Hahahahaha

But, I digress. My position on objective reality is that IF there’s no objective reality that functions as a basis for existence, then the Universe is a messy solipsistic aggregate of individual realities mashed together.

We can all agree that upon seeing a ketchup bottle, touching it and handling it; we can agree it exists, right?

Neither are we our thoughts. My opinion, I’m no philosopher as I am a layman; is that the self exists! Otherwise, who in the heck is perceiving, thinking, feeling, deciding and doing? The “ self is illusion “ concept is patently absurd.

Exactly.

If all the philosopher is saying is that there can be a big difference between what you talk yourself into believing you are and what you actually are, well…duh. I think we can all look back on our lives, see that we were carrying around misconceptions about both ourselves and others when we were younger and sensibly conclude that we’re probably making some unrealistic assumptions about ourselves and others right now.

It is a big jump from “you have some unrealistic ideas about reality” to “you? there is no such thing!”

What, after all, does this even mean:
On one hand: Reality simply senses itself and exists. So you are literally it. You are existence itself.
Yet on the other hand: “…right now you cannot possibly understand any of this because your believe too strongly that you are a separate entity.”

OK…so if all of reality is all that there is and is deluded into thinking it is some small fraction of itself, who is lecturing to reality, exactly? I think that I, in my new-found authority as “existence itself” am going to tell the prattling non-entity outside myself that logically must also be nothing but a figment of my imagination to go pound salt.

1 Like

Hahahahaha Telling the non existent reality to go pound salt!!

To illustrate another point about the self: I believe that the self is a separate entity from thoughts, feelings and perceptions. These are events that happen to the self; much like events that happen to the body.

We act according to our thoughts, feelings and our perceptions; which I understand is where relativistic philosophy probably gets its basic premise.

Hellenistic philosophers like Plato, believed that thoughts, feelings and perceptions were impressions from outside the self.

1 Like

Depending on what Aquinas’s intended by the word substance, he may or may not have used the word correctly. But i am not going to debate semantics. What i will say is that spinoza is wrong in assuming that Aquinas made a distinction merely to satisfy his faith. The idea that finite realities are dependent on the reality of God in-order to exist follows necessarily because of the principle of non-contradiction and because he can observe the fact that finite realities exist.

So it follows that finite realities don’t exist in the same way that God exists but only in an analogous way, or you might argue based on Spinoza’s definition of substance that God is the only true substance, while finite realities or not because they depend on something else to be real; but if the only error is the use of the word substance to describe that distinction then this is all just semantics and is besides the point; in so much as it doesn’t really undermine the argument, it merely suggest an error in the use of some word.

The point is, if the distinction doesn’t hold it leads necessarily to absurdity, and that is to say the possibility of an intelligible ontology falls apart. So while Spinoza might take to task the words Aquinas uses to describe things, it doesn’t follow that Aquinas is essentially wrong in making a distinction in the first place and opting for some kind of duality rather than a monist approach to the fact of existence.

In other-words Spinoza is either arguing from semantics or he is making a straw-man of Aquinas’s use of the word substance.

What do you make of this argument on the mind and the mistaken sense of control?:

“Each temporary collection of psychophysical entities generates, through causal regularities, another collection in the next moment. The mind’s present dispositions are conditioned by its past, and its every experience is only an expression of its internal transformations, triggered of course by influences coming from outside the individual…The intuitive sense of control is a mistake. This is introspectively obvious and is implicit in the non-Buddhist’s admission that a mental series, distinct from the ‘self,’ is dependent upon its own causal impetus.”

Here’s the classic view of free will from Dr. Kreeft and Dr. Tacelli, SJ: H + E + FW = A

Heredity plus environment plus free will equals the human act. Heredity and environment condition our acts, but they do not determine them , as the paints and the frame condition a painting but do not determine it. They are necessary causes but not sufficient causes of freely chosen acts.

If our “mind’s present dispositions are conditioned by its past, and its every experience is only an expression of its internal transformations”, how can we have a sense of control with a “mind-identified self” identitied by @Aquinas11? The causes do not force us to act, but what is the us that controls our actions if the mind-identified self doesn’t exist?

Don’t allow oneself to freely jump down into an imagined rabbit hole; and for what?

Endless Speculation’s Sake? :roll_eyes:

“I am because I think I am… I think?” :upside_down_face:

“Existence arises out of nothing. This nothingness, this ultimate void, is God." ???

God is not nothing … God IS… I AM is an EXISTENCE

I’m interested in seeing if we have a constant sense of self or is it just a series of casual thoughts that unify to form a sense of self. The latter idea is called an illusion because it’s a collection of successive thoughts from the brain; but if an illusion of a unified self exists, then a real unified self exists. The self is that singular vantage able to experience oneself as the focus of a private, subjective experience. Wouldn’t the illusion be impossible as it would be an “intentional” construct?

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.