What Would God Look Like If He Came To Earth?

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What would God look like if he came to Earth? He would look like Jesus.

Admittedly hindsight is better than foresight, and I would not have been able to make that up if there were no record of Jesus’ life. Here’s why I bring it up, though. I’ve been asking myself, Why Jesus? Why would God show up here as that one man in that one place in that one time? The answer, it seems to me, is that nothing else makes sense.

If I had tried to invent the idea of God coming to earth, I wouldn’t have imagined him as a Jew. Yes, the Jews had a history of knowing God as loving, merciful, forgiving, powerful, holy, righteous, and jealous for the good. They had a tradition telling them to expect a great leader and prophet, a messiah, to come from God. They never thought that this person would actually be God. So this is hardly an exercise in re-inventing Jesus, on the assumption that the original Jesus was a human invention, too. He couldn’t have been invented as a Jew. Besides, we know from history that he really lived.

I try to think of other ways God could have manifested himself as a visitor among us. He could have come far more impressively, if that had been his purpose, by showing up out of nowhere as a full adult. He could have appeared in multiple locations all at the same time. He could have been fifteen feet tall. He could have had Superman powers like invulnerability or the ability to fly. He could have come with mind-control powers so that no one would have a choice about believing in him.

Yet he came as an infant, and he grew up as one of us. He impressed people, there’s no doubt about that; but not in the fearsome sense of a giant, but rather through his wisdom, his teaching, his love for the unloved, his opposition to the proud, his insistence upon truth as truth. He had the power of God, yet he used it for others. If he was tired, still he walked. His gifts of power were demonstrations of the same thing he was teaching: the Kingdom of God. His miracles were foretastes of the day when Jesus Christ reigns over all.

That Kingdom will be for those who “love his appearing,” as 2 Tim. 4:8 says. Love is a choice, not a compulsion, and not everyone is impressed by wisdom or love, even (as the record shows) when it’s expressed in miraculous power. “If all of a sudden I could feel and hear him,” wrote one person, “that would force me to choose between believing in God or believing I was insane. Kind of a toss up, depending on which way my ego is going at the time it were to occur.” Some people’s egos got in the way of believing in Christ even when they could feel and hear him.

A holy God would show up with a call for right (righteous) living. A loving God would bring a way of rescue from our weakness and failure. Jesus did both. His death on the cross is the ultimate demonstration that sin is wrong, horrible, and deadly. His death and resurrection are proof that he has overcome sin’s deathly hold on us.

What do you think? Was Jesus the way you would expect a good God to manifest himself among us?

74 Responses

  1. BillT says:

    “If all of a sudden I could feel and hear him,” wrote one person, “that would force me to choose between believing in God or believing I was insane.”

    No, it wouldn’t. No force can make you believe. No force can make you love. Those are choices. They were then and are now.

    “He could have come far more impressively….He could have appeared in multiple locations all at the same time….been fifteen feet tall….had Superman powers….have come with mind-control powers so that no one would have a choice about believing in him.”

    If did he could have just skipped coming at all and just created us as a bunch of mindless automotons. However, what he wanted was for us to love him and “Love is a choice, not a compulsion…”

  2. Victoria says:

    I think (with hindsight, I suppose) that the alternative ways in which the 2nd Person of the Trinity might have come to earth are ruled out by Isaiah 53 (and most of the other OT prophecies concerning the Messiah cited by the apostles)

  3. Ordinaryseeker says:

    Isn’t God supposed to be here already, all the time, in everything?

  4. Tom Gilson says:

    Well, sure, but I meant it in the sense of coming in a special personal and more accessible manifestation, as in something like coming to visit.

  5. Holopupenko says:

    OS and his univocal nonsense: “in” and “all” are supposed be understood physically and as applicable to unbounded and fully actualized Beingness Itself for which Existence and Essence are one and the same? Really?

    Humor us, OS: please locate “in” what or where the scientific method is and provide for us sensory-verifiable measurements of its properties… pretty please? Or are you going to deflect by hand-waving away the question with a term you don’t even understand–“abstraction”? Okay, so where is this invisible friend of yours called “abstraction”?

    (And, this is apart from blatantly missing Tom’s point.)

  6. Fleegman says:

    @Tom

    If all of a sudden I could feel and hear him,” wrote one person, “that would force me to choose between believing in God or believing I was insane. Kind of a toss up, depending on which way my ego is going at the time it were to occur.” Some people’s egos got in the way of believing in Christ even when they could feel and hear him.

    So, if you could feel and hear God speaking to you, and He told you to kill your child, would you do it? If not, why not?

  7. Tom Gilson says:

    I would know it wasn’t God.

    This isn’t a question of sanity, it’s a question of discernment. I have encountered God in the Bible, in his works on earth, in his people, and in private spaces of my heart. I would know it wasn’t God as surely as I would know it wasn’t my wife’s voice on the phone if I heard some woman telling me to kill my child.

  8. Fleegman says:

    @Tom

    I would know it wasn’t God.

    You didn’t answer my question. If you knew it was God, would you do it? If not, why not?

  9. Tom Gilson says:

    I answered your question by telling you your question is a non-question. It’s nonsense. I cannot hear something from God and know it is God when I know it is not God.

  10. Fleegman says:

    So your position is that my question is nonsense because God would never ask you to do something like that? Is that what you’re saying?

  11. Tom Gilson says:

    I’ve already said what I’m saying. What’s missing?

  12. Fleegman says:

    Well, from what you’ve said it appears you:

    Would know it wasn’t God, because you’d recognise Him. But that completely begs the question that God wouldn’t ask you to kill your child.

    So, is that what you’re saying?

  13. Fleegman says:

    Well, I certainly understand why you’re dodging the question Tom.

  14. Tom Gilson says:

    I’ve read Genesis 22, by the way. Have you?

  15. Fleegman says:

    Of course, I have. Are you going to answer the question?

  16. Tom Gilson says:

    I’ve answered the question, but to humor you, since you can’t seem to read what I wrote: If I thought something was telling me to kill my child I would know it wasn’t God, because I know God would not do that.

  17. Tom Gilson says:

    Now, to head off where I’m sure you’re going with this, please be sure to interpret Genesis 22 in its situation in ANE history and in the progress of revelation. Please be sure to include in your analysis Abraham’s confidence that God would provide the sacrifice (vs 8) and God’s fulfillment of that expectation.

