• Tzeentch
    3.3k
    But there's another factor in respect of religious traditions, and that is the idea of revealed truth or spiritual illumination which provides the liberating understanding that is being sought by the disciple.Wayfarer

    True.

    Personally, I regard wisdom as a synthesis of rationality, intuition and experience, and therefore as having an element to it that is revealed or essentially esoteric.

    I think most of us experience this as we grow older. There are many things that I was taught as a child and never took particularly seriously, until I grew older and those things started to make a lot more sense.


    The rational part I had already been told, but the rational part alone was not enough to produce wisdom or understanding.

    Therefore, while it may be unsatisfactory to some, it is apparent that one cannot expect to attain spiritual wisdom by relying on rational explanations alone.


    All of this is to say, I think wisdom is in essence revealed truth and esoteric in nature.

    Sometimes the answer is: "You don't understand, because you're not ready to understand it." - highly unsatisfactory, but nonetheless true sometimes?
  • Galuchat
    809
    Which religion of human origin condemns all human beings from birth?

    I suspect that most people have the same mindset as a friend of mine who died two months ago after lingering for twelve years under the slowly debilitating effects of several brain and spinal chord cancers.

    Because he was a veteran, he decided that the poem "Invictus" should be read at his funeral. The last stanza reads:

    "It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul."

    I find it odd that he would choose the fate which was his.
  • javi2541997
    5k
    It may be true that we can reach a state of perfect equanimity, insight and eternal repose, but it seems very hard to square with the reality of the human condition which is typically considerably more fraught. And that is where belief enters the picture, even if, in an ideal existence, it may not be necessary, or it might become superfluous.Wayfarer

    I agree in the sense that it is very difficult to square them in the huge difficulty of the human condition. But why is the belief superfluous to spiritual repose? I see these two are connected. It is true that I can't see which preceded the other. One of the main points of my arguments in this thread is that I actually believe I have a spirit and I want an equanimity in it. If I give up on one of these two sets, the equation is useless.
  • javi2541997
    5k
    Good point, and your comment made me understand myself better. Yes, it is obvious that I am enforcing a code of conduct. If this happens, it is due to a sense of despair. What you consider as 'very nature' (seeking a woman). I experienced it as a tremendous fault, a sin, indecent behaviour. If only I were honest with my parents, I wouldn't have experienced this anxiety. The key element is why I am not more transparent, and here is where the code of conduct and my hypocrisy crash.

    When I started this thread, I admitted that I struggle with religious faith and ethics because some of the Bible's content is not reliable because it is written by the Gospels. Nonetheless, I am aware that I have a spirit and the latter started to get rotten because I didn't act accordingly in some actions. Yet this is very new in my life because, in the old version of myself, I never considered it a bad action to lie to my parents. It is something I realised recently. So, this behaviour truly reflected my nature.

    For this reason, I think I don't have to change my code but my corrupted nature...
  • Astrophel
    435


    Of course you are sincere about wanting spiritual understanding. But is it the kind of sincerity that motivates you to make the painful decisions to actually change the way you live and breathe? Could you, for example, start meditating for several hours a day? Now THAT is sincerity! How about difficult philosophical reading?

    There are dimensions of the discovery process that in themselves seem to have nothing to do with spirituality, but nevertheless stand as the very constituting basis for what is there in the world that makes the 2question ever arise in the first place. To address such a thing, you must change the questions. Popular religions don't do this because they are dogmatic, which closes inquiry. One must be open to inquiry FIRST. This is the point.

    How to do this? One must find the most basic questions about our existence. Whether or not Jesus is our lord and savior, e.g., is not one of these questions, because it assumes what needs to be explained, namely, what is it in the human condition that needs saving? (It is not saying Jesus is NOT the savior, but saying rather that when we speak like this, what are we saying?) What is this about, this terms that are so much in play when religion discussed, terms like redemption, the soul, divinity, holiness, heaven and hell, the glory of God, miracles, eschatology, and so on? And how about their philosophical counterparts: the problem of the good (metaethics), the self (our existence) and the consummation its liberation, the impossible, the purpose found therein? Frankly, the matter gets wickedly difficult because one seeks something so occluded by historical institutions and these have to be argued out of one's thinking. This is why Heidegger is such a bitch to read, for he is trying to take a completely new course of thought that takes the entire history of philosophy and extracts (with emphasis on the Greeks) what survives the reduction to simplicity (primordiality) in the descriptive enterprise of revealing what it means for us to exist.

