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Re: [Sartre] does this god belong here?

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  • Dodgy Thett
    Ko Ko Thett: Yes, I raised the question, Who created God, following a series of discussion between Jud and John, thanks J & J. As far as existentialism is
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 3, 2001
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      Ko Ko Thett:

      Yes, I raised the question, Who created God, following a series of
      discussion between Jud and John, thanks J & J. As far as existentialism is
      concerned, God is worth discussing, since people like Albert Camus took a
      great interest in why many other people like Sarte and himself rebel against
      God (The Rebel).

      KKt
      Kuopio
      Finland


      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "John Foster" <borealis@...>
      > To: <Sartre@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 5:41 AM
      > Subject: Re: [Sartre] does this god belong here?
      >
      >
      > Justinian:
      > Let us remind ourselves of Sartre's total indifference to god and
      > christianity.
      > Did not Sartre only mention christ once in his works - and that was as
      > the man being a mere political agitator?
      >
      > Jud:
      > Yes, religion was not really worth talking about as far as Sartre was
      > concerned. But existentialism is about existence and whether you believe
      in
      > the religious explanation for existence or not it is important to society
      > if only because of the wickedness and unhappiness it causes. Sartre's
      base
      > was his atheism and his Marxism. And if anti-religion [which is a part of
      > Marxism] was part of Sartre's credo then perhaps it should be discussed as
      a
      > component of his intellectual make-up. I agree that if we wish to know
      more
      > about the man and what made him tick in relation to his output - it is his
      > Marxism and atheism that we should be discussing. My dialogue with John
      re
      > the bible etc is/was interesting for me, because John is so knowledgeable
      > about the subject, it seemed a shame not to take advantage of his
      > scholarship to clear up some points of theology that interested me. It
      seems
      > obvious to me that if John had met Sartre, then John's religion would have
      > been a serious obstacle to any deep dialogue with Sartre, and that Sartre
      > would probably have become annoyed with John and kicked him out of the
      Deiux
      > Maggots and onto the pavement with an admonishment to head for the Sacre
      > Cour where he belonged. Had I met Sartre, [and on one occasion I just
      > missed meeting him by minutes] I would have probably have received the
      same
      > treatment, for I was a Trotskyist and he was a Stalinist - but then I am
      > only fantasising and joking, which atheists have a tendency to do. :-)
      >
      > Most Marxists [I used to be one so I know] derive their concept of bad
      faith
      > from the way in which one set [class] of human beings exploits another
      less
      > powerful section of society. False consciousness they see as the result of
      > the brainwashing of children by religious instruction at an early age when
      > they can't say "no," and the product of the mind numbing pap that the
      > capitalist-owned media feed them incessantly. Marxists see their struggle
      > as a 'crusade' to put these things right and restore good faith amongst
      the
      > members of a given society. As I said - I USED to be a Marxist, so I don't
      > want my words to unleash a torrent of attacks accusing me of being a
      Commie
      > or something.
      >
      > On a broader note to me as a militant atheist 'faith' means something
      quite
      > different to what it means to a creationist, [although creationists
      wrongly
      > often accuse atheists having faith in the non-existence of God.].
      > To an atheist religionists have to struggle to have faith - they have to
      > make an effort, for many of them are very intelligent [like John] and they
      > are aware of the contradictions in their beliefs but override them by a
      > strategy of "God moves in a mysterious way" etc, for faith as Voltaire
      said
      > "is an effort to believe in something for which their is no evidence - for
      > if there WAS evidence there would be no need for faith."
      >
      > For an atheist, there is no complete confidence in any plan or concept
      or
      > belief- an atheist is always 'on watch' always questioning and aware of
      his
      > own foibles and the foibles and potential falsehoods that surround him.
      > Generally though it can be said that an atheist tends to be an empiricist
      > who trusts proven theories, particularly scientifically verified laws and
      > processes. In an emergency the atheist tends towards action rather
      useless
      > prayer.
      > The hypocrisy shown on both sides on the matter of inter-faith marriage
      for
      > example is merely another facet of the illogicality of religion in
      general.
      > As time goes by, my attitude toward religious belief has changed from one
      > extreme hatred to one of amused cynicism
      >
      > A pal of mine was recently on holiday in North Africa. As his party was
      > being conducted round the ancient site, he noticed a lot of small
      > waste-paper bins chiselled from solid rock dotted all over the place.
      > "Why did they go to so much trouble to hand-carve those tiny rubbish -
      > boxes from solid rock? Arthur asked the guide.
      > "They aren't garbage bins sir"
      > Replied the escort,
      > "They're the coffins of babies that the Carthaginians used to sacrifice to
      > their Gods!"
      > Here we see the evil of faith in action.
      >
      > The religious lobby has opposed every political prescription for social
      > advance, whether it's legislation to improve the rights of children, or
      > women's rights, or workers. Large sections of the established churches
      > opposed the abolition of slavery. History shows that religion often
