Scepticism regarding the Nature of God

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Scepticism regarding the Nature of God

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Differentiation with continuity in passive reception seem to be the mark of these sense-based fields of reality. Now, this continuum or these continua are initially, as it were, loose, 'broken up' by the spontaneous activity of another faculty of our consciousness (other than sensing), one which can accentuate certain parts, e.g.. of the visual field with reference to the tactual; this faculty coordinates and links to one such element, the corresponding elements in the other sensual fields, combining in this way special actual or potential sounds, tactile sensations, smells and tastes with a specific special visual part of the visual field, thus forming the whole of a material complex, coherent in itself, yet separate from the sensuous background. We thus arrive at 'things'.

With the concept and 'givenness' of material things, there appears a first gap in the continuity of that which is given. While sensuous fields, be they visual, acoustic or tactilel ( and probably also olfactory and tasting) display continuity in themselves - at least while consciousness is awake - a 'thing', a complex made up of fragments from different sense-fields put together, shows up lacunae in the continuity of that which is given at any single moment in time: the material thing is the first kind of entity that has such gaps in continuity even as it is being given, such as: its inside, a number of its aspects averted from observation its back when its front is perceived.etc. Such gaps need to be 'filled' and can be filled by additional acts of observation that succeed one another in time. But, although this is possible, the original continuity proper to a sensuous field is interrupted in a 'thing'. Correspondingly, at any given moment, the field can only be one, whereas the thing-entity occurs almost exclusively in a plurality - there are always many things. On the other hand, while the field tends to constant change, the thing, strictly speaking, tends to represent an unchanging reality; so that, when we witness change, we should strictly speak of a different 'thing'.

With the occurrence of a plurality of things, the occasion for the existence of gaps within the continuity of that which is given increases considerably. This is due to the growth in the number of possible relations in which many things can stand to one another. In the progress from mere 'perception' to 'experience', things have to be ordered by the mind, arranged, brought into a system of calculable relations, so that we know, roughly, what will happen to them, and are able to distinguish waking experience from the lawless sequence of pictures in a dream. We must, therefore, frame a system of expectations of what will or may happen under certain circumstances; although this system of expectations is almost without exception verified by what actually happens - at least in the narrower domains of experience - the less 'given' there is, the more complicated are the possibilities when many things are concerned in comparison with the possibilities as regards one single thing. The inside plus the, at the moment of its frontal perception, unperceived back of the (individual) thing, constitutes a manifoldness of non-present states within a manifoldness of things in respect of their actual state. As a matter of fact, we are accustomed to adding to 'the given' that which 'runs in accordance with our expectations' in our experience; we thereby forget the important circumstance that that which is 'given' in this way must first have been 'discovered' by our intellect; it is only with some reservation, therefore, that it deserves the characteristic of 'being given' in the sense that a visual field is 'given'. Now, the wider the range of our experience extends beyond the possibility of the thing in general (such as it is conceived in the experience of a child), to the plurality or ordered thing-events in the experience of daily life, and to the experience of science, the less 'given' there is in the original sense; and the more frequent the interruptions in the continuity of the 'given', the more frequent and wider are the gaps in the 'given' that need to be filled in by the activity of the experiencing mind.