• TheMadFool
    4.2k
    I think this is a weak analogy--perhaps another one of your specialties. A child learning something for the first time has nothing in common with the process of this forum and the people who have done serious reading and in far more than a Philosophy 101 class.uncanni

    :rofl:

    :up: :ok:

    I don't mean to denigrate the intelligence and erudition of forum members here. However consider this from the perspective of the universe itself.

    How much do we know?

    Aren't we pitifully confined to this teensy rock we call earth, possibly in the backwaters of the galaxy to say nothing of our position in this vast universe? We can safely bet, despite the mountains of treatises that have been, are being and will be written, that our knowledge is relatively zero.

    The same principle by which you judge this forum is more than a child's learning renders us playmates of children.
  • 3017amen
    869
    It’s about ten years since I started posting on forums. My original inspiration was this review which I still thoroughly enjoy every time I revisit it. (Damn, for years that review was publicly available, but it’s gone behind a paywall.)Wayfarer

    Indeed, that really speaks to this issue at hand here. Nice review Wayfarer!

    About 20 years ago when I became interested in philosophy (outside of some freshman courses in college) I purchased https://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-Made-Simple-Complete-Important/dp/0385425333 and, in all but one of the domain's there were repeated references to Diety/God as to the nature of things.

    Thus my question, why is that?
  • Baden
    8.8k
    Why is so much rambling theological verbiage given space on 'The Philosophy Forum'?

    Because @Hanover was chewing on Doritos and watching MMA when he should have been deleting it. Unfortunately, he's a lawyer so we can't fire him.
  • uncanni
    338
    Aren't we pitifully confined to this teensy rock we call earth, possibly in the backwaters of the galaxyTheMadFool

    I have no problem with the hood I live in, and I'm not particularly concerned with infinity and infinite potential, except to say that I find it a comforting thought. Critters that we are in this backwater, we have our concerns, and until we dry up and blow away, we'll no doubt continue to stare at our navels. :razz:
  • uncanni
    338
    Thus my question, why is that?3017amen

    Cuz the Inquisition would get you if you didn't mention the G word. Now the G word deployed by Descartes, for example, has caché in an albeit flawed argument, but it's not like that anymore. We no longer need to kowtow to the church. Now I enjoy a good discussion about an all-loving and forgiving God who will nonetheless condemn pagans and sinners to eternal hellfires and exactly how that works, but though many have tried, no one's ever convinced me that that idea makes any sense at all.
  • Wayfarer
    8.8k
    in all but one of the domain's there were repeated references to Diety/God as to the nature of things.

    Thus my question, why is that?
    3017amen

    A lot of people - probably most - think the whole question has been finished with. So why bother reopening a can of worms?

    My view is that much of what is important in the Western philosophical tradition is intertwined with theology because of the way that Greek philosophy became absorbed by Christian theology. So throwing out one often results in loosing the the other - throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You notice that here, because certain ideas or lines of argument are tacitly regarded as 'taboo' in that they seem to suggest theological ideas. Because secular philosophy was defined in terms of excluding such ideas, then they're effectively taboo.

    But if you don't accept that the physical world/sensory domain/phenomenal realm possesses intrinsic reality, then what does? Does anything? It might sound flippant, but nihilism is a real cultural and social malaise. A lot of people suffer from it without knowing anything about it or without even knowing the word. But I'm sure it's connected to the widespread feeling that life is meaningless.

    The questions behind all of these are in some sense religious questions, but in my view, the problem is that the traditional symbolism of religion (sheep, fields, 'the blood of the lamb') hasn't kept pace with the rate of cultural change, resulting in a massive disconnect. Fundamentalism attempts to solve that by simply clinging to the literal meaning, which is obviously futile. So in my view, a lot of the reason why these questions keep coming up on the forum is because they're real questions, they're deep questions, and very hard to fathom.
  • 3017amen
    869
    My view is that much of what is important in the Western philosophical tradition is intertwined with theology because of the way that Greek philosophy became absorbed by Christian theology.Wayfarer

    I have a theory that's neither truly novel yet bears a brief exploration nonetheless. Much like the problem of evil, the problem of existence, inevitably rears its philosophical head in some way, shape or form.

