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Ch. 9 - Divinity With or Without God 
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Post Re: Ch. 9 - Divinity With or Without God
geo wrote:
Haidt seems a good one to bridge the gap between atheism and spirituality as well. I'd like to see Emerson's piece. Do you remember what it was called?

It's usually called his Divinity School address and of course available on the web. His primary target was historical Christianity, which he felt had drained the spiritual power out of the faith by setting in stone words and acts and titles, leaving nothing for the creative spirit to work on. Emerson can appear pretty verbose.
"Once leave your own knowledge of God, your own sentiment, and take secondary knowledge, as St. Paul's, or George Fox's, or Swedenborg's, and you get wide from God with every year this secondary form lasts, and if, as now, for centuries,--the chasm yawns to that breadth, that men can scarcely be convinced there is in them anything divine."
Quote:
This environmental essay by Wendell Berry seems to resonate with similar themes of a spiritual deficit, but in more explicitly Christian terms. I can't find the entire article, but here's a condensed version.

First, an excerpt:

Quote:
. . . I am well aware of what I risk in bringing this language of religion into what is normally a scientific discussion. I do so because I doubt that we can define our present problems adequately, let alone solve them, without some recourse to our cultural heritage. We are, after all, trying now to deal with the failure of scientists, technicians, and politicians to “think up” a version of human continuance that is economically probable and ecologically responsible, or perhaps even imaginable. If we go back into our tradition, we are going to find a concern with religion, which at a minimum shatters the selfish context of the individual life, and thus forces a consideration of what human beings are and ought to be.

http://thebloath.wordpress.com/2009/05/ ... ell-berry/

Is he as close to a prophet as we have today? I think it's good he reminds us of something. We're always arguing about who gets the credit for science, as though it's some great prize. We want to deny it to religion, naturally. But if pure evil is a myth, so is pure good, and science hasn't been an unalloyed good at all, as Berry says. If we do catastrophize the planet, science could be held partly responsible. Berry's turn toward the arts as a answer to our hunger for the limitless is brilliant. He also implies a turn towards religion, but in the arts you have much the same qualities.



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geo
Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:45 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 9 - Divinity With or Without God
DWill wrote:
Is he as close to a prophet as we have today? I think it's good he reminds us of something. We're always arguing about who gets the credit for science, as though it's some great prize. We want to deny it to religion, naturally. But if pure evil is a myth, so is pure good, and science hasn't been an unalloyed good at all, as Berry says. If we do catastrophize the planet, science could be held partly responsible. Berry's turn toward the arts as a answer to our hunger for the limitless is brilliant. He also implies a turn towards religion, but in the arts you have much the same qualities.

Berry pulls no punches in this essay. So, yes, he's a prophet in the sense that he can look right through all the bullshit (when no one else seems able to) and show us that we are already living in a world dangerously bereft of values.

I love Berry's turn towards the arts as well. Speaking of which, Gabriel Garcia Marquez recently died, and I was reminded of this short, brilliant story, A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings. I think it can be interpreted as a modern fable that shows we are blind to the wonder that's all around us.

http://salvoblue.homestead.com/wings.html


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Last edited by geo on Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:28 am
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Post Re: Ch. 9 - Divinity With or Without God
In this chapter, Haidt made a good case for taking LSD and mushrooms. Gotta get me some of that.



Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:55 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 9 - Divinity With or Without God
Jesus camp is one of the scariest movies i've ever seen.

You know what the problem is? That woman has dedicated her life to being insane. Normal people don't dedicate their lives to battling insane people. They dedicate their lives to trying to do right by their family and neighbors.

So while crazy people spend all their efforts being crazy, normal people don't have the motivation to set up camps and try to brainwash a generation into thinking normal thoughts.

Crazies pour all their efforts into buying bill boards, getting petitions, lobbying lawmakers, picketing funerals, and trying to burn every harry potter book they can lay their hands on. They re-print the origin of species with their own propoganda writting into the text. They build multi-million dollar exhibits and museums meant to undercut what can be demonstrated to be true. They flock together in stadiums where tens of thousands of them empty their pockets for the cause of un-fettered make believe while normal people just try to ignore them and hope that their madness dies off on it's own.


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:01 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 9 - Divinity With or Without God
I'm not easily scared, but yes. Why can't religious people just be nice?

Divinity has kind of a nice ring, and I'm okay with it, but it has its unfortunate sides when it's too heavy on sanctity and authority, which are two of the moral emotions that Haidt talks about in his other book. The problem is that it becomes easy to hate those who are seen as defiling the sacred beliefs, and to believe that you have the authority to do whatever it takes to stop that.



Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:19 pm
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