    These ideas are at the very heart of spirituality, and one must understand them. Read Kierkegaard (in some ways worse than Heidegger in Sickness Unto Death or The Concept of Anxiety) and you will find great talent for cutting to the chase, but he is, as Heidegger called him, a religious writer. Regardless, he had read Kant and Hegel thoroughly. It is a discussion that will radically change your thinking and perceiving of the world. You don't have to master all this (the Greeks through Derrida) at all. Just get in the boat and start paddling.

    A real test of one's sincerity.
  • javi2541997
    5k
    How about difficult philosophical reading?Astrophel

    Philosophy is difficult per se. I never found a philosopher who wrote his essays or texts with clarity. I guess this is one of the main features of philosophy. Furthermore its difficulty, I haven't limited myself to jumping and reading classic philosophical authors. Kierkegaard is the philosopher (or theologian, according to others) who I read the most, and I even reread some of his works, like 'Fear and Trembling'. I don't attempt to diminish the great quality and quantitative value of philosophy. It is very important, and I am always interested in it. Nonetheless, I have been coming through different perspectives thanks to reading Kazantzakis and Dostoevsky. I hadn't accordingly rated Christian Ethics with sincerity until I read those authors. They changed my view on life, and well, thanks to them, I discovered an important premise in my beliefs: I fully believe I have a spirit (which can be corrupted by bad actions), but I struggle with religious faith/dogmas.

    What is this about, this terms that are so much in play when religion discussed, terms like redemption, the soul, divinity, holiness, heaven and hell, the glory of God, miracles, eschatology, and so on?Astrophel

    It is not necessary to take all those religious concepts are granted and I fully respect the people who don't buy sacred texts and ideas. Due to religious books are always that controversial, I wonder if I can believe I have a spirit without getting tangled in religion or not.

    Read KierkegaardAstrophel

    I already did. Thanks to him, I started this thread. :smile:

    Frankly, the matter gets wickedly difficult because one seeks something so occluded by historical institutions and these have to be argued out of one's thinkingAstrophel

    Exactly. This is one of the main concerns I exchanged with MU. It is unfair that the Church seems to be the only place where my spirit may be heard. Some institutions take natural worries as part of them...
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k

    I was raised Catholic. My experience of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is similar to that of 180 Proof, though my time in Catholic schools was limited to 10 years. I feel rather nostalgic about the Church of my youth. It's an aesthetic fondness related to the ritual and appearance of its ceremony and the physical churches themselves. That was before the Church became bland, at least here in the U.S.

    The Church and Christianity in general was and I think still is a remarkable and fascinating hodgepodge of certain ancient pagan philosophical and religious beliefs and Judaism, but I stopped being a believer long ago. I find it hard to believe in any transcendent, creator God, and especially the personal, hectoring, demanding and strangely needy sky-gods of the kind that are worshipped in the West. I find the ancient Stoic view of God compelling--an immanent God which is immersed in Nature, and the active, creative essence of the universe.
  • ENOAH
    288
    Do you feel the same?javi2541997

    I separate spiritually from morality.

    The former's "purpose" is soteriological, or emancipatory. That is, to "lift" one up from/out of secular and mundane attachments, including morality. To use Eliade's term, It belongs to the sacred.

    While the latter, morality, involves the secular. It may have as its "purpose" the most functional or "best" version of the secular, but it remains nevertheless secular. To use Eliade's term, It belongs to the profane.

    I agree that "religions" have exploited spirituality to "scare" us into accepting that the main purpose of same is to "be good."

    However, I believe there can be near perfectly moral atheists according to conventional standards of morality; and, (although more difficult to objectively assess) near perfectly accomplished in spirituality (i.e. enlightened/saved) who do not adhere to any moral laws or structures.

    Now, I expect resistance on the second conclusion. It is common to view spiritaul persons as "saintly," and to equate "saintly" with being a good person.

