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Re: Jim's sinister thesis

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  • shadowed_statue
    ... No, I would not say that it was a mistake for you to write about love. What I am suggesting is that, for you as a self-defined humanist and atheist, love
    Message 1 of 22 , Sep 6, 2009
      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Louise,
      >
      > Thank you for your well-argued and thought-provoking post.
      >
      > I am sorry I failed to fully understand your previous post.
      >
      > Let me respond to some of the points you make. First, this one:
      >
      > "Bill shows his love in his existence, without giving it a name, whereas you show your love in the way you choose to practise and speak about love. This is not what Kierkegaard meant by love."
      >
      > Are you agreeing with Bill and Mary that it was a mistake for me to write about love? Was it also a mistake for Kierkegaard to write a five-hundred page book on love?

      No, I would not say that it was a mistake for you to write about love. What I am suggesting is that, for you as a self-defined humanist and atheist, love is quite a different phenomenon from that presented by Kierkegaard, who starts from the premise that the birth of Jesus of Nazareth was a unique event in history, a miraculous occurrence defying human understanding, when the Eternal enters time for a finite period, in the form of a divine Incarnation. If you had neither invoked the names of Jesus and Paul, nor referred your remarks to the works of Kierkegaard, it might have been much easier to consider your exploration of the different kinds of love simply on its own merits. No, I do not believe it was a mistake for Kierkegaard to write such a long book about love. It is not a book I recall seeing, however, so I am making the comment without any claim to have read it.

      >
      > If you think it was ok for Kierkegaard to write his big book, but a mistake for me to write a long post (the equivalent of four pages of A4), why was it just wrong in my case?

      I hope that the above reply answers this question.

      >
      > Do you agree with Bill and Mary that the atheist should not write about love and truth?

      Not necessarily.
      >
      > Second, you write this:
      >
      > "I tend to agree with Bill, however, that your criticisms of CSW were 'butchery', and not in keeping with agape. Instead of resorting to the confidence of your own judgment (of another's subjectivity), you might at least state that you have made a critique of CSW's statements about Wittgenstein, which you believed to demonstrate dishonesty, and that CSW has
      > chosen not to reply."
      >
      > I am happy to state your words: "I have made a critique of CSW's statements about Wittgenstein, which I believed to demonstrate dishonesty, and that CSW has chosen not to reply." Isn't that basically what I said to CSW? He falsely attributed a quotation to the esteemed Wittgenstein biographer Ray Monk, and when I pointed this out to him he refused to admit it, even though he had the book in front of him so he could check.

      No, I don't quite agree there. There is a difference between dishonesty and being in error. That you believed CSW's statements to demonstrate dishonesty does not mean that he was dishonest. He may simply have been in error. In these matters, wording makes a huge difference to feeling, which is not mere matter of sentiment, but arguably concerns intellectual honesty itself. I think it would be much more responsible to state, 'He mistakenly attributed a quotation ...'. The language of 'when I pointed this out to him he refused to admit it' makes it sound like a trial, not an earnest defence of philosophic truth.
      >
      > I don't think that being a loving person should involve never criticising anyone else. Surely Jesus was a loving person, but he criticised the Pharisees, calling them "hypocrites, "a brood of vipers" and "white-washed tombs".

      I agree with your first statement. As to the second, there is always that absolute difference made by what one personally believes about Jesus, whether or not he was the Man-God, what that might mean. Of course the apostle Paul used strong critical language also, as did John the Baptist. The relationship between strong religious feeling and the claims of intellectual honesty has formed one of the greatest tensions of my own existential journey. It does not readily resolve.

      >
      > Third, you write:
      >
      > "This reply seems eminently dull, and I am offering it only because I can find nothing better with which to meet your enquiry. Dullness has its virtues, actually, if you believe in the value of patience."
      >
      > I don't find your post dull, but I certainly agree that patience is a virtue, and perhaps even dullness has its virtues.

      I'm glad you don't find the post dull - a little encouragement for me!

      >
      > Fourth, you write (quoting from me first):
      >
      > << For Jesus and Paul, neighbour love is not just selfless care for ones kith and kin; it is selfless concern for the stranger and for the enemy. Here we are at the height of human goodness." (My post 48921) >>
      >
      > "This is what Climacus describes as the dishonesty of aesthetic distance. You can praise Jesus and Paul admiringly, whilst not requiring anything so strenuous for yourself. Maybe in your case dishonesty would not be the right description, because you, unlike the targets of Climacus' verbal fire, are not a practising
      > clergyman."
      >
      > Are you saying that I should not praise Jesus and Paul at all? Cannot an atheist acknowledge anything good about Christianity?

      I should like to address these questions in a separate post.

      >
      > As for not requiring anything so strenuous from myself, I do aim to become a loving person, and to show selfless concern for the stranger and the enemy.
      >
      > Or is your point that I should be like Bill, and practice love, but never use the L-word?

      I am not sure that what I have written resembles your characterisation here. My attribution to Bill, that he shows love in his existence, is based on my belief that it is intrinsic to the structure of human being, to be oriented to care. The fact that Bill has ordered his existence so thoroughly in accordance with an intellectual honesty that I feel able to recognise (having strong existential regard toward the work of Nietzsche in common, however divergent our inteprretation and life experience) means that his nature looks to me like one oriented toward life rather than toward, say, pleasure, or self-protection, or status. Orientation toward life is what I would call love. This is getting a little embarrassing, isn't it? Why don't we all turn into statues, and describe one another? It's probably my fault, I suppose, being so slow at picking up social clues. As far as I am concerned, Jim, you not only can, but should, express your thought as it comes naturally to you, on the understanding that at a list like this one, any statement may admit of challenge.

      >
      > Lastly, you write:
      >
      > "I think you are a man who shows genuine concern for your neighbour, but am not convinced that love is a defensible word. Bill's graphic characterisation shows that he has a feeling where I have a bafflement or scepticism."
      >
      > Perhaps you are right. Certainly, all of you – Bill, Mary and yourself – think I should not say it is a good thing to love my neighbour. I will not say love is a good thing again on this forum. I promise not to use the L-word again!
      >
      > Finally, I wonder if you can tell me what is "sinister" about my thesis?

      I hope to answer this question also in the separate post I am planning. L.

