• 180 Proof
    3.4k
    And "meaning" is so ephemeral, so very soon swallowed whole and irretrievably by oblivion ... In the geological (let alone "stellar" or "cosmic") scheme of things, we are not only already dead but the human species – every human ever alive and whom they have ever known or loved – is already extinct. "Meaning" is your next shit or next act of kindness: merely made to disappear in order to distract you from your own disappearing as it happens. More than becoming (e.g. "making meanings"), we are always already disappearing. Deny it to your heart's content, there's no escape from this fact. Not by suicide. Not by murder. Not by faith or wishful-thinking. IMO, this is the meaning of "meaning-making" :fire:
  • Manuel
    638
    More than becoming (e.g. "making meanings"), we are always already disappearing. Deny it to your heart's content, there's no escape from this fact. Not by suicide. Not by murder. Not by faith or wishful-thinking. IMO, this is the meaning of "meaning-making"180 Proof

    :lol:

    :up:

    I love it. Very much down Schopenhauer's alley, which has looked quite rational to me, if not sometimes a tad too pessimistic, but on a correct path by my lights.

    But I don't understand why, for those that do believe, faith is not an escape. I'm not religious, if I were and I really thought there was life after now, that could be a relief of sorts.

    The facts indicate that there's not an iota of evidence for this. Which is true. But with faith, evidence doesn't matter. So "meaning making" for a religious person might be framed in the context of "reward after death" or "fear of damnation after death."
  • emancipate
    275
    Yes it is the sense of our apparent finitude - the impending death which looms over us all - which drives us to try and make sense of this absurd existence. Seems to me that you have it backwards: death is the cause of man's desire to find meaning, rather than meaning-making being the distraction of death.
  • emancipate
    275
    The facts indicate that there's not an iota of evidence for thisManuel

    Facts don't indicate what exactly? Facts cannot indicate anything outside the material realm, since facts are empirically observable phenomenon. For this reason, it doesn't seem correct to expect facts to provide indications about aspects of reality beyond the material realm and then make assertions about the other (spiritual) aspects of reality based on the lack of... facts.

    Btw I am not religious, nowhere in these past few posts did I mention faith, damnation or an eternal afterlife.
  • Manuel
    638
    Facts don't indicate what exactly? Facts cannot indicate anything outside the material realm, since facts are empirically observable phenomenon. For this reason, it doesn't seem correct to expect facts to provide indications about aspects of reality beyond the material realm.emancipate

    I didn't have you in mind for my comment, I was just reacting to 180's comment.

    I don't understand what "beyond the material" means. Until someone can tell me why the mental or consciousness cannot be material (physical) too, I don't follow the argument.

    I'm only sticking to my experience, I cannot speak for anyone else of course. The closest think that comes to mind concerning say, that state after death is the period before birth. If I remember to my earliest conscious memory and try to go "backward", I find that "nothing" seems to best capture such a state.

    This is the only appeal I can make to some reality outside of me.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    First, "meaning-making" simply distracts us from our deaths, which is also our primary motive for it. Second, one doesn't experience one's own death, only oneself dying – disappearing – when death doesn't come suddenly or while one sleeps. Third, the second is true because one is always already dead – appearing-disappearing is the a priori structure of reality, and therefore of life, and, furthermore, of thinking too. You persist in "meaning-making", apparently, because lucid thinking isn't worth it to you (re: your subjective "quality of life") – your denying (finitude) may be happy just as my affirming (being infinitesmal) is usually joyful. :death: :flower:
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I think that 'beyond the material' usually means that the world is not simply physical. I think that most people believe that the mind and body are connected. On one hand, you have reductive materialism, such as the behaviourist BF Skinner, who saw consciousness as an illusion. This is in contrast to idealists, such as Berkeley, who saw mind as the main reality. This dispute has a central one throughout philosophy, and it all comes down to the question of to what extent can consciousness be simply reduced to the brain and nervous system?
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k


    I think that fear of death is at the centre of meaning making. However, I think that human psychology is complex, and we may think that all our meanings stand the test of rationality. It may be easier for someone to hold a nihilist position if their daily life is full of joy than for someone who is extremely unhappy. Of course, there are many who do, on the basis of their perceptions of reality adhere to a nihilist viewpoint. It may be that they are brave, in being able to face despair, and death, without any grand ideas.

