I’m running rather behind (i.e. more behind than usual ) on my posting schedule, so I’ll be putting up all this chapter in one series over the next couple of days.
[This is the conclusion of Section Two, Reason and the First Person. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found [url=https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/sword-to-the-heart-reason-and-the-first-person/1081/1]here.]
[This series constitutes Chapter 21, “Some Detours On The Problem of Theism”. It’s a bit longer than usual, because I haven’t broken it into multiple parts.]
Setting aside (but only for the moment) my concerns about the question of the relations of Independent Action to derivative actions (such as my own), and whether this is an intrinsically contradictory proposition, I continue safely (though a bit shakily) along the path; with the security that there are at least a few situations where what may be called my ‘actions’ are yet reconcilable with an ultimate Act-er. Thus the proposal of an ultimate Act-er is not yet deducted from the option list; leaving the branch of not-atheisms intact–perhaps with a point in favor of pantheism–as opposed to the branch of atheisms.
Very well: if I take seriously the value of my judgments (that value which transcends the question of whether I am correct or incorrect on any given judgment) then I must be able to initiate action–or, at least (keeping in mind the problem from my most recent chapter) initiated actions exist and are exhibited through me. I have discovered it is contradictory for me to claim this value or property of my judgments is produced by a reality that at bottom does not itself initiate actions.
Furthermore: the actions this reality at bottom initiates, must themselves exhibit (at least) the property I assign to my own judgments. It is useless to say that these ultimate actions are somehow ‘initiated’ and nothing more; that would be merely to use ‘initiate’ in a reductively metaphorical fashion. An atheist might perhaps claim that Nature ‘initiates’ events at the quantum level, for instance; but she would deny this means that Nature can ‘think’–or (really) even ‘act’.