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44925Re: A short episode in the pursuit of truth, or, how society fails to work

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  • louise
    Aug 7, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
      >
      > Louise,
      >
      > After my recent reading to the Either/Or texts (with some skimming,
      I
      > admit), my prior estimation of K was only underscored. How many
      texts
      > do I have to read before I can make an assessment? I have read a
      good
      > dozen or so over the years. My visceral dislike has only been
      redoubled
      > each time.

      Ok, well, my intent is to take a look at the pseudonymous works when
      a more focussed and less polemical energy is possible to me. Even if
      I do not in any way change your opinion, the attempt is worthwhile
      for me.

      >
      > As for Heidegger, friend, I began reading his works in the early
      70s,
      > and I have read most everything, some things in the original (back
      when
      > I could). I once counted myself as a Hiedeggerian, before I came to
      see
      > him as priest in sheep's clothing. Not sure what your point here is.

      I was only referring to your comments about Heidegger and Arendt.

      >
      > Finally, please do not try to make the argument that my rejection
      of
      > racism is due to the influence of the UN or some kind of political
      > straightjacketing. My political orientation is the result of
      earnest
      > study and not some arty fad. I would again ask you to consider that
      > your own intolerance may be the result of factors of a personal
      nature.

      I find this mildly outrageous. Having battled all my adult life as a
      liberal, in face of increasingly authoritarian political structures
      in the Western world, your characterisation of myself as 'intolerant'
      is a bit rich. There is such a thing as violence in this world, my
      friend. I argue peaceably for free speech. Louise

      >
      > Wil
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: louise <hecubatoher@...>
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 11:22 am
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: A short episode in the pursuit of truth,
      or,
      > how society fails to work
      >
      > Wil,
      >
      >
      >
      > After you have told me in the past that you will listen without
      >
      > prejudice, it is difficult to credit the smug dismissal that you
      >
      > offer here in place of thought. Especially after you have only just
      >
      > been handing out a lecture to ALBB on lack of intellectual
      >
      > conscience. Try reading the works first, with attention. I find it
      >
      > disgusting how many otherwise responsible thinking people have minds
      >
      > polluted by attention to casual biographical detail, whether about
      >
      > Regine or anyone else. You fell into the same trap with Heidegger.
      >
      > Ultimately, you are one more naive victim of worldwide censorship,
      >
      > and don't know what you are talking about. This assessment does not
      >
      > invalidate my continuing respect for your philosophical learning
      when
      >
      > you really do know your material, which is most of the time. If I
      am
      >
      > mistaken in any of my assumptions here, feel free to come back at
      >
      > me. You offer no evidence, no quotation, only a cheap shot at
      >
      > someone else's emotional distress.
      >
      >
      >
      > Louise
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
      >
      > >
      >
      > > No, it can certainly be dismissed with ease. Try it.
      >
      > >
      >
      > > Personally, I cannot stand Kierkegaard. I think that he is a
      >
      > dishonest
      >
      > > fanatic. Yes, there may be a host of insights along the way of his
      >
      > > propaganda, but it all remains propaganda, as he himself
      >
      > continually
      >
      > > admits.
      >
      > >
      >
      > > I find his writings to be, for the most part, pathetic (sorry
      >
      > Jim,).
      >
      > > Regina was right to run onto the arms of Schlegel.
      >
      > >
      >
      > > Wil
      >
      > >
      >
      > >
      >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      >
      > > From: louise <hecubatoher@>
      >
      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > > Sent: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 10:12 am
      >
      > > Subject: [existlist] Re: A short episode in the pursuit of truth,
      >
      > or,
      >
      > > how society fails to work
      >
      > >
      >
      > >
      >
      > >
      >
      > > 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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