      >
      > Jim
      >
    • bhvwd
      Message 2 of 22 , Sep 6, 2009
        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "shadowed_statue" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Louise,
        > >
        > > Thank you for your well-argued and thought-provoking post.
        > >
        > > I am sorry I failed to fully understand your previous post.
        > >
        > > Let me respond to some of the points you make. First, this one:
        > >
        > > "Bill shows his love in his existence, without giving it a name, whereas you show your love in the way you choose to practise and speak about love. This is not what Kierkegaard meant by love."
        > >
        > > Are you agreeing with Bill and Mary that it was a mistake for me to write about love? Was it also a mistake for Kierkegaard to write a five-hundred page book on love?
        >
        > No, I would not say that it was a mistake for you to write about love. What I am suggesting is that, for you as a self-defined humanist and atheist, love is quite a different phenomenon from that presented by Kierkegaard, who starts from the premise that the birth of Jesus of Nazareth was a unique event in history, a miraculous occurrence defying human understanding, when the Eternal enters time for a finite period, in the form of a divine Incarnation. If you had neither invoked the names of Jesus and Paul, nor referred your remarks to the works of Kierkegaard, it might have been much easier to consider your exploration of the different kinds of love simply on its own merits. No, I do not believe it was a mistake for Kierkegaard to write such a long book about love. It is not a book I recall seeing, however, so I am making the comment without any claim to have read it.
        >
        > >
        > > If you think it was ok for Kierkegaard to write his big book, but a mistake for me to write a long post (the equivalent of four pages of A4), why was it just wrong in my case?
        >
        > I hope that the above reply answers this question.
        >
        > >
        > > Do you agree with Bill and Mary that the atheist should not write about love and truth?
        >
        > Not necessarily.
        > >
        > > Second, you write this:
        > >
        > > "I tend to agree with Bill, however, that your criticisms of CSW were 'butchery', and not in keeping with agape. Instead of resorting to the confidence of your own judgment (of another's subjectivity), you might at least state that you have made a critique of CSW's statements about Wittgenstein, which you believed to demonstrate dishonesty, and that CSW has
        > > chosen not to reply."
        > >
        > > I am happy to state your words: "I have made a critique of CSW's statements about Wittgenstein, which I believed to demonstrate dishonesty, and that CSW has chosen not to reply." Isn't that basically what I said to CSW? He falsely attributed a quotation to the esteemed Wittgenstein biographer Ray Monk, and when I pointed this out to him he refused to admit it, even though he had the book in front of him so he could check.
        >
        > No, I don't quite agree there. There is a difference between dishonesty and being in error. That you believed CSW's statements to demonstrate dishonesty does not mean that he was dishonest. He may simply have been in error. In these matters, wording makes a huge difference to feeling, which is not mere matter of sentiment, but arguably concerns intellectual honesty itself. I think it would be much more responsible to state, 'He mistakenly attributed a quotation ...'. The language of 'when I pointed this out to him he refused to admit it' makes it sound like a trial, not an earnest defence of philosophic truth.
        > >
        > > I don't think that being a loving person should involve never criticising anyone else. Surely Jesus was a loving person, but he criticised the Pharisees, calling them "hypocrites, "a brood of vipers" and "white-washed tombs".
        >
        > I agree with your first statement. As to the second, there is always that absolute difference made by what one personally believes about Jesus, whether or not he was the Man-God, what that might mean. Of course the apostle Paul used strong critical language also, as did John the Baptist. The relationship between strong religious feeling and the claims of intellectual honesty has formed one of the greatest tensions of my own existential journey. It does not readily resolve.
        >
        > >
        > > Third, you write:
        > >
        > > "This reply seems eminently dull, and I am offering it only because I can find nothing better with which to meet your enquiry. Dullness has its virtues, actually, if you believe in the value of patience."
        > >
        > > I don't find your post dull, but I certainly agree that patience is a virtue, and perhaps even dullness has its virtues.
        >
        > I'm glad you don't find the post dull - a little encouragement for me!
        >
        > >
        > > Fourth, you write (quoting from me first):
        > >
        > > << For Jesus and Paul, neighbour love is not just selfless care for ones kith and kin; it is selfless concern for the stranger and for the enemy. Here we are at the height of human goodness." (My post 48921) >>
        > >
        > > "This is what Climacus describes as the dishonesty of aesthetic distance. You can praise Jesus and Paul admiringly, whilst not requiring anything so strenuous for yourself. Maybe in your case dishonesty would not be the right description, because you, unlike the targets of Climacus' verbal fire, are not a practising
        > > clergyman."
        > >
        > > Are you saying that I should not praise Jesus and Paul at all? Cannot an atheist acknowledge anything good about Christianity?
        >
        > I should like to address these questions in a separate post.
        >
        > >
        > > As for not requiring anything so strenuous from myself, I do aim to become a loving person, and to show selfless concern for the stranger and the enemy.
        > >
        > > Or is your point that I should be like Bill, and practice love, but never use the L-word?
        >
        > I am not sure that what I have written resembles your characterisation here. My attribution to Bill, that he shows love in his existence, is based on my belief that it is intrinsic to the structure of human being, to be oriented to care. The fact that Bill has ordered his existence so thoroughly in accordance with an intellectual honesty that I feel able to recognise (having strong existential regard toward the work of Nietzsche in common, however divergent our inteprretation and life experience) means that his nature looks to me like one oriented toward life rather than toward, say, pleasure, or self-protection, or status. Orientation toward life is what I would call love. This is getting a little embarrassing, isn't it? Why don't we all turn into statues, and describe one another? It's probably my fault, I suppose, being so slow at picking up social clues. As far as I am concerned, Jim, you not only can, but should, express your thought as it comes naturally to you, on the understanding that at a list like this one, any statement may admit of challenge.
        >
        > >
        > > Lastly, you write:
        > >
        > > "I think you are a man who shows genuine concern for your neighbour, but am not convinced that love is a defensible word. Bill's graphic characterisation shows that he has a feeling where I have a bafflement or scepticism."
        > >
        > > Perhaps you are right. Certainly, all of you – Bill, Mary and yourself – think I should not say it is a good thing to love my neighbour. I will not say love is a good thing again on this forum. I promise not to use the L-word again!
        > >
        > > Finally, I wonder if you can tell me what is "sinister" about my thesis?
        >
        > I hope to answer this question also in the separate post I am planning. L.
        >
        > >
        > > Jim
        > >Promise or threat Jim, I am against it. We can adjust your plans but less than Kipling`s threat moves our bowles. The sinister part of your weak thrust is that it is a lie. Who came back from the dead? What the hell are angels? What happens to you when you die? Do you believe in God? You are the contradiction and need explain. Bill
        >
      • jimstuart51
        Louise, Thank you for your warm and sympathetic response. I accept that my language with regard to CSW may have been over confrontational and over judgemental,
        Message 3 of 22 , Sep 7, 2009
          Louise,

          Thank you for your warm and sympathetic response.

