Question for Scott About Mumorphism

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neoplatonist1
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Re: Question for Scott About Mumorphism

Post by neoplatonist1 »

@ScottRoberts,

I agree that change is ever-present to our minds. However, the fact of the ever-presence of change itself does not change. If it did, then change would cease, and, once ceased, could never start up again because change had changed into changelessness, which by definition never changes. So, we know from our experience of change that change is unchangingly changing. That unchanginglyness is eternal. Since change could, in theory, change into changelessness, but changelessness could not change into change, changelessness is eternal, whereas change is always temporal, again, by definition (i.e., change is a bad infinite sequence of changes A, B, C, . . . , infinity). Furthermore, being a temporal count-up to a bad infinity, change cannot have existed forever in the past, because at the present moment P, there would have to be an infinity of previous moments. But, infinity cannot be larger than it is, so, if we wait until P+1, change would have existed for infinityP+1P, which is impossible, meaning that change had to start at some point. This means that change did not always exist, but changelessness, by definition, did. This elevates changelessness to a superior level as the eternal Origin of temporal change.
ScottRoberts
Posts: 38
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Re: Question for Scott About Mumorphism

Post by ScottRoberts »

neoplatonist1 wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:12 am @ScottRoberts,

I agree that change is ever-present to our minds. However, the fact of the ever-presence of change itself does not change. If it did, then change would cease, and, once ceased, could never start up again because change had changed into changelessness, which by definition never changes. So, we know from our experience of change that change is unchangingly changing. That unchanginglyness is eternal. Since change could, in theory, change into changelessness, but changelessness could not change into change, changelessness is eternal, whereas change is always temporal, again, by definition (i.e., change is a bad infinite sequence of changes A, B, C, . . . , infinity). Furthermore, being a temporal count-up to a bad infinity, change cannot have existed forever in the past, because at the present moment P, there would have to be an infinity of previous moments. But, infinity cannot be larger than it is, so, if we wait until P+1, change would have existed for infinityP+1P, which is impossible, meaning that change had to start at some point. This means that change did not always exist, but changelessness, by definition, did. This elevates changelessness to a superior level as the eternal Origin of temporal change.
This argument is invalid because it mixes up the two meanings of time, what I called pre-cognitive and cognitive time in my essay, but I would now prefer to call experiential time (awareness of change in the "now") and constructed time (the ordering of memories and expectations into a past-present-future scheme). If one takes constructed time as independently real (and not as a mental construct) then one indeed gets a bad infinity, and your argument holds. But this is just an argument against the independent reality of constructed time. It fails as an argument against experiential time being fundamental.

Meanwhile, you have manufactured the problem (horn 1 of the tetralemma) of explaining how and why changelessness by itself should ever result in change.
neoplatonist1
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Re: Question for Scott About Mumorphism

Post by neoplatonist1 »

@ScottRoberts.

Pondering, will reply tomorrow.
neoplatonist1
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:12 pm

Re: Question for Scott About Mumorphism

Post by neoplatonist1 »

@ScottRoberts,

I agree about constructed time, so, we can set that aside. The crux is experiential time.

Eternity would experience experiential time, or, rather, an incomprehensible analogue of experiential time. We can say eternity lacks past and future, existing timelessly, rather than in a bad infinity. How could eternity or changelessness give rise to temporality or change?

Changelessness is not passive, a mere block sitting there not changing. Changelessness is timeless action. That is, changelessness acts eternally, and the product of this eternal action is the creation of the potential-to-become, or the prime matter to which the eternal Actor combined the eternal forms within His mind. As changelessness exists in eternity, all temporal time is contracted within its purview, such that changelessness does not change, but, as actual action changelessness acts across all temporal time, simultaneously from His perspective, sequentially from the perspective of changing entities.
ScottRoberts
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Re: Question for Scott About Mumorphism

Post by ScottRoberts »