    Epistemology, ontology, metaphysics, contemporary philosophy, et al. It doesn't matter... .

    My theory is simply based on both St. Thomas' & Schopenhauer's metaphysical will. Or in cognitive philosophy, the sense of wonderment.

    I'm afraid as Beings of higher intellect/consciousness, we can't escape from asking abstract questions about the how's & why's of existence(?)

    Maybe the question should be reframed to say perhaps; why is there so much rambling about the problem of existence... I don't know you guys tell me...

    ( Or the nature of existence, whichever you prefer.)
  • Mark Dennis
    444
    Okay, I'm an atheist, but it seems to me that the quality of discussion on these prolific religious threads falls far short of 'philosophical debate' or even 'coherence' for participants . Even the apocryphal question about 'the number of angels who can dance on the point of a needle', would make better reading than what I have read here !fresco


    I get where you’re coming from. Even the apologists and internal critics of faiths are wondering what the hell is going on with all the evangelical extremism of late.

    I’m here to discuss, collaborate, debate and learn. What I’m not here to do is be ministered too.

    I could make a crazy Taoist universalist post if I wanted to but I don’t and I wouldn’t. I like spiritual diversity, including atheism. Can the Mods please be a bit more liberal in coming down on rule breaks with some of the unresponsive crazies though.
  • 3017amen
    869
    I could make a crazy Taoist universalist post if I wanted to but I don’t and I wouldn’t. I like spiritual diversity, including atheiMark Dennis

    Hey Mark, speaking of spiritual diversity, I think there are many of us who would embrace and welcome a thread on Taoism... Maybe too, talk about how Taoism reconciles the problem of evil.

    There are many Christian Existentialists who incorporate Taoism as a matter of pragmatic inspiration.
  • PoeticUniverse
    781
    Taoism3017amen

    Each holds within itself the seed of the other:
    Yin reaches climax then retreats in Yang’s favor—
    Cyclic movement of rotational symmetry.
    Rounded life is the blend of Yin-Yang together.

    Strive for a dynamic balance, of light
    And dark, Yin and Yang, and wrong and right.
    Reality is found not in separate actions
    But in related events blended in twilight.
  • christian2017
    520


    I feel the same about this post. Have an open mind.
  • christian2017
    520
    What I've yet to figure out is why so many (a) religious believers, (b) idealists, and (c) continental philosophy fans are drawn to the board. Those three categories seem to cover about 95% of the people who post here. (And they're all like the Joker to my Batman)Terrapin Station

    i believe the exact opposite. You are my Joker to my Batman.
  • christian2017
    520


    How is this not a troll post. If i posted something like this i guarantee it would be removed.
  • uncanni
    338

    Fundamentalism attempts to solve that by simply clinging to the literal meaning, which is obviously futile.Wayfarer

    Fundamentalism may seem futile to us, but it seems to gain strength every day. The force of the irrational is extremely powerful: it wins over and over again throughout much of history.

    So in my view, a lot of the reason why these questions keep coming up on the forum is because they're real questions, they're deep questions, and very hard to fathom.Wayfarer

    I guess I thought Sartre answered that question in "Existentialism is a Humanism"--or I accepted it as such back in the 1970s. It never relieved me from suffering bouts of angst, depression and a feeling that things are absurd and meaningless, but I didn't expect it to. Those feelings are simply part of the human condition for some of us. And sometimes I think that if fundamentalism prevents someone from feeling those feelings... Is that all right? As long as I don't get burned at the stake or thrown in a concentration camp for differing in my beliefs, what's my beef with fundamentalism? Am I going to change a fundamentalist's views? No way in hell. I mean, I think it's incredibly stupid, irrational, cowardly and psychologically unhealthy, but... it seems to be quite popular.

    The question I continue to ask myself is, How to muddle through the hard times? At the very least I can say that I am better at muddling through now than I was in my 20s...
  • Wayfarer
    8.8k
    Fundamentalism may seem futile to us, but it seems to gain strength every day. The force of the irrational is extremely powerful: it wins over and over again throughout much of history.uncanni

    This is a philosophy forum, and the concern ought to be what is real, what is true. Just because fundamentalism provides a kind of artificial refuge for those who can't handle reality, doesn't make it right. I mean, they have a civil right to believe as they like, provided their beliefs don't impinge on others (which some fundamentalist beliefs do). But essentially they misinterpret their own traditions, IMO. Origen, a profound Platonist Christian philosopher from about 100 A D, ridiculed fundamentalists even then. (Today's fundamentalists would probably regard him as an atheist and indeed some of his ideas were anathematised not long after his lifetime.)