      > attracts unimaginative inadequates, whether they're socially flawed or
      > sexual perverts or deviants, [many of which have been picked up by the
      > police in the UK recently] or simply desperately unhappy dysfunctional
      > people afflicted by social isolation, alcoholism, or poverty and lack of
      > education. Religion for some people - specially if they achieve positions
      > of real or petty power within the church - affords them leverage to take
      out
      > their spite on their followers and fellow believers, and even more so on
      the
      > other weaker, non-compliant members of society who don't share their
      twisted
      > dogmas.
      > Religion suits the politicians of course, because it renders people more
      > acquiescent and passive. Think of Hinduism with its message of
      > unquestioning 'acceptance' - consider the Moslem 'Will of Allah' etc. The
      > Church of England is still referred to as 'The Conservative Party at
      > prayer!'
      > A few years ago a church roof collapses in Italy crushing to death
      > forty-three innocent toddlers - the priest says that it's "The will of
      God."
      > and that "God moves in mysterious ways." What it means of course, that in
      > stead of interfering with little boys, or fathering illegitimate children,
      > the priest has been neglecting his duties in arranging for regular surveys
      > of the roof structure, which any fool knows is necessary in buildings that
      > have survived from Medieval times. How people can believe this crap if
      > beyond my understanding!
      >
      > If I were young and foolish again, I would take up my sword against
      > religion, and lead an atheist crusade against superstitious ignorance and
      > perfidious the mind-sapping doctrines of belief in invisible creators.
      > I am convinced that human happiness will only be within our reach when our
      > correlation with the greater universe, and the smaller universes of our
      > personal human relationships, are free from the pious corruption of our
      > intellect by the spiritual malevolence of bigoted ecclesiastical
      certainty.
      >
      > When I was younger, I was vitriolic in my loathing for religious creeds of
      > any kind; so much so that I became a regular subscriber to an Australian
      > atheist magazine called the Rationalist. I remember reading an expose the
      > Shrine of Lourdes, where after doing a round of the hospitals and doctor's
      > surgeries in the town, the journalist discovered that most priests and
      nuns
      > went very sensibly to the medics for treatment when they were ill or
      infirm,
      > instead of wasting time splashing in the holy spring alongside the
      hundreds
      > of pathetic pilgrims. A scrutiny of the geographical records revealed
      that
      > the source of the spring originated in a nearby river, and that the water
      > seeped through certain fissures in the underlying rocks to re-emerge as
      > Fatima's spring or whatever they call it. The River Authority reported
      that
      > there were no records of any person bathing in the upper or lower reaches
      of
      > the river and subsequently experiencing any miraculous cure, but rather,
      on
      > the contrary, there had been a number of drownings over the years, and
      many
      > cases of children contracting diphtheria and other water-borne diseases
      > after swimming in the river.
      > Just recently, the British papers have been full of scientific articles
      > about the discovery that religious people have certain additional
      chemicals
      > in their brains, which imply a predisposition to irrational belief without
      > proof. It's also claimed, that when for instance a person thinks of
      'God',
      > that the brain chemistry can be monitored, and that chemical activity and
      > reactions can be observed to take place. I've long suspected that there
      is
      > a scientific explanation as to why some people - many of them highly
      > educated and intelligent - are prepared to believe incredible assertions
      > without any evidence to prove them.
      > Yes, to repeat again what Voltaire said in his definition of faith - that
      > it's:
      > "An effort on behalf of the will to believe in something for which he'd
      no
      > evidence - for if there was evidence - there would be no need for faith!"
      > In psychiatric hospitals, the symptoms of uncontrollable religious mania
      > have been shown susceptible to cure by the use of certain drugs. Further
      > exploration of this line of enquiry may provide an answer, or at least a
      > fruitful line of research. He'd no doubt that the greatest danger to
      world
      > peace or equanimity between populations, in whatever country of the world
      > you care to look at - including yours and mine - is the evil of religion.
      > If you examine the causes of most pain and suffering in the world, whether
      > physical or mental, you will find a sweaty priest somewhere in the frame.
      > The suspension of common sense and rationality by those afflicted with the
      > pernicious sickness of mind that we call RELIGION - the very word itself
      > makes me shudder with revulsion - and it has always been, and will always
      > be, the greatest obstacle to the furtherment of human happiness and
      > fulfilment.
      >
      > Best wishes,
      >
      > Jud.
      >
      >
      > Sartre homepage: http://www.Sartre.org.uk/
      >
      > To unsubscribe, e-mail: Sartre-unsubscribe@...
      >
      > <A
      HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/external-search/?keyword=Jean-Paul+S
      artre&tag=donaldrobertson">Click here to purchase books by Jean-Paul
      Sartre -in association with Amazon (US).</A>
      >
      >
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      >
      >
    • Dodgy Thett
      Hi Chris, Thanks. I agree with you in terms of interpreting the rebel. I did not say that the princple point of The Rebel was about God. But I meaned that
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 3, 2001
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        Hi Chris,
         
