I agree that Reality is a slippery notion. I also think Truth is a slippery idea. That is why I find it useful to evaluate an idea based on its usefulness instead of evaluating it in terms of whether or not it conforms to Reality. It is an experiment.
Totally agree Duncan. The whole business of redefining Christianity to suit a narrow POV is problematic. Saying reality is God kinda makes sense in a sloppy manner, but it is a backwards argument - you define the indefinable and then argue that it means what cannot be defined.
I wouldn't get caught up in struggling to comprehend what Dowd means by reality. I doubt he could oblige you with a coherent response.
Have to say I found his whole religious approach to be a case of needlessly redefining something that served no purpose other than making a distinction he could own. He added nothing to any sensible or serious discussion on the nature of Christianity, or religion.
The problem is that we are so unused to consciousness as a larger topic we have one term to cover many meanings - and we never know who is using what meaning precisely. We need our version of the old thing that the Inuit have a 100 [varies on who is telling] words for snow. Obviously there are many big ideas we have a 100 words for as well, but consciousness is one of them. But at the same time it kinda is - we just haven't pulled them into a coherent system. By that I mean that there are terms in psychology, philosophy, spirituality and physiology [in all their myriad expressions] that are subtle shades of meaning of consciousness.
Often I think we use the term to do no more than gesture in the general direction [of an idea or value], and all that matters is that we thinking in the same direction. This general sense of vague goodwill is disrupted when passionate advocates and pedants become excited and bothered when we don't seem to quite get what they are on about. They use words that sound impressive, and as though they should mean something consequential - which they do to a class of cognoscenti, leaving the rest of us bemused
Do let us take the subject of consciousness seriously, but ourselves less so.
Wow! That was almost painful to listen to all the way! Several cringe worthy mo.
Moments made me feel almost bad, but ......inspired me to finally come check out the forum after listening to you for quite sometime. Thanks for keeping it interesting Alex! Keep up the great digging you are so appreciated! ❤