    But that's not why I brought it up. I brought up fundamentalism because it's one response to an acute existential crisis. Sartre's was another. (I did an undergrad unit in Sartre, at the time I didn't understand him at all, but I'm of the view that he's over-rated. His philosophy lacks any basis for compassion - 'hell is other people'. )

    My personal development - and I'm a boomer - was mostly impacted by some well-known Asian spiritual teachers and movements. They're neither theist nor atheist in Western terms - they're outside the framework of Western cultural dialectics. But I learned something from them that allowed me to re-intepret our own cultural history.

    How to muddle through the hard times? Totally hear you on that. As you note, the years can impart some wisdom or at least resilience. But I think one point of philosophy proper is to enable you to reframe your situation - to see it from different perspectives, and hopefully perspectives within which it makes some kind of sense 'no matter what'. That's what I think is really needed from a philosophy, some way of making sense of the big picture. I don't know if Sartre succeeded in doing that; it's more like adjusting to the lack of sense and soldiering on regardless.
  • Coben
    1k
    This is a philosophy forum, and the concern ought to be what is real, what is true. Just because fundamentalism provides a kind of artificial refuge for those who can't handle reality, doesn't make it right.Wayfarer
    Perhaps fundamentalism is on the extreme edge of the bell curve as a 'refuge for those who can't handle reality', but that covers most of us to varying degrees. How many of our beliefs about the opposite sex, good parenting, politics, ontology, epistemology, identity, the value and place of emotions, how good and competent we are, why we have problems, what leads to success, when enhances learning

    are actually founded on anything but guesses and hand me down introjected ideas
  • Mark Dennis
    444
    @Terrapin Station
    What I've yet to figure out is why so many (a) religious believers, (b) idealists, and (c) continental philosophy fans are drawn to the board. Those three categories seem to cover about 95% of the people who post here. (And they're all like the Joker to my Batman)
    — Terrapin Station

    i believe the exact opposite. You are my Joker to my Batman.
    christian2017


    I see you both as members of the justice league and the joker is personified by the morally indifferent and apathetic.

    Let me be clear though, Atheists get to be the Batman(obviously, no superpowers!) Christians get to be super man. Let’s all make sure our metaphors match up please! You know how I feel about accuracy in metaphors and similes.
  • 3017amen
    869
    Fundamentalism may seem futile to us, but it seems to gain strength every day. The force of the irrational is extremely powerful: it wins over and over again throughout much of history.uncanni

    Two points:

    1. Fundamentalism can be thought of as one making political statements about a something. For it to have any import at all, one has to already believe. Otherwise it lacks meaning and can be dangerously extreme.

    2. On the other hand, it's no more irrational than our existence here. Our conscious nature is , in itself, irrational.
  • 3017amen
    869
    Strive for a dynamic balance, of light
    And dark, Yin and Yang, and wrong and right.
    Reality is found not in separate actions
    But in related events blended in twilight.
    PoeticUniverse

    Good and evil
    Like rain and sun
    Having one without the other
    Is the man without his hun

    Reality is twice
    Two becomes one
    The perversity of man
    Is the Father without the Son
  • uncanni
    338
    Perhaps fundamentalism is on the extreme edge of the bell curve as a 'refuge for those who can't handle reality', but that covers most of us to varying degrees.Coben

    Yes, indeed it does, but whose delusions cause harm to other people?

    Just because fundamentalism provides a kind of artificial refuge for those who can't handle reality, doesn't make it right.Wayfarer

    Nobody here is arguing that fundamentalism is right. In my opinion, christian fundamentalism has been used as an ideological rationalization/justification for unspeakable acts of terror, greed and theft. christians stole most of the world and enslaved its peoples. It's the most repugnant historical obscenity in my view--not that I approve of what some Muslims and the Israelis are doing; they just don't have the numbers.