    Personally, I struggle when, at times, I have drifted into the territory of nihilism. So, I usually find alternative ways of seeing. It even seems to me that if I am feeling low and downcast, the nihilist view seems to make some sense, but when I become more cheerful, I begin to think differently. However, as I have said before, the idea of my own death, even if it is the end, seems far less fearful than any prospective end to humanity. I think that is because I am aware of my own weaknesses and limitations. In contrast, the potential of the human race, in general, seems boundless.
  • Manuel
    638


    What you say is true given a certain account of philosophy. One could make a distinction between "materialism" and "idealism" up until around the time Newton discovered "action at a distance".

    Materialism in those times meant mechanistic materialism: in terms of thinking of "bodies" as more or less complex machines such as clocks. It is our intuitive way of understanding the world. Newton believed in mechanistic materialism, but he had to give it up:

    ''It is inconceivable that inanimate brute matter should, without the mediation of something else which is not material, operate upon and affect other matter without mutual contact,... [this] is to me so great an absurdity that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking can ever fall into it.

    [Italics mine]

    For some reason which is quite obscure, later philosophers, like Gilbert Ryle ridiculed "the ghost in the machine", but he was mistaken. What was exorcised was the machine, not the ghost. Some materialists today try to do away with mind, but the matter they are trying to eliminate is not the matter that exist. The matter that exists includes consciousness.

    So if we're going to use the word "physical", we apply it to everything that exists. It would be bizarre to say that the brain is physical but not the mind.

    If this is unconvincing, you can use the term "nonphysical" for everything. The thing is we cannot make sensible metaphysical distinctions between mind and matter or between physical or non-physical.

    Sorry for the length, I get carried away and it's hard to be concise without sounding like an alien.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    Your long entry is good. When you think of the brain and the mind as you describe, it seems like the brain is a transmitter. I am not saying that you are wrong. I am in favour of simply trying not mystify consciousness. It is probably that we are so aware of our own stream of consciousness. Perhaps it is our own egotistical attachment to the idea of a 'self', and, I believe, that the Buddhists challenge the idea of there being a self, as an independent entity.

    The idea of a separation between body and mind has been at the heart of the conundrum about life after death. In particular, within Christianity, some people have thought that the soul was immortal, whereas others have thought that would life would not take place until a resurrection at the end of the world. So, really, the mind/body problem was a dispute which was central within Christianity.

    Alongside this, there was the whole question of whether there is an invisible realm. Some people have believed in spirits, angels and devils. I know people who claim to have seen ghosts. So, generally there is a longstanding history of people being fascinated by the possibility of a nonmaterial dimension, which has appeared shrouded in mystery.
  • Manuel
    638
    Perhaps it is our own egotistical attachment to the idea of a 'self', and, I believe, that the Buddhists challenge the idea of there being a self, as an independent entity.Jack Cummins

    Sure. Consciousness is extremely strange. However, I think we risk forgetting that back in the 17th century, there was a different "hard problem". As Chomsky points out:

    "History also suggests caution [in thinking about consciousness being the "hard problem"]. In early modern science, the nature of motion was the "hard problem." "Springing or Elastic Motions" is the "hard rock in Philosophy," Sir William Petty observed... The ''hard problem" was that bodies that seem to our senses to be at rest are in a "violent" state, with "a strong endeavor to fly off or recede from one another," in Robert Boyle's words" [Bold letters mine]

    We never understood gravity in the way Newton or Locke or Hume would've liked - in an intuitive manner. We're still stuck not understanding it, but we've gotten used to it so it no longer seems puzzling.

    So, generally there is a longstanding history of people being fascinated by the possibility of a nonmaterial dimension, which has appeared shrouded in mystery.Jack Cummins

    This makes sense. The only problem I see is that if we already don't understand the physical (consciousness, gravity and much more) why postulate something "nonphysical"? We are already stuck not understanding something. So saying "spiritual realm" imples we know what the physical includes.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    176
    Reading through this thread and the esotericism one made me think of the opening of Phenomenology of Spirit:

    [Self conciousness] has not merely lost its essential and concrete life, it is also conscious of this loss and of the transitory finitude characteristic of its content. Turning away from the husks it has to feed on, and confessing that it lies in wickedness and sin, it reviles itself for so doing, and now desires from philosophy not so much to bring it to a knowledge of what it is, as to obtain once again through philosophy the restoration of that sense of solidity and substantiality of existence it has lost. Philosophy is thus expected not so much to meet this want by opening up the compact solidity of substantial existence, and bringing this to the light and level of self-consciousness is not so much to bring chaotic conscious life back to the orderly ways of thought, and the simplicity of the notion, as to run together what thought has divided asunder suppress the notion with its distinctions, and restore the feeling of existence.

