Monday, May 24, 2010

Meaning with(out) God

Hey something I wrote off-blog was deemed interesting enough to be quoted on another blog.  I suppose I can try to stitch together the dialogue upon which that reference is based:

Consider the following statement: "God is the source of meaning."

If that is accepted for the sake of argument, then it doesn't make sense to talk about there being "meaning" apart from God, and in fact meaning would be evidence for God. I won't recapitulate my prior discussion on meaning (found here), but it basically assigns meaning as the relationships creating and sustaining phenomena, with the smaller meaning being our attempt to describe these relationships.

Within, without. That has nothing to do with God, unless one presumes God is only within or without, here or there. Meaning itself is the puzzle. If God is the foundation of all and the ground of Being, then family, work, etc are all given by God, so they would not really be an alternative. People may derive meaning from their idea of God, but that is just another thing, another creation.

We may experience everything subjectively, yet that doesn't mean we aren't experiencing something that is objective. We pattern our own efforts and creations after that experience of something. What are imitating? For example, we may call some of our imitations of cause and effect in the empirical realm "laws and principles" and imagine they exist independently as "aspects of nature", but that only begs the question. It still says there is something "out there" that exists independent of our subjective perception which ultimately doesn't require any reference other than itself.

If that holds for such laws and principles, the same line of inquiry can be made for meaning (small "m" personal subjective and large "M" universal). This gets back to what I wrote before about how what's good for "What?" can work for "Why?"

The nature of meaning would not be strictly external nor separate from existential or internal dilemmas. If God is not simply another "fact" added to the universe, why would the implications for God be so? They would by definition be interwoven into everything, inseparable.

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