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939Re: [existlist] Re: Digest Number 226

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  • Juan Menendez
    Mar 9, 2001
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      --- Edward Alf <ealf@...> wrote:
      > hi Gilligan et al,
      >
      > well what can i say ... i suppose Gillian Anderson
      > is attractive, but it
      > seems so shallow .. at least on the X-files ... a
      > very attractive woman to
      > my mind would be Marilyn Monroe .. and i dont mean
      > the one who sang "happy
      > birthday" to Kennedy ... but rather the Norma Jean
      > Baker who stared in the
      > movie "Misfits" with Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift
      > and Eli Wallach ...
      > absolutely beautiful ... anyway im off topic ...
      >
      > to give a scientific explanation does not deminish
      > the idea that humans
      > reach out for the divine ... it is just the way in
      > which we do it ... those
      > cavemen sitting around the recently bison were also
      > using their neurons ...
      > if neurons is not the most illuminating explanation,
      > then what would be
      > illuminating? ... im open on this ... i just think
      > that when you get into
      > the abstract as saying that it is our inner soul or
      > something, then it
      > detaches from reality ... i dont think that knowing
      > our retinas are lined
      > with rods and cones lessens our appreciation for the
      > beauty of a rose ...
      >
      > i dont think that our worship of gods is born out of
      > fear ... i think that
      > "fear" is the means by which religious authorities
      > have kept "their" flock
      > under control ... if you dont follow the dogma, you
      > will spend eternity in
      > hell, having some demon pull out your liver ... i
      > would prefer that worship
      > is born out awe ...
      >
      > i agree that we would still have human love, courage
      > and laughter regardless
      > of how or what we believe ... our belief system is
      > simply a means for focus
      > and to some extent, motivation ... whether you
      > believe in Jehovah or Wilson
      > the basketball it amounts to the same thing ...
      >
      > when we look out onto the world, we see chaos ... so
      > many things are
      > happening ... it is a normal response to try to make
      > some sense or order out
      > of it all ... a god provides some kind of focus ...
      > lets say you are to go
      > out shopping for clothes ... i always find this a
      > traumatic experience ...
      > but if i say that i am going to adopt a style, say
      > of wearing only black
      > like Johnny Cash, then suddenly a path is open in
      > the chaos .. i only look
      > at things that are black ... i have not really
      > obtained order in the world
      > .. there are still red and blue shirts, but i have
      > the ability to focus and
      > this is a way of survival for me ... and i suggest
      > that this is all that we
      > want .. so that we can get on with our lives ...
      >
      > i was wondering how others on this list might have
      > mingled religious outlook
      > with philosophical existentialism ... or are they,
      > like myself, still
      > searching ....
      >
      > regards
      >
      > eduard
      >
      > > > Hi Edward,
      > >
      > > Well, what can I say to a man who fails to find
      > > Gillian Anderson attractive? I'm afraid that this
      > > alone has the effect of casting doubts upon your
      > > rational faculties. Fortunately, those doubts are
      > > dispersed the moment I read your posted
      > > messages--which are well-written and cogent.
      > >
      > > Suppose that you are right, that there is an
      > inherent
      > > yearning for religious experience, that we are
      > all--as
      > > Kierkegaard suggests--"God intoxicated men." Why
      > seek
      > > a scientific explanation as the most illuminating
      > in
      > > this context? I contend that it would be the least
      > > illuminating. From the days when we might have
      > talked
      > > of similar topics in a cave after killing a bison
      > (and
      > > I am convinced that, even then, people did so), it
      > > seems highly plausible that a universal human
      > > experience is the sense of the numinous, that is,
      > the
      > > awareness of our smallness as beings agaisnt the
      > > awesome enormity of the universe. Add to this, the
      > > certainty of death (prehistoric persons had a
      > > life-expectancy of 28 years, up to the nineteenth
      > > century life expectancy hovered at 40 years or
      > so),
      > > and you begin to see why it is perfectly rational
      > and
      > > understandable for subjective, Freudian kinds of
      > > reasons, that humans would reach for something
      > > greater.
      > >
      > > It follows from this that prescientific humans
      > would
      > > project those yearnings on to "spirits"
      > representing
      > > natural elements and then on to a single master
      > spirit
      > > and, eventually, on to a very abstract God, who is
      > the
      > > master principle of the universe. And yet...
      > >
      > > I fear that we may discover that gods and/or God
      > > are/is less a being or entity "really" existing in
      > the
      > > universe, than a human hope born in fear: What if
      > the
      > > universal human religious impulse or God, if you
      > like,
      > > is less a window from which we see out into the
      > > universe, than a mirror reflecting our own
      > > subconscious aspirations? If this is so, then we'd
      > > still have human courage and laughter, the
      > possibility
      > > of love, and shared courage at the sense of that
      > > infinite star-stuff which is us too.
      > >
      > > Cheers,
      > >
      > > Gilligan
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > > __________________________________________________
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      > >
      > >
      > Hi Edward,

      Marilyn Monroe is definitely a very attractive woman.
      Yet one may find Gillian Anderson, who conveys a
      cooler, more intelligent (in my opinion) kind of aura,
      equally attractive in a very different way. Similarly,
      there is not much disagreement between us when it
      comes to ultimate matters of religious impulse and our
      place in the cosmos.

      I guess my take on this is to suggest, if you'll
      forgive the expression, that we should render on to
      Caesar what is his, and on to God what is His. By that
      I mean, that you don't really need science to explain
      the religious impulse in people, just common sense.
      There is simply too much pretentious scientific
      explanation of what is basically expressive of our
      nature as humans. People feel small and insignificant,
      so they invent or discover something greater than
      themselves that can help them cope with the pain of
      being human. Some of us need that (for me) "crutch"
      and some of us don't. I don't. I am not a believer. I
      do not really accept the concept of God.

      I fear that as traditional concepts of God become less
      and less intellectually respectable, more and more
      people tend to deify science--which is very
      unscientific, but it is "scientism." Science
      talk--often having no real meaning--is the jargon of
      our times. I suggest we take a step back and consider
      whether we need an elaborate scientific way of stating
      the obvious.
      >
      >


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