  18. Fleegman says:

    Precisely. And how do you know He would not ask you to do that, given that according to the Bible, he’s known for asking at least one person to do exactly that.

  19. Tom Gilson says:

    Because I know God, and because I know where Gen. 22 fits in the progress of revelation; and because I’ve read vss. 8 and 11ff.

  20. Tom Gilson says:

    That last word sure looks funny on the screen in this font. It means verse number 11 and the following verses.

  21. Fleegman says:

    You mean where Abraham lies to his son, and how the angel of God (not God, mind you) stops him performing the act?

    That somehow means God would never ask you to do that?

    Does God say “oh, I’ll never do that again?”

    Nope.

  22. Tom Gilson says:

    I just want you to know, Fleegman, that the early history of the Bible is also very early in God’s self-revelation, and it was situated in a context foreign to ours. It’s not wise to read it as if it were written for a 21st century Western audience.

    Abraham was utterly unique in biblical history, besides.

    If I thought you were interested in knowing how that affects the interpretation of Genesis 22 I would go on and talk about it further.

    But you’re playing gotcha instead. So this is how I’ll leave it: I’m very sure that you will resist understanding, and because I’m sure of that, I’m not going to hit my head against a brick wall trying to get you to understand.

  23. Tom Gilson says:

    Your resistance against understanding is demonstrated in your calling vs. 8 a lie. It was confidence in God that he was expressing there. See Hebrews 11:17-19.

  24. Fleegman says:

    You’re the one playing the “interpretation game.” You are interpreting it that Abraham had faith that God would provide a sacrifice. I interpret it as something you might say to someone to head off their questions when you didn’t want to raise their suspicions that you might be about to sacrifice them.

    Regardless, it doesn’t even matter in this case.

    God asked Abraham to kill Isaac. This much is clear. Abraham, regardless of whether or not he had faith that God would stop him, or raise his son from the dead, or whatever, was fully prepared to kill his own son.

    So God is obviously capable of asking this of the faithful.

    My question to you, therefore, still stands.

    I am not playing gotcha. It went like this:

    1) I asked if you would kill your child if God asked you to. 
    2) You said God would never ask you to do that. 
    3) Genesis 22. 
    4) You say something about Abraham being unique, and God wouldn’t do that because he didn’t let him kill his son, and Abraham had faith in God. Or something. Also: interpretation!

    Remember how in another discussion, I claimed that you only say things were misinterpreted if it makes God look bad? Well, case in point.

  25. Tom Gilson says:

    It’s not an interpretation game. It’s understanding the text according to the full range of information.

    You’re playing gotcha. That’s also not an interpretation game. It’s understanding the text of what you’ve written according to the full range of information.

    God is obviously capable of doing lots of things that I am confident he will not do with me. God is capable of incarnating in a human form as a baby. I am sure he won’t do that again.

    But you don’t want to know how I’m sure, and how I would show that this is a justifiable interpretation (not just a way of keeping God from looking bad). You don’t care. You’d rather label it a game, and try to toy with people. Sorry, but I’m not playing.

  26. JAD says:

    I think the story of Elijah vs. the prophets of Baal is instructive here.

    Let me give a brief outline:

    1. Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to a miraculous test: Have their god supernaturally consume a sacrifice of a bull with fire that they able to call down from heaven. Whatever god is able to pass the test is the true God.
    1 Kings 18:16-24

    2. Elijah wins the challenge and orders the prophets of Baal to be put to death.
    1 Kings 18:24-40

    3. Some people, however, are not impressed. Queen Jezebel orders that Elijah to be to death. 1 Kings 19:1-2

    4. Elijah loses his nerve (and his faith) and flees for his life. 1 Kings 19:3-6

    5. God leads Elijah to Mt. Carmel. 1 Kings 19:7-9

    6. There God shows Elijah some impressive displays of power in nature: a windstorm, an earth quake and fire. Elijah, however, does not sense God’s presence in any of these things. 1 Kings 19:10-12

    7. God reveals himself in “a still small voice” (KJV) 1 Kings 19:12-13

    What is the lesson here?

  27. BillT says:

    “…and how the angel of God (not God, mind you)…”

    The usual translation of v11 is “…the angel of the Lord…” and that phrase is usually understood as referring to Christ. So, it is God speaking to Abraham.

  28. Fleegman says:

    @Tom

    It’s not an interpretation game. It’s understanding the text according to the full range of information.

    Which appears to be your get out clause for anything and everything that’s written in the Bible that might make you feel uncomfortable.

    It’s not wise to read it as if it were written for a 21st century Western audience.

    But it’s ok to interpret the good stuff without reinterpreting it, because that means exactly what it says. There is a double standard at play, here, Tom.

    I realise that you could explain your thinking to me in a way that makes sense to you; I have no doubt about that. I’m sure you could give me an interpretation of the ripping apart of youths by bears that shows it was totally justified and moral. Or how genocide commanded by God was a good thing. Even when you admit above that He’s a jealous god, you feel compelled to add “but in a good way.”

    What you refuse to grant, however, is that you are only satisfied with an interpretation that sits well with your ideas about God’s character.

    Did God ask Abraham to kill his son or didn’t He?

    @JAD

    What is the lesson, you ask? Like all things Biblical, it’s debatable. As is, it turns out, the correct translation of “…a still small voice,” no?

    @BillT

    The usual translation of v11 is “…the angel of the Lord…” and that phrase is usually understood as referring to Christ. So, it is God speaking to Abraham.

    Notice how you switch from usually to definitely in this case?

    Okay.

  29. Victoria says:

    And, one has to understand the account of Abraham’s test (for that is what it really is) in the light of Abraham’s history and growth from when he met God for the first time (in Genesis 12 ) to this point in Genesis 22, and beyond.

    There are really a number of intertwined threads passing through this part of Biblical history
    1. the thread of faith and trust for the believer walking with God
    2. the scarlet thread of God’s plan of redemption.

    The commentary of Hebrews 11 brings these out.

    Fleegman,
    you might find this instructive, even though the study is for a female audience 🙂
    http://bible.org/series/abraham

  30. Tom Gilson says:

    Fleegman, since when is understanding a text according to the full range of information considered an “out clause”? If it’s an out, it’s an “out” from misurnderstanding based on partial information. Or do you support the idea of building one’s understanding on partial information???

    You can claim double standard all you want, but you haven’t identified a place where I’ve employed it.