        Thanks.  I agree with you in terms of interpreting "the rebel."  I did not say that the princple point of The Rebel was about God.  But I meaned that as we philosophize, we cannot leave GOD alone, and Camus didn't leave that point as Sarte did.  It doesn't matter if SHE exists or not.
         
        It was me who started talking about Camus.  Do you think it's irrelivant?
         
        KKt
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 5:37 PM
        Subject: Re: [Sartre] does this god belong here?

         
        Dodgy, that is a very interesting interpretation of the the Rebel.  I've read the Stranger, the Plague, the Myth of Sisyphus and the Rebel, and I never came away with the idea that Camus' principal point was about God, although certainly he makes a point about spirituality.  The principal ideas dealt with in the Rebel have been described as "When a person who is a slave to the absurd conditions about him declares that there is a limit to what he will endure or approve, he becames a man, he exists.  In creating value throubh rebellion, the rebel creates values for all men and makes himself part of the community of men.  Those who attempt to rebel by becoming nihilists or utopians fail to achieve authentic rebellion.  The genuine rebel combines the negative attitude of one who recognizes the relativity of values with the positive attitude of one who makes an absolute commitment which gives rist to spiritual values."
         
        Just a minor point--although I didn't read it carefully, I really don't remember Jud and John talking about Camus.  What did I miss?
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Dodgy Thett
        Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 5:54 AM
        To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [Sartre] does this god belong here?
         
        Ko Ko Thett:

        Yes, I raised the question, Who created God, following a series of
        discussion between Jud and John, thanks J & J.  As far as existentialism is
        concerned, God is worth discussing, since people like Albert Camus took a
        great interest in why many other people like Sarte and himself rebel against
        God (The Rebel).

        KKt
        Kuopio
        Finland


        Sartre homepage: http://www.Sartre.org.uk/

        To unsubscribe, e-mail: Sartre-unsubscribe@...

