Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME FORUMS BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:12 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 34 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
Ch. 8: The "New" Testament Exceeds the Evil of the 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Thinks Abridged Editions are an Abomination

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4079
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 1120
Thanked: 1149 times in 865 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post 
Grim wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
Using Hobbes, Hume and Russell as a prism on to the universe is no bad thing, and highly instructive. I have the impression Hitchens would invoke Aristotle to reject postmodernism as illogical, rejecting the mysticism inherent in saying that contradictory propositions can both be true.
"One belief more than any other, is responsible for the slaughter of individuals on the alters of great historical ideals - justice or progress or the happiness of future generations, or the sacred mission or the emancipation of a nation or race or class, or even liberty its self, which demands the sacrifice of individuals for the freedom of society. This is the belief that somewhere, in the past or the future, in divine revelation or in the mind of an individual thinker, in the pronouncements of history or science, or in the simple heart of an uncorrupted good man, there is a final solution." Isaiah Berlin
No doubt Isaiah Berlin was a great writer, but this quote is superficial, showing Berlin in his role as chief cheerleader for the British war effort – more British than the Brits. His use of the term “final solution” directly compares any effort to logically understand the world to the Nazi genocide of the Jews. As a Latvian Jew whose family suffered terribly, Berlin had a perfect right to sniff out the conceptual roots of totalitarianism. However, saying that belief in a final solution is the universal cause of slaughter is superficial. The real cause of slaughter is will to power, to which beliefs are just means to an end, not an end in themselves. For example Stalin claimed belief in communism as a final solution, where in reality his actions were determined by his own will to power, with the communist “final solution” primarily used as a propaganda device to conceal his autocratic intrigues.

The implication of Berlin’s quote is that it is in principle impossible to understand reality. This is the basis of modern liberal pluralism for which he is something of a patron saint. However, this view can be maladaptive when it supports an excessive scepticism about scientific discovery, for example in the field of climate change.
Quote:
This supposed affirmation in the blurring of true and false does not change the nature of the symbol as a physical representation of truth. How could it be an archetype is it were not? Hitchens rejection of myth is mirrored by the inability of myth to prove its truth. Whether you are talking about Mother Goose or the bible is now irrelevant. The frame of reference in regard to the bible has been shrewdly replaced by a philosophical argument discussing the merits and nature of the symbol and mythical representation of reality which is just as much a sociological or anthropological study as anything else.
The nub here is the concept of proof. Hitchens demands a form of empirical proof which is irrelevant to the nature of religious truth. God is not an entity who can be discovered, but a concept which can be understood. The mathematical logic of symbolic understanding of archetypes provides the basis of mythic understanding, and is a completely different way of thought from the empirical tone of the atheist enquiry into whether God exists.

An example here is the Australian indigenous myth of the Rainbow Snake. Hitchens might argue in his condescending way that the myth is untrue, and is associated with a primitive culture. However, his view would ignore the symbolic role of this myth in helping to establish an indigenous identity which critiques the alienation from the earth of the Abrahamic faiths. This interpretation of symbols goes back to Robert Graves’ Introduction to the Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, where he asserts that myth is a dramatic coded record of events like 'invasions, migrations, dynastic changes, admission of foreign cults and social reforms', with the beliefs of conquered people returning in a subordinate form over time. Simply calling all myths equally false closes the door to this sociological interpretation.

Hitchens’ assertion that mythology is false is itself a mythic argument, holding out the vision of the European scientific Enlightenment of the eighteenth century as the model of human progress. In archetypal terms, science has largely conquered religion, meaning that religion needs to return in an altered form, compatible with science, if it is to continue. Hitchens enunciates a triumphant claim of the superiority of science over religion, seeking to chop off all the heads of the hydra in one fell swing. No wonder he writes for Vanity Fair.

