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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 
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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