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Re: Buddhism and Nihilism (was "The phenomenology of evil")

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  • William
    Message 1 of 38 , Jun 1, 2011
      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Herman <hhofmeister@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Jim,
      >
      > On 31 May 2011 22:19, Jim <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
      >
      > > Do you agree that the positing of the thing-in-itself is a metaphysical
      > > proposition, and that therefore faith is required to maintain it? That is
      > > why I mean the idea is religious, because it is a belief only, sustained by
      > > faith."
      > >
      > >
      > > Response: I think we have to be careful about our use of the words
      > > "metaphysical" and "faith" as well as the word "religious".
      > >
      > > Certainly if I claim that cats exist and my cat "Tiger" is a
      > > thing-in-itself, I am making metaphysical claims. But these claims are
      > > metaphysical only in the sense that I am outlining my own ontology – there
      > > is nothing supernatural or other-worldly about these claims. In fact your
      > > claim that there are no things-in-themselves is also a metaphysical claim in
      > > this ontological sense.
      > >
      > >
      > It's good (in a non-moral manner of speaking) to get down to brass tacks. I
      > understand why you acknowledge that the claim that your cat is a
      > thing-in-itself is metaphysical, but I don't understand why you say that
      > metaphysical claim is not supernatural or other-worldly; surely the world
      > one is entitled to say anything about is the immanent one.
      >
      >
      > Another example: I believe that there is an external world independent of
      > > me, a world that existed long before I was born, and will continue to exist
      > > after I die. Now I have no "proof" of this, so you could say my beliefs were
      > > cases of faith – but again this is "faith" of a non-supernatural kind.
      > >
      >
      > I don't get your distinction between natural metaphysics and supernatural
      > metaphysics, sorry.
      >
      >
      >
      > > It is very different, I claim, from the faith of the Christian who believes
      > > he will be with Jesus Christ in heaven after he dies. I prefer to keep the
      > > word "religious" for the supernatural world-view of the Christian, the Jew
      > > or the Muslim. If you want to use the word "religious" for any kind of
      > > belief that goes beyond knottian scepticism, that is up to you, but I think
      > > you are using the word in a non-standard way.
      > >
      > > See above. What is it about a belief in life after death that makes it
      > supernatural, while your belief that a world exists independently of your
      > experience of it is a natural belief? Surely you would agree that
      > unexperienced experience is not in the realm of the possible?
      >
      >
      > > H: "You do not have Nietzsche on side here. "It is *we* alone who have
      > > fabricated causes, succession, reciprocity, relativity, compulsion, number,
      > > law, freedom, motive, purpose"."
      > >
      > > Response: Did we fabricate the law of gravity? Did we fabricate the
      > > widespread belief that smoking causes lung cancer?
      > >
      > > The law of gravity is an explanation for certain phenomena; so is the term
      > carcinogenic. Of course we fabricated those explanations. Explanations are
      > just not "out there" in the realm of the sensible, waiting to be discerned.
      >
      >
      >
      > > Perhaps Nietzsche would say "Yes". (But would he be prepared to jump out of
      > > a high window to show gravity was just a human fabrication?) Perhaps
      > > Nietzsche would claim that scientific realism was only one perspective, no
      > > more nor less true than the Buddhist perspective. However he does sometimes
      > > appeal to physiology as a way to dismiss mental causality.
      > >
      > > My original point was that science assumes "things-in-themselves" – the
      > > "natural kinds" of this world – the species of animals and plants, the
      > > elements of the periodic table, the types of cell structure that constitute
      > > DNA codes. I agree this is not Nietzsche's point, but I think it is a valid
      > > objection to your claim that things-in-themselves are only posited by
      > > religious outlooks. Of course you could claim that scientific realism counts
      > > as just another religion with its own sort of faith and metaphysical
      > > superstitions, and that would enable you to technically win the argument
      > > with me.
      > >
      > >
      > I think the point for Nietszche, and for me, is the fact that we narrowly
      > select from all phenomena, we single only some out for explanation, and then
      > explain them in very narrow ways. Of all the possibilities of relating some
      > phenomena to others, why are we stuck on certain ones, and why the limit on
      > what methods to use? To the extent that we live out certain explanations of
      > certain phenomena only, to that extent we are ignorant of life.
      >
      >
      > > Is that your view – science is just as much a religion as Christianity?
      > >
      > >
      > The dogmas of science, like Christianity, have virtually no bearing on my
      > day-to-day comings and goings. Questions like Where did I come from? and
      > where will I go? are metaphysical and irrelevant when they do not treat of
      > my expectation of eg finding my house or place of work where I believe them
      > to be.
      >
      > Cheers
      >
      > Herman
      > Herman, How do you get to work, magic carpet? I bet you use some machine that is a composite of many scientific theories. If you could understand modern cosmology you might know where you came from of course you would need archeology and geology and multiple other sciences. The reason you can`t find your house is because it was forclosed on and taken away. If you want to know where you are going,kill a bloody roo and smell what happens. Cheers are for toasting. Bill
      >
      >
      > > Jim
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Mary
      Jim, As I wade through Zizek s How To Read Lacan, I also find this piece helpful. I realize it s a backward process to read Hegel, Lacan, and Marx through
      Message 38 of 38 , Jun 8, 2011
        Jim,

        As I wade through Zizek's How To Read Lacan, I also find this piece helpful. I realize it's a backward process to read Hegel, Lacan, and Marx through Zizek, but it's where I am. Here's another link for you.

        http://www.lacan.com/zizekchro1.htm

        I'm discovering a rich philosophical history behind socialism and delighted to regard Zizek as 'continuing' the work of Sartre.

        Mary

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
        >
        > Mary,
        >
        > Thanks for that. Reading a couple of paragraphs of Zizek makes me want to read more. In particular I would need to read more about the "original monstrous cut / excess" before I felt ready to comment on Zizek's thought in this area.
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