Scribblings of a Mad-man

I thought I had something of interest to say about Hilbert’s Grand Hotel paradox but, in the midst of typing it, I realised I didn’t.  Bet you’re glad I shared that.

Of only a modicum of more interest, I stumbled across some old notes from last year that I scribbled to myself one bus journey, or lonely night, or from a bout of LSD (per Kripke.  I have never actually taken LSD), and clearly never got around to formulating the ideas properly.  I intend to at some point but, as things stand, don’t find myself gripped by the need to wrestle with any thoughts of mine at the moment.  As such, I thought I would share the ramblings for no other reason than, as ever, someone might have a spark of interest in the same areas of thought that preoccupy me.

N.B.  The ‘G’ referred to below is the word ‘God’, with all its imagery and associations etc..

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Most recently I have been wrestling on and off with

philosophical grammar

‘words that hang with concepts’ ;  e.g.  red, ghost, etc.

Former:  To state something is red precludes the rest of the spectrum;  negatively defined?  Use demonstrates it ‘exists’ as a grammatical tool;  for distinguishing and describing objects and also between other colours.  Part of a grammatical anthology.

Latter:  purely metaphysical but words that hang with it, associations that are present:  death (at its most fundamental), potentially:  white, transparency, aether, incorporeal, etc.

—  people demonstrate their different understandings of the word through its use and are able to elaborate on it.

Compare with ‘spirit’, ‘spectre’, premonition, etc. in response to the obvious retort (death not fundamental).

What associations can I have with ‘G’?  What words hang with it?

Anything and everything.

Where is the fundamental agreement?  Of what can it consist and what would be the basis for choosing this particular criterion / tenet?

Creation?–  necessarily?

omnipotence?–  ” “


Christianity has its own:

Biblical tales

Supernatural? — too broad.

The trouble with the concept is that anything could hang with it.

God–  old language game, very different then from now, much more ‘hung’ with it.  Changed a lot over time.

“Surely you think of the Judeo-Christian ‘god’  —  not necessarily.  Now I view it more as a deity, a causer / first cause, a creator.

–>  More hangs with the Christian god, for instance.  Jesus, the trinity, suffering, reward, vengeance, afterlife, retribution, bible, books, etc..

—–>  Some say they believe in ‘something‘, a ‘god‘, perhaps, but not the Christian god, they say, “no, but a … something“.  Words escape them.  Cf:

If the believer in God looks around & asks “Where does everything I see come from?” “Where does all this come from?”, what he hankers after is not a (causal) explanation;  and the point of his question is that it is the expression of this hankering.  He is expressing, then, a stance towards all explanations.–  But how is this manifested in his life?


Really what I should like to say is that here too what is important is not the words you use or what you think while saying them, so much as the difference that they make at different points in your life.  How do I know that two people mean the same thing when each says he believes in God?  And just the same goes for the Trinity.  Theology that insists on certain words & phrases & prohibits others makes nothing clearer. (Karl Barth)

It gesticulates with words, as it were, because it wants to say something & does not know how to express it. Practice gives the words their sense.

MS173 92r: 1950. (Culture and Value, 97e)



Cf. MS136 16b: 21:12:1947  (C&V 73e)


Cf.  Lecture I: On Religious Belief, 53-54.

In that order.