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RE: Closeted Theists...Re: [stoics] Is an atheist Stoicism possible ? (Was: Re: Athe

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  • Steve
    Amos writes: ___________ For what it s worth, I agree with Daniel that philosophy cannot provide explanations of how the universe works or what the ultimate
    Message 1 of 31 , Mar 1 1:56 PM
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      Amos writes:

      ___________

       

      For what it's worth, I agree with Daniel that philosophy cannot provide explanations of how the universe works or what the ultimate cause of the universe is, if it has one. Daniel, by the way, doesn't claim that science provides us with that explanation, but that only science could possibly provide us with that explanation, although it hasn't done so up to now.

       ___________

       

      Amos, see my previous response to Jan.  This definition of what ‘explanation’ is is based on a certain epistemological framework which not everyone holds.  And that would be that reason plays second fiddle to sensation.  Though the Stoics trusted input from our physical senses in direct opposition to Plato etc, they also held in the sanctity of reason, which makes that paradigm quite different than modern empiricism. We cannot equate the two easily.

       

      Amos:

      ___________

       

      What philosophy does, as Daniel says, is show us what a good life is and how to achieve a good life. Isn't that enough?

      ___________

       

      No.  How can this mean anything if the 'norms', the 'oughts', and the ‘best’ is seen up front as not real?

       

      Daniel’s (and the empiricist’s in general I think) objectivity is descriptive facts that are subject to change with new evidence as it comes in.  The Rationalist’s objectivity (in which category I will place the Stoics in this regard) is absolute, universal, and thus not subject to change (that we cannot personally point to something like a cognitive impression to verify such certainty is not evidence against the possibility at all).

       

      Now, that doesn’t mean the CA is correct or anything else.  What it means is that _if_ it is correct then the conclusions that follow from such an argument describes what is real.  And that is what I would prefer for my ethics :).

       

      Daniel will say the desire that things be this way is no justification for it.  True enough.  But skepticism (of which we should all embrace I believe) does not warrant the opposite conclusion either, only abstention, which apparently is his position on theism.  Which seems reasonable to me.

       

      Keep in mind this is not suggesting ignoring empirical evidence at all.  On the contrary, the more we can get the better.  From the Stoic point of view empirical evidence and reasoning should match perfectly in an explanation where we have access to both methods (which is, of course, the exact situation we have with the scientific method).  What I am suggesting, once again, is to not make any metaphysical claims from within a frame of reference that denies anything metaphysical (which of course, _is_ a metaphysical claim).  If one is an empiricist, stick with evidence.  What I see happening instead is rational extrapolation far from the evidence into metaphysics to justify the empirical belief system.  That is based on the ego’s insecurity as much as Daniel's claim the desire _for_ universal reason etc is.

       

      Both camps can end up guilty of the same pathos ;)!!  Rather than aim skepticism at beliefs we already disagree with (shooting fish in a barrel as it were) the best use for it is inward at our own beliefs we are already attached to.

       

      Live well,

      Steve

    • Malcolm Schosha
      Grant wrote: Why do you think that wisdom and knowledge are different, any more different than, say, theoretical Physics is from ancient History or Biological
      Message 31 of 31 , Mar 3 2:20 PM
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        Grant wrote:
        Why do you think that wisdom and
        knowledge are different, any more different than, say, theoretical
        Physics is from ancient History or Biological Taxonomy?

        ............................

        Grant,

        Why do you think of wisdom and knowledge as existing separate from the people who have, or lack, one or the other?

        If I wanted to know the best way to grow tomatoes in the climate of New York, or if I want to know what the Stoics believed about the nature of virtue and vice; I would ask people who had that knowledge. If I were facing a difficult choice in my life due to a fork in the road ahead, and was unsure which of the options to take; I would want to consult someone who was wise. A person who is knowledgeable about growing tomatoes, or the fine points of Stoic philosophy, will not necessarily have the wisdom to advise on the best way to live. (A knowledge of Stoic philosophy will not necessarily make the person who has that knowledge wise, no matter how well he/she has mastered the details of the subject.)

        In terms of the mind, knowledge uses the concrete mind, and wisdom uses concrete mind and intuitional levels of mind.

        Salve.

        Malcolm

        ....................................

        Grant Sterling <gcsterling@...> wrote:
        At 10:31 AM 3/3/2008, you wrote:

        >Grant,
        >
        >In my view the inability to make an intelligible distinction between
        >knowledge and wisdom is one of the weaknesses of Greek and Roman
        >philosophy. There are important qualitative differences, and
        >different levels, or capabilities, of the mind at work. The failure
        >to distinguish between knowledge and wisdom has real consequences
        >too....both in the lives of individuals and in society.
        >
        >Salve.
        >
        >Malcolm

        I guess I don't understand. Why do you think that wisdom and
        knowledge are different, any more different than, say, theoretical
        Physics is from ancient History or Biological Taxonomy?

        Regards,
        Grant


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