Philosophy

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Throughout the previous evening I had been preoccupied with Schopenhauer and Bernhard's poems, even though I spent all my time standing at the window, comparing the one with the other and trying to establish a philosophical relationship between the two mentalities, between Berhard's poems and Schopenhauer's philosophy, repeatedly subordinating the one to the other, contrasting them and trying to bring out the philosophical element in Bernhard's poems and the poetic element in Schopenhauer's philosophy. The fact that I didn't get any sleep at all that night was a great boon, I told myself. We must be grateful for all the sleepless nights of our lives, guys, as they enable us to progress philosophically.
 
Sep 22, 2012
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The Gnome said:
not in a philo thread I didnt start where a guy states not to read philo and says all the answers lie in the bible...start a bible thread then...the Church always relied on Philosophy to back up some of it's ridiculous ideas...not the other way round...
Please do not confuse me and the Church if you mean the Catholic Church. I am not a Catholic and never want to be identified with that organisation.

EDIT: Also I did not say not to read philosophy, I said "dont NEED philosophy". In the same way you don't NEED cycling, but that does not mean you cannot watch cycling.
 
Mad Elephant Man said:
Please do not confuse me and the Church if you mean the Catholic Church. I am not a Catholic and never want to be identified with that organisation.

EDIT: Also I did not say not to read philosophy, I said "dont NEED philosophy". In the same way you don't NEED cycling, but that does not mean you cannot watch cycling.
On the other hand, you don't need the bible.either: just clothing, plenty of air, food and water. ;)
 
Sep 22, 2012
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rhubroma said:
On the other hand, you don't need the bible.either: just clothing, plenty of air, food and water. ;)
If the climate is kind you can probably get away with no clothes as well.

I guess I should mean by need. I was not talking about what you need to live, but what you need to understand the world. You don't need philosophy or cycling or breakfast or sex or tv programs or science to understand the world.
 
Mad Elephant Man said:
If the climate is kind you can probably get away with no clothes as well.

I guess I should mean by need. I was not talking about what you need to live, but what you need to understand the world. You don't need philosophy or cycling or breakfast or sex or tv programs or science to understand the world.
But you do need the bible to understand the world? Whereas we can gain no insight from philosophy? This is your implication.

I'd say, philosophically, that quite the opposite is true, that the bible can do unimaginable harm to a child's mind if the parents are bible readers and adhere more or less automatically to the biblical precepts. To say that we were brought up on the bible amounts to saying that we were utterly destroyed, Mad elephant Man. The bible is the supreme annihilator of the child's soul, the supreme inspirer of terror, the supreme destroyer of character. That's the truth. And it's even a rather puerile and unsophisticated mythology! Untold millions owe it to the bible that they have been utterly destroyed, that their lives have been denaturized. The religious organizations and churches that have disseminated this bible mania throughout our civilization have the destruction of the human personality on their consciences--that's the truth. For the Christian churches won't tolerate any human being other than a Christian human being. Their unswerving aim is to turn human beings into what they insolently call the faithful, mindless creatures who have forgotten how to think for themselves and betrayed independence of thought to the Christian religion--that's the truth, I once told Gambetti on the Pincio. Most children always delighted in Christian ritual, which at first seemed like a fairy tale, undoubtedly the most beautiful we knew. And for grown-ups it was a life-long spectacle, the only one they knew. But the fairy tale and the spectacle between them have perverted and destroyed all that's natural in human beings. Using the fairy tale for the children and the spectacle for the adults, the Christian churches pursue a single aim, the total seduction of all those who fall into their clutches. It uses the fairy tale and the spectacle to bend them to their will, to extinguish them as human beings, to turn them into unthinking Christians who feel their unique source of consciousness and hope is the bible and have no will of their own, no curiosity to expand their knowledge, no interest in philosophical inquiries. The Christian faith armed with the bible, like all faiths, is a perversion of nature, is a sickness to which millions succumb quite deliberately because it's their only salvation, the salvation of the weak, who are incapable of independent thought and, having no minds of their own, need a higher mind to think for them. Christians allow their religious institutions and the bible to think for them and consequently act for them, because this makes their lives easier and they're convinced they can't do otherwise. And the Christian mind of the Christian churches, unlike that of the Greek philosophers, has a terrible way of thinking, wholly self-serving and inimical to human nature, conducive only to its own ends and own glory. This is especially the case among the priesthood and ministry. When the need arises, such people are never more unscrupulous than in their dealings with members of their own congregation. They recoil from no baseness, and under the cloak of Christian principle, high-mindedness, and social consciousness, they are merely rapacious and treat everyone as fair game.