By the way, Hitchens’ recent articles are at http://www.hitchensweb.com/



Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:54 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Brilliant

Bronze Contributor 2

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 674
Thanks: 17
Thanked: 20 times in 15 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Canada (ca)

Post 
Robert Tulip wrote:
The implication of Berlin’s quote is that it is in principle impossible to understand reality. This is the basis of modern liberal pluralism for which he is something of a patron saint. However, this view can be maladaptive when it supports an excessive scepticism about scientific discovery, for example in the field of climate change.


And this is wrong why? I'm not sure what you mean by "maladaptive" in regards to skepticism about "scientific discovery". Oh, wait I get it your talking about the stem cell debate. Yeah, a real winner pertaining to the effects of "excessive skepticism" there. Surely you aren't suggesting that all ideas must be taken in strict context, that would be just too cosmetic. The "final solution" is a reoccurring in humanity, Christianity and religion is one of many expressions of it. How does will to power compare to success within a capitalist system, or the will of Muslims over the West, or of Christians over Muslims?

http://midnightreflection.net/?p=130

“It is, I have no doubt some such dogmatic certainty that has been responsible for the deep, serene, unshakable conviction in the minds of some of the most merciless, tyrants and persecutors in history that what they did was fully justified by its purpose.” Isaiah Berlin

Stalin derived much of his legitimacy within the Comintern based on his diligence to the Marxist inspired interpretations concerning a political and social order his mentor and predecessor Lenin had developed. No doubt he was a powerful individual as a horrific dictatorial figure but he wasn't exactly doing political or ideological improve, he wasn't exactly doing his own thinking.

Robert Tulip wrote:
God is not an entity who can be discovered, but a concept which can be understood. The mathematical logic of symbolic understanding of archetypes provides the basis of mythic understanding, and is a completely different way of thought from the empirical tone of the atheist enquiry into whether God exists.


So why not follow the Mother Goose of Zeus for that matter? You've lost your frame of reference.

Robert Tulip wrote:
However, his view would ignore the symbolic role of this myth in helping to establish an indigenous identity which critiques the alienation from the earth of the Abrahamic faiths. This interpretation of symbols goes back to Robert Graves’ Introduction to the Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, where he asserts that myth is a dramatic coded record of events like 'invasions, migrations, dynastic changes, admission of foreign cults and social reforms', with the beliefs of conquered people returning in a subordinate form over time. Simply calling all myths equally false closes the door to this sociological interpretation.


What about anthropological?

Robert Tulip wrote:
In archetypal terms, science has largely conquered religion, meaning that religion needs to return in an altered form, compatible with science, if it is to continue. Hitchens enunciates a triumphant claim of the superiority of science over religion, seeking to chop off all the heads of the hydra in one fell swing. No wonder he writes for Vanity Fair.


Yes I can see the altered form of religion. Science cannot be an archetype, a mathematical symbol is referred to as an axiom - neither of which are intrinsically suppositional as you fallaciously infer. Historically and currently, as always, religion can be observed playing the best it can on peoples lack of understanding, building unnecessary uncertainties in undisciplined parties who look on the fringes of science with undue wonder and lack perspective.

And you write for? Oh yeah, no place I'm aware of. So show some respect eh....hoser!

:book:



Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:28 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Thinks Abridged Editions are an Abomination

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4079
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 1120
Thanked: 1149 times in 865 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post 
Grim wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
The implication of Berlin’s quote is that it is in principle impossible to understand reality. This is the basis of modern liberal pluralism for which he is something of a patron saint. However, this view can be maladaptive when it supports an excessive scepticism about scientific discovery, for example in the field of climate change.
And this is wrong why? I'm not sure what you mean by "maladaptive" in regards to skepticism about "scientific discovery". Oh, wait I get it your talking about the stem cell debate. Yeah, a real winner pertaining to the effects of "excessive skepticism" there. Surely you aren't suggesting that all ideas must be taken in strict context, that would be just too cosmetic. The "final solution" is a reoccurring in humanity, Christianity and religion is one of many expressions of it. How does will to power compare to success within a capitalist system, or the will of Muslims over the West, or of Christians over Muslims?
It is wrong because, as Hitchens argues, humans can in fact seek to understand reality, ruling in and out various hypotheses in progress towards a fuller understanding. Pluralism can be maladaptive when it requires the toleration of views which are highly dangerous. The greenhouse effect is likely to be highly dangerous, whereas your example of stem cells is not in my opinion a major moral problem. In the example of climate which I gave, a pluralist outlook can argue the science is not settled when in fact it is.