        <A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/external-search/?keyword=Jean-Paul+Sartre&tag=donaldrobertson">Click here to purchase books by Jean-Paul Sartre -in association with Amazon (US).</A>


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      • Christopher Bobo
        Most of the discussion of religion on this list has the appeal of a bad Bible study class. Jud says over, and over and over again it is important to society
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 4, 2001
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          Most of the discussion of religion on this list has the appeal of a bad Bible study class.
          Jud says over, and over and over again "it is important to society
          if only because of the wickedness and unhappiness it causes."
          While John says in a variety of ways.  "God moves in a mysterious way"
           
          Justinian is right when he says this discussion of God was irrelevant to Sartre and that he would not have wasted his time in such a futile discussion. 
           
          Jud falsely claims that this discussion would be relevant to Sartre becaused Sartre's "base was his atheism and his Marxism."  Although these may be regarded as aspects of his thought, I think his philosophical base was Descartes, Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger.  I'd much rather hear about that base.  Although talking about that would be much harder than repeating the constant refrain "Religion is bad."
           
          As Sartre really said "Existentialism is not atheist in the sense that it would exhaust itself ini demonstrations of the non-existnece of God.  It declares, rather, that even if God existed that would make no difference from its point of view.  Not that we believe God does exist, but we think that the real problem is not that of His existence; what man needs is to find himslef again and to understand that nothing can save him from himself, not even a valid proof of the existence of God."  This list really should get on with the "real problem" as Sartre saw it.
        • Christopher Bobo
          Dodgy, that is a very interesting interpretation of the the Rebel. I ve read the Stranger, the Plague, the Myth of Sisyphus and the Rebel, and I never came
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 4, 2001
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            Dodgy, that is a very interesting interpretation of the the Rebel.  I've read the Stranger, the Plague, the Myth of Sisyphus and the Rebel, and I never came away with the idea that Camus' principal point was about God, although certainly he makes a point about spirituality.  The principal ideas dealt with in the Rebel have been described as "When a person who is a slave to the absurd conditions about him declares that there is a limit to what he will endure or approve, he becames a man, he exists.  In creating value throubh rebellion, the rebel creates values for all men and makes himself part of the community of men.  Those who attempt to rebel by becoming nihilists or utopians fail to achieve authentic rebellion.  The genuine rebel combines the negative attitude of one who recognizes the relativity of values with the positive attitude of one who makes an absolute commitment which gives rist to spiritual values."
             
            Just a minor point--although I didn't read it carefully, I really don't remember Jud and John talking about Camus.  What did I miss?
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Dodgy Thett
            Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 5:54 AM
            To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [Sartre] does this god belong here?
             
            Ko Ko Thett:

            Yes, I raised the question, Who created God, following a series of
            discussion between Jud and John, thanks J & J.  As far as existentialism is
            concerned, God is worth discussing, since people like Albert Camus took a
            great interest in why many other people like Sarte and himself rebel against
            God (The Rebel).

            KKt
            Kuopio
            Finland
          • John Foster
            Wow Daisy, Hey Jud, I am not a theist. I am agnostic and consider myself a non-theist, and I am not an atheist. I am skeptical of large systematic
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 4, 2001
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              Wow Daisy,

              Hey Jud, I am not a theist. I am agnostic and consider myself a non-theist,
              and I am not an atheist. I am skeptical of large systematic philosophies. I
              have an intellectual appreciation of God. For me the term God is
              interchangeable with the One, with Love, and so one even Life and Being.

              I choose to remain ignorant, learnedly so, regarding my sensibility of the
              One. This approach is respectful of both theists (which you call religious
              persons) and the atheists. To me the discussion of what is correct or
              incorrect is not that important, after all the Kingdom of God is Within
              (Tolstoy).

              First of all "false consciousness" for Sartre was not descriptive of
              religous norms in any society that you may have chose to address, but rather
              an "attitude" that does not correlate well with the objective situation. For
              instance the worker who is exploited for so long by his employer that he
              thinks that because he has enough food, adequate shelter, and a little left
              over for Friday to spend on beer with his friends in the local pub, and
              thinks that he is living to his full potential because has no perceived
              needs, is a person that is not living in accord to his potential. He is
              being alienated from his full potential and suffers a false consciousness
              because of the political relations.