    But note, that a spiritual "saint" "mukti" "sage" etc. behaves morally, either
    1. Because coincidentally, freedom from the attachment to the profane is also freedom from the same attachments which lead us to immoral choices, or
    2. Because they are claiming to be spiritual, an presenting their morality as proof, and are therefore, not spiritual.

    I mean, if there is a God, and or a spiritual reality, why would it be restricted by our relative morality? And if you think religious morality is not relative, read the old testament, koran, and Mahabharatas to see how much our religious morality has evolved (improved!), relative to our secular views.
  • Astrophel
    435
    Philosophy is difficult per se. I never found a philosopher who wrote his essays or texts with clarity. I guess this is one of the main features of philosophy. Furthermore its difficulty, I haven't limited myself to jumping and reading classic philosophical authors. Kierkegaard is the philosopher (or theologian, according to others) who I read the most, and I even reread some of his works, like 'Fear and Trembling'. I don't attempt to diminish the great quality and quantitative value of philosophy. It is very important, and I am always interested in it. Nonetheless, I have been coming through different perspectives thanks to reading Kazantzakis and Dostoevsky. I hadn't accordingly rated Christian Ethics with sincerity until I read those authors. They changed my view on life, and well, thanks to them, I discovered an important premise in my beliefs: I fully believe I have a spirit (which can be corrupted by bad actions), but I struggle with religious faith/dogmas.javi2541997

    Dostoevsky opens the mind to miserable frustrations of reconciling faith with the world. If you read D. then you are already exercising the disillusionment that looks deeper than religion can go. Kierkegaard is a radical philosopher, complaining about the church as an institution, on the one hand, and Hegel on the other, and I take this latter to be most insightful: I would here briefly mention the themes K puts to philosophy. Our existence and its indeterminacy, especially its ethical indeterminacy. This will show up in phenomenological thought (though Kant was a phenomenologist. The true progenitor of this thinking) and is at the heart of the problem I am trying to make clear here: Religion has an essence, and one has to remove one's thinking from the endless narratives, religious, literary or otherwise.

    There comes the point at which one simply has to see that reading Dostoevsky or serious literature in general is the beginning, as it announces the question of our existence in the light of metaethics, which is the question we put before all others. The question of why we are born to suffer and die. But the question like this begs other questions, and this is philosophy's job! For the question is not, if you will, primordial, not yet, because the nature of good and evil haven't yet been exposed, and this brings inquiry to the direct encounter with the world, and we leave literature behind, as well as the Greeks, Kant and everyone else (though they raise up later, modified), for all questions lead back to the world, back to what it is we are trying understand: our being-in-the-world. To understand why we are born to suffer and die, we have understand what we mean by these terms, and these term are in-the-world, in our existence. So, what is our existence, I mean, and most emphatically, what is this IN the most direct apprehension of the world? What is missing in familiar even technical scientific thought?

    It begins with questions that are embedded in our existence and have to be discovered. It ends with an account that is the most "sincere" possible, which is staying with the world, not allowing contrived thinking and tradition to pull you away from it. One is now a scientist and onto-theology is the study of the way the world presents the need, crisis, and foundation for our existence in the world. Sure, there are sage things said by religious leaders, but these are as a non scientist would think about physics or biology. Heidegger can take on deep into inquiry, into a "disembodied" conception of the self, that is, a self conceived apart from the primacy of scientific physicalism, what can be called scientific metaphysics, which is implicit and pervasive in everyday thinking. Thinking needs to be explicitly liberated.

    The most radical approach? Meditation. This is another route. Where Kierkegaard holds that he can never be a knight of faith because he could never truly suspend the ethical as Abraham did, meditation goes further (as yet not as far): meditation is an annihilation of ones "existence". Abraham is simply suspended, as are daily affairs, politics, one's personality, everything. Suspended, put out of play, forgotten. All in search of one's true primordial self, which is rapturous.