    If you’d like to see where I’ve addressed the accusations of genocide, you can google “God genocide Bible” and you’ll find it. Then if you can find something about that series of answers you’re welcome to say so. In the meantime it’s silly to object that it’s wrong to find ways of understanding it that comport with what we know about the character of God. The only objection that would hold would be of the sort that says we’ve said something identifably wrong.

    JAD’s interpretation is standard. Even if it weren’t, “angel” is a translation of “messenger.” It was God speaking either directly or through a messenger.

  31. Tom Gilson says:

    The word in Hebrew is מַלְאָךְ malʾāḵ.

    Definition: from an unused root meaning to despatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically, of God, i.e. an angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher): — ambassador, angel, messenger.

    “Angel of the Lord” is a special construction, however, which is typically understood to be the pre-incarnate Christ as JAD said.

  32. Holopupenko says:

    For me, today–even though it’s the first day of the summer and the longest day (= hours of daylight) of the year–is the saddest day because from now on until just before Christmas (when Light came into the world) the days get shorter and shorter.

    I don’t mean “sad” in a depressed way but as a reflection upon the fact that when sin entered the world, the entire world was affected. I get a real sense of being “in this world but not of it”… and longing to go Home.

    We’re enjoying an absolutely beautiful (if sultry) night with fire flies going nuts in their lovely dance. Ahh… creation: Psalm 19:1. How small the minds who refuse to see…

  33. Fleegman says:

    Yes indeed, Holo.

    It must be lovely to be able to enjoy stuff. Maybe just once to appreciate the beauty of the natural world, and be filled with wonder at the majesty of it all. If only us atheists were capable of all that. Or even looking forward to spending time with loved ones over the holidays. Or being filled with joy as the little ones open their presents. Sadly, these things and many, many, more are behind a locked door for us because we don’t share your beliefs.

    Please excuse me while I go fill another bucket with my tears.

  34. Holopupenko says:

    I can assure you, Fleegman, you are quite sadly correct: you are NOT and CANNOT be “enjoying” something you can’t even explain:

    In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.

    Your bucket… my sea… over your self-serving, closed-minded, reductionist, bigoted, hateful, scientistic, “it all doesn’t matter at the end because there is no objective meaning” existence… as opposed to life.

    “Beauty” of the natural world? Yeah, right. This coming from someone who can’t define beauty objectively, admits to no objective meaning, and then sneaks in to impose on others their own deep-seated emotional needs.

    Tell us, where exactly is this little abstract and invisible friend of yours called “beauty”… or will you again deflect?

  35. Tom Gilson says:

    I disagree strongly, Holopupenko.

    First, it’s obvious that everyone can enjoy beauty.

    Second, if that isn’t good enough, if an atheist couldn’t enjoy beauty, could an atheist create beauty?

    Third, you’re denying the imago dei and common grace.

    Fourth, it’s not necessary to be able to understand or explain what one is enjoying.

    Fifth, it’s possible to enjoy what one understands incorrectly or incoherently.

    So even though beauty stands without a coherent explanation on naturalism, a naturalist can surely enjoy and appreciate it.

    What no atheist can enjoy and appreciate, however, is the loving relationship with the one great Artist.

  36. Holopupenko says:

    Tom:

    That’s why I put the word “enjoying” in quotations. You missed that?

    The analogous comparison is of a rapper (rap is NOT music) who hates classical music to a culturally-refined person who understands and appreciates REAL music (beauty). Yeah, maybe at some level the rapper can “enjoy” classical music (“incorrectly or incoherently” to employ your words in this analogy)… but he doesn’t (nor can he) ENJOY classical music. An atheist is someone who INTENTIONALLY denies the existence of the composer of classical music while “enjoying” it. Regarding imago dei: come on, Tom: it’s the atheist who denies that–I’m just pointing it out.

    I stand by my words: atheists can “enjoy” beauty, but they can’t ENJOY it… nor, as you correctly point out, the Source of beauty.

    So, I’m still waiting for Fleegan to introduce us to the invisible little friend called “beauty” he seems to abstractly “enjoy.” Don’t hold your breath…

  37. BillT says:

    “Notice how you switch from usually to definitely in this case?”

    As if you, in general, don’t use your best possible interpretation of whatever you’re trying to understand and use that best possible interpretation as a definate.

  38. SteveK says:

    Holo’s comment about beauty reminds me of Romans 8:5-8, where it states that those who are not in Christ cannot please God (do good). So, to put it in Holo’s terms…there is “good” and there is GOOD.

  39. BillT says:

    “So, I’m still waiting for Fleegan to introduce us to the invisible little friend called “beauty” he seems to abstractly “enjoy.”

    I think it goes something like this. “I can’t tell you what it is but I know it when I see it.”

  40. Holopupenko says:

    SteveK:

    Thanks for pointing out that Scripture states it far better than I… thank God!

    BillT:

    The irony of what you say wrt Fleegman is TOO sweet. Brilliant!

    No opinion so weird and so deadly as atheism is beyond the “power” of weak minds to confect and cherish it.

  41. Holopupenko says:

    This hot of the presses–beautiful examples of LGBT charity and tolerance: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/gay-activists-visiting-white-house-take-photos-of-themselves-flipping-off-reagan-portrait/… NOT!

  42. Fleegman says:

    And it gets more hilarious by the minute.

    Now an atheist can’t think something is beautiful unless they can give you an objective definition of beauty? Please. I’m astonished at the level on which you’re commenting. I’m embarrassed for you, Holo.

    I have to ask: Should one find oneself in this fantasy world in which you clearly reside — where beauty isn’t beautiful unless one can define it — will any belief in God allow one to be “HAPPY?” Could a Jew, for example, “ENJOY” things, or only “enjoy” things? (I have a hard time using the distinction without laughing; it is so ridiculous)

    Put simply, will any delusion do?

  43. SteveK says:

    Fleegman,
    There is some validity to Holo’s point. If you see beauty in something that lacks beauty, then (using Holo’s syntax) you are experiencing “beauty”, not BEAUTY, and “enjoying” but not ENJOYING. Seeing beauty in evil or sin – and “enjoying” it – is but one example.

  44. Fleegman says:

    …but one very bad example. Sheesh.