@neoplatonist1

You are just repeating yourself, and if I were to respond, I would just be repeating myself. I think our varying perspectives stem from your acceptance of Aquinas' "first way" -- the argument from motion (change) to an Unmoved Mover. I reject this argument, as it depends on the view that motion is an actualizing of potential being to actual being, and I reject the concept of "potential being". If motion (activity), which is all we actually experience, is considered to be fundamental, the need for this argument goes away.
neoplatonist1
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:12 pm

Re: Question for Scott About Mumorphism

Post by neoplatonist1 »

@ScottRoberts,

If potential doesn't exist, then the universe is entirely actual, past, present, and future, in a single frozen block, which means that all is determined, which means mankind has no more will or reasoning ability than a pebble on the beach. In this case, reason itself is invalid because it cannot involve choosing between the true and the false, but is predetermined. Thus, the way of "motion (activity) . . . considered to be fundamental" is identical to motionlessness being fundamental. Denying potential is a cognitive trap.
ScottRoberts
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Re: Question for Scott About Mumorphism

Post by ScottRoberts »

neoplatonist1 wrote: Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:36 am If potential doesn't exist, then the universe is entirely actual, past, present, and future, in a single frozen block, which means that all is determined, which means mankind has no more will or reasoning ability than a pebble on the beach. In this case, reason itself is invalid because it cannot involve choosing between the true and the false, but is predetermined. Thus, the way of "motion (activity) . . . considered to be fundamental" is identical to motionlessness being fundamental. Denying potential is a cognitive trap.
It makes sense to say that an acorn has the potential to become an oak. But this just a shorthand way of saying that the form of an actual acorn in contact with the forms of actual water and actual soil nutrients will have actual interactions so that gradually the form of an actual oak will come to pass. Note that the interactions are also actualized form.

What I deny is that there is some sort of "potential being" in the acorn. Such a concept is not needed to explain how an acorn becomes an oak. And generally there is no need to postulate the existence of an inert, formless stuff called prime "matter" or "pure potential". It is the case that to turn an acorn into an oak in addition to the formal causation supplied by the forms of the acorn, water, chemical interactions, etc. there must be an efficient cause, which, in my scheme, is the force named "formlessness". While in the physical world it shows up as electromagnetism, etc., in us it is willpower or thoughtpower, and is capable of creating new forms. So there is plenty of dynamism going on that does not require the reification of potentiality.
neoplatonist1
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:12 pm

Re: Question for Scott About Mumorphism

Post by neoplatonist1 »

@ScottRoberts,

You have sidestepped my observation that denying potential leads to block-universe determinism, which undermines both will and reason. The acorn and the oak tree are both actual, as all of existence past, present, and future is actual in the simultaneity of eternity. If you’re correct, then, your argumentation, which could not be otherwise, whether it were true or false—and, indeed, all argumentation--is in vain. Thank you for the debate anyway; I believe in courteous conclusions.
ScottRoberts
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:22 pm

Re: Question for Scott About Mumorphism

Post by ScottRoberts »

neoplatonist1 wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:50 pm You have sidestepped my observation that denying potential leads to block-universe determinism, which undermines both will and reason.
I didn't sidestep it. I refuted it, by showing (however briefly) an ontology that includes will and novelty without reifying "potential" into an ontological category.
Simon Adams
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Re: Question for Scott About Mumorphism

Post by Simon Adams »

A lot of this discussion went over my head, so forgive my philosophical baby talk, but in my simplistic reading it seems that Scott is talking about god as the conscious universe, and Neoplatonist is talking about the god as the absolute, that which created and sustains the universe.

So a question @ScottRoberts , what makes you think that mind can sustain itself? Do you not think it’s possible that the source of everything has no polarity or properties at all, is just one undivided and unchanging whole?
Ideas are certain original forms of things, their archetypes, permanent and incommunicable, which are contained in the Divine intelligence. And though they neither begin to be nor cease, yet upon them are patterned the manifold things of the world that come into being and pass away.
St Augustine
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