          I accept that my language with regard to CSW may have been over confrontational and over judgemental, and that your suggested rephrasing may have been more helpful in the circumstances.

          I am beginning to think that perhaps American existentialists and British existentialists have quite different outlooks, and for this reason, what may be acceptable to British existentialists may be unacceptable to American existentialists. I will attempt to develop this idea in a separate post.

          In the mean time I look forward to any further posts you may submit on these issues.

          Jim
        • shadowed_statue
          Jim, Don t worry. I am far from warm and sympathetic, more like surly and snarling. It is so difficult to explain anything, but when I am in a sufficiently
          Message 4 of 22 , Sep 7, 2009
            Jim,

            Don't worry. I am far from warm and sympathetic, more like surly and snarling. It is so difficult to explain anything, but when I am in a sufficiently fit condition, I will make efforts to take up the task again, because I think it important. Hatred is an awesome subject, with a very long history, and a poem seemed the right way to bring myself to address it. Philosophical discussions are the aim, I take it, and a release from the inauthentic vagaries of personal emotion. In reality, I take quite a similar attitude to Bill on these matters. Making a distinction between forms of existentialism on national grounds is too drastic a short-cut to be helpful. The differences are real, but not absolute, and need teasing out. Sorry for my brusqueness. My brain feels blurred.

            Louise
            ... not terribly flower-like

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
            >
            > Louise,
            >
            > Thank you for your warm and sympathetic response.
            >
            > I accept that my language with regard to CSW may have been over confrontational and over judgemental, and that your suggested rephrasing may have been more helpful in the circumstances.
            >
            > I am beginning to think that perhaps American existentialists and British existentialists have quite different outlooks, and for this reason, what may be acceptable to British existentialists may be unacceptable to American existentialists. I will attempt to develop this idea in a separate post.
            >
            > In the mean time I look forward to any further posts you may submit on these issues.
            >
            > Jim
            >
          • shadowed_statue
            ... Jim, Here is the original passage I had in mind, from Concluding Unscientific Postscript . I for one will find it welcome distraction, to see the work
            Message 5 of 22 , Sep 7, 2009
              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
              >
              > Louise,

              > you write (quoting from me first):
              >
              > << For Jesus and Paul, neighbour love is not just selfless care for ones kith and kin; it is selfless concern for the stranger and for the enemy. Here we are at the height of human goodness." (My post 48921) >>
              >
              > "This is what Climacus describes as the dishonesty of aesthetic distance. You can praise Jesus and Paul admiringly, whilst not requiring anything so strenuous for yourself. Maybe in your case dishonesty would not be the right description, because you, unlike the targets of Climacus' verbal fire, are not a practising
              > clergyman."
              >
              > Are you saying that I should not praise Jesus and Paul at all? Cannot an atheist acknowledge anything good about Christianity?

              Jim, Here is the original passage I had in mind, from "Concluding Unscientific Postscript". I for one will find it welcome distraction, to see the work of a philosophic genius set down in black and white. It does not go out of date. Louise

              ~ One need not be a psychologist to know that there is a certain disingenuousness of spirit, which seeks to protect itself against the ethical impression precisely by means of admiration. Instead of using the ethical and the religious example to turn the spectator's eye in upon himself, and thus repel him through placing the possibility between the example and the spectator as something they both have in common, the form of presentation which appeals to actuality attracts the attention of the many to itself, aesthetically. As a consequence it degenerates into a matter for discussion, and critical examination pro* and con*; the communication is twisted and turned on every side, to see whether, now really, etc. and people admire and blubber over the fact that now really, etc. The example of Job's faith should be so presented that it becomes a challenge, a question directed to me, as to whether I too desire to acquire a believing mind. By no means should it be permitted to signify that I have an invitation to become a spectator at a comedy, or to play the role of a member of a public investigating whether now actually, or applauding that now really. The concern which a sensitive congregation and its individual members sometimes feel for the appointed curate, desiring to know whether he really ... is a matter of very low comedy; the joy and admiration sometimes felt over having a pastor of whom it is certain that he really ... and so forth, is equally comical. It is everlastingly untrue that anyone was ever helped to do the good by the fact that someone else really did it; for if he ever comes to the point of really doing it himself, it will be by apprehending the reality of the other as a possibility. When Themistocles was rendered sleepless by thinking about the exploits of Miltiades, it was his apprehension of their reality as a possibility that made him sleepless. Had he plunged into inquiries as to whether Miltiades really had accomplished the great things attributed to him, had he contented himself with knowing that Miltiades had actually done them, he would scarcely have been rendered sleepless. In that case he would probably have become a sleepy, or at the most a noisy admirer, but scarcely a second Miltiades. Ethically speaking there is nothing so conducive to sound sleep as admiration of another person's ethical reality. And again ethically speaking, if there is anything that can stir and rouse a man, it is a possibility ideally requiring itself of a human being. ~

              [Tr. David Swenson/Walter Lowrie.
              C.U.P. Part Two, Chapter III, #4 The Subjective Thinker]

              This is not intended as a criticism of Jim. I still intend to answer the questions he put to me.
            • Shining Rainbow
              Jim, Mary, all, It is my feeling that Love, or agape, is a living being s physical sense of the finer-than-energetic bond integral to the manifestation of this
              Message 6 of 22 , Sep 7, 2009
                Jim, Mary, all,


                It is my feeling that Love, or agape, is a living being's physical
                sense of the finer-than-energetic bond integral to the manifestation
                of this holographic 'reality' (for want of a less loaded, more
                meaningful, word).

                In this sense it is a physiological phenomenon, in the 'category of
                nature', but no less relevant or meaningful to us as such.


                I think that an atheist is the only person qualified to speak on Love
                and Truth. An existential atheist, at least on the most part, could
                be relied upon to stick to some semblance of 'facts' without
                reverting to dogmatic babble. Maybe I just say that because I havn't
                read a lot of existential texts and therefore am incapable of
                imagining this particular kind of dogmatic babble.

                I don't see existentialism as necessarily being nihilistic.
                Intellectually, the excruciating loneliness, or at least alienation,
                induced by the law of ultimate freedom and ultimate responsibility is
                inescapable but, as I have said, experientially 'everything is
                nothing' means nothing is Everything. And 'god' is love.