              Incidentally Sartre was not a "Stalinist" and this fact is the reason he
              never joined the French Communist Party in part at least.

              Oppressed classes tend to accept the dominant ideology in any society which
              tends to be the dominant class consciousness. The worker cannot think of any
              reason why there should be any "class antagonisms" because they have all
              their material needs and some social needs, but the worker does not realize
              that he is being over exploited and alienated from his potential essence.
              When the worker literally dies on the job and the capitalist has to replace
              him, then the capitalist realizes that he cannot find a worker who will (a)
              work for the same amount of pay, or (b) the capitalist cannot find a person
              who can operate the machine which was operated by the same skilled person
              for 35 years. The machine and the worker become obsolete...

              The idea that you present here regarding slavery is inocorrect. Both the
              Quakers and the Catholic Church were opposed to slavery. I am not sure which
              church group you are referring to that supported slavery. It definately was
              not the Lutheran church. The first slave owners were the ruling class:
              Kings, Queens, and so on. Germany for instance never had slaves....all
              Lutherans have been opposed to slavery.

              The Quakers were the first to oppose slavery in the US and in Britain.

              Jud:
              > Just recently, the British papers have been full of scientific articles
              > about the discovery that religious people have certain additional
              chemicals
              > in their brains, which imply a predisposition to irrational belief without
              > proof. It's also claimed, that when for instance a person thinks of
              'God',
              > that the brain chemistry can be monitored, and that chemical activity and
              > reactions can be observed to take place. I've long suspected that there
              is
              > a scientific explanation as to why some people - many of them highly
              > educated and intelligent - are prepared to believe incredible assertions
              > without any evidence to prove them.

              Jud:

              You can add Einstein and Steven Hawking to the list of persons "predisposed
              to irrational belief without proof."

              Jud:
              > Yes, to repeat again what Voltaire said in his definition of faith - that
              > it's:
              > "An effort on behalf of the will to believe in something for which he'd
              no
              > evidence - for if there was evidence - there would be no need for faith!"

              Jud:
              Do you have any evidence that you are going to live longer than 70 years? Do
              you have any evidence that your children are going to be living with you in
              your old age, that you will be able to walk, etc? If you had any evidence
              about what was going to happen to you later in life, do you think you would
              be happy or have any will to be happy and content with what you have?

              The fact is that when people realize that they are going to die, or their
              loved one is going to die, there is a deep fear of death, of separation and
              loneliness...at least at first. So for instance a doctor indicates that yes
              Jud you are going to live at least 90 years and your family will too. Of
              course you are happy. You don't need any faith in him or yourself, and you
              don't need any assistance from others or from a God. But what happens when
              the doctor indicates that you have only 1 year left to live? Of course you
              are going to be just about as unhappy as you can possibly be. If you had one
              million dollars and you 'believed' the doctor and had 'faith' in his
              prognosis, then you would willing give this money away to any one who could
              cure you of your life threatening illness. In order for you to have any hope
              of recovery, then you would have to have faith in the ability of the
              treatments to forstall death...of course in some cases the doctors simply
              tell you that well your chances are only in the order of 10%.

              So then you need to do a wee bit of thinking here....

              addios

              john foster
            • Jud Evans
              ...
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 4, 2001
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                ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Foster"
                <borealis@... To: <Sartre@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, June
                04, 2001 4: 54 PM Subject: Re: [Sartre] does this god belong here?

                Wow Daisy,

                Hey Jud,
                I am not a theist. I am agnostic and consider myself a non-theist, and I am
                not an atheist. I am skeptical of large systematic philosophies. I have an
                intellectual appreciation of God. For me the term God is interchangeable
                with the One, with Love, and so one even Life and Being.