    His philosophy lacks any basis for compassion - 'hell is other people'. )Wayfarer

    I agree with him, but that's not his only perspective on humanity; put it back in the context of the absurdist/existentialist play it came from. Some people are horrifying, and make others' existence a living hell; many more people than we tend to think are psychopaths with absolutely no conscience or concern for others outside of a very small inner circle. History bears me out on this.

    This is a philosophy forum, and the concern ought to be what is real, what is true.Wayfarer
    I probably belong on a psychoanalytic theory/cultural criticism forum... My main concern is how to move humankind in a direction away from pretty much everything I wrote above.
  • uncanni
    338
    Fundamentalism can be thought of as one making political statements about a something.3017amen

    I perceive it more in terms of its adherents' modes of behavior, the impacts it has in a given society.
  • Mark Dennis
    444
    Would you at all mind if I borrowed some of your verse to craft my own?

    More than happy to discuss Taoism and Universalism with you. :) I’ll open up a discussion on it soon. Probably after the weekend though as I’m moving to Chicago.
  • Pfhorrest
    470
    This is a philosophy forum, and the concern ought to be what is real, what is true.Wayfarer

    Not to denigrate truth or reality at all, but philosophy is about much more than just that. For starters it is equally much about goodness and morality, prescription as much as description. But besides that, it's not just about what is real/true and moral/good, but about what those kinds of terms mean, what criteria we might judge assertions of them by, what methods we might use to apply such criteria, what faculties we need to employ those methods, who is to exercise those faculties, and why to care about any of that at all.

    So, as much as I'm opposed to religion in general never mind fundamentalism, it's not in appropriate philosophizing to say "its claims may be false but it's still useful in such-and-such way". What is or isn't actually true definitely matters, but it isn't necessarily the only thing that matters.
  • 3017amen
    869


    Hey no problem at all Mark... And be safe with your move, hopefully the weather will cooperate for you. And be safe and remember to lift with your legs.

    We don't want you suffering from any Existential Angst when you're doing the Taoism thread LOL.
  • 3017amen
    869
    perceive it more in terms of its adherents' modes of behavior, the impacts it has in a given societyuncanni

    Indeed I've argued over the dangers of perpetuating age-old religious paradigms that no longer fit the contextual values in the 21st century...

    Medical science, cognitive science, physical science have all progressed to our benefit. And it's also been argued in the past that science and religion need to come together where possible. Fundamentalism seems to resist that...
  • Wayfarer
    8.8k
    This is a philosophy forum, and the concern ought to be what is real, what is true.
    — Wayfarer

    Not to denigrate truth or reality at all, but philosophy is about much more than just that. For starters it is equally much about goodness and morality, prescription as much as description
    Pfhorrest

    I think you're creating a false dichotomy there. The basis of philosophy comes from apprehending 'what truly is', which provides the lodestar for what is good. (I know you're generally opposed to everything religious, and if I thought religion means what you say it does, then I would be also.)
  • Pfhorrest
    470
    I'm just affirming the is-ought distinction, though not the cognitivist-noncognitivist implications often carried by it. I don't think that prescriptive assertions can be inferred from only descriptive assertions, so what is real is a separate question from what is moral. We could know nothing about reality and still figure out things about morality.

    Thanks to the ambiguity of language, we could in a sense talk about what prescriptive assertions are "true" as in correct prescriptions (at least if you're a moral cognitivist like me and I would assume you, and unlike someone like Hume), but that's a different sense (on an account like mine) from talk about what is "true" as in "real", which seemed to be the sense you meant with "what is real, what is true".
  • Wayfarer
    8.8k
    Well, in relation to fundamentalism, in particular, what is it issue is fallacious interpretation of religious texts - reading literal meanings into allegorical or metaphorical language, first and foremost. Then the reaction against that. The first is religious fundamentalism, the second is often associated with scientific materialism, both of which I regard as fallacious.
  • Coben
    1k
    Yes, indeed it does, but whose delusions cause harm to other people?uncanni
    Pharma, the gm industry, the nanotech industry, the neo cons....the list is long. Fundamentalists, on the scale of global or even national power, come in low on the list. They get used by the real power centers and yes, they align themselves, often, but not always with the real power abusers - but then so do good old regular secular people.
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