    It is not necessary to take all those religious concepts are granted and I fully respect the people who don't buy sacred texts and ideas. Due to religious books are always that controversial, I wonder if I can believe I have a spirit without getting tangled in religion or not.javi2541997

    Buying into sacred texts or not doing so is beside the point, I am arguing. It is a matter of going beneath these texts so as to liberate thought from just bad metaphysics. Philosophy is mostly negative, for it spoils belief, throws questions at assumptions that want to be left alone. Nothing survives in popular religion as it is stated from the pulpit. But, heh heh, like a phoenix, out of the ashes of bad metaphysics, there arises, I hold and try to argue, a singular primoridiality. Calling this God just, as Wittgenstein was so aware, works to undo what it IS. Being in love, for example, is irreducible in the the metaphysics of this, in the meta-question, what is love? Same goes for pain. Put a lighted match to you finger---now you are truly IN the world most intimately, no?


    Exactly. This is one of the main concerns I exchanged with MU. It is unfair that the Church seems to be the only place where my spirit may be heard. Some institutions take natural worries as part of them...javi2541997

    The church will give you nonsense and faith. Kierkegaard knew this!! But then, one myth for another, for, for K, science, culture, reason stood entirely outside faith. Faith is the "qualitative movement" that even K couldn't make. But K didn't understand, like Witt (who adored Kierkegaard), that the prohibition against speaking was only a structural delimitation, and is no limitation on content. Divinity no more lies beyond language than this I call my cat. What they didn't get is that the world at the threshold of metaphysics is an open door for discovery.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2k


    It appears that we are treating 'good' as something concrete, when it is merely an adjective applied conditionally. How would one make the case that a concept such as good is anything more than a sign we apply to things we approve of (a construction of our practices, language and norms) and that this approval is perspectival?

    It definitely is treating the Good as something concrete. But Plato thinks he has good reasons for doing this.

    Rather then start with considering the existence of "the Good," it might make more sense to start by considering more "concrete" universals, e.g. "square," "red," or "cat." Would something's being square be a "social construct?" No doubt the word "square" is such a construct, but the very existence of such things?

    If social constructs don't spring from the aether uncaused, it would seem there must be such things. And generally people are quite accepting of the claim that there are such things as cats, squares, trees, etc.

    At first glance, things like "goodness," or "justice" seem more amorphous. However, there are also good reasons for thinking these are not illusions, something wholly created by the mind.

    Plato points out one of these reasons during his exchange with Thrasymachus early in The Republic. If justice is just "what is good for people in power," it is still the case that the powerful can be wrong about justice or what is good for them. For example, consider a dictator who raises taxes 50% in order to fund his new palace. The result is a coup and his being imprisoned and tortured while awaiting execution. To both the dictator and others, it is clear that the tax policy was not "a good move." The dictator thought the decision was good at the time, but it was not. Likewise, pouring lead into an elementary school water supply seems to be "bad" for the children in a fairly unambiguous, objective way, regardless of what the person who does it thinks at the time.

    So, what is "good" seems to have a certain independence from how people feel at any given moment, making it more than simply a "sign of things we approve of." Our dictator "approved of" his tax policy, yet it would seem odd for us to say that this entails that it must have been a "good" decision for him to make, given it leads to his torture and death. The same applies to dumping lead into the school water supply. Indeed, taken to an extreme, "good" being taken as merely a sign of approval would seem to suggest that we can never be wrong about what is good for us. Yet this does not seem to be the case; we regret our decisions and experience guilt all the time.

    Should we instead say that the good for the dictator simply changed, that the tax policy was good when he implemented it, but bad when the coup occured and his opinions about the action changed? Likewise, was starting to use heroin good for heroin addicts until they began to regret it? Or does the IDF's policy in Gaza remain good so long as decision makers think it is good? Etc.

    The problem with such a claim is that it slips into an extreme relativism. For why would truth be better the falsehood? It wouldn't. Truth would only be better in cases where we feel it is better, and so our feelings ultimately dictate truth claims. If it falsehood feels better then, at least for that moment, it is better. If our feelings change, the good simply changes.

    This simply doesn't seem to pass the sniff test. We all make bad decisions in our lives. It seems silly to say these were good right up until we regret them.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2k


    Sorry Count, but I totally disagree with what you posted. Freedom is clearly prior to ethics, as the reason why ethics is needed. If it was the case, that there was no freedom prior to the existence of ethics, then ethics would never come into existence because there would be no need for ethics, being no freedom to act otherwise, nor even the freedom to create ethics.

