Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Imaginary imagination.

Is God real or imaginary?

If I imagine God with my eyes closed tight shut and I 'see' him in my 'mind's eye' is He then 'real' to me?

Can we say that the image that I have in my mind is real? Surely if we CAN say that then we can say, that for us who are imagining God right now, he is real.

But what if I'm just imagining imagining God? This is like the turtles that hold up the world now. "It's turtles all the way down!"

But religion is constantly asking us to imagine a Hell-hole of a World without God. Is the imaginary Hell-hole of a World then real?

Imagine a USA that is NOT a Christian Nation? Imagine a USA without morals and values?

But Christians would dismiss the notion of imagining the people sharing the world and imagining there's no Heaven out of hand.

"It's ridiculous to imagine all the people sharing the world because someone would cheat!"(They know for sure that THEY(or at least some of them) would!)

Imagine living a Christ-like life, giving away all your possessions, relying on the Godly nature of people to support you? Imagine that it IS easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into Heaven.

What's the point of being rich? What's the plan? Is the 'rich man' imagining that 'he' is going to debate God at Heaven's Gate and claim that he did'nt imagine himself as 'rich per se' or that he ought to be 'allowed in' because he DID imagine living a Christ-like life and it was a REAL mental image?

Stacy points out that I 'sound' like I'm stoned or something. That's fair enough.

But, I put it to you, that you HAVE to imagine ME imagining something, because there's just no way around that.

EEG's can tell us that the person being tested is imagining SOMETHING! But exactly what a person IS imagining can only be left to your imagination.


Anonymous said...

"But what if I'm just imagining imagining God?"

Please back away from the cannabis!;-)

mac said...


They said John was high too (I think he was, in a good way).

Anonymous said...

"But, I put it to you, that you HAVE to imagine ME imagining something, because there's just no way around that."


Brilliant pboy, no really. It's that kind of 'turn around' wit that is sorely lacking in American culture.

We have plagiarists but no Shakespeares. We have gays but no Oscar Wildes. We have bitter Southerners but no Mark Twains.

pboyfloyd said...

Well, oneblood, I think that it's a really weird subject that no-one wants to think about because it is 'worlds within worlds' kind of thingy.

It's so easy to slough it off as, "Hey are you stoned or something!?"(and I'm not putting Stacy 'down' because it IS so easy to slough it off etc.)

It's hard NOT to slough it off at some point in an ever spiraling thing.

It's also hard to question your, oneblood, or anyone's for that matter, sincerity(for want of a better word) because then, I'd practically be accusing you(or anyone) of thought-crime!(?)

If I ask you if you believe that God exists because he exists as a thought in your mind, I think that, as a theist, you are bound to say 'no' and question whether I believe anything at all is real outside being a thought in MY mind.

We can keep turning tables on this idea all day long as some philosophical debaters just LOVE to do.

But, once again, I can turn tables on that by saying that God existing outside the idea of God existing doesn't get 'dibs' on reality just because the idea is 'out there' any more than Santa is more real because THAT idea is 'out there'.

Harvey said...

If one subscribes to the philosophical construct "Cogito, ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am) your proposition flies. The logical conclusion that you can only know if you really exist because you can perceive that you have a conscious mind leads to is that all of reality is that which is in your perception. If so, if you can imagine God, he/she/it exists because you can imagine a God. As a result, it doesn't matter if you are "imagining imagining God.... ad infinitum"

pboyfloyd said...

Well that seems kind of circular though, doesn't it Harvey?

I think, therefore I am, so anything I think of is real.

But I'm thinking of a thousand monkeys flying out of my butt right now.

But that's ludricous, that's imaginary! But I'm thinking it therefore it IS.

I think that the 'I' in the 'cogito' is implying one's existence in reality and the 'think' is recognizing that we perceive ourselves.

Then there's the implication of 'where'! You might well think 'therefore you are', but you do it inside your real body in this real world. The one where there are NO ass-exiting flying monkeys!

Anonymous said...

I don't think that's disingenuous at all. I don't perceive God as just a thought in my mind. But I could never give any evidence, any, that my perception is more than just that.

I can't even describe what it's like to pray and talk to God, and to feel the presence of something.
Maybe I should just call it/him/me meta-consciousness?

Is it stupidity, insanity, an extension of a more normal process?

In terms of your post, I don't think the Anselm/Descartes argument works. Wrapping your head around a 'definition' game isn't good for anything more than clarifying terms.

pboyfloyd said...

What's disingenuous? What did I say was disingenuous?

Anonymous said...

"It's also hard to question your, oneblood, or anyone's for that matter, sincerity(for want of a better word) because then, I'd practically be accusing you(or anyone) of thought-crime!(?)"


Apologies pboy, I thought you were "accusing" yourself of bordering on disingenuity if you questioned my sincerity.

pboyfloyd said...

Hmm.. so someone accusing another of 'thought=crime' would be 'disingenuous'?

What if you had a 'lie-detector' strapped on?

What about what jesus says about 'thinking about adultery'?

I'm just curious, but wouldn't that be 'turning yourself in', finding yourself guilty of thought-crime?

Wouldn't God's son actually be helping religions to force you to police yourself?

But that could lead to a total lack of self-esteem and crushing depression, with horrible consequences, right?

(happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts..)

Harvey said...

Of course it is circular!
If the only way to "define" reality is by what you can perceive or, ultimately, be "aware of", then that which "seems" real to you is, by definition, real. Even if it is
"a thousand monkeys flying out of my butt" it is at least "real" to you at that moment.
I do not necessarily agree, however, that the only way to define reality is "that which I can perceive", but that's a different discussion.

Anonymous said...

"But that could lead to a total lack of self-esteem and crushing depression, with horrible consequences, right?"


That particular moral I'm grateful for, because it keeps the Pharisees (of any belief) at bay.

You can look at that piece of ethics two ways. One is you shouldn't watch porn, stare at chicks butts whatever.

The main point though is the, "Who are you to judge someone for adultery when you're doing the same thing in your heart?!?"

I don't know if you would agree with the implication. That there is no qualitative difference between mental and physical adultery.

It also would've been easier back in the day to not fantasize. More's the Pharisees' hypocrisy.

pboyfloyd said...

I'm not really sure what you mean by 'keeping the Pharisees at bay', oneblood.

Marilyn Monroe - hot, or not?

Bridget Bardot -

Angelina Jolie -

(insert some pornstars names here if you know any) -

I mean it's all hormone driven, though, isn't it?

Shouldn't the boys be dreaming of humping Angelina's character Laura Croft, going out on adventures with her saving the planet from some Dr. Evil or other?

Imagination is a wonderful thing.

If these guys put any thought into it they'd realise that Angelina would NOT be happy to spread her legs for any of them.

I think that it's the same with porn. If watchers thought about it, why would these women be laying down with them for nothing. They do THAT for a JOB.

Still, having fantasies about sex with sexy women is some kind of horrible sin, right?

I don't 'get it'.

Harvey, if you were having a fantasy about an actress and someone pointed out that you ought to be aware that she doesn't know you exist! You ought to be able to 'percieve' that she doesn't know you exist.

There's a giant mental chasm between the reality that we are aware of and perceive and imagination and fantasy.