Discussion in 'Religion' started by river, Aug 13, 2013.
I beg your pardon, I've never promised you a rose garden.
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Yet you dress as a gardener, and you criticise others' gardens. Apologies if I therefore expected your own garden to be in order. Instead I find you trying to build an unscalable wall around a patch of grass.
Sarkus #120, while acknowledging his erudition is vastly superior to mine, I would like to take strong exception to Frame's categorisation of humans as powerless components of an impersonalist Universe.
"If the world is basically impersonal, it is a pretty dark, dreary, and hopeless place. Happiness, justice, love, beauty might spring up for a while, but they are cosmic accidents of no ultimate importance.
I would like to treat just with the above quote for the present.
Firstly, what is his "world" in his assertion "If the world is basically impersonal......" Could it be Earth, the Universe or something else? That it is "a pretty dark, dismal and hopeless place.", strikes me as more of an unsubstantiated opinion, especially when he mentions happiness, justice, love, beauty and how ephemeral they are.
I think he should provide compelling argument why he thinks so.
I subscribe to the proposition that happiness, justice, love, beauty are constructs of the human mind, as are, notions of innocence, guilt, morality, compassion, fellowship and altruism. Neither Nature nor the Cosmos are imbued with these qualities. Whether one calls it impersonalism or indifference, Nature and the Cosmos are our masters figuratively speaking. We are an integral part of them and not apart from them. Our masters have no concern if we cannot keep pace with their progress. They will continue without us without a backward glance if we become extinct.
The supernatural world is a human construct also. By definition science cannot provide evidence for it because should it do so then the supernatural becomes natural and faith becomes irrelevant.
Wynn is quoted as asserting: "well, personalism and impersonalism can't meaningfully communicate". I'm interested in why you dismiss the claim.
This forum isn't a democracy, nor some egalitarian system.
I challenge many people who assert to "know the truth," to "know how things really are" or otherwise directly or indirectly assert superiority of their own viewpoint.
I'm not interested if they find my view lacking; I'm interested in seeing how they hold up to my scrutiny.
As we all challenge them, and often ourselves.
Ah, and I was of the understanding you were interested in discussion, whereas what you are clearly interested in is interrogation. My mistake, I guess.
For clarification, he doesn't think that the world is impersonal. This is his view of what an impersonal worldview would mean... to him at least.
The world he refers to is existence, the human condition, etc. He would find it a dark, dismal place, clearly ignoring the way those of us who are impersonalists find it.
I can't speak for him, and I quoted him merely as a counter to wynn, who held that people such as her, the personalists, are unable to explain their worldview to impersonalists.
We share this view, then.
You seem to have understood what Frame was trying to communicate, right, as did I. It is expressed in terms that both can understand, even if they do not agree with it.
Frame is a personalist.
I am an impersonalist, although do not tend to think of myself in those terms, but rather as whatever impersonal philosophy I actually am (whether it be emergentism, rationalism, empiricism, or mix of these and others etc).
Given that Frame, in that quote alone, was able to meaningfully communicate... I thought there was no option but to disagree with wynn.
One needs merely to understand where the boundaries of meaningful communication lie, or at least when they may have been crossed, as with any subject.
Sarkus, thanks for the thoughtful reply.
The only further comment I would venture would be to express my incredulity at the human mind's capacity to comfort itself through deception and the ability to suspend reliance on intelligence, logic and rational means of explanation.
Some days I find it so damned depressing that humans are still so infantilely superstitious. For all its genius, humankind is still struggling to come to terms with reality.
All of what you say is because Humanity does not yet BELIEVE in its self
Humanity must , absolutely must , Believe in its self
Which means what exactly?
I have a feeling the answer will be just as bad as the statement in question.
You had better clarify your intention here. Do you mean humankind must have self-reliance, self-confidence? If that is the case then I agree with you.
Religions have sucked these qualities from the human psyche and made humankind entirely dependant upon arbitrary dispensations from the church fathers who are called upon to interpret laws and customs, many of which trace their genesis back to stone-age societies.
Whence comes this compulsion to subsume one's integrity and value in fantasy? Are we still as afraid of the unknown as our earliest ancestors? Does the prospect of an indifferent cosmos fill most of us with dread? Do we still tremble in terror at being alone in the vastness of our universe?
Is it innate in humankind that we are cowards when faced with mystery?
But maybe those qualities were never a given part of the human psyche to begin with, and instead only some people had/have it, but not everyone.
Yes, and for good reason. We cannot even make our own air to breathe. We are at the whim of a vast universe which we cannot control. That realization, naturally, shows us our place, which is far from the throne.
Surely this is innate to some individuals.
Well, even if only some people have it, whence came they? Given or not? Be that as it may, the word "given" is unsuitable in that it implies they were endowed by a separate source. I contend that these attributes were developed by humans over millennia because they aided in survival or otherwise gave satisfaction or pleasure in a pitiless environment. Religion tells the faithful that they were too stupid or otherwise unable to develop these "human" feelings. It must be a puzzle for christians [and if it isn't, it should be] why their god granted his creation such beautiful gifts after he treated Adam and Eve so abominably.
But we can. If we mix 29% oxygen and 71% nitrogen[approximately] we have breathable air. Can I now expect you to advise that we cannot make oxygen and nitrogen? But we can do that too!
YES!!!! We are at the whim of a vast and indifferent universe. Whycan't people face that fact and not cower in abject terror? Eternal cowering will not make the universe any less pitiless and indifferent. But with a gallant contribution of patience and the equally gallant application of our intellects, we stand a very good chance of allaying the demons of our minds.
The universe, the cosmos, doesn't care whether we succeed or fail and no amount of kneeling, tearful supplication or prayerful pleading will invoke a tincture of interest from it. What alternative do we have but our patience and our science?
If we must have "belief" in ourselves then we must find it within ourselves for the universe has no such capacity for belief.
Perhaps it is. But I see it as a test within our own minds of whether we have the worth to impose ourselves upon the cosmos, of whether we will have the maturity of intellect to fearlessly and patiently work our way through the unknown and have the confidence to solve the mysteries.
Just like some people are born with green eyes.
They have been "bestowed."
Can you get yourself to become an aggressive driver of a fast German car?
Pffft. Some of the most aggressive, violent, proactive, self-respecting people have been people who claim to be religious.
Ah, silly. Looks like you don't know many Christians, nor much about Christianity. What to speak of other religions.
Nonsense. We cannot make something out of nothing. We can only use things that are already available and do a few things with those.
The sun is shining, for example. That can hardly be called indifferent.
Or with heroin ...
Well, declaring that the universe doesn't care about us also implies denying that this universe also gives us a lot of good things.
If we would be aliens, having arrived in this universe from another one, maybe then you'd have a point.
A test given to us by whom? That same universe that you claim is indifferent to us and that doesn't have the capacity for belief?
Religion really needs God. That's where the power comes from, the power to create universes out of nothingness. The power to dictate morality. The power to hold a civilization together for thousands of years. And the ability to experience God is innate.
That is exactly what I mean
And without any confidence in our Humanity we are then vulnerable to manipulation of all sorts , from without
Generally we are afraid , not all but most
Thats the problem
It shouldn't be innate it should be foreign
All hail aggressive drivers in fast German cars!
What do you mean?
Separate names with a comma.