    I really shouldn't have said "prior," especially when trying to present Plato. The two are mutually reinforcing. Ethics is prior to the freedom of the freeindividual in some ways. For example, the person who is raised as a slave, without any education, subject to all sorts of abuses, is made less free by those circumstances (even if they might overcome them eventually). The extreme case would be the person who is murdered as a child. Obviously, they never get a chance to develop their freedom.

    The just society makes its citizens more free and the citizens who have achieved a higher level of freedom make their society more just, having come to be able to both discover and actualize the Good. There is a sort of circular causality at work here.
  • ENOAH
    288


    Sorry, to expand briefly on my previous reply.

    The corresponding "philosophical" branch for religion (as in thelogy) is metaphysics not ethics or morality. For spirituality, specifically, you might find a sister in existentialisms drive for authenticity.

    Yes, morality is a bi-product; but not the essence of spirituality.

    The corresponding
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2k


    I find it hard to believe in any transcendent, creator God, and especially the personal, hectoring, demanding and strangely needy sky-gods of the kind that are worshipped in the West.

    Ironically, this is an image of God that is often criticized by the Patristics, some of the big Medieval Latin theologians, and many contemporary Catholic philosophers. The Catholic philosophy space is quite vibrant, and so it's always surprising to me how this doesn't seem to trickle down into the lower levels of religious education.

    There seems to be a tendency in religious education, where it even exists in churches, to tend towards "simple is best." I am not sure if this is always helpful for their goals though. It seems to me that precisely what people are hungry for in the "spirituality space," would be these deeper looks at theology and philosophy, along with the sort of intensive practice that was common in the ancient church.
  • javi2541997
    5k
    Interesting thoughts. I like that you feel nostalgic about its aesthetic vibe, rituals, ceremonies, etc. Churches have always been (and they still are) a place where people feel they belong to. I only disagree with why these sacred places are the ones where I can redeem my spirit or myself. It is true that, thanks to the advancement of technology or other disciplines, each person can express himself freely and feel heard. But let's be honest, I can't go to random places and confess I feel my spirit is sick. I debated this with 180 proof, and he said to me, I should go to either a therapist or a priest... Let's see where I end up with.

    The Church and Christianity in general was and I think still is a remarkable and fascinating hodgepodge of certain ancient pagan philosophical and religious beliefs and Judaism, but I stopped being a believer long ago.Ciceronianus

    It is very remarkable that most of you share the same experience. Everyone started with a good hype, but when time passes by, each person starts to lose the aim of believing in God. Why does this happen? I mean, I understand your reasons, but it is unclear to me why many people end up losing interest in Abrahamic ideas.
  • Fermin
    5
    Some of your comments concern moral authority. I think researching the Sola Scriptura debate would help clarify.
  • javi2541997
    5k
    Hello ENOAH. Nice feedback.

    The former's "purpose" is soteriological, or emancipatory. That is, to "lift" one up from/out of secular and mundane attachments, including morality. To use Eliade's term, It belongs to the sacred.ENOAH
    I agree that "religions" have exploited spirituality to "scare" us into accepting that the main purpose of same is to "be good."ENOAH


    The concept of sacred is sometimes blurred. I knew I would end up in a complex rabbit hole because of the limitless significance of religious concepts and their extension. Nonetheless, I think we can agree that religion (or Abrahamic/Judaism beliefs) and theology are the only branches which actually believe in the existence of a spirit. I want to sound clearer. A theologian would defend that the spirit is a tangible being separated from our body. I also believe there has to be a spirit, but I disagree with religious dogmas. Maybe I sound contradictory, but I want to know where I should look at... I feel my spirit is sick and if I attend meta-ethics they will teach me about principles to motivate better behavior. But where did my spirit go? It is clear that a secular system rejects the existence of a spirit.