    There is a striving to know, as Hegel terms it, the Absolute that many of us have, that we try to satisfy with philosophy. It's exactly the sort of thing that the sciences can't give us.

    Now can, should, philosophy meet this need? As Hegel follows up, "philosophy should beware of being edifying."

    To paraphrase Will Durant, the sciences strive to break down the clockwork or reality and organize the pieces. Philosophy strives to give us a glimpse of the whole. I think the interest in esoterica and mysteries is part of that (innate?) striving. Science doesn't give us the view of the whole we want, the immediacy, because it isn't concerned with that aspect of knowledge.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    The only problem I see is that if we already don't understand the physical (consciousness, gravity and much more) why postulate something "nonphysical"?Manuel
    Fuck yes! Can't repeat this enough. Thank you. :100: :clap:
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    176

    The "faith is just people trying to get over their fear of death," trope never made sense to me in light of Calvinism. How could an idea of God that creates and assigns the vast majority conciousnesses to eternal suffering be comforting? Death is just the beginning of your woes, and even if you might escape the torments of Hell, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it yourself.

    That's more nightmare fuel than anything else.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    Definitely Calvin's perspective is important, and when I questioned my religious beliefs it was with a view to how religious teachings can be used for political means. The fear of hell can function on that level and Marx pointed to the role religion plays in maintaining oppression. However, as you suggest, Hegel pointed to the need to know the 'Absolute', so these need to be juggled in our thinking and exploration.
  • Manuel
    638
    Fuck yes! Can't repeat this enough. Thank you. :100:180 Proof

    :cool:

    The "faith is just people trying to get over their fear of death," trope never made sense to me in light of Calvinism.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Sure. I have in mind those people who don't believe in hell. I don't know why they would not. But postulating heaven after this life, must be a consolation.

    Death is just the beginning of your woes, and even if you might escape the torments of Hell, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it yourself.

    That's more nightmare fuel than anything else.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    I was reading a bit on Samuel Johnson, the guy who thought he refuted Berkeley by kicking a stone. He seemed to be quite the witty character, very smart too.

    He was afraid of death, not because it meant life here is over, but because he feared he wasn't good enough to go to heaven and feared eternal torment.

    It's been mentioned before, but, that was some very cruel crap to have instilled on people. It's hard(er) to imagine now, but to think one is going to burn forever, is horrifying.
  • spirit-salamander
    89
    The "faith is just people trying to get over their fear of death," trope never made sense to me in light of Calvinism. How could an idea of God that creates and assigns the vast majority conciousnesses to eternal suffering be comforting? Death is just the beginning of your woes, and even if you might escape the torments of Hell, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it yourself.

    That's more nightmare fuel than anything else.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    I think it is probably explained in Calvinism that if you have faith and show it or are willing to have it, then you are one of the called ones, some of whom God then chooses for salvation. Most, according to this doctrine, are not called in the first place. It's basically a clever psychological trick to get people to believe.

    At their deepest core, traditional Catholicism and Protestantism are not much different than Calvinism.

    For Thomas Aquinas, for example, it is better to be in hell than not to be at all. To think like this solves a lot.

    In general, I suppose that the Christian religion and Islamic religion are an expression of the denial of the absolute death of the individual. It is still more comfortable for them to believe in immortality even in the face of a hell. Because hell can possibly be avoided if you have faith.

    It is interesting that true religious believers are not afraid of death as annihilation (that seems to be completely outlandish and far-fetched for them), although evolutionarily and culturally it must have started that way. At the example of the "death fear" of the animals this can be shown.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    It is interesting that Aquinas thought that it would be better to be in hell than not exist at all. I think that I would prefer not to exist. I remember when I was growing up that someone suggested that hell would actually be about not existing at all. It was the first time that I ever considered the possibility of nothingness, and it struck me as a better option, although I was not entirely sure.