  45. Tom Gilson says:

    Fleegman,

    I can almost understand why you’re reacting, because this is a mixed-content discussion: aesthetics and meta-aesthetics, if you will. Nevertheless, this is not what Holopupenko said:

    Now an atheist can’t think something is beautiful unless they can give you an objective definition of beauty? Please. I’m astonished at the level on which you’re commenting. I’m embarrassed for you, Holo.

    It’s like the way atheists often misinterpret the moral argument, supposing that theists are saying that atheists cannot be moral. We’re not. And Holopupenko is not (I hope) saying an atheist cannot enjoy beauty.

    Rather, if naturalistic atheism is true, then no one can be moral, for morality cannot coherently be said to exist on naturalistic atheism. If naturalistic atheism is true, then no one can enjoy beauty, for the concept of beauty evaporates away in Russell’s “accidental collocation of atoms.”

    Atheists and theists can be moral; atheists and theists can enjoy beauty. The reason we can (the meta-aesthetic explanation) is because morality and beauty exist, and they exist for both theists and atheists.

    Catch this very carefully now, though: they exist for theists and for atheists, but they do not exist for atheism, only for theism. Atheism taken to its full logical conclusion denies their existence.

    What then does it mean that you can experience beauty? It means that beauty exists. What does it mean that your atheism cannot explain beauty? It means that your atheism fails in explaining fundamental reality. What does it mean that theism succeeds in explaining your experience of beauty? It means that you live in a theistic universe.

    I think that’s what Holopupenko was trying to get at.

  46. SteveK says:

    …but one very bad example. Sheesh.

    It’s a representative example of what I was explaining, so I’m not sure what is bad about it.

  47. G. Rodrigues says:

    @Fleegman:

    Now an atheist can’t think something is beautiful unless they can give you an objective definition of beauty?

    What can you possibly mean by this? If you cannot, as you clearly cannot, give an objective definition of beauty, how can you recognize it? If you do not know, in the intellective, rational sense of knowing, what an A is, how would you recognize an A? Maybe what you are trying to say is that you can recognize the *experience of beauty*: to the contemplation of some objects (listening to a tune, reading a book, looking at a painting, etc.), some effects, presumably pleasurable, are generally and regularly associated and, in a good Humean fashion, you call the whole experience the “experience of beauty”. But the experience of beauty is the experience of *what*? On the assumption of metaphysical naturalism, it is conceivable that hardwiring the brain in a certain specific way will lead one to experience beauty by viewing a snuff movie. And if by suitably hardwiring the brain, one can experience beauty by looking at a snuff movie, it would seem that the experience of beauty is arbitrary and subjective in the sense that we are not experiencing anything objective in the world, but rather the mere accidental product of evolutionary brain hard-wiring. In other words, when you say that an atheist, or anyone for that matter, can “think something is beautiful”, what you really are saying is that one can declare by fiat that something is beautiful, because one can recognize the presence of beauty merely by its effects on us. Beauty, if it is anything, *is* its effects. But of course, this is tantamount to saying that beauty really is nothing other than a projection of the brain on otherwise random collections of atoms that go by names such as “books”, “music”, “paintings”, etc. Marcel Duchamp’s joke with a urinal is taken seriously and for “real”. The laughing is on you.

    later edit: my invocation of M. Duchamp is not innocent of course. See for example Roger Scruton – Why Beauty Matters. Duchamp confesses that he wants to get rid of art in the same way as one wants to get rid of… religion.

  48. Holopupenko says:

    G. Rodrigues:

    You’re speaking WAY beyond his pay grade.

  49. Fleegman says:

    Is there a point you’re making in that screed, G.Rodrigues?

    You guys are the ones insisting on their being objective beauty. I don’t have a problem with what you said, there, although some of the words were a bit long and complicated, so it was difficult for me to understand, of course.

    What I did glean, in my understandably limited capacity for reading words, is that you spent half of it pretending not to know what I actually meant, and when you get round to what I clearly meant, you then say — in a very, very long winded way — “Here is what you believe, Fleegman.”

    I’m still waiting for the “…therefore that’s a bad thing, and that clearly means God is real because…”

    If beauty were objective, wouldn’t everyone think the same painting was beautiful?

    It’s like Holo’s inane analogy about rap music and classical music. He doesn’t think rap is music, and therefore, it’s not music. Objectively… Somehow… But his analogy betrays the truth, which is how ones upbringing and culture determines what is considered music, or what is beautiful. But it’s still objective, of course… You know, somehow…

    What utter nonsense.

  50. Tom Gilson says:

    Fleegman,

    Calm down, okay?

    Thanks.

    I’m no expert in aesthetics–this discussion is above my pay grade, too–but what I understand of it is that (a) beauty is real and yet (b) there is a range of human variation in how we experience and apprehend beauty. Some of it is certainly cultural, but just because some people find Chinese opera beautiful and I don’t, does not mean that there is no such thing as beauty as such. (The one Chinese opera I’ve heard was visually beautiful but musically grating, unlike most other Chinese music.)

    Here’s something else I understand: what G. Rodrigues wrote was not what you apparently think he wrote. He made a good case for naturalism leading to the conclusion that “beauty is nothing other than a projection of the brain on otherwise random collections of atoms . . . “

    What is it about this that’s nonsense, other than what I’ve noted above: (1) you really do know how to enjoy beauty as if beauty were real, but (2) on your worldview there is no such thing, but (3) in spite of your worldview, you really do know how to enjoy beauty as if it were real.

    That is, what’s nonsense is naturalism’s conclusion. Now if, as you seem to be hinting, G. Rodrigues is wrong in suggesting you accept that conclusion, maybe you could tell us what he got wrong about it, starting from your naturalistic premises. I can tell you what’s wrong about it starting from human experience–but human experience and naturalistic premises often clash anyway. That’s one reason we’re pretty convinced naturalistic premises are false.

  51. Fleegman says:

    I’m perfectly calm, thanks, Tom.

    Now if, as you seem to be hinting, G. Rodrigues is wrong in suggesting you accept that conclusion, maybe you could tell us what he got wrong about it,

    Ahhh, that is where you make your bloomer. It was Holo’s ramblings that I was calling utter nonsense. A bit further up in my post, I said that G.Rodrigues was basically saying “Here is what you believe,” as though it were news to me. I’m agreeing with what he said. I just didn’t understand what point, if any, he was making by saying it.

    I think the concept of beauty is an emergent property, rather than an intrinsic property of a particular thing.

    What would it mean, for example, to say that a sunset was beautiful, if there were no one around to see it?