    I mean, if there is a God, and or a spiritual reality, why would it be restricted by our relative morality? And if you think religious morality is not relative, read the old testament, koran, and Mahabharatas to see how much our religious morality has evolved (improved!), relative to our secular views.ENOAH

    I haven't denied the relativity of holy books. It is obvious that the interpretation of values and ethics are opened to each person and this proves that ethics can rarely seen objectively. Yet I agree with some users who claim there have to be universal principles or code of conduct which we can rely on. Do you agree with me that lying to our parents is one of the dirtiest things to do? I personally believe this is accepted by all. What comes afterwards, thus, the consequences is very relative. I feel my spirit is rotten after doing so, but others claim to calm down and try to learn the lesso, keep going and find a code according to my nature.


    Yes, morality is a bi-product; but not the essence of spirituality.ENOAH

    Again. If morality is not the essence of spirituality, why do we act accordingly? We establish values, principles, ideas, beliefs, etc, arbitrary not randomly.
  • Tom Storm
    8.4k
    The problem with such a claim is that it slips into an extreme relativism. For why would truth be better the falsehood? It wouldn't. Truth would only be better in cases where we feel it is better, and so our feelings ultimately dictate truth claims. If it falsehood feels better then, at least for that moment, it is better. If our feelings change, the good simply changes.

    This simply doesn't seem to pass the sniff test. We all make bad decisions in our lives. It seems silly to say these were good right up until we regret them.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    I am open to relativism, so this concern doesn't really bite for me. I suspect that human notions of truth are contingent upon our language, social practices, and historical context. We can talk about intersubjective agreements (consensus) around issues like killing and theft, but I am suspicious and doubtful there is some concrete 'good' that our behavior might correspond to. Intersubjectivity I believe allows people to see issues categorically as being good or bad, true or false, when really what they are seeing is a shared subjectivity, a truth manufactured by agreement.

    Likewise, was starting to use heroin good for heroin addicts until they began to regret it?Count Timothy von Icarus

    Interesting you raise this one. The answer might be yes to this. I work in the area of addiction and mental health, so I would often hold a different view to others on this. Hence how we might view any given issue is down to contingent factors. I would say that heroin, while it may harm health, is also one of the reasons why people are able to survive trauma. Heroin (and other drugs) becomes the reason people can cope and endure. So it isn't as simple as saying it is bad. If heroin were legal it would cause less harm than alcohol, for instance. Many of its harms are a product of its illegality. But this is a digression.
  • javi2541997
    5k
    Where Kierkegaard holds that he can never be a knight of faith because he could never truly suspend the ethical as Abraham did, meditation goes further (as yet not as far): meditation is an annihilation of ones "existence". Abraham is simply suspended, as are daily affairs, politics, one's personality, everything. Suspended, put out of play, forgotten. All in search of one's true primordial self, which is rapturous.Astrophel

    Good point! And Jesus! God (or whatever deity) blessed his soul for interpreting in such an intelligent way the dilemma of Abraham. If I am not wrong, K admitted he had a lot of admiration for Abraham for suspending the ethical. I read the Spanish version, but looking around the internet I found this interesting commentary:

    Abraham “intending the death of his son” on Mount Moriah did not bother most “classical Jewish thinkers, because they never conceived of this act as murder. For them, Isaac was an appendage of the father, and Abraham’s act was one of supreme self-sacrifice.” In other words, in an archaic view according to which Isaac is Abraham’s most prized possession, his willingness to offer Isaac back to the same God who gave Isaac by miracle to his aged wife Sarah is proof of Abraham’s absolute devotion. However foreign this view of children is to us now, it helps remind us that the problems and lessons which Kierkegaard intends us to see in the story of Abraham and Isaac may not be close to those on which ancient Hebrew readers or medieval Jewish scholars focused. Our topic is Kierkegaard’s sense of the story, not the original Akedah itself, however far the implications drawn by his pseudonym Johannes de silentio may be from the true intent of the book of Genesis. And for him, the idea that Abraham might be guilty of attempted or intended (even if forestalled) murder is crucial.Eschatological faith and repetition: Kierkegaard’s Abraham and Job


    The church will give you nonsense and faith. Kierkegaard knew this!!Astrophel

    :lol:


    Kierkegaard is a radical philosopher, complaining about the church as an institution, on the one hand, and Hegel on the other,Astrophel