                I think it is a sad inditement that someone is made to feel sorry for
                using the L-word in a philosophical forum.


                -Rainbow


                Louise,

                You say "Those whom I know in life as practitioners of a gentle and
                sincere agape, are often protected from certain appalling realities
                of the world."

                I do not believe that I have led a life sheltered from appalling
                realities. I've had my share.
                The atrocities of humanity make me more compassionate, not less.

                -Rainbow

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • shadowed_statue
                ... In fulfilment of my promise to answer these final two questions... I have no wish to make prescriptive statements, and tell you what you should or should
                Message 7 of 22 , Sep 8, 2009
                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "shadowed_statue" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Louise,
                  > >
                  > > Fourth, you write (quoting from me first):
                  > >
                  > > << For Jesus and Paul, neighbour love is not just selfless care for ones kith and kin; it is selfless concern for the stranger and for the enemy. Here we are at the height of human goodness." (My post 48921) >>
                  > >
                  > > "This is what Climacus describes as the dishonesty of aesthetic distance. You can praise Jesus and Paul admiringly, whilst not requiring anything so strenuous for yourself. Maybe in your case dishonesty would not be the right description, because you, unlike the targets of Climacus' verbal fire, are not a practising
                  > > clergyman."
                  > >
                  > > Are you saying that I should not praise Jesus and Paul at all? Cannot an atheist acknowledge anything good about Christianity?
                  >

                  In fulfilment of my promise to answer these final two questions...

                  I have no wish to make prescriptive statements, and tell you what you should or should not say. Rather, I am questioning the implications of what you, as a humanist and atheist, are really doing when you praise Jesus and Paul. Are you not falsifying or sanitising their message, by presenting them as role models who could be emulated, and omitting the essential claim to difference which each respectively has, one as the divine man, the other as a particular kind of human exception, the apostle, the one-who-is-sent?

                  > >
                  > > Finally, I wonder if you can tell me what is "sinister" about my thesis?
                  >

                  It seems to me sinister that, if my question above were to be answered in the affirmative, you are diminishing the significance of the Bible and of the Churches. A humanistic, mild and reasonable interpretation of the person of Christ, based on individual response, would seem to me effectively brutally to shear off nearly two millennia of pain and learning. Our individual lives are relatively short. The life of the Body of Christ, the true Church, for those who believe, is more ancient, and bears with it an even greater ancientness, for the fact of who Christ claimed to be. I do not see how this basic fact, the life, the claim, and the recorded events after the Resurrection, can just be airbrushed away. It is as though I am trying to steer the discussion back to existentialism, in this context, as presented by Kierkegaard, or other Christian existentialists, and away from a discussion about social praxis, about how it is decent to behave, and all that. Christianity has often had a very uneasy relationship to the rigours of the State and to popular morality. I understand it to be a peaceful, powerful, rationally paradoxical challenge to humanism, to the confidence of godless assertion. You are trying to reconcile the two. I do find that sinister. Louise

                  >
                  > >
                  > > Jim
                  > >
                  >
                • tsmith17_midsouth1@comcast.net
                  Louise, You write I have no wish to make prescriptive statements, and tell you what you should or should not say. Rather, I am questioning the implications of
                  Message 8 of 22 , Sep 8, 2009
                    Louise,

                    You write

                    I have no wish to make prescriptive statements, and tell you what you should or should not say. Rather, I am questioning the implications of what you, as a humanist and atheist, are really doing when you praise Jesus and Paul. Are you not falsifying or sanitising their message, by presenting them as role models who could be emulated, and omitting the essential claim to difference which each respectively has, one as the divine man, the other as a particular kind of human exception, the apostle, the one-who-is-sent?

                    > >
                    > > Finally, I wonder if you can tell me what is "sinister" about my thesis?
                    >

                    It seems to me sinister that, if my question above were to be answered in the affirmative, you are diminishing the significance of the Bible and of the Churches. A humanistic, mild and reasonable interpretation of the person of Christ, based on individual response, would seem to me effectively brutally to shear off nearly two millennia of pain and learning. Our individual lives are relatively short. The life of the Body of Christ, the true Church, for those who believe, is more ancient, and bears with it an even greater ancientness, for the fact of who Christ claimed to be. I do not see how this basic fact, the life, the claim, and the recorded events after the Resurrection, can just be airbrushed away. It is as though I am trying to steer the discussion back to existentialism, in this context, as presented by Kierkegaard, or other Christian existentialists, and away from a discussion about social praxis, about how it is decent to behave, and all that. Christianity has often had a very uneasy relationship to the rigours of the State and to popular morality. I understand it to be a peaceful, powerful, rationally paradoxical challenge to humanism, to the confidence of godless assertion. You are trying to reconcile the two. I do find that sinister. Louise


                    There is a 3rd possibility in addition to fundamentalism, and atheism. It is mysticism, or you might call it paganism. The fundamentalist sees Jesus and themselves as distinct. Jesus is God and they are a sinner. The fundamentalist sees the second coming of Christ as Jesus descending from the sky. The mystic would see the second coming of Christ as the transformation of the collective human psyche to a state of brotherly love and human unity.The mystic might see such a transformation as a shifting of the human psyche from the power chakra to the love chakra. Berween the time of Jesus and the time of the Roman Empire adopting Christianity as its national religion, I believe it's fundamental essence had been transformed from a mystical to a fundamentalist one. Christ spoke to the people on the mountains, and in open fields. Jesus talked of how the birds were manifestations of the glory of God. Jesus took up for the woman taken in sin, and one of his closest disciples, and some say his lover was an ex prostitute, Mary Magdalene. Jesus repeatedly criticized the Pharisees for being hung up on the letter of the law instead of human unity and compassion. Jesus certainly showed humanistic rather than nationalistic values in his story of the Good Samaritan. As soon as Christianity had moved from being an underground religion whose members were often thrown to the lions to the Church of the Empire, they began killing Gnostics. I think history tells us that once any ideology moves from the underground to being the state dogma, whither the ideology is Christian or Communistic, it assumes a totally different character. I suspect Nietzsche seeing a will to power in everything is a very good reflection of the fact that the will to power of the powerful has impacted our most basic ideas on who we are. Certainly organized religion has always been largely conditioned by the will to power of the political and economic powers with which it is allied.