  52. G. Rodrigues says:

    @Fleegman:

    I’m still waiting for the “…therefore that’s a bad thing, and that clearly means God is real because…”

    And wait you will, because that is not the argument. The argument is a reductio against metaphysical naturalism, not an argument for the existence of God.

    If beauty were objective, wouldn’t everyone think the same painting was beautiful?

    No, because “objective” does not mean “everyone think [thinks] the same painting was [is] beautiful”.

    What I can say with some propriety that I know is literature; but there are some books I have read, important and good books, that I am unable to appreciate because Life (just like that, with a big L) has not given me the key to open that specific box. My inability to connect as it were, is just that, a personal inability, a defect in my sensibility. The absence or ruin that I see in the book is in my own eye.

    But his analogy betrays the truth, which is how ones upbringing and culture determines what is considered music, or what is beautiful.

    Do you even realize that you are making the point for me?

    But given your difficulty with “a bit long and complicated” words and your “understandably limited capacity for reading” them, there is little point in trying to explain my “screed”, as the odds are are that you will, once again, misunderstand it and then, instead of replying to it, feign an ironical humility, the ultimate irony being that you *really* do not understand it.

  53. Holopupenko says:

    Like I said: this is WAY above Fleegman’s pay grade. Consider: I think the concept of beauty is an emergent property, rather than an intrinsic property of a particular thing. No argument, no substantiation, just emotional assertiveness because it fits his presuppositions. I’ll follow this up below, but for now…

    The analogical vs. univocal language confusion is REALLY thick in Fleegman. If you had one single, solitary clue, Fleegman, you’d realize I was speaking analogically: the “beauty” you’re referring to is “proximate”–it isn’t real beauty in the sense that robotic dogs aren’t just different in degree but in kind from real dogs. (Tom understood it @46… you’re still lost…)

    If you had one single, solitary clue, you’d realize the term “beauty” is a transcendental–not in the dime-store sense you’re likely to understand it as “above”… but precisely because the term applies laterally to ALL beings.

    You want scientism, mechanism, accidental unities… everything BUT the truly real. You WANT (because, really, it IS ALL ABOUT YOU) something to be contained within your cute little corner of invented reality (with Supreme Court approval re: Casey — heh!)… and everything outside of it or challenges you is “ridiculous” or “doesn’t exist”.

    You demand a sad, sorry, anemic, and very, very small vision of “beauty” to suit your personal emotional needs… so that you can proudly impose your relativist cultural nonsense on crap that is so privated of (lacking in) beauty (rap) that, indeed, it resembles a shadow of beauty in that realm: rap is crap, and objectively so–deal with it. You are one of the ghosts in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce and you argue and mock the truly real people because, again, it’s ALL ABOUT YOU and your pouting, sniffling ways… whining like a little baby because reality–what a concept–HURTS.

    Of course there’s a subjective element to beauty. The problem is you–without displaying a gram of reasoning to support assertions–consider (oh so unscientifically) that the subjective is the ONLY element to beauty. You find something ugly (see G. Rodrigues’ link to the Scruton video on beauty) and you elevate it in absolute terms to beauty because that’s the way YOU want it. (See that video: one of the “artists” literally says–“it’s art because I say it’s art”… duh!) I slightly paraphrase another of Scruton’s statements from the video–that applies wonderfully to you: “They do not seek reality but take revenge upon it, leaving a spiritual desert.” Spot on.

    Back to the “emergent property” nonsense: what animates you is the “property” is BY DEFINITION FOR YOU ONLY, ONLY, ONLY materially based… like spinning is the emergent property of a tire. Dumb… really, really dumb. Okay, then, play by your own reductionist rules: stop with the labels like “beauty”–be honest and use your univocal and limited language to call beauty a physical phenomenon and be done with it. The problem is, you’re not brave enough to do that: you’re like Dawkins–there is no good, no evil, etc… unless, of course, you need the label to conveniently label things you don’t like that.

    Do I expect you to be versed in the finer points of philosophical discussions at this level. No… and it’s abundantly clear you are WAY behind the curve. What I and others here do except is that you leave behind your cute little invisible friends like “beauty” and actually challenge your worldview and stop making categorical assertions that really expose your ignorance… and hatred and rage.

  54. G. Rodrigues says:

    @Fleegman:

    I think the concept of beauty is an emergent property, rather than an intrinsic property of a particular thing.

    What would it mean, for example, to say that a sunset was beautiful, if there were no one around to see it?

    So assuming my argument was correct, and you seem to concede it is, there were two options open to you: either agree that metaphysical naturalism is false or bite the bullet and do away with beauty. You chose the second, e.g. “the concept of beauty is an emergent property”.

    Fine. But here is what you *cannot* do. You cannot wax eloquently, with a tear on the corner of your eye, on how lovely and joyful it is to see the wee little ones opening their presents, or appreciate the “beauty” of the natural world. You, Fleegman, can certainly, and undoubtedly do, experience a certain range of emotions upon contemplating the natural world or thinking about the prospect of meeting your loved ones, but it is an “illusion” foisted by the neuro-chemistry of your brain, the end product of the contingent evolutionary history of humanity. Illusion is between quotes, because it is not even that, as a mere illusion *presupposes* that which is not illusion, and there is simply no such background in metaphysical naturalism. Saying you are experiencing “beauty” is no more meaningful than saying you are experiencing “fnarglism” — “beauty” is just an arbitrary label you peg onto a subjective experience, so it is pure pretense to use “beauty” with the connotations it classically has. You yourself know this, at least obliquely, because you recognize in #50 that “how ones upbringing and culture determines what is considered music, or what is beautiful”, that is, beauty is a biological-social construct. It seems you yourself do not even get to determine what is beautiful, rather biology and culture does it for you.

    So when you say in #43 that it gets “more hilarious by the minute”, or how embarrassed you are for Holopupenko, or how ridiculous his distinction was, it really is embarrassing and ridiculous. You are just mistaken on the proper target for those words.

  55. Victoria says:

    @Fleegman
    getting back to one of your original challenges, regarding Biblical interpretation – if you are reallyinterested in learning what thoughtful students of Scripture do to understand and apply its message, I would recommend that you read this series
    http://bible.org/series/you-can-understand-bible-introduction-and-application-contextualtextual-method-biblical-inter. At least then you would have some idea of how it should be done and why. If you are interested, that is, in learning something of real Christianity 🙂

  56. BillT says:

    Fleegman,

    Have you ever read “The Abolition of Man”. I don’t suggest it as anything that would convince you of anything but it might give you some understanding of our perspective on this. It’s quite brief and straightforward.