    Kierkegaard didn't want to be a philosopher in the literal sense, and he, in opposition to Hegel, didn't preach Christianity as an illusion. K also considered himself an undoubtedly Lutheran, etc. I personally think Kierkegaard felt more comfortable debating about theology, the Bible and Christian Ethics. He became a philosopher accidentally. I see him as one of the representatives of existentialism. I really like K and I always like to get deeper in his thoughts. I think this has already been discussed here but Kierkegaard, apart from other things, is dialect! He used specific words in Danish which are difficult to translate into our languages, like 'anfægtelse' which means 'spiritual trial'. Kierkegaard shows the anguish inherent to the authentic God-relationship and also the dangerous possibility of the individual imagination's. It is here that Kierkegaard's emphasis upon individual responsibility.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    Sometimes the answer is: "You don't understand, because you're not ready to understand it." - highly unsatisfactory, but nonetheless true sometimes?Tzeentch

    :100:

    why is the belief superfluous to spiritual repose?javi2541997

    What I meant was, for those who know, belief is no longer necessary, but that up until then, it has to be taken on faith. That is illustrated in this Buddhist text, which says those who have not known have to take it on conviction, whereas those who know and see would have no doubt or uncertainty:

    ...Those who have not known, seen, penetrated, realized, or attained it [Nibbana] by means of discernment would have to take it on conviction in others that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation; whereas those who have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment would have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation. ...Pubbakotthaka Sutta
  • Tom Storm
    8.4k
    What I meant was, for those who know, belief is no longer necessary, but that up until then, it has to be taken on faith.Wayfarer

    The problem with this is there is nothing which can't be justified with such an appeal to faith. I remember sitting down with South African whites in the 1980's (they were sincere Christians). They told me that I didn't understand apartheid and that it was god's will, in fact they had it on faith that apartheid was good and that 'the blacks need it'.

    Now while this is clearly racist bullshit, where do we draw the line between a legitimate appeal made to faith and one which is dubious? Could it be that all we have is reason after all?

    Do we not have good reason to fear those who claim to 'know' but can only justify this knowledge based on some version of ineffability or transcendence?
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    Ironically, this is an image of God that is often criticized by the Patristics, some of the big Medieval Latin theologians, and many contemporary Catholic philosophers. The Catholic philosophy space is quite vibrant, and so it's always surprising to me how this doesn't seem to trickle down into the lower levels of religious education.Count Timothy von Icarus

    I know little of the Patristics, though they seem interesting. Christianity, I think, has always had difficulty trying to incorporate pagan philosophy into its doctrine. The effort to do so began, I believe, when the early Christians tried to answer the criticisms of such as Porphyry and Celsus. I think a great part of the difficulty was due to the insistence that Jesus was not only divine, but "one in being with the Father." The more that one claims that God is "the god of the philosophers" the less it's possible to accept Jesus as God, and also that he is the God of the Old Testament.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    Now while this is clearly racist bullshit, where do we draw the line between a legitimate appeal made to faith and one which is dubious? Could it be that all we have is reason after all?Tom Storm

    You also have conscience.
  • Tom Storm
    8.4k
    You also have conscience.Wayfarer

    Consciences are relative. :wink: Pretty sure those South Africans slept well at night with a clear conscience.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    Spoken from the true secularist perspective!
  • Tom Storm
    8.4k
    Spoken from the true secularist perspective!Wayfarer

    Is that an attempt at a slight? As in - 'What would you know, you're a secularist?'

    I think my position on faith is fairly robust. What approach do you have to demonstrate which person's faith is correct and which one is not?
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    I think my position on faith is fairly robust. What approach do you have to demonstrate which person's faith is correct and which one is not?Tom Storm

    We all have to make a decision. It's quite possible that we'll make a wrong decision, that goes with the territory. I was attempting to address the question of 'why belief?' Many will say that matters of religious faith are only ever a matter of belief, as there's nothing that can be known, they're illusory in principle, but then, the person to whom my comment was addressed does not see it that way. There are many with their minds made up already, I generally won't attempt to change that.
  • ENOAH
    288
    I appreciate how thoughtful you are being, and I feel the earnestness in your tone. So, please note (I acknowledge you probably do anyway) that I am not providing answers with any authority beyond the opinions which have collected in my tiny locus of history. I would only hope that you throw them into your own dialectic and I would be interested in learning what eventually comes out. Anyway, because I'm lazy, I won't keep repeating, "in my humble opinion." I just wanted to clarify that I know I sound like I know. But like you, like everyone, I don't.



