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44917Re: A short episode in the pursuit of truth, or,  how society fails to work

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  • louise
    Aug 7, 2008
      The subject of religious faith, or even simply of Christian faith,
      involves many other areas of intellectual discourse, not simply
      metaphysics. It cannot so easily be dismissed. Belief in God is not
      comparable to belief in any being, since God is not a being. He is
      eternal, not existing. Only by discussing the works of Kierkegaard
      am I capable of feeling any confidence that I might be able to make a
      little progress in communicating with clarity, and at present I must
      wait for a better state of health, before attempting such a task.

      Louise

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
      >
      > Whenever religion is discussed, or so it seems, the discussion
      always goes
      > onto something else: ethics and morality, nationality, identity,
      meaning, law,
      > etc. This is itself telling and begs to be unpacked, as Hegel and
      Nietzsche do
      > here and there, but my incomprehension about the belief in 'God'
      will not be
      > any better assuaged by these side issues than by shouting "boo" in
      a darkened
      > room.
      >
      > My incomprehension remains: how can anyone today actually think
      that there is
      > a transcendent-yet-present super being, cosmic creator, infinite
      big ear and
      > blame-meister, and the rest of it, when it is clearly a primitive
      (and
      > primitive's) fantasy no more sophisticated or plausible than any
      other sky god touted
      > by human ignorance down the millennia? I don't want to hear how
      such a belief
      > dovetails well with other notions and problems, like whether little
      Johnny
      > will wack off to infinity or steal the family SUV without big sky
      daddy watching
      > over him, or whether my cumulative behaviors in the bathroom will
      remain
      > absurd and lost to the ages without some cosmic noggin knowing it
      forever.
      >
      > No, the matter is very simple. The belief in God, qua belief, is
      absurd, if
      > not irrational and insane.
      >
      > Wil
      >
      > In a message dated 8/7/08 4:15:17 AM, hecubatoher@... writes:
      >
      >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Since all my life I have lived in England, and for more than half
      of
      > > that period have felt keenly the unity of our kingdom, and the
      > > importance of the Protestant religion, my comments are with
      reference
      > > to British society. Given the universal features of the human
      > > condition, in spite of the differences implied by nation and
      class,
      > > it would hardly be surprising if a good deal of what I have to
      say,
      > > if valid, might apply, mutatis mutandis, to other societies across
      > > the world.
      > >
      > > If one were to imagine oneself as a kind of benign Big Brother
      > > figure, a theorist of society, charged with observing the communal
      > > life on this island, in the early twenty-first century, the
      salient
      > > fact is a fracturing of custom and belief. Culture and morality
      are
      > > distinct, and always have been. Good taste and virtue are not the
      > > same. Even excellent manners may be a cover for moral turpitude. I
      > > have long known this, and it is one of the factors which make me
      more
      > > susceptible to spiritual influences, render me "the natural prey
      of
      > > the incarnate Christ", to borrow a phrase from the poet
      C.H.Sisson.
      > > Returning to the more general picture, many of the towns, cities,
      and
      > > even the smaller settlements of this country exhibit a bewildering
      > > array of communities, not by any means easy to identify outwardly.
      > > The leaching away of any coherent sense of nation, the taboo on
      > > linking the concept of nation with race, which constitutes its
      > > historic meaning, and the parallel (though not necessarily
      connected)
      > > enfeeblement of long-established Christian belief, has left a
      vacuum
      > > into which all manner of hedonistic chaos and primitive religious
      > > practice have flowed. Religions, of course, may be theistic,
      > > atheistic, humanistic, pantheistic, and the rest. Where is the
      > > principle for unity, for a decent respect toward the human image
      and
      > > the entire panoply of creaturely life?
      > > Complexity and habitual contact with duplicities justified by
      nothing
      > > more than a supposed majority interest (really a kind of refined
      > > lynch law) wear down so many citizens, attack health and vitality.
      > > We are our own worst enemies, and yet some are more the enemy than
      > > others. Who are the criminals, and who are the cops? How many
      > > unwritten laws operate?
      > > In a way, these musings represent some sort of response to Wil's
      > > incomprehension of why anyone should believe in God. What can
      words
      > > do, in the end, except name our loves, hates, dilemmas? God is a
      > > very particular word, and meaningless except in context. Truly
      > > convinced, genuine, responsible and loving men and women with
      > > different doctrinal positions, Roman Catholics and Anglicans, for
      > > instance, may be said meaningfully to worship the same God. There
      is
      > > an overlapping heritage to argue or agree about, and theological
      > > language with which to engage one another's intellects without
      vanity
      > > and pretension. Politics complicate the dialogue, however, and
      even
      > > more so in the case of disagreements arising with Islam, Judaism,
      and
      > > the non-Abrahamic faiths. One of the prevalent cults in Britain
      > > today has evolved from Socialist struggle and the feminist
      striving
      > > to counter the age-old conflict between the sexes, which certainly
      > > flourishes within socialist circles, as anywhere else. In truth
      the
      > > conflict may not be resolved, only sublimated. Christianity is
      > > certainly not the only creed to recognise this fact, but any other
      > > remedy lacks historical credibility. I trust that this statement
      of
      > > my opinion does not read like an attempt to proselytize, which
      would
      > > be quite contrary to the spirit and rules of the list. All
      > > endeavours to communicate indirectly by pseudonymous philosophical
      > > play were defeated by self-righteous zealotries and my own
      inability
      > > to tolerate the pain of these assaults. Philosophy with me is a
      > > passion, not a romance, and in conflict with more naturalistic
      forces
      > > it leads into a war that may not be won. Louise
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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