    However, the whole idea of fear of death is so central to the ideas which we develop about it. The Egyptians had complex beliefs and rituals surrounding death. They saw it about journeying towards otherworlds, and it does seem that most religious thinking goes back to the Egyptians.

    So much of culture itself is based around death, and the ceremonial rights. Perhaps the search longevity in Western culture is connected to a widespread loss of belief in an afterlife. Even within the time of the pandemic, the underlying belief behind the surface is about the need to fight death, with death being viewed as the enemy. I wonder how different this would have been in the last century when people were laying down their lives for their country. That was more in the context of a more widespread culture of Christianity. Even within Islam, as far as I understand, there is a belief that the terrorists, who get killed themselves in the attacks which they carry out, go straight to heaven. So, the views people have about death have profound implications for the way people live.
  • spirit-salamander
    89
    It is interesting that Aquinas thought that it would be better to be in hell than not exist at all. I think that I would prefer not to exist. I remember when I was growing up that someone suggested that hell would actually be about not existing at all. It was the first time that I ever considered the possibility of nothingness, and it struck me as a better option, although I was not entirely sure.Jack Cummins

    I agree with you. My non-existence before my conception was certainly not bad as such, but an eternal state of absolute agony seems really bad to me. Even Socrates in the Apology speaks of death as absolute annihilation in a positive way:

    "If at death the person becomes unconscious, it will be like a very deep, dreamless sleep. And who does not enjoy that? In that case “death must be a marvelous gain”—the best rest and relaxation anyone has ever had (Apology 40c)." (Ehrman, Bart D. - Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife)

    someone suggested that hell would actually be about not existing at all.Jack Cummins

    Perhaps this someone was a Seventh Day Adventist, who believe in annihilationism, which was most likely inherent in original Christianity:

    "Toward the very end of the Old Testament period, some Jewish thinkers came to believe this future “resurrection” would apply not to the fortunes of the nation but to individuals. If God was just, surely he could not allow the suffering of the righteous to go unrequited. There would be a future day of judgment, when God would literally bring his people, each of them, back to life. This would be a resurrection of the dead: those who had sided with God would be returned to their bodies to live forevermore. Jesus of Nazareth inherited this view and forcefully proclaimed it. Those who did God’s will would be rewarded at the end, raised from the dead to live forever in a glorious kingdom here on earth. Those opposed to God would be punished by being annihilated out of existence. For Jesus this was to happen very soon." (Ehrman, Bart D. - Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife)

    I think like Schopenhauer. Whoever was created from nothing without being asked should have the right to return to nothingness:

    "A God creates a being from nothing, assigns him prohibitions and commandments, and because these are not followed he is now tormented throughout all eternity with every conceivable torture, for which purpose he then indivisibly binds body and soul (City of God [by Augustine], Book 13, ch. 2; ch. 11 at the end and 24 at the end), so that the torture of this being could never destroy him by disintegration and thereby allow him to escape it, but instead he lives forever in eternal pain – this wretched fellow made out of nothing, who at least has a right to his original nothingness, his last retreat, which cannot be so bad in any case and should after all be safeguarded for him by rights as his inherited property. I at least cannot do otherwise than to sympathize with him. –" (Schopenhauer on religion)

    The opinion of Aquinas and his successors, the Thomists is also criticized:

    "For instance, I think that traditional Thomists are entirely sincere when they argue that God could not have forborne to create souls he had predestined to eternal torment, and certainly could never now allow them peacefully to lapse again into nonexistence, on the grounds that it would constitute a kind of parsimony or jealousy on his part to withhold the gift of being—a gift he possesses in infinite plenitude—from anyone. For the Thomist, being is the first good, higher than any other, inasmuch as God himself is subsistent Being, and so, even for a soul in hell, nonexistence would be a greater evil than perpetual agony. Of course, this is ridiculous; but it helps fill in one of the gaps in the tale. A gift that is at once wholly irresistible and a source of unrelieved suffering on the part of its recipient is not a gift at all, even in the most tenuously analogous sense; and, speaking for myself, I cannot see how existence as such is truly a divine gift if it has been entirely severed from free and rational participation in the goodness of things. Being itself is the Good itself, no doubt. But, for creatures who exist only by finite participation in the gift of existence, only well-being is being-as-gift in a true and meaningful sense; mere bare existence is nothing but a brute fact, and often a rather squalid one at that, and to mistake it for an ultimate value is to venerate an idol (call it the sin of “hyparxeolatry,” the worship of subsistence in and of itself, of the sort that misers and thieves and those who would never give their lives for others commit every day)." (Hart, David Bentley - That All Shall Be Saved)