  57. Fleegman says:

    @Bill

    Thanks for the suggestion. I read it on the way home, this evening.

    @Victoria

    Thank you also for the links; I’ve put them on my reading list.

  58. Fleegman says:

    @G.Rodrigues

    No, because “objective” does not mean “everyone think [thinks] the same painting was [is] beautiful”.

    So what does objective mean, when it comes to beauty?

    My inability to connect as it were, is just that, a personal inability, a defect in my sensibility. The absence or ruin that I see in the book is in my own eye.

    Isn’t it possible that it’s just a badly written book?

    instead of replying to it, feign an ironical humility, the ultimate irony being that you *really* do not understand it.

    Goodness me. You’re becoming more predictable with each post.

    In your previous post, you said:

    …it would seem that the experience of beauty is arbitrary and subjective in the sense that we are not experiencing anything objective in the world, but rather the mere accidental product of evolutionary brain hard-wiring.

    And yet you didn’t answer my question: “What does it mean to say a sunset is beautiful if there’s no one around to see it?”

    @Holopupenko

    it isn’t real beauty in the sense that robotic dogs aren’t just different in degree but in kind from real dogs. (Tom understood it @46… you’re still lost…)

    But since I’m not claiming beauty is objective, what am I not understanding about your point?

    If you had one single, solitary clue, you’d realize the term “beauty” is a transcendental…

    No argument, no substantiation, just emotional assertiveness because it fits your presuppositions.

    You WANT (because, really, it IS ALL ABOUT YOU)

    And I’m well on my way to “BINGO” on my “having a little chat with Holopupenko Bingo card.”

    You demand a sad, sorry, anemic, and very, very small vision of “beauty” to suit your personal emotional needs…

    I’m just “demanding” something other than a hand-wavey “…beauty is trancendental,” if anything.

    so that you can proudly impose your relativist cultural nonsense on crap that is so privated of (lacking in) beauty (rap)

    Ummm, where did I say rap was beautiful?

    …rap is crap, and objectively so–deal with it.

    And, lo, Holopupenko spoke, and it was so…

    You are one of the ghosts in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce and you argue and mock the truly real people because, again, it’s ALL ABOUT YOU

    I don’t need that square, anymore. Shame…

    …and your pouting, sniffling ways… whining like a little baby because reality–what a concept–HURTS

    Whining like a… Wha? Reality hurts? Wha? Maybe you should have a lie down, because I think you’re arguing with a caricature you’ve constructed in your bigoted, angry, hateful mind. And for the love of all that’s reasonable, step away from the caps-lock key.

    Of course there’s a subjective element to beauty. The problem is you–without displaying a gram of reasoning to support assertions–consider (oh so unscientifically) that the subjective is the ONLY element to beauty.

    You keep saying this, but you don’t offer any other elements of beauty. Maybe you can tell me what’s beautiful about a sunset if there’s no one around to see it?

    You find something ugly…and you elevate it in absolute terms to beauty because that’s the way YOU want it.

    Like what?

    Okay, then, play by your own reductionist rules: stop with the labels like “beauty”–be honest and use your univocal and limited language to call beauty a physical phenomenon and be done with it.

    I have never said otherwise.

    The problem is, you’re not brave enough to do that…

    Your reading comprehension really sucks. It reminds me of the other conversation we had about morality. You and many others kept demanding that I “admit” that I didn’t believe in an objective morality, when that had been my position all along.

    What I and others here do except is that you leave behind your cute little invisible friends like “beauty” and actually challenge your worldview and stop making categorical assertions that really expose your ignorance… and hatred and rage.

    Where is this hatred and rage of which you speak?

    For the record, Tom: I’m perfectly calm.

  59. SteveK says:

    Fleegman,

    “What does it mean to say a sunset is beautiful if there’s no one around to see it?”

    It means that’s the reality of the situation. It’s like 2+2=4 even if there’s no one around to do the math.

  60. G. Rodrigues says:

    @Fleegman:

    So what does objective mean, when it comes to beauty?

    The same thing as it does for Truth and Goodness (two other, wait for it… transcendentals). If there were no minds in the universe would 2 + 2 equal 5? Could a thing be and not be in the same respect and at the same time?

    Isn’t it possible that it’s just a badly written book?

    I did say “important and good books”, so I ruled that out.

    You’re becoming more predictable with each post.

    I know. It is one of my charming qualities.

    And yet you didn’t answer my question: “What does it mean to say a sunset is beautiful if there’s no one around to see it?”

    I did not because there is no need to. My only aim was to argue what followed from your position.

    The answer would also depend on what exactly you want to know. What is beauty, an ontological question, or how we can recognize the beautiful, an epistemological question. You seem to want the answer to the second one, while Holopupenko answered the first. Since epistemology follows ontology (in the AT view at least) it is a perfectly reasonable answer. Your response was “No argument, no substantiation, just emotional assertiveness because it fits your presuppositions”, which is certainly *not* an argument, but rather bluster and hot air. There is nothing “hand-wavey” with saying that beauty, along with unity, truth and goodness, is a transcendental. Aquinas does not write much about beauty that I know of, although James Joyce — in my estimate the greatest writer of the 20th century (yes, I am one of those crazies that has read both Ulysses and Finnegans Wake) — quotes him approvingly. A modern study of Aquinas’ on the transcendentals is Jan Aertsen’s Medieval Philosophy and the Transcendentals – the case of Thomas Aquinas (have not read it yet, so no comment. Chapter 8 is about beauty). Want a proper answer? Given the level of your responses, just go read a book.

  61. Fleegman says:

    @SteveK

    It means that’s the reality of the situation. It’s like 2+2=4 even if there’s no one around to do the math

    What you are doing, here, is making a claim. That claim is: “beauty is an intrinsic property.”

    My sunset question is, essentially: “What does it mean to say that beauty is an intrinsic property of something?”

    Do you see how you didn’t answer the question? You just stated your position again.

    I’m sorry, SteveK, but if you can’t describe what it is about a sunset that is beautiful, if there’s no one around to see it, I will have to conclude that you can’t. and don’t give me maths. Beauty is not an equation. Although, you seem to think it is, somehow.

