Re: Reflection and Consciousness plus
It's very annoying that you don't keep track of our discussion, nor do you read my posts very carefully.
I do in fact keep track of our discussion better, much better, than you do. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I kept referring you back to what I had said about spirit and you kept saying you couldn't find it etc. etc.
Be that as it may, I think the real issue is that I am challenging many of your basic assumptions and you are having a lot of trouble following me and looking at the evidence I am giving. We are certainly missing each other as we talk past one another.
Don, the following post was a waste of time as it ignores the vast
majority of what I've posted here, esp. the fact that I myself claimed early on in our discussion that "spirit as nothing" refers to
knowledge, not ontology. Since you disagreed with me at that time I had to assume you meant ontology. I'm not going to waste time documenting what I've just said. It's in the archives.
Isn't it kind of ridiculous to say that we have little or no knowledge of something and then to proceed to discuss what we don't know in extensive detail? My point about spirit and a lot of other things is that we simply don't know and so we should not proceed to discuss these things as if we do. If we experience "spirit as nothing" then how can we discuss it ontologically or any other way?
Overall, your reasoning is very shoddy here -- claiming "certain
influence" in a general sense with figures such as Meister Eckhart is not to prove agreement on any specific point. You'd have to cite
Eckhart, cite K, cite Luther, and demonstrate agreement. I'm sure K read Eckhart or at least about Eckhart. He read quite a bit. I've
read Eckhart. So what?
Thou protesteth too much? My first thought is that reading Eckhart is not necessarily to understand him just as reading K is not necessarily to understand him. Do you understand what negative theology is? Here is a brief primer. Negative theology asserts that we can know (by reason) nothing positive about God or the eternal in general. All we can say we experience is what is not or not at all. We experience this entity but since we experience it as having no attributes we experience it as "nothing." This does not mean it is nothing but it does mean we have no ground from which to reason about it, to think about it. This does not mean that we cannot experience God by other means. It does mean that we are very limited in our ability to understand it and to communicate it. This is the point of K's "indirect communication."
My main reason for bringing up Eckhart and others in the western tradition was to point you toward a Western theological tradition that is alive and that parallels the Eastern tradition that asserts that "God does not exist but is real" to quote you. Negative theology has never been very popular in the West because the average person has trouble thinking it.
I think it has to be argued that at least one reason K adopted this "negative theology" was because it was needed in order to both say that God is omnipotent and yet he created human beings as "free to choose." We can't be free and yet grounded in the omnipotence of God. God is the un-ground for free humans. If he were the ground one would be completely determined and not free. I'm sure you will label this as shoddy reasoning but so be it. I can't go into detail right now.
Just wastin' my time,
JimS, Thanks for this post. Good to hear from you. Don't be such a stranger. There is no need to go over the old ground. I am quite well aware of it. But I do disagree with both you and JimR as I did with Willy. More later.
--- In email@example.com, "jimstuart46" <jjimstuart@...> wrote:
> You write:
> "In short Silentio sees ethics as outer while Climacus sees ethics as inner; Silentio is using ethics as defined by the Hegelians which basically means that personal ethics are simply an appropriation of the laws of the state and society (Sittlichkeit) while Climacus defines ethics as essentially subjectivity or inwardness. Sittlichkeit, the ethical, according to Hegel, is "the ethical life of a people" which belongs to "objective spirit." Climacus speaks of the ethical which belongs to "subjective spirit." The latter is what K calls "works of love" and is often referred to as "the ethics of love." Silentio is critical of the ethics he is calling ethics as he calls for a higher ethics while Climacus is describing the characteristics of this higher ethics in much detail." (8384)
> "First ethics corresponds to the ethics Silentio is refuting in F&T (the ethics that Hegel advocated) and second ethics corresponds to the ethics that Climacus is discussing. Incidentally Silentio, I believe, is also advocating the second ethics even though he never refers to it as ethics. It is most often referred to as religion or as the absolute." (8388)
> I could not disagree more. You are completely wrong in your interpretation of "Fear and Trembling".
> Jim R's objections are valid. In his last post, what he writes is absolutely correct:
> "But that's very different from the situation in FT. In FT, the -only-
> reason given for the suspension of an ethical law is God's command,
> and that is certainly the case in the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham.
> There was no moral need for Isaac to be sacrificed; no higher ethic to
> serve. Abraham just had to sacrifice Isaac because God told him to do
> so, and God gave that command without explaining His reasons. This is
> frankly a horror and K wants us to understand it that way.
> The point of the dilemma is to show us where the real absolute
> relation is: in what we know to be ethical requirements, or in the
> person of God himself. K's answer is that the person of God himself
> has to be our absolute relation, even at the expense of second ethics.
> So second ethics should be a relative relationship to us while our
> absolute relation should be to God." (8491)
> If I have some time, I will put together some detailed criticism of your interpretation of F&T. (I have done this before on at least two occasions)
> Jim S