                Jud;
                Firstly let me thank you for being so patient with me, you at least have
                come to realise I think that my rants are never directed towards anybody in
                particular, specially not the one with whom I am debating. my style often
                appears combative at first - but take no notice - it is just rhetoric -
                well partly - and the other part of it is shouting into the void. To equate
                God with [pseudo] being is to have illusions of grandeur, for God if he does
                exist is the guy out there that created the heavens and the earth and the
                things that crawl thereupon including human beings - so he is NOT you he is
                somebody else - though if he WERE you, then you'd be praying to yourself.
                : -)

                John I choose to remain ignorant, learnedly so, regarding my sensibility of
                the One. This approach is respectful of both theists (which you call
                religious persons) and the atheists.

                Jud; Well, your learned alright, but why being learned you wish to remain
                ignorance I can't figure out. I just couldn't live without my ever-present
                inquisitiveness - I can't stand the thought of deliberately averting my eyes
                from what may or what may not be the truth.

                John: To me the discussion of what is correct or incorrect is not that
                important, after all the Kingdom of God is Within
                (Tolstoy)

                Jud: Lovely old guy - loved his war-book but statements like: "the Kingdom
                of God is Within" are meaningless to an atheist, A. because we don't
                believe in God. (B). we don't believe he was a king. (C). we don't believe
                he had a kingdom [a rather old fashioned concept don't you think? -
                although we are still blighted with the canker of monarchy here] (D) we
                don't believe that he is 'within' or 'without' or anyway this way that way
                where ever you look.

                John:
                First of all "false consciousness" for Sartre was not descriptive of
                religious norms in any society that you may have chose to address, but
                rather an "attitude" that does not correlate well with the objective
                situation. For instance the worker who is exploited for so long by his
                employer that he thinks that because he has enough food, adequate shelter,
                and a little left over for Friday to spend on beer with his friends in the
                local pub, and thinks that he is living to his full potential because has no
                perceived needs, is a person that is not living in accord to his potential.
                He is being alienated from his full potential and suffers a false
                consciousness because of the political relations.

                Jud:
                Sounds cosy - a few pints at the weekend - a roof [usually rented from some
                avaricious landlord] food? Adequate? You must be joking - I grew up in
                Liverpool where practically every child suffered from rickets and other
                diseases of malnutrition - there were lots of starving people around in
                France to at the time when Jean Paul was writing. The church supported this
                state of affairs and took the steam out of revolt which bland spiritual
                palliatives or 'pie in the sky' as the people of British cities used to call
                it.

                John:
                Incidentally Sartre was not a "Stalinist" and this fact is the reason he
                never joined the French Communist Party in part at least.

                Jud:
                He must of been a Stalinist, for he was a 'fellow-traveller' and supporter
                of the CPF [Communist Party of France] which was notoriously Stalinist, and
                nowhere in his writing have I seen evidence that he supported old Leon?

                John:
                Oppressed classes tend to accept the dominant ideology in any society which
                tends to be the dominant class consciousness. The worker cannot think of any
                reason why there should be any "class antagonisms" because they have all
                their material needs and some social needs, but the worker does not realize
                that he is being over exploited and alienated from his potential essence.
                When the worker literally dies on the job and the capitalist has to replace
                him, then the capitalist realizes that he cannot find a worker who will (a)
                work for the same amount of pay, or (b) the capitalist cannot find a person
                who can operate the machine which was operated by the same skilled person
                for 35 years. The machine and the worker become obsolete. . .

                Jud; Well put.

                John:
                The idea that you present here regarding slavery is incorrect. Both the
                Quakers and the Catholic Church were opposed to slavery. I am not sure which
                church group you are referring to that supported slavery. It definitely was
                not the Lutheran church. The first slave owners were the ruling class:
                Kings, Queens, and so on. Germany for instance never had slaves. . . . all
                Lutherans have been opposed to slavery.

                Jud:
                Good for the Lutherans and the Quakers it must not have escaped your notice
                though that the establishment and the church is hand in glove. perhaps
                living in Britain it is more obvious because of the unelected House of Lords
                where we have all these old bishops lolling around in wigs and black
                stockings farting on the front benches after a good 'liquid lunch' [which
                gets picked up by the microphones of the radio broadcasts and is heard all
                over the land to the embarrassment of the nation] and licking up to the
                queen at state events etc. The religious right in USA infest the mattress
                of the American political system like a nest of screaming, biting bedbugs.

