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Re: [existlist] Re: Digest Number 226

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  • Juan Menendez
    ... 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
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 9, 2001
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      --- Edward Alf <ealf@...> wrote:
      > hi,
      >
      > i totally agree with your point ... not necessarily
      > with Gillian Anderson as
      > the object of interest, but at least the point that
      > i would not be focused
      > upon how my neurons happen to be firing ... :-)
      >
      > this all started when opened the subject of whether
      > there could be a god
      > worship within existentialism ... im aware that some
      > referred
      > existentialists did believe in god ... however, what
      > i see is a rational
      > thought out philosophy and this is counter to
      > religion and spirituality
      > which is irrational ... again, im not using the word
      > "irrational" in the
      > sense of something which is wrong ... irrational
      > thinking is simply another
      > (right brain, global) way of thinking ....
      >
      > so im wondering where does the religion and
      > spirituality come in? ... the
      > way i see it, human beings have an inherent tendency
      > towards the spiritual
      > ... i have referred to this as being "wired for
      > religion" in the sense of
      > your brain, which operates on the basis of neurons,
      > has this inclination
      > from birth ...
      >
      > as we enter into the 21st century there is a desire
      > for some kind of
      > spiritual satisfaction ... i would suspect that that
      > is the reason why a lot
      > of use are on this list in the first place ... but i
      > dont see within
      > existentialism anything which would provide this
      > satisfaction ... whether
      > this is put in terms of neurons or whatever, i would
      > still like to find out
      > from members how they see spirituality coming into
      > this, if at all ...
      >
      > regards
      >
      > eduard
      >
      > > With all due respect, gentlemen, all this talk of
      > neurons firing
      > > misses the mark as far as I am concerned. If I'm
      > sitting in a cozy,
      > > romantic restaurant, and accross the table from me
      > is, say, Gillian
      > > Anderson, who has taken a mysterious liking to
      > graying philosophy
      > > professors in their late thirties (O.K., in their
      > forties), I am far
      > > less interested in learning exactly which facial
      > muscles have
      > > contracted when she smiles than in the good old
      > language of motives
      > > and intentions. It may be accurate to speak of the
      > neurochemical
      > > processes and/or neurons "firing" when she lifts
      > an eyebrow or her
      > > eyes sparkle, but it isn't the sort of thing that
      > will be uppermost
      > > in my mind. British philosopher, Roger Scruton,
      > has expressed the
      > > same point as follows: "When the judge asks me why
      > I put arsenic in
      > > my wife's tea, he will not be satisfied by my
      > saying 'Because
      > > electrochemical impulses from my brain caused my
      > hand to reach for
      > > the bottle and tip it into the waiting
      > teacup'--although that may be
      > > a true answer to the question 'Why?' construed as
      > scientists construe
      > > it, as request for cause. For it is an answer OF
      > THE WRONG KIND."
      > >
      > > Is there a difficulty here concerning the
      > distinction between
      > > description and causal explanation? Is there a
      > chicken and egg
      > > problem too? For which comes first: the intention
      > that produces a
      > > neurochemical reaction?, or the neurochemical
      > reaction which produces
      > > the intention? Just a thought.
      > > >
      > 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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    • Edward Alf
      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
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 9, 2001
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        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
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        > __________________________________________________
        > Do You Yahoo!?
        > Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
        > http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
        >
        > From The Exist List...
        > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
      • Juan Menendez
        ... 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
        Message 3 of 13 , 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
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > > __________________________________________________
          > > Do You Yahoo!?
          > > Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
          > > http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
          > >
          > > From The Exist List...
          > > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist
          > >
          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          > >
          > >
          > 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.
          >
          >


          __________________________________________________
          Do You Yahoo!?
          Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
          http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
        • Edward Alf
          i dont believe in common sense ... it seems to imply that the verification of truth is dependent some kind of democratic vote ... if 3 people versus 2 say that
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 9, 2001
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            i dont believe in common sense ... it seems to imply that the verification
            of truth is dependent some kind of democratic vote ... if 3 people versus 2
            say that the sun comes up in the west, then it must be so ... or to put it
            another way, the problem of common sense is that it is all so very uncommon
            ...

            anyway ... i think you are speaking about two different things in reference
            to science giving explanation and people wanting to invent something greater
            than themselves ... if science gives an explanation it isnt to the detriment
            of anyone (well perhaps to some) ... but it does provide a better grasp on
            reality ... if religion is just neurons firing away, then some groups would
            have to find some other reason for persecuting their fellow humans ... and
            the church just might come to the realisation that we are here on earth for
            more than just creating more "souls" ... that is if there is indeed such a
            thing as a "soul" ...

            with respect to finding something greater, i think that this is a basic
            tendency for everyone .. a human sort of thing ... i dont think it is a
            "crutch" ... it is more in the way of providing a focus ... that does not
            mean that people who do not have a specific religion do not need a focus ...
            i would bet that these people find focus in other ways ...

            i accept the concept of god ... not that i believe in a god right now, but i
            accept the concept and am going in that direction ... i intend to invent one
            if i cant find suitable candidate ... afterall that is what the present
            religions did ... they invented their god and wrote the books and everyone
            went along with it, not because it was logical, but because it was
            successful ... that is the proof of the pudding ...

            but you may object that this is not the same thing ... one does not simply
            go around inventing gods upon whim ... well lets look at an example ...
            perhaps a poor one, but i will detail it anyway ... say you have been
            advised by your doctor to go on an ocean cruise ... but you cant afford the
            cost ... so you come to me and i tell you i would charge you only $50 ...
            astonished, you ask how i would do it for so little ... i explain that an
            ocean cruise is reducible down to only one sensation ... that of the rolling
            deck beneath your feet ... thus, i will paint over your windows and get my
            cousin to use his forklift to rock your house back and forth ... voila, an
            ocean cruise ... but you object ... to you a cruise is more than a rolling
            deck, there has to be the smell of the salt laden air and the sound of gulls
            flying overhead ... ok ... for an extra $25 i can blow salt air through your
            ventilation system ... and i think i can trap a few gulls that have been
            scavenging around the town dump ... you can see how this goes ... it is not
            the thing in itself (the cruise) which is of importance but the sensations
            that come to your brain (sense of rolling, smell of salt air, sound of
            gulls) ... so too it is not religion or god of themselves that are of
            importance, but what you get out of it ... it was once said that god created
            man, because he needed an audience ... i suppose you could turn that around
            to say that man created god because man preferred to be an audience ...

            my point is that all of this is a matter of function ... what role does god
            perform and what are the derived benefits ...

            i suppose that that is a rational way of looking at an irrational activity
            ... but one can follow a certain logic and come to the conclusion that it is
            time to make the jump to the irrational (leap of faith, so to speak) ...

            the bottom line is that in order to make that leap, we have to have a solid
            foundation and therefore, we may need an elaborate scientific way of stating
            the obvious ....

            have fun ...

            eduard



            > > 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.
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            > __________________________________________________
            > Do You Yahoo!?
            > Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
            > http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
            >
            >
            > From The Exist List...
            > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
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