                    I read a number of years ago an author saying that if the account of Christ was proved false it would destroy the value of Christianity to most Christians; whereas if the account Buddha were proved false it would not have the same impact on most Buddhists, because Buddha is seen as a symbol of the human being's possibility of freeing themselves from suffering.I recall telling that to a Christian friend who replied "that if the account of the Historical Jesus were proved false it would not destroy his Christianity. I suspect that is true in all religious traditions to a certain extent. You have the fundamentalists who see the myths of their religion as historical fact, and the more esoteric who see myths as symbols of the aspects and potentialities in the human being.

                    I certainly believe the Gnostics were much more in line with the original teachings of Christ than the Catholic Church which was an expressiion of the will to power of the Popes or the Church of England which was an expression of the will to power of Henry the 8th, who saw the Church of England as a method of breaking free of the Holy Roman Empire. Jesus taught the kingdom of heaven is within you. The Gnostics likewise believed this as do the Quakers, Buddhists etc. Certainly such messages are at odds with organized religion, which must insist that salvation is to be found through them. I understand the Gnostics didn't have a priesthood, but rather people took turns in the role of clergy. The Gnostics believed I believe like Christ and the earliest Christians that the Christ existed as a potential in all of us, and that Jesus was a teacher as well as an example of the spiritual possibilities that lie in the human being. Somewhere, I've heard Jesus said that the things that I do, you can do greater.

                    The Gnostics


                    The Gnostics believed humanity was Divinity imprisoned in stone .


                    The Gnostics believed this Divinity would begin to free itself, if the way out was shown.


                    The Gnostics wanted to transcend time and space, and were more than willing to leave behind flesh and bone.



                    Groovy man

                    by the Cool Cat

                    www.thecoolcat.net


                    About Home Friends Store




                    How to turn a Goddess or God into a Saint


                    To turn a goddess or a god into a saint,
                    first you castrate them so the decent folk don't faint.
                    Next you paint over their realness with Catholic white paint. Then the establishment that killed them will gladly pray to them with no complaint.

                    Now Jesus turned water to wine,
                    and he danced, laughed and made love.
                    And showed the thieves and whores how to be divine.
                    Of course the Catholic Church insists it was only their future salvation he had in mind.

                    Now according to Shakespeare,
                    Joan of Arc was a wild lady,
                    who loved orgies in the park.
                    But the Catholic Church originally said her visions were fake,
                    and burned her sweet ass at the stake.
                    Five hundred years later, the Catholic Church admitted they made a mistake,
                    and canonized her a saint.
                    But when they tried her for sorcery and heresy,
                    she said she was in contact with God.
                    The priest laughed as he put the torch to the stake,
                    saying, "no you ain't".

                    So if they can't get rid of a rebel by killing.
                    They pretend that it was really a Catholic way of life, these saints were fulfilling.
                    So as you can see, the Catholic Church is real cunning and has lots of tricks,
                    and they've created saints by removing cunts and dicks.
                    And if in the near future we have another inquisition,
                    and the establishment kills its enemies to save the world from lust and superstition,
                    they'd probably kill all the rock stars with a dagger,
                    and five hundred years later, they'd canonize Saint Jagger.


                    Groovy man


                    by the Cool Cat







                    VICTIMLESS CRIME




                    Jesus Christ was crucified for a victimless crime

                    by the same cats that have been in the cross building business since the beginning of time.





                    Pontius Pilat couldn't see anything Jesus had done wrong.


                    But he washed his hands of the matter, after he did was politically expedient to get along.


                    GROOVY MAN







                    The fundamentalist believes that when Jesus said he was God, it meant he and he alone was God.


                    The mystic believes that he meant that he and everyone else was essentially divine.

                    The atheist thinks its all infantile fantasies to placate primitive undeveloped minds.




                    Tom






                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "shadowed_statue" <hecubatoher@...>
                    To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 8:17:18 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
                    Subject: [existlist] Re: Jim's sinister thesis






                    --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com , "shadowed_statue" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com , "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Louise,
                    > >
                    > > Fourth, you write (quoting from me first):
                    > >
                    > > << For Jesus and Paul, neighbour love is not just selfless care for ones kith and kin; it is selfless concern for the stranger and for the enemy. Here we are at the height of human goodness." (My post 48921) >>
                    > >
                    > > "This is what Climacus describes as the dishonesty of aesthetic distance. You can praise Jesus and Paul admiringly, whilst not requiring anything so strenuous for yourself. Maybe in your case dishonesty would not be the right description, because you, unlike the targets of Climacus' verbal fire, are not a practising
                    > > clergyman."
                    > >
                    > > Are you saying that I should not praise Jesus and Paul at all? Cannot an atheist acknowledge anything good about Christianity?
                    >

                    In fulfilment of my promise to answer these final two questions...

                    I have no wish to make prescriptive statements, and tell you what you should or should not say. Rather, I am questioning the implications of what you, as a humanist and atheist, are really doing when you praise Jesus and Paul. Are you not falsifying or sanitising their message, by presenting them as role models who could be emulated, and omitting the essential claim to difference which each respectively has, one as the divine man, the other as a particular kind of human exception, the apostle, the one-who-is-sent?

                    > >
                    > > Finally, I wonder if you can tell me what is "sinister" about my thesis?
                    >

                    It seems to me sinister that, if my question above were to be answered in the affirmative, you are diminishing the significance of the Bible and of the Churches. A humanistic, mild and reasonable interpretation of the person of Christ, based on individual response, would seem to me effectively brutally to shear off nearly two millennia of pain and learning. Our individual lives are relatively short. The life of the Body of Christ, the true Church, for those who believe, is more ancient, and bears with it an even greater ancientness, for the fact of who Christ claimed to be. I do not see how this basic fact, the life, the claim, and the recorded events after the Resurrection, can just be airbrushed away. It is as though I am trying to steer the discussion back to existentialism, in this context, as presented by Kierkegaard, or other Christian existentialists, and away from a discussion about social praxis, about how it is decent to behave, and all that. Christianity has often had a very uneasy relationship to the rigours of the State and to popular morality. I understand it to be a peaceful, powerful, rationally paradoxical challenge to humanism, to the confidence of godless assertion. You are trying to reconcile the two. I do find that sinister. Louise

                    >
                    > >
                    > > Jim
                    > >
                    >