Berlin has a right to his view that ideology is determinant for tyranny, but I question his sweeping up all “final solutions” with such a crude Nazi analogy. He is drawing from Popper’s book The Open Society and Its Enemies, which saw Plato’s Republic, and his theory of Ideas, as at the root of totalitarian thought. Berlin and Popper see all ‘final solutions’ as intrinsically totalitarian, but this means that faith puts us on the path to genocide. How should they then cope with an outlook, such as Christianity, which in its key texts is directly anti-totalitarian? What if the faith is in the truth rather than in lies of the sort peddled by Hitler and Stalin?

Quote:
http://midnightreflection.net/?p=130 “It is, I have no doubt some such dogmatic certainty that has been responsible for the deep, serene, unshakable conviction in the minds of some of the most merciless, tyrants and persecutors in history that what they did was fully justified by its purpose.” (Isaiah Berlin) Stalin derived much of his legitimacy within the Comintern based on his diligence to the Marxist inspired interpretations concerning a political and social order his mentor and predecessor Lenin had developed. No doubt he was a powerful individual as a horrific dictatorial figure but he wasn't exactly doing political or ideological improve, he wasn't exactly doing his own thinking.
It was all a trick, a ruse to hide Stalin’s personal ambition to be sole autocrat. I’m now reading Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror – A Reassessment which makes this overall point very strongly. Dictatorship is about power, and ideas are means to power, not ends in themselves.
Quote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
God is not an entity who can be discovered, but a concept which can be understood. The mathematical logic of symbolic understanding of archetypes provides the basis of mythic understanding, and is a completely different way of thought from the empirical tone of the atheist enquiry into whether God exists.
So why not follow the Mother Goose of Zeus for that matter? You've lost your frame of reference.
The symbolic story of Christianity is about a world messiah, opening the question of how the world needs to be fixed. By contrast, Greek mythology lacks a similar statement about human purpose, except in its proto-Christian ideas such as the myth of Prometheus.
Quote:

Robert Tulip wrote:
However, his view would ignore the symbolic role of this myth in helping to establish an indigenous identity which critiques the alienation from the earth of the Abrahamic faiths. This interpretation of symbols goes back to Robert Graves’ Introduction to the Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, where he asserts that myth is a dramatic coded record of events like 'invasions, migrations, dynastic changes, admission of foreign cults and social reforms', with the beliefs of conquered people returning in a subordinate form over time. Simply calling all myths equally false closes the door to this sociological interpretation.
What about anthropological?
What do you see as the difference between anthropology and sociology? My impression is that historically they studied so-called ‘primitive’ and ‘advanced’ societies respectively.
Quote:

Robert Tulip wrote:
In archetypal terms, science has largely conquered religion, meaning that religion needs to return in an altered form, compatible with science, if it is to continue. Hitchens enunciates a triumphant claim of the superiority of science over religion, seeking to chop off all the heads of the hydra in one fell swing. No wonder he writes for Vanity Fair.
Yes I can see the altered form of religion. Science cannot be an archetype, a mathematical symbol is referred to as an axiom - neither of which are intrinsically suppositional as you fallaciously infer.
I don’t understand your point here.
Quote:
Historically and currently, as always, religion can be observed playing the best it can on peoples lack of understanding, building unnecessary uncertainties in undisciplined parties who look on the fringes of science with undue wonder and lack perspective.
You automatically assume that all religion has a nefarious motive of promoting lies.
Quote:
And you write for? Oh yeah, no place I'm aware of. So show some respect eh....hoser! :book:
I’m not being disrespectful in mentioning that Hitchens writes for Vanity Fair, except to the extent that he is vain about his ambition to eradicate religion.
RT



Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:56 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Brilliant

Bronze Contributor 2

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 674
Thanks: 17
Thanked: 20 times in 15 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Canada (ca)

Post 
Robert Tulip wrote:
Pluralism can be maladaptive when it requires the toleration of views which are highly dangerous. The greenhouse effect is likely to be highly dangerous, whereas your example of stem cells is not in my opinion a major moral problem. In the example of climate which I gave, a pluralist outlook can argue the science is not settled when in fact it is.


Stem cells not a major moral problem? Riight. :hmm: Pluralism in liberal society is probably one of the strongest positive attributes possible when not misused. The global warming problem is truly a pluralistic conundrum. But, while you could conclusively convince be that global warming is a threat that I should take seriously, you have yet to convincingly show a perspective where I should similarly regard the bibles religious message. That was your point at one time wasn't it?

Robert Tulip wrote:
How should they then cope with an outlook, such as Christianity, which in its key texts is directly anti-totalitarian? What if the faith is in the truth rather than in lies of the sort peddled by Hitler and Stalin?


I don't know that it is directly anti-totalitarian, as the essence seems to suggest a notion that is distinctly apolitical on reading. Of course there seems to be little differences between worldly absolutism and metaphysical forms of the same tendency. Your mention of Hobbes is interesting in this light, for although you may think that Hitchens would agree with him - how ever you figured that - it would be quite impossible.

Robert Tulip wrote:
It was all a trick, a ruse to hide Stalin’s personal ambition to be sole autocrat. I’m now reading Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror – A Reassessment which makes this overall point very strongly. Dictatorship is about power, and ideas are means to power, not ends in themselves.


Of course he was ambitious and not without talent but the point is that he undeniable derived much of his legitimacy not of his own design. Lenin had chosen him based on his faithfulness to key doctrine. The better example for what you were suggesting would have been Lenin who actually conceptualized much of the Comintern ideologies. It's like the Pope he doesn't re-write the bible he just does different things with it.

Robert Tulip wrote:
The symbolic story of Christianity is about a world messiah, opening the question of how the world needs to be fixed. By contrast, Greek mythology lacks a similar statement about human purpose, except in its proto-Christian ideas such as the myth of Prometheus.


So why not just read Shakespeare and be done with it all?

Robert Tulip wrote:
What do you see as the difference between anthropology and sociology? My impression is that historically they studied so-called ‘primitive’ and ‘advanced’ societies respectively.


No, your right there is no difference between primitive and advanced cultures.

Robert Tulip wrote:
I don’t understand your point here.


You have a reoccurring tendency for using words without knowing what they mean...taxonomically.

Robert Tulip wrote:
You automatically assume that all religion has a nefarious motive of promoting lies.


Well, in terms of broad generalities, yes, it does seem to be one of the things all religion is good at doing. You have yet to show conclusive value so I must assume that there is little more to it than cheap fancy for the foolish. The Abraham parable, including the associated value arguments, did not defend the supposed authority of the messages, or validate the existence of bible based religions for that matter.

:book:



Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:34 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 34 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:


A Nation Under Judgment by Richard Capriola


BookTalk.org Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Featured Book Suggestions
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
    

Love to talk about books but don't have time for our book discussion forums? For casual book talk join us on Facebook.

Featured Books






BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSBOOKSTRANSCRIPTSOLD FORUMSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICY

BOOK FORUMS FOR ALL BOOKS WE HAVE DISCUSSED
Frankenstein - by Mary ShelleyThe Big Questions - by Simon BlackburnScience Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOur Amazon.com SalesMassimo Pigliucci Rationally SpeakingOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism BooksFACTS Book Selections

cron
Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2011. All rights reserved.
Website developed by MidnightCoder.ca
Display Pagerank