    However, the whole idea of fear of death is so central to the ideas which we develop about it. The Egyptians had complex beliefs and rituals surrounding death. They saw it about journeying towards underworlds, and seems that most religious thinking goes back to the Egyptians.Jack Cummins

    Maybe the ancient Egyptians with their immortality mania messed it all up.

    Even within Islam, as far as I understand, there is a belief that the terrorists, who get killed themselves in the attacks which they carry out go straight to heaven. So, the views people have about death have profound implications for the way people live.Jack Cummins

    According to Islam, everyone goes to hell first. Muhammad will be an advocate for Muslims at the divine judgment so that they might be brought from hell to paradise.

    Before Islam, there were many Arab poets who wrote about death and the ephemeral nature of life. Mohammad wanted to put an end to this and declare it as an erroneous belief.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k
    I have read your post, and it is extremely interesting. What it makes me wonder about is just how death stands as an inevitable prospect we face. We fear hell, and may hope for heaven, and how much is that embedded in our thinking. I am not trying to be critical of anyone who believes in heaven, or hell but merely stand back, thinking about of how such ideas affect us, as perceived truths , and the foundations of such ideas in our philosophy and daily life experiences.
  • Athena
    1.3k
    I agree. But as we can see from the way people can be emotionally manipulated and mobilized for political purposes such as in rallies and mass demonstrations, perhaps the "raw world and our own feelings" is still very much with us, only perhaps hidden under a veneer of "civilization" and "progress".Apollodorus

    Wow, I really like your observation! Our raw, animal instincts will always be part of us and this is what makes education for self-control and understanding what self-control and obeying the law has to do with liberty so important. I have a big problem with Christianity denying we have evolved from animals because that leads to education for technology without education for citizenship, and supernatural notions, instead of understanding human nature. I think many bad decisions follow rejecting the science of evolution.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Addendum:

    So much of culture itself is based around death, and the ceremonial rights.Jack Cummins
    Yeah, culture, no doubt, began with burying the dead – all the speculative import that that took initially and manifest subsequently in funerary rites (much as civilization also probably began with eating cooked foods ... & fermentation).

    Perhaps.
  • Athena
    1.3k
    I think language goes a long time but we are still only left with models and metaphors.

    Obviously, some develop fully-fledged systems of thought but even these are open to being challenged by opposing ones. Perhaps, I think too much and should just contemplate more. The mystics come up with the best answers which they can and probably don't keep thinking and thinking. Could it be one possible problem inherent in philosophy, that it is possible to spend a whole life going round in circles, thinking?

    If you have read my previous post to you, you may be wondering why I mentioned panpsychism, and I can explain that came from reading a book a couple of days ago, 'Ancient Wisdom' by Annie Besant, which suggested that all inanimate matter have some rudimentary consciousness. I am not sure if that is true, but it did get me wondering about it.

    I am definitely wishing to explore more of the ideas of some of the more ancient thinkers because I do think that they were able to get in touch with truths on a more intuitive level than we who so caught up in rational thinking may be able to. I am not wishing to throw rationality aside but do think that Western philosophy has become too dominated by it. Jung spoke of the importance of integrating reason, feeling, sensation and intuition as means of knowing. I do believe that the way in which philosophers of this century and the last one have become so 'in their heads' may be why many people are looking outside philosophy more, to texts, such as 'The Tao de Ching'.

    It may be that it is because Lao Tzu and the Greek philosophers were able to use words in a deeper way, rather than just providing rational arguments. In our own times, for many, the arts, especially literature, may offer deeper insights than possible within philosophy. Of course, I am not just wishing to dismiss philosophy, but just think that we need to widen our imagination rather than narrow it down too
    Jack Cummins

    With words, we can imagine things that were totally not imaginable before we became so technologically advanced. Our homes are full of magic! We have brought starlight into our homes and magically make hot and cold water come out of the wall. We have small boxes that make music and larger boxes that have people in them. We have very strong wizards do we not? :lol: I hope I have shown how our thinking has changed how we see the world and our place in it.