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • shadowed_statue
                    ... Tom, Just looking at the main body of your argument here, I would need first to acknowledge that I took a very broad-brush approach, in order to convey my
                    Message 9 of 22 , Sep 8, 2009
                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, tsmith17_midsouth1@... wrote:
                      >
                      > There is a 3rd possibility in addition to fundamentalism, and atheism. It is mysticism, or you might call it paganism. The fundamentalist sees Jesus and themselves as distinct. Jesus is God and they are a sinner. The fundamentalist sees the second coming of Christ as Jesus descending from the sky. The mystic would see the second coming of Christ as the transformation of the collective human psyche to a state of brotherly love and human unity.The mystic might see such a transformation as a shifting of the human psyche from the power chakra to the love chakra. Berween the time of Jesus and the time of the Roman Empire adopting Christianity as its national religion, I believe it's fundamental essence had been transformed from a mystical to a fundamentalist one. Christ spoke to the people on the mountains, and in open fields. Jesus talked of how the birds were manifestations of the glory of God. Jesus took up for the woman taken in sin, and one of his closest disciples, and some say his lover was an ex prostitute, Mary Magdalene. Jesus repeatedly criticized the Pharisees for being hung up on the letter of the law instead of human unity and compassion. Jesus certainly showed humanistic rather than nationalistic values in his story of the Good Samaritan. As soon as Christianity had moved from being an underground religion whose members were often thrown to the lions to the Church of the Empire, they began killing Gnostics. I think history tells us that once any ideology moves from the underground to being the state dogma, whither the ideology is Christian or Communistic, it assumes a totally different character. I suspect Nietzsche seeing a will to power in everything is a very good reflection of the fact that the will to power of the powerful has impacted our most basic ideas on who we are. Certainly organized religion has always been largely conditioned by the will to power of the political and economic powers with which it is allied.
                      >
                      > I read a number of years ago an author saying that if the account of Christ was proved false it would destroy the value of Christianity to most Christians; whereas if the account Buddha were proved false it would not have the same impact on most Buddhists, because Buddha is seen as a symbol of the human being's possibility of freeing themselves from suffering.I recall telling that to a Christian friend who replied "that if the account of the Historical Jesus were proved false it would not destroy his Christianity. I suspect that is true in all religious traditions to a certain extent. You have the fundamentalists who see the myths of their religion as historical fact, and the more esoteric who see myths as symbols of the aspects and potentialities in the human being.
                      >
                      > I certainly believe the Gnostics were much more in line with the original teachings of Christ than the Catholic Church which was an expressiion of the will to power of the Popes or the Church of England which was an expression of the will to power of Henry the 8th, who saw the Church of England as a method of breaking free of the Holy Roman Empire. Jesus taught the kingdom of heaven is within you. The Gnostics likewise believed this as do the Quakers, Buddhists etc. Certainly such messages are at odds with organized religion, which must insist that salvation is to be found through them. I understand the Gnostics didn't have a priesthood, but rather people took turns in the role of clergy. The Gnostics believed I believe like Christ and the earliest Christians that the Christ existed as a potential in all of us, and that Jesus was a teacher as well as an example of the spiritual possibilities that lie in the human being. Somewhere, I've heard Jesus said that the things that I do, you can do greater.

                      Tom,

                      Just looking at the main body of your argument here, I would need first to acknowledge that I took a very broad-brush approach, in order to convey my sense of the illegitimacy of Jim's use of Kierkegaard's "Works of Love" as a way to explain his own advocacy of love and human goodness. My sweeping generalisations about the Church were a contentious opening engagement in what I feel to be a battle against the most astonishing degrees of apathy and cynicism in my own society. Of course, insofar as Christ is a figure who moves people in many different ways, He is not trapped inside the churches, nor are individuals who feel safely enmeshed by the institutions immune in some cases from inmmense evil or just ordinary complacency. The fact is, though, that in my own experience, I have found an Anglican congregation to be a haven and an example which makes me feel somewhat like a disgraced Magdalena shown compassion by those who publicly profess their worship of Christ in a Bible-based and community-oriented manner which carries honest transparency along with it. I have not even had to expose my deepest feelings in order to find this consolation. It is a case of having somewhere to go where there are no impertinent questions, nor any sense of hurry, to prevent reflection and awareness, of self and others. As for mystical interpretations, I am most apt toward them myself, but value the chance to test my experience and thinking in a setting that brings me a sense of communal home. I think it is all about realism, in the end. Faith is often more realistic than reason, I would say.

                      Louise
                    • shadowed_statue
                      ... Tom, This statement of yours intrigues me. It may be a matter of association. We all use words differently. The story of the Good Samaritan seems to me
                      Message 10 of 22 , Sep 8, 2009
                        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, tsmith17_midsouth1@... wrote:

                        > Jesus certainly showed humanistic rather than nationalistic values
                        > in his story of the Good Samaritan.

                        Tom,

                        This statement of yours intrigues me. It may be a matter of association. We all use words differently. The story of the Good Samaritan seems to me all about compassion. Humanistic values seem to me about, among other things, asserting a particular kind of dominance by humans over non-human life, though this can also be a characteristic of religions, perhaps in particular the Abrahamic faiths. Nationalistic values to me have a good connotation, since I dwell with my dreams, including the dreams of the finest achievements of nationalists and of Empire. I associate a sense of nation with that sense of honour which refuses to demean any human being, of whatever nation, and allows the maximum of liberty to all. This is connected with my commitment to race, which is not only an aesthetic or mythical category, but has scientific basis. I can only trust the science of race in conjunction with liberal values. Hence my isolation, I suppose.

                        By the way, have you ever come across the words of Gandhi, who did once have faith in the British Empire, and lost it following the events at Amritsar, words spoken in 1915 at the Madras Bar Association's annual dinner?

                        ~ As a passive resister I discovered that I could not have that free scope which I had under the British Empire. I know that a passive resister has to make good his claim to passive resistance, no matter under what circumstance he finds himself, and I discovered that the British Empire had certain ideals with which I had fallen in love ("Hear, Hear.") and one of those ideals is that every subject of the British Empire has the freest scope possible for his energies and efforts and whatever he thinks due to his conscience. I think that is true of the British Empire as it is not true of any other governments we see ("Hear, Hear."). I feel, as you have perhaps known, that I am no lover of any government and I may have more than once said that government is best which governs least, and I have found it is possible for me to be governed least under the British Empire. Hence my loyalty to the British Empire. (Loud applause) ~

                        I cannot really explain the way I feel, and loyalty is a feeling. I only know that I still believe in the British Empire, and that this belief is part of my identity. It is not nostalgia - I suppose I am not even old enough for that. Somehow it is in my bones, and I do not know how. History itself is in my bones. It is a racial history. My beliefs certainly do tend to the Christian, and to the separateness of my soul and my body. It is not my soul that is imperialist :-). Incredibly weird, trying to write about this stuff. Happy weird, though. This is just how existentialism gets me.

