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Posted by Paul R. Martin on July 13, 2003 18:36:46 UTC

Hi Stanley,

I agree with you that we should continually examine everything we can, including the examination itself and the reasons for the examinations. And, I think that on the whole, we do.

You said that it seems to you that we never examine the reason for the journey. I think we even do that. I think that amounts to searching for the meaning of life, and plenty of people ponder that question.

You asked, "If humanity is the essence of omnipotence and the sanctioned (thought) of the Eternal mind; then, does God need to be challenged to have purpose. [?]"

That is a complex question. Since you posted your question in response to some opinions of mine, I will assume you are asking me to answer on the basis of those opinions. That is what I will do. Bear in mind that I am not claiming any truth here, I am only exploring the consequences of holding the views that I do.

Let me start by trying to understand your two-part premise. The first part posits that "humanity is the essence of omnipotence". Since, in my view, there is no such thing as omnipotence, I could easily deny the premise. But, if we would like to include the term 'omnipotence' in our vocabulary and give it some kind of reasonable definition, than your premise would be satisfactory to me. It would say that 'omnipotence' means the totality and ultimate extent of human power. This would sort of imply that humans are the most powerful beings in the universe, which is sort of presumptuous, but at this point in history, we know of no other for sure. If we some day run across our superiors, we can always update our definition of omnipotence to include them as well and nothing important would be lost. So, with that new definition of 'omnipotence', I am ready to accept the first part of your premise: "humanity is the essence of omnipotence".

The second part is that "humanity is...the sanctioned (thought) of the Eternal mind". I don't understand why you enclosed 'thought' in parentheses. The sentence parses perfectly well without the parentheses, but it doesn't parse without the word 'thought'. It occurs to me that you might have meant to parenthesize 'sanctioned' instead of 'thought'. That would make sense to me. It would say that humanity is the (or a) thought of the Eternal mind, with which I would agree. It would also say, parenthetically, that this thought is sanctioned. I guess I would have to agree with that as well. After all, there is but one sanctioning entity, that being the Eternal mind, and it would seem logical that the Eternal mind would sanction, i.e. approve of, all of its own thoughts.

Notice that I slipped in my own parenthetical expression, "or a", into that second part of the premise. That was to note that humanity is not necessarily the only thought in the Eternal mind. That leaves room for stars, galaxies, and some other things. I don't think you have a problem with that minor change. So, in sum, I accept the second part of the premise.

Next, let's see if the premise leads to the conclusion. In other words, do the facts that humanity represents all the power there is and that humanity is nothing more than some of the thoughts in the Eternal mind imply that "God need[s] to be challenged to have purpose"?

Unnhhhh...you got me there. That seems to be a stretch if not a downright non sequitur. To make the connection, we would have to determine the necessary conditions for God to have a purpose, if indeed God has to have a purpose at all. Then we would have to show that the necessary condition is for God to be challenged. And, of course, we would have to derive all that from the premise. It boggles my mind. If there is a way to make those connections, it completely escapes me. Sorry I can't help.

Then again, maybe I have misunderstood or misinterpreted something you wrote. If so, correct me and I'll have another crack at it.

Moving on, I see that you have anticipated my difficulty and you have given me the alternative question:

"Or should the question be; what is the purpose of (thought)?"

Except for the mystery of why you parenthesized 'thought' again, this question is very simple and direct. I'll give you my simple and direct answer:
Since thought is the prime mover and first cause, the purpose of thought is to cause everything to get moving.

Warm regards,

Paul

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