    @G. Rodrigues
     
    I asked what it means for beauty to be objective. You answered:

    The same thing as it does for Truth and Goodness (two other, wait for it… transcendentals).

    So you answered by saying it’s the same as two other things you assume to be objective. In other words, you didn’t answer the question.

    If there were no minds in the universe would 2 + 2 equal 5?

    You too, with this — I’m not sure if it could qualify as an argument, but — argument? Maths can be described. Can you describe beauty? Or goodness?

    I’m tempted to give you Truth, because objective truth seems reasonable. As in, objective facts.

    Could a thing be and not be in the same respect and at the same time?

    And then you switch to logic for some reason that escapes me.

    Can you describe beauty or not? I’m thinking not.

    It is one of my charming qualities.

    Well, you certainly are a charmer, I’ll give you that.

    I did not [answer your question about the sunset] because there is no need to I can’t.

    FTFY. You’re welcome.

    You seem to want the answer to the second one, while Holopupenko answered the first.

    No, he didn’t.

    Your response was “No argument, no substantiation, just emotional assertiveness because it fits your presuppositions”, which is certainly *not* an argument, but rather bluster and hot air.

    They’re Holo’s words, not mine. I was just parroting him at that point. Glad to see we both have the same opinion of that kind of rhetoric.

    There is nothing “hand-wavey” with saying that beauty, along with unity, truth and goodness, is a transcendental.

    Really? Seems a bit like an assertion without proof to me.

    Want a proper answer? Given the level of your responses, just go read a book.

    If these are the answers of someone who has read books on this topic, colour me unimpressed.

  62. Fleegman says:

    Tom,

    Since you’re reluctant to answer my question, how about this:

    If you were in Abraham’s position, would you do what God asked you to do?

  63. Holopupenko says:

    Way, way, WAY above Fleegman’s pay grade. Did I mention “way above”?

  64. G. Rodrigues says:

    @Fleegman:

    So you answered by saying it’s the same as two other things you assume to be objective. In other words, you didn’t answer the question.

    What I said was that Beauty is objective (picking on the analogous sense that Holopupenko used) in the same sense that Truth and Goodness, two other transcendentals, are. I presumed you would know what I meant by saying that Truth is objective (the case for Goodness would need some more explanations).

    You too, with this — I’m not sure if it could qualify as an argument, but — argument? Maths can be described. Can you describe beauty? Or goodness?

    I see, you do not know what objective means. Hint: no, it does not mean “it can be described”. And I definitely did not present an argument. There are two question marks in the part you did not quote that signal the presence of two questions, two rhetorical questions that were meant to make you see the analogy. Just for the sake of curiosity, what do you mean by “Maths can be described”?

    I’m tempted to give you Truth, because objective truth seems reasonable. As in, objective facts.

    So you have doubts about Truth being objective? It is not clear what you mean by this, since it is not clear that you know what objective means *and* you even go on to say that “facts are objective”. But if Truth is not objective why exactly are you arguing with me or with anyone else for that matter? To argue whether Beauty is objective or not presumes that there really is a fact of the matter to be settled, in other words, it presumes the objectivity of Truth.

    Could a thing be and not be in the same respect and at the same time?

    And then you switch to logic for some reason that escapes me.

    That much is obvious. Hint: are laws of logic objective?

    And just FYI, I did not “switch to logic”, or at least not logic in the sense you are probably thinking of. My statement is a metaphysical first principle of being, of objective reality as such, not a mere law of logic (although it does entail it).

    Can you describe beauty or not? I’m thinking not.

    Saying that beauty is objective is not the same as “describing it”, whatever you mean by that.

    I did not [answer your question about the sunset] because there is no need to I can’t.

    FTFY. You’re welcome.

    That must be it; I should drop my pretenses and just follow your stellar example of unabashed ignorance. So why again are you asking me anything instead of hitting the books like I recommended?

    There is nothing “hand-wavey” with saying that beauty, along with unity, truth and goodness, is a transcendental.

    Really? Seems a bit like an assertion without proof to me.

    Saying that a statement is “hand-wavey” is saying that it is vague. Denying that, which is what I did, is not the same as providing proof for the specific metaphysical claims. There are five technical terms of art in the sentence you quote, so in order to understand it, you have to understand what those terms mean, with the metaphysical background that goes along with it. Either way, it is not “hand-wavey”. You have neither the time nor the inclination to pursue the matter and study it? That is fine and perfectly understandable. Life is finite and there are many things to do, so choices must be made. But you also should be aware of your limitations and refrain from passing judgment about what you do not know. Unless you like to pass for an ignorant fool in public.

    If these are the answers of someone who has read books on this topic, colour me unimpressed.

    I did not know I was trying to impress you.

    And this is just one more reason for you to go read a book.

  65. SteveK says:

    Fleegman,

    What you are doing, here, is making a claim. That claim is: “beauty is an intrinsic property.”

    I would not say that beauty is an intrinsic property of an object. You cannot find beauty in a sunset any more than you can find purpose in a human heart. They heart has a purpose, right?

  66. Fleegman says:

    @SteveK

    You cannot find beauty in a sunset any more than you can find purpose in a human heart. They heart has a purpose, right?

    Yes it does, and we know what it is. Now, what is beautiful about a sunset?

    @G.Rodrigues

    All that, and you managed to avoid answering the question. Again.

    Okay.

    I think I will hit the books on this, but I don’t hold out much hope.

    Can you tell me, at least, if you think a sunset is beautiful, if there is no one to see it? What about a rainbow? Or lightning? Or rap music? Or opera?

    Do you think things fall into either the beautiful or the not beautiful camp, with no overlap? Presumably things are objectively beautiful to varying degrees. If not humans, what determines how beautiful something is?
     
    @Tom

    Nope, I totally missed those posts. I’ll give them a read.

  67. G. Rodrigues says:

    @Fleegman:

    All that, and you managed to avoid answering the question. Again.

    Your question about whether beauty is objective? I answered the question. What it means to say that beauty is objective? I also answered that question. Whether I explained myself adequately, or even whether I *could* explain myself adequately, that is another matter. Or do you have some other question in mind that I “managed to avoid”?

    Can you tell me, at least, if you think a sunset is beautiful, if there is no one to see it? What about a rainbow?

    If you had payed attention to what I wrote, and to the meaning of the word “objective”, you would know the answer.

    Presumably things are objectively beautiful to varying degrees. If not humans, what determines how beautiful something is?