                        Louise
                      • jimstuart51
                        Louise, I am currently weak from illness, but I ll try to respond adequately to your thoughts. With regard to my praise of Jesus and Paul, I only typed in two
                        Message 11 of 22 , Sep 8, 2009
                          Louise,

                          I am currently weak from illness, but I'll try to respond adequately to your thoughts.

                          With regard to my praise of Jesus and Paul, I only typed in two short sentences:

                          << For Jesus and Paul, neighbour love is not just selfless care for ones kith and kin; it is selfless concern for the stranger and for the enemy. Here we are at the height of human goodness." (My post 48921) >>

                          It was not as if I were waxing eloquently for half an hour as a clergyman might.

                          Further I was only commenting on one aspect of their characters and teachings – I was not implying anything further about their lives and their roles.

                          I cannot deny, however, that our differing perspectives may result in tensions and disagreements if I say over much about religious figures. So I will take your warning to tread carefully in this area. I don't wish to offend anybody's religious sensibilities nor do I wish to distort the historical Jesus and Paul into humanist figures, when they both clearly saw their roles in religious terms.

                          As you point out, I view the ethical as the highest sphere, and I have no wish to try to rewrite history from my own perspective. I acknowledge that many others – Kierkegaard and yourself in particular – view the religious as a sphere higher than the ethical.

                          Jim


                          ...


                          > In fulfilment of my promise to answer these final two questions...
                          >
                          > I have no wish to make prescriptive statements, and tell you what you should or should not say. Rather, I am questioning the implications of what you, as a humanist and atheist, are really doing when you praise Jesus and Paul. Are you not falsifying or sanitising their message, by presenting them as role models who could be emulated, and omitting the essential claim to difference which each respectively has, one as the divine man, the other as a particular kind of human exception, the apostle, the one-who-is-sent?
                          >
                          > > >
                          > > > Finally, I wonder if you can tell me what is "sinister" about my thesis?
                          > >
                          >
                          > It seems to me sinister that, if my question above were to be answered in the affirmative, you are diminishing the significance of the Bible and of the Churches. A humanistic, mild and reasonable interpretation of the person of Christ, based on individual response, would seem to me effectively brutally to shear off nearly two millennia of pain and learning. Our individual lives are relatively short. The life of the Body of Christ, the true Church, for those who believe, is more ancient, and bears with it an even greater ancientness, for the fact of who Christ claimed to be. I do not see how this basic fact, the life, the claim, and the recorded events after the Resurrection, can just be airbrushed away. It is as though I am trying to steer the discussion back to existentialism, in this context, as presented by Kierkegaard, or other Christian existentialists, and away from a discussion about social praxis, about how it is decent to behave, and all that. Christianity has often had a very uneasy relationship to the rigours of the State and to popular morality. I understand it to be a peaceful, powerful, rationally paradoxical challenge to humanism, to the confidence of godless assertion. You are trying to reconcile the two. I do find that sinister. Louise
                        • jimstuart51
                          Rainbow, Thank you for your generous and perceptive words. This list can be quite intimidating at times, but your supportive thoughts have given me an
                          Message 12 of 22 , Sep 8, 2009
                            Rainbow,

                            Thank you for your generous and perceptive words.

                            This list can be quite intimidating at times, but your supportive thoughts have given me an injection of confidence when I was feeling weak and feeble.

                            Newcomers are not always welcomed at this list, but I am pleased to welcome you here and to read your distinctive and personal posts.

                            Jim




                            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Shining Rainbow <rainbow.frog@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Jim, Mary, all,
                            >
                            >
                            > It is my feeling that Love, or agape, is a living being's physical
                            > sense of the finer-than-energetic bond integral to the manifestation of this holographic 'reality' (for want of a less loaded, more meaningful, word).
                            >
                            > In this sense it is a physiological phenomenon, in the 'category of nature', but no less relevant or meaningful to us as such.
                            >
                            >
                            > I think that an atheist is the only person qualified to speak on Love and Truth. An existential atheist, at least on the most part, could be relied upon to stick to some semblance of 'facts' without
                            > reverting to dogmatic babble. Maybe I just say that because I havn't read a lot of existential texts and therefore am incapable of
                            > imagining this particular kind of dogmatic babble.
                            >
                            > I don't see existentialism as necessarily being nihilistic.
                            > Intellectually, the excruciating loneliness, or at least alienation, induced by the law of ultimate freedom and ultimate responsibility is inescapable but, as I have said, experientially 'everything is nothing' means nothing is Everything. And 'god' is love.
                            >
                            >
                            > I think it is a sad inditement that someone is made to feel sorry for using the L-word in a philosophical forum.
                            >
                            >
                            > -Rainbow
                            >
                            >
                          • shadowed_statue
                            Jim, Thank you for this reply, and for bearing with my strange alternations of mood with such graciousness. I too have been feeling ill, and am fortunate to
                            Message 13 of 22 , Sep 8, 2009
                              Jim,

                              Thank you for this reply, and for bearing with my strange alternations of mood with such graciousness. I too have been feeling ill, and am fortunate to be able to rest. Actually, I hadn't realised with the clarity with which you state the matter, that your position is simply that the ethical is the highest sphere. That makes it all much easier to understand, though how you interpret Kierkegaard in light of your belief is clearly a matter of stark disagreement between us. Please be assured, though, that you are not offending my religious sensibilities. The fact that I have been so brusque and even unfeeling shows me that it is an entirely unreligious element of my being that has suffered disturbance. I am sorry that I proved so entirely unable to discern the falsity behind my response. Yet another consequence of looking for ways to disguise feeling. Hatred is a kind of disease that flourishes strongly in some quarters, and I possess the kind of radar that picks it up.

