A negative he he

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Kendall K. Down

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Apr 23, 2022, 4:29:56 AMApr 23
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St Augustine's arguments are strongly tied to the state of knowledge of
his day, which sounds a bit odd when he appeals to things which we today
know to be either false or just plain nonsense. An example of this
occurs in his argument against the notion that the world has always
existed (which was taught by some Greek philosophers). As part of his
proof he appeals to the existence of the soul, and states:

========
..if they acknowledge that it was created in time, but will never
perish in time - that it has, like number,[458] a beginning but no end ...
Augustine, City of God, XI.4
========

Numbers, as he understood them, begin with 1 (I don't think zero was
considered a number back then) and go on to infinity. Today we would not
only say that numbers begin with zero, but we would assert that they go
back to negative infinity as well as going forward to positive infinity.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down


Madhu

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Apr 23, 2022, 9:49:56 PMApr 23
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* "Kendall K. Down" <t40ct3$7da$1...@dont-email.me> :
Wrote on Sat, 23 Apr 2022 09:20:50 +0100:

> St Augustine's arguments are strongly tied to the state of knowledge
> of his day, which sounds a bit odd when he appeals to things which we
> today know to be either false or just plain nonsense. An example of
> this occurs in his argument against the notion that the world has
> always existed (which was taught by some Greek philosophers). As part
> of his proof he appeals to the existence of the soul, and states:
>
> ========
> ..if they acknowledge that it was created in time, but will never
> perish in time - that it has, like number,[458] a beginning but no end ...
> Augustine, City of God, XI.4
> ========

There is an interesting inverted-parallel with Advaita Vedanata (one
particular school) - where the tenets are that only that which is
eternal is true, brahman the supreme conscious self is the only truth as
it has no beginning and no end, while the world and everything else
(which is temporal and has an end) is an illusion and and therefore
false.

Technically Maya is nescience, which causes the illusion. With the
knowledge of Brahman, nescience is destroyed and the self attains
liberation - salvation through the end of rebirths and identification
with the eternal. The technical definition of nescience is that which
has no beginning but has an end.

the inverted-reality also applies for karma (tied up with maya) is
similar. it has always existed, but it has an end.

> Numbers, as he understood them, begin with 1 (I don't think zero was
> considered a number back then) and go on to infinity. Today we would
> not only say that numbers begin with zero, but we would assert that
> they go back to negative infinity as well as going forward to positive
> infinity.

(the buddhist doctrine of Shunya (literally "zero") also inverts the
ideas by reducing what would be a conception of infinite god to
"nothingness")


Kendall K. Down

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Apr 24, 2022, 1:39:55 AMApr 24
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On 24/04/2022 02:42, Madhu wrote:

> There is an interesting inverted-parallel with Advaita Vedanata (one
> particular school) - where the tenets are that only that which is
> eternal is true, brahman the supreme conscious self is the only truth as
> it has no beginning and no end, while the world and everything else
> (which is temporal and has an end) is an illusion and and therefore
> false.

I think many of us would sympathise with the idea that God alone is true
(and every man a liar), but I'm not sure about the illusion bit.
Something which is temporary can, nevertheless, be entirely real. From a
few drops of rain on a sunny day to the shower of particles after a
collion in the Large Hadron Collider, we are constantly presented with
things which are temporary but entirely true and real.

Of course, from the philosophical point of view, one might ask, "From
whose point of view?" It could well be that from God's point of view our
present world is little more than an illusion, but to us who are in the
world and part of the world, it is entirely real.

> Technically Maya is nescience, which causes the illusion. With the
> knowledge of Brahman, nescience is destroyed and the self attains
> liberation - salvation through the end of rebirths and identification
> with the eternal. The technical definition of nescience is that which
> has no beginning but has an end.

Actually, the dictionary meaning of "nescience" is "lacking knowledge;
ignorant".

> (the buddhist doctrine of Shunya (literally "zero") also inverts the
> ideas by reducing what would be a conception of infinite god to
> "nothingness")

That's what you get from reducing yourself to skin and bones while
sitting under a Bo tree.

Graham Nye

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Apr 25, 2022, 1:19:54 PMApr 25
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On 2022-04-23 09:20:50, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> St Augustine...
>
> Numbers, as he understood them, begin with 1 (I don't think zero was
> considered a number back then) and go on to infinity. Today we would not
> only say that numbers begin with zero, but we would assert that they go
> back to negative infinity as well as going forward to positive infinity.

We've[0] also moved on from the idea of limiting numbers to a
one-dimensional number line.


[0] Possibly not all of us.

--
Graham Nye
news(a)thenyes.org.uk


Kendall K. Down

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Apr 25, 2022, 3:39:56 PMApr 25
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On 25/04/2022 18:11, Graham Nye wrote:

> We've[0] also moved on from the idea of limiting numbers to a
> one-dimensional number line.

Very true, which allows for such things as the square root of negative
numbers.
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