                John:
                The Quakers were the first to oppose slavery in the US and in Britain.

                Jud:
                I quite admire the Quakers and their style of worship seems very sensible.

                Jud: [previously]

                Just recently, the British papers have been full of scientific articles
                about the discovery that religious people have certain additional chemicals
                in their brains, which imply a predisposition to irrational belief without
                proof. It's also claimed, that when for instance a person thinks of 'God',
                that the brain chemistry can be monitored, and that chemical activity and
                reactions can be observed to take place. I've long suspected that there is a
                scientific explanation as to why some people - many of them highly educated
                and intelligent - are prepared to believe incredible assertions without any
                evidence to prove them.

                John:
                You can add Einstein and Steven Hawking to the list of persons "predisposed
                to irrational belief without proof. "

                Jud:
                No, your wrong here John, certainly about hawking anyway - it was all
                speculation based on a single remark he made - I forget the exact words -
                but he is said to have qualified it later and proclaimed himself as a
                non-believer - I heard that his publisher urged him to include it in the
                book as a sop to potential creationist book buyers.

                Jud:
                Yes, to repeat again what Voltaire said in his definition of faith - that
                it's: "An effort on behalf of the will to believe in something for which
                he'd no evidence - for if there was evidence - there would be no need for
                faith! "

                Jud:
                Do you have any evidence that you are going to live longer than 70 years? Do
                you have any evidence that your children are going to be living with you in
                your old age, that you will be able to walk, etc? If you had any evidence
                about what was going to happen to you later in life, do you think you would
                be happy or have any will to be happy and content with what you have?

                John:
                The fact is that when people realize that they are going to die, or their
                loved one is going to die, there is a deep fear of death, of separation and
                loneliness. . . at least at first.

                Jud:
                Yes, I lost two wives due to cancer - I know the feeling.


                John:
                So for instance a doctor indicates that yes Jud you are going to live at
                least 90 years and your family will too. Of course you are happy.

                Jud:
                As someone who hasn't eaten any meat, fish or fowl or any animal fat in my
                life I plan to live a lot longer than ninety. :-)


                John:
                You don't need any faith in him or yourself, and you don't need any
                assistance from others or from a God. But what happens when the doctor
                indicates that you have only 1 year left to live? Of course you are going to
                be just about as unhappy as you can possibly be. If you had one million
                dollars and you 'believed' the doctor and had 'faith' in his prognosis, then
                you would willing give this money away to any one who could cure you of your
                life threatening illness. In order for you to have any hope of recovery,
                then you would have to have faith in the ability of the treatments to
                forstall death. . . of course in some cases the doctors simply tell you that
                well your chances are only in the order of 10%.

                Jud:
                Most doctors are useless. I took my doctor to court because he indicated the
                wrong breast when he sent my [second] wife for a mammogram. because of that
                the cancer metastasized and she died. I moved to another doctor. my
                mother lived with us at the time and she was ill. When I went to the doctor
                he got her records out and very gravely informed me that my mother had
                cancer. I was heartbroken - later he rang and said that he had looked at the
                wrong file and had looked at my deceased wife's records [same name: Evans]
                on that basis, do you think then that I would have faith in the ability of
                the treatments to forestall death? You must be joking!

                So then you need to do a wee bit of thinking here. . . .

                Jud
                That's all I ever seem to do nowadays. :-)

                addios to you.

                Jud.
              • Tommy Beavitt
                ... Ha ha! I suppose that IS what John Foster meant by Einstein and Hawking are predisposed to irrational belief without proof , ie. they stated that they
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 4, 2001
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                  At 8:22 pm +0100 4/6/01, Jud Evans wrote:
                  >John:
                  >You can add Einstein and Steven Hawking to the list of persons "predisposed
                  >to irrational belief without proof. "
                  >
                  >Jud:
                  >No, your wrong here John, certainly about hawking anyway - it was all
                  >speculation based on a single remark he made - I forget the exact words -
                  >but he is said to have qualified it later and proclaimed himself as a
                  >non-believer - I heard that his publisher urged him to include it in the
                  >book as a sop to potential creationist book buyers.