                              Louise

                              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Louise,
                              >
                              > I am currently weak from illness, but I'll try to respond adequately to your thoughts.
                              >
                              > With regard to my praise of Jesus and Paul, I only typed in two short sentences:
                              >
                              > << For Jesus and Paul, neighbour love is not just selfless care for ones kith and kin; it is selfless concern for the stranger and for the enemy. Here we are at the height of human goodness." (My post 48921) >>
                              >
                              > It was not as if I were waxing eloquently for half an hour as a clergyman might.
                              >
                              > Further I was only commenting on one aspect of their characters and teachings – I was not implying anything further about their lives and their roles.
                              >
                              > I cannot deny, however, that our differing perspectives may result in tensions and disagreements if I say over much about religious figures. So I will take your warning to tread carefully in this area. I don't wish to offend anybody's religious sensibilities nor do I wish to distort the historical Jesus and Paul into humanist figures, when they both clearly saw their roles in religious terms.
                              >
                              > As you point out, I view the ethical as the highest sphere, and I have no wish to try to rewrite history from my own perspective. I acknowledge that many others – Kierkegaard and yourself in particular – view the religious as a sphere higher than the ethical.
                              >
                              > Jim
                              >
                              >
                              > ...
                              >
                              >
                              > > In fulfilment of my promise to answer these final two questions...
                              > >
                              > > I have no wish to make prescriptive statements, and tell you what you should or should not say. Rather, I am questioning the implications of what you, as a humanist and atheist, are really doing when you praise Jesus and Paul. Are you not falsifying or sanitising their message, by presenting them as role models who could be emulated, and omitting the essential claim to difference which each respectively has, one as the divine man, the other as a particular kind of human exception, the apostle, the one-who-is-sent?
                              > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Finally, I wonder if you can tell me what is "sinister" about my thesis?
                              > > >
                              > >
                              > > It seems to me sinister that, if my question above were to be answered in the affirmative, you are diminishing the significance of the Bible and of the Churches. A humanistic, mild and reasonable interpretation of the person of Christ, based on individual response, would seem to me effectively brutally to shear off nearly two millennia of pain and learning. Our individual lives are relatively short. The life of the Body of Christ, the true Church, for those who believe, is more ancient, and bears with it an even greater ancientness, for the fact of who Christ claimed to be. I do not see how this basic fact, the life, the claim, and the recorded events after the Resurrection, can just be airbrushed away. It is as though I am trying to steer the discussion back to existentialism, in this context, as presented by Kierkegaard, or other Christian existentialists, and away from a discussion about social praxis, about how it is decent to behave, and all that. Christianity has often had a very uneasy relationship to the rigours of the State and to popular morality. I understand it to be a peaceful, powerful, rationally paradoxical challenge to humanism, to the confidence of godless assertion. You are trying to reconcile the two. I do find that sinister. Louise
                              >
                            • Shining Rainbow
                              Oh thanks Jim! I was just sitting here, reading all you guys, and wondering why everyone was ignoring me. I think my posts are pretty inappropriate. Tom puts
                              Message 14 of 22 , Sep 8, 2009
                                Oh thanks Jim!

                                I was just sitting here, reading all you guys, and wondering why
                                everyone was ignoring me.

                                I think my posts are pretty inappropriate. Tom puts what I was saying
                                into a much more philosophically digestible form.

                                When I introduced myself as 'a self taught existentialist'... I think
                                now what I meant was that I'm a mystic. I don't really like having
                                this category put around me though and perhaps I will defy it and
                                attempt to keep chatting to you 'existentialists'.

                                I didn't realise that new-comers would not be welcomed at this list.
                                (I just barged into the room!) How long have you guys been chatting?


                                -Rainbow
                              • shadowed_statue
                                ... Rainbow, I can t say I mind anyone barging into the room if they have something interesting to say, and it s part of my experience and belief that everyone
                                Message 15 of 22 , Sep 8, 2009
                                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Shining Rainbow <rainbow.frog@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Oh thanks Jim!
                                  >
                                  > I was just sitting here, reading all you guys, and wondering why
                                  > everyone was ignoring me.
                                  >
                                  > I think my posts are pretty inappropriate. Tom puts what I was saying
                                  > into a much more philosophically digestible form.
                                  >
                                  > When I introduced myself as 'a self taught existentialist'... I think
                                  > now what I meant was that I'm a mystic. I don't really like having
                                  > this category put around me though and perhaps I will defy it and
                                  > attempt to keep chatting to you 'existentialists'.
                                  >
                                  > I didn't realise that new-comers would not be welcomed at this list.
                                  > (I just barged into the room!) How long have you guys been chatting?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > -Rainbow
                                  >

                                  Rainbow,

                                  I can't say I mind anyone barging into the room if they have something interesting to say, and it's part of my experience and belief that everyone does have something interesting to say if they get the chance. Newcomers are welcome, so far as I am concerned, but it is true to say that this is an existentialist list where serious testing of thought occurs, even though there's a goodly amount of chaos as well, to my perception. Sometimes we do just chat pleasantly, but it seems a while ago since things were all that tranquil. It's been years. Years and years.

                                  Louise
                                • shadowed_statue
                                  ... I did try to make it decently clear when I quoted from the Postscript (48976) that it was not intended as a criticism of yourself. ... If you do not wish
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Sep 9, 2009
                                    --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Louise,
                                    >
                                    > I am currently weak from illness, but I'll try to respond adequately to your thoughts.
                                    >
                                    > With regard to my praise of Jesus and Paul, I only typed in two short sentences:
                                    >
                                    > << For Jesus and Paul, neighbour love is not just selfless care for ones kith and kin; it is selfless concern for the stranger and for the enemy. Here we are at the height of human goodness." (My post 48921) >>
                                    >
                                    > It was not as if I were waxing eloquently for half an hour as a clergyman might.

                                    I did try to make it decently clear when I quoted from the "Postscript" (48976) that it was not intended as a criticism of yourself.
                                    >
                                    > Further I was only commenting on one aspect of their characters and teachings – I was not implying anything further about their lives and their roles.
                                    >
                                    > I cannot deny, however, that our differing perspectives may result in tensions and disagreements if I say over much about religious figures. So I will take your warning to tread carefully in this area. I don't wish to offend anybody's religious sensibilities nor do I wish to distort the historical Jesus and Paul into humanist figures, when they both clearly saw their roles in religious terms.
                                    >
                                    If you do not wish to distort the historical Jesus and Paul into humanist figures, I am unsure what sort of "treading carefully" you have in mind.

                                    > As you point out, I view the ethical as the highest sphere, and I have no wish to try to rewrite history from my own perspective. I acknowledge that many others – Kierkegaard and yourself in particular – view the religious as a sphere higher than the ethical.

                                    If I ever feel that at last my writing has attained to consistent philosophical clarity, I would still be aghast about any attempt to bracket my name or my pronoun in the same sentence as Kierkegaard. Probably this has something to do with my views about feminism. There is a track I would like to see it possible for women to follow, for the attainment of dialectical thought. Why we should achieve this any faster than men may attain to expertise in child-rearing, I cannot imagine. Louise
                                    >
                                    > Jim
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