    Correct on the first sentence (although some qualifications need to be added to answer the almost inevitable equivocations). If you had payed attention to what I wrote, and to the meaning of the word “objective”, you would not be asking *this* question, you would ask a different, epistemological one.

    By the way, I am still curious on whatever you meant by “Maths can be described”. Care to clarify? And is Truth objective? If yes, in what sense (this because it is far from clear you understand what objective means)? Or will you “manage to avoid” the questions like you, wrongly, charged me?

  68. SteveK says:

    Fleegman,

    Yes it does (the heart), and we know what it is.

    Okay, the heart has a purpose. I will assume it still has purpose even if there were nobody around to think so. Now use your prior objection about intrinsic beauty on your claim here. I’ll repeat it below.

    “What does it mean to say that purpose is an intrinsic property of something?”

    Can you answer your own objection?

  69. Tom Gilson says:

    What does it mean to say a sunset is beautiful if there’s no one around to see it?

    I’ll give you three complementary answers:

    1. Absolutely nothing. Beauty means nothing whatsoever if there’s no one around to see it. In fact I’ll see your objection and raise it: if there is no one there, then there is nothing that means anything.

    Which is precisely the situation if naturalism is taken to its full logical conclusion. There’s no one there, even when it appears there’s someone there. That’s why you have naturalistic philosophers concluding that consciousness and free will are illusions. That’s why you have the naturalistic problem of qualia, by which (on naturalism) it’s beastly hard to describe what it means to experience a sunset.

    2. There’s actually someone there. There’s someone there for all of the glory of the universe. So there’s never a case where there’s no one there, which means that beauty can exist independently of human awareness and judgment.

    3. What does it mean to raise an objection that begs the question? Yours does, when it assumes there’s no one around: you assume there is no God.

  70. Fleegman says:

    @G. Rodrigues
     
    Ok, let’s back up a bit. I appreciate your patience with me, here — sarcasm aside — since, when it comes to philosophical matters, we are admittedly speaking on very different levels. I admit that I’m talking on a particularly naive level, so my use of certain words may not be completely appropriate for the thoughts I’m trying to express.

    When I say objective, I mean something that simply is and not dependent on, or influenced by, human thought. I was wrong to say one had to be able to describe something for that thing to be objective.

    When it comes to beauty, therefore, since I consider beauty to be subjective, I don’t understand what it means to say that it is objective. Tom just essentially agreed with me — I think — when he said “Beauty means nothing whatsoever if there’s no one around to see it.”

    And that’s what I’ve been saying. Even if there is a god to see the beauty of a sunset — if there is no human around to see it — that still means it’s a subjective experience, doesn’t it?

    You asked about my comment about being able to describe maths. That was a poor choice of words on my part. I was trying to say that 2 + 2 = 4 is just a definition. It’s just saying x = x. I would have to agree that this would still be the case if humans didn’t exist. What’s that got to do with beauty?

    @Tom

    You assume there is no God.

    I’m not assuming there is no god. I don’t believe in God. That’s all. You, however, are assuming there is a god.

    [By the way, why did you capitalise “God,” there? You weren’t using it in the nominative sense, right? I only ask because that’s when I capitalise it. Otherwise, I use the lower case. Just making sure I’m following the comment policy correctly.]

  71. G. Rodrigues says:

    @Fleegman:

    When I say objective, I mean something that simply is and not dependent on, or influenced by, human thought.

    Good enough for my purposes.

    When it comes to beauty, therefore, since I consider beauty to be subjective, I don’t understand what it means to say that it is objective.

    This has already been answered. If you know what objective means, then you know what saying that Beauty is objective means: it is a property of the thing and not *just* a construct of the mind. Simple as that. Beauty is also subjective, insofar as it involves a relation between the contemplated object and the knowing subject involving intellectual delight. As J. Maritain writes:

    If this is so, it is because the beautiful belongs to the order of the transcendentals, that is to say, objects of thought which transcend every limit of genus or category, and which do not allow themselves to be enclosed in any class, because they imbue everything and are to be found everywhere.[66] Like the one, the true and the good, the beautiful is being itself considered from a certain aspect; it is a property of being. It is not an accident superadded to being, it adds to being only a relation of reason: it is being considered as delighting, by the mere intuition of it, an intellectual nature. Thus everything is beautiful, just as everything is good, at least in a certain relation. And as being is everywhere present and everywhere varied the beautiful likewise is diffused everywhere and is everywhere varied. Like being and the other transcendentals, it is essentially analogous, that is to say, it is predicated for diverse reasons, sub diversa ratione, of the diverse subjects of which it is predicated: each kind of being is in its own way, is good in its own way, is beautiful in its own way.

    I can expand on this if you want me too, and take an excursus on the Scholastic view of Beauty, but it presupposes some hefty dose of AT metaphysics. The Scholastics did not write much about Beauty and the arts (the term “art” meant a different, broader thing to them, then it currently does to us) but there are several important commentators. Besides the above mentioned J. Aertsen (which disagrees with the other commentators in that he defends that Beauty is not a proper transcendental but conceptually indistinct from the Good), the above quoted J. Maritain, which you can consult online in Art and Scholasticism, E. Gilson, A. Maurer and Umberto Eco. As a general starting point, see Medieval Theories of Aesthetics.

    Needless to say, with the advent of modernity and Descartes, Hobbes, Bacon, etc. these aesthetic ideas would eventually be toppled down, starting in the Renaissance and precipitating in the Romantic revolution, the only true revolution in the history of art — compared to which all subsequent isms, including all the versions of modernism, are mere blips in the aesthetic radar. But that is another story.

    I was trying to say that 2 + 2 = 4 is just a definition. It’s just saying x = x. I would have to agree that this would still be the case if humans didn’t exist. What’s that got to do with beauty?

    Wrong. You are conflating definitions and demonstrative proofs, the base of all true knowledge. Taking first order PA as our base theory, 4 is defined as the successor of 3, 3 as the successor of 2 and 2 as the successor of 1. It is then an *objective* fact that 2 + 2 = 4. How do I know that? Because I can *prove* it. Admittedly the proof is a complete triviality, but triviality is neither here nor there. So try again.

    As for your last question, I am going to repeat myself, but the example was brought up to illustrate the objectivity of Beauty. Or to quote you: “I would have to agree that this would still be the case if humans didn’t exist”.

  1. June 30, 2012

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