    ... I feel my spirit is sick and if I attend meta-ethics they will teach me about principles to motivate better behaviorjavi2541997

    You're right. But not how you think. The meta-ethics will assuredly heal your "spirit," but you are (respectfully) unwittingly using "spirit" when you mean Mind. Your Mind
    constructs and carries the burden of your immorality. Morality is a collection of Narrative trials and errors--like precedents in Anglo Common Law--made by billions of Minds, over the one mind, history. So any malaise you think is rooted in your spirit, is. But not as in opposed to Mind. It is Mind.

    It is as opposed to what would belong to God, if there is God or the like, (e.g. Brahman or Buddha Nature also works). The malaise you reference is a construct of the Mind. But what belongs to God, that is, the True Spirit of I (humbly) submit, all religions, is our organic being, our Bodies.

    You want to heal your Soul? Be ethical, minimize the focus upon the Subject in your Narrative. Be conventional. Belong.

    You want to "heal" (I would say, "be") your Real Spirit, the True Consciousness of an organic being aware-ing always in presence, it's feelings and its drives, in pursuit of prosperity and bliss? Just be that organic being. For God's sake Breathe.

    Yet I agree with some users who claim there have to be universal principles or code of conduct which we can rely on. Do you agree with me that lying to our parents is one of the dirtiest things to do? Ijavi2541997


    Yes. I agree! But I note (remember, with humility and an incessant self doubt) that those codes were written by History, and if God is Real, they have nothing to do with It beyond any arguments that It may have once had an inspirational role.

    . I feel my spirit is rotten after doing so,javi2541997


    I feel that, if the foregoing serves any functions, this one is important. God does not judge you for your admittedly dirty lies. You are judging yourself. Good. Within the context of the rest of us, history. And because your Narrative is ethical, you're firing off Signifiers to release chemicals of anti-bliss (clearly I simplify). So see? The system works. It doesn't have to be religion. You feel bad. Fix it. Apologize and henceforth be honest.

    But notwithstanding all scriptural and ecclesiastical claims to the contrary, lightning will not strike you.


    Again. If morality is not the essence of spirituality, why do we act accordingly?javi2541997

    Well, now, given I haven't miscommunicated, you know why I think. Up to you.
  • ENOAH
    288
    meditation is an annihilation of ones "existence".Astrophel

    Sorry Astrophel, annihilation? Would you accept, a rest, vacation, respite? I think I know what you mean, but meditation is a simultaneous turning away from "existence" and turn toward Reality, or True Being.

    I think, like Abraham's temporary suspension of the ethical ( specifically the law against infanticide, broadly, "existence," our world) meditation as we are using it here, is a temporary reprieve from our world, which removes its obstructions and allows brief glimpses of Truth. But the world has become the inescapable* default setting for humans in human existence.

    *I think there might theoretically be a "meditative" process which might allow one to exist in a permanent state of Truth, hence "annihilating" existence; but, man, is that unlikely.

    Have I misunderstood? Intruded?
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    meditation is an annihilation of ones "existence".Astrophel

    It's a dramatic way of putting it, but I believe this means 'the negation of ego'. 'Not my will but thine', in the Christian idiom. Dying to the self. It is fundamental to religious philosophy. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

    Another passage from the Buddhist texts. 'The Tathagata' is the Buddha (means 'thus gone' or 'gone thus'. 'Reappears' refers to being reborn in some state or other. 'Vaccha' is Vachagotta, a wandering ascetic who personifies the asking of philosophical questions in the early Buddhist texts. )

    Freed from the classification of consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply."Aggi Vachagotta Sutta
  • Tom Storm
    8.4k
    We all have to make a decision. It's quite possible that we'll make a wrong decision, that goes with the territory.Wayfarer

    :up: True that.
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