                  Ha ha! I suppose that IS what John Foster meant by "Einstein and
                  Hawking are predisposed to irrational belief without proof", ie. they
                  stated that they believed in God. I took it to mean the totally
                  insubstantiated speculation that they engaged in concerning Big
                  Bangs, Black Holes and suchlike.

                  Hey, by the way, I am about 50 pages into Being and Time (that is why
                  I have been quiet on this list lately) and it is good, very good!

                  One of Heidegger's key theses, painstakingly expostulated, is that we
                  will always interpret being in terms of our human instrumentality.
                  So, what is good to the priest (instrument) is good to the
                  astrophysicist (instrument), ie. being.

                  Old hat I know, but worth tossing in I think.

                  Has anyone on this list been reading any Barthes lately? I was very
                  taken with his view on semiotics, that the meaning of the statement
                  is the totality of words, textures, contexts, and cannot be easily
                  separated out. He uses the example of the popular singer who
                  concentrates on conveying his verbal meaning through the lyrics of
                  his song without realising that his meaning was being communicated
                  just as much through the texture of his voice, the trousers he was
                  wearing, which nightclub he was singing in, on which night, who was
                  staring obsessively at him from the wings, which impressario has
                  booked the performance etc. etc.

                  This seemed like a good analogy for the human instrumentality
                  interpretation that Heidegger and Sartre put on being.

                  Good to be back!

                  Tommy Beavitt
                • Christopher Bobo
                  ... and false consciousness ?
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 4, 2001
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                    John asked:
                    >>So what is the meaning and context of Sartre's concept called "bad faith"
                    and "false consciousness"? <<
                     
                    "Bad faith" is a lie to oneself within the unity of a single consciousness.  Through bad faith a person seeks to escape the responsible freedom of Being-for-itself.  Bad faith rests on a vacillation between transcendence and facticity which refuses to recognize either one for what it really is or to synthesize them.  Notice, no appeal to God was required in that definition.  This definition was offered by H. Barnes in her Key to Special Terminology appended to Being and Nothingness.
                     
                    "False consciousness" owes it origin at least to Marx, Engels and Feurbach.  It has been defined as "An inability to see things, especially social relations and relations of exploitation, as they really are.  The term occurs in the work of Engels, although the phemenon is implied in Feurbach's account of the religious impulse.  The state of false consciousness may be the inevitable result of a way of living, and characterizes the generic and chronic kind of servitude that cannot even perceive its own situation.  It may therefore coexist with a kind of illusory contentment.  The cure is 'consciousness-raising'.  In the later writings of Marx the concept to some extent extent supersedes that of alienation.  Notice, religion plays only a marginal role in false consciousness.  In Marxist thought, the "false consciousness" was the consciousness of the ruling class, which was imposed upon and absorbed by, the subservient class.  In capitalist society, false consciousness would consist, for instance, in the workers' adherence to middle-class, rather than working-class, consciousness.  Once again, an appeal to religion is unnecessary. 
                     
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: John Foster
                    Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 9:27 PM
                    To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [Sartre] does this god belong here?
                     
                    Justinian:
                    > Let us remind ourselves of Sartre's total indifference to god and
                    christianity.
                    >  Did not Sartre only mention christ once in his works - and that was as
                    the
                    > man being a mere political agitator?

                    So what is the meaning and context of Sartre's concept called "bad faith"
                    and "false consciousness"? I have my own ideas about this. However I will
                    keep silent. What does an atheist mean by "faith"? and what does an
                    existentialist mean by "false consciousness"?

                    To me they seem like universal 'negations'...

                    What is consciousness mean when Sartre uses the term?


                    Simple questions for some I suppose...

                    john foster
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