trillion zillion names of god

There are no disagreements, there is only confusion about labels. There are no arguments about meaning, there is only a failure to understand the difference between the signified and the signifier. This confusion is especially relevant and important in relation to so-called disagreements about god or gods, and the nature and meaning thereof.

Both the pantheistic position and the panentheistic position are unassailable, logically, because they are constructed on the bedrock of axiomatic definition. And the truth of any axiom is as agreed in advance of its application. (Although I've got to admit that if Godel is right and I think he is, then all positions are unassailable and assailable but only from without, not within).

By way of explanation, let us define something (X) in terms of certain attributes, functions if you will. We set up an axiom linking X inexorably to the attributes of X which ourselves set up, agree, define, create. We create the equation. We establish the axiom. We create the reality. Please let's not forget that.

Consider the following axiom (or definition): There is an X, such that Everything That Is (ETI), is X; such that Everything That Was, is X; such that Everything That Will Be, is X; such that Everything That Can Be, is X; including things, nothings, thoughts, memories, ideas, rocks, vacuums, quarks, recipes, logic, sealing wax, cabbages, possibilities... anything and everything.

So the axiom we create is: X = Everything That Is, Was, Will Be, Can Be, May be, Could Be etc

Now let's give X a name. We can name X "Jehovah", or "Baal", or "Beelzebub", or "Lucifer", or "Shiva", or "Vishnu", or "Zeus", or "Aphrodite", or "Mary", or "Gaia" or "Allah", or "My Grandmother's Fruitcake", or "A Piece of Snot on the End of my Finger". It doesn't matter what we name X. Having created the axiom in the first place, we can name X anything we like.

In fact, not only can we name X anything we like, we are also free to assign to X whatever attributes we deem fit. We could for instance assign to X attributes related to Ocean (eg wetness, tidalness, waviness, saltiness). And the name we assign to X could be "Poseidon" or even "Neptune".

We could also assign another set of attributes to another thing, Z, and assign to Z a set of attributes including the carrying of the universe upon ones back. And we could name Z "The Great Turtle" (and yes, it is turtles all the way down).

Of course, someone will inevitably say, "We call X in our language 'god', and god is wet and salty". And another person from another tribe will say, "you are so terribly terribly wrong; we call Z in our language 'god' and god has a very hard shell and can carry enormous weight". And then they will go to war. What a shame. Because they are both right.

None of it matters. There is no true disagreement, only confusion over the assignation of signifiers to that which is signified. In fact, nothing matters; only everything matters. All ways are right, always.

Words, images and audio copyright © S R Schwarz 2007. All rights reserved.

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