    As for all things having a degree of consciousness, Chardin a Catholic priest said, God, is asleep in rocks and minerals, waking in plants and animals, to know self in man. Everything is part of the whole and all are interconnected. When we learn quantum physics we can think of all this differently than when we have no notion of quantum physics. What is that energy in all manifested matter?
  • Athena
    1.3k
    Yeah, culture, no doubt, began with burying the dead – all the speculative import that that took initially and manifest subsequently in funerary rites (much as civilization also problably began with eating cooked foods ... & fermentation).180 Proof

    Burying our dead may be an emotional reaction we share with animals, and may not rely on culture, nor thoughts of an afterlife that are purely imagination. We may have come to hoping death is followed by life, as we have new life in spring, and the idea that for health reasons, we need to dispose of bodies, but it does not appear to be essential to the act of burying our dead.

    Some human cultures may bury the remains of beloved animals. Humans are not the only species to bury their dead; the practice has been observed in chimpanzees, elephants, and possibly dogs.

    Burial - Wikipedia
    wikipedia
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Apparently you misread what I wrote.
  • Athena
    1.3k
    Yes it is the sense of our apparent finitude - the impending death which looms over us all - which drives us to try and make sense of this absurd existence. Seems to me that you have it backwards: death is the cause of man's desire to find meaning, rather than meaning-making being the distraction of death.emancipate

    Facts don't indicate what exactly? Facts cannot indicate anything outside the material realm, since facts are empirically observable phenomenon. For this reason, it doesn't seem correct to expect facts to provide indications about aspects of reality beyond the material realm and then make assertions about the other (spiritual) aspects of reality based on the lack of... facts.emancipate

    You have worded those thoughts very well.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I didn't know that Telhard de Chardin saw categorised life in that way, but it seems similar to the theosophists. My own feeling is that I sometimes feel that objects around me seem alive, especially when my books and CDs fall over in my room. However, I wonder to see extent it is that our consciousness affects the objects, as if we are having an interaction with the energy fields. I definitely think we are within complex fields of energy, and Einstein stressed the participant observer role in experiments, so it would seem likely to me that the underlying principle extends to life in general.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I do think it the anthropology of religion, is an extremely interesting area. Apart from the question of ideas prior to God, or gods and goddesses, so much of religion is of a ritualistic nature, and the ancestors were probably revered more than in our own.

    However, funeral rites do still play an interesting role around the notion of death. Yet, I guess some of this is connected more to personal sense of loss and our own bereavement. We probably have less rituals, although whenever I am using sanitizer in public places, I feel that it is like the new Holy water, which people cleanse their hands on entering or leaving church. Perhaps, secular rituals replace religious ones in some ways.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    Wow, I really like your observation! Our raw, animal instincts will always be part of us and this is what makes education for self-control and understanding what self-control and obeying the law has to do with liberty so important. I have a big problem with Christianity denying we have evolved from animals because that leads to education for technology without education for citizenship, and supernatural notions, instead of understanding human nature. I think many bad decisions follow rejecting the science of evolution.Athena

    I see what you mean, but we mustn't be too harsh on Christianity. The Church banned animal sacrifices and blood sports. Besides, it could have been worse, just think of Islamic State or Communist Russia. Science has advantages and disadvantages and without the support of a more traditional faith society turns to all kinds of weird cults invented by fraudsters and commercial interests.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I think it is also interesting to think about the denial of instincts and the bodily side of existence in our current time. As far as I can see part of the Christian approach to life was that of seeing humanity as supreme over animals and nature. Christianity may have banned animal sports, and it has offered a picture of human beings as top of the hierarchy.

    It seems likely that this approach has been carried through into the scientific worldview, and developed of technology. This has given rise to the exploitation of nature and the ecological crisis we now face, with climate change. As it is, many do not believe in God, or any supernatural power. Humanity, in many ways, stands before a godless abyss, struggling to know what to do next, in order to survive...
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