Guided by the bible and under their leadership the Christian mind does all the thinking in our civilization. Everywhere we are confronted by the Christian spirit, which for centuries under orthodoxy has at least admittedly given us hundreds and thousands of orthodox works of art but destroyed the spirit of freedom and independence, the only natural spirit. What use are all these orthodox artworks, orthodox churches and palaces, if for centuries we have had no minds of our own? To say nothing about the vapid fundamentalism of the protestant evangelicals! Only in recent decades in our civilization have there been hints of emancipation from biblical domination, from the monstrous pressure of the Christian churches, from the old-age stranglehold of Christianity. Only recently has it become possible to discern, here and there, the tentative emergence of a kind of thinking and philosophizing that owes nothing to Christianity. Only in recent decades have a few Western minds begun to think independently, to use their Western heads, not just their Christian heads. Christianity and the bible are to blame for the fact that for so many centuries Western civilization had no philosophers, no philosophical thought, no philosophy. It's fair to say that until the nineteenth century for the past one thousand five hundred years all thought had been ruthlessly suppressed by the Christian faith and the biblical exegesis. And the civilization has made life easy for itself under the aegis of the Christian mind, which has always done its thinking for it, on a proxy basis and in its own way. In the last one thousand five hundred years Christianity and mercantilism have had a devastating effect, a lethal effect on the Western spirit, as all the evidence shows. In these one thousand five hundred years, one can say, Christianity and mercantilism extirpated thought and ushered in an efflorescence of consumerism. The mind having been suppressed for centuries, the West became the land of consumerism. Having become a thoroughly mindless people during the centuries of Christianity and mercantilism, we are now a thoroughly consumerist people. Having become a thoroughly mindless people during the centuries of Christianity, we have allowed mercantilism to take over and allowed consumerism to flourish. No other civilization, except the Muslims, has allowed the religious institutions and scripture to rob it so unscrupulously of the faculty of thought, no other civilization has allowed itself to be decapitated, as it were, by the bible.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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rhubroma said:
But you do need the bible to understand the world? Whereas we can gain no insight from philosophy? This is your implication.

I'd say, philosophically, that quite the opposite is true, that the bible can do unimaginable harm to a child's mind if the parents are bible readers and adhere more or less automatically to the biblical precepts. To say that we were brought up on the bible amounts to saying that we were utterly destroyed, Mad elephant Man. The bible is the supreme annihilator of the child's soul, the supreme inspirer of terror, the supreme destroyer of character. That's the truth. And it's even a rather puerile and unsophisticated mythology!
Untold millions owe it to the bible that they have been utterly destroyed, that their lives have been denaturized. The religious organizations and churches that have disseminated this bible mania throughout our civilization have the destruction of the human personality on their consciences--that's the truth. For the Christian churches won't tolerate any human being other than a Christian human being. Their unswerving aim is to turn human beings into what they insolently call the faithful, mindless creatures who have forgotten how to think for themselves and betrayed independence of thought to the Christian religion--that's the truth, I once told Gambetti on the Pincio. Most children always delighted in Christian ritual, which at first seemed like a fairy tale, undoubtedly the most beautiful we knew. And for grown-ups it was a life-long spectacle, the only one they knew. But the fairy tale and the spectacle between them have perverted and destroyed all that's natural in human beings. Using the fairy tale for the children and the spectacle for the adults, the Christian churches pursue a single aim, the total seduction of all those who fall into their clutches. It uses the fairy tale and the spectacle to bend them to their will, to extinguish them as human beings, to turn them into unthinking Christians who feel their unique source of consciousness and hope is the bible and have no will of their own, no curiosity to expand their knowledge, no interest in philosophical inquiries. The Christian faith armed with the bible, like all faiths, is a perversion of nature, is a sickness to which millions succumb quite deliberately because it's their only salvation, the salvation of the weak, who are incapable of independent thought and, having no minds of their own, need a higher mind to think for them. Christians allow their religious institutions and the bible to think for them and consequently act for them, because this makes their lives easier and they're convinced they can't do otherwise. And the Christian mind of the Christian churches, unlike that of the Greek philosophers, has a terrible way of thinking, wholly self-serving and inimical to human nature, conducive only to its own ends and own glory. This is especially the case among the priesthood and ministry. When the need arises, such people are never more unscrupulous than in their dealings with members of their own congregation. They recoil from no baseness, and under the cloak of Christian principle, high-mindedness, and social consciousness, they are merely rapacious and treat everyone as fair game.

Guided by the bible and under their leadership the Christian mind does all the thinking in our civilization. Everywhere we are confronted by the Christian spirit, which for centuries under orthodoxy has at least admittedly given us hundreds and thousands of orthodox works of art but destroyed the spirit of freedom and independence, the only natural spirit. What use are all these orthodox artworks, orthodox churches and palaces, if for centuries we have had no minds of our own? To say nothing about the vapid fundamentalism of the protestant evangelicals! Only in recent decades in our civilization have there been hints of emancipation from biblical domination, from the monstrous pressure of the Christian churches, from the old-age stranglehold of Christianity. Only in recently has it become possible to discern, here and there, the tentative emergence of a kind of thinking and philosophizing that owes nothing to Christianity. Only in recent decades have a few Western minds begun to think independently, to use their Western heads, not just their Christian heads. Christianity and the bible are to blame for the fact that for so many centuries Western civilization had no philosophers, no philosophical thought, no philosophy. It's fair to say that until the nineteenth century for the past one thousand five hundred years all thought had been ruthlessly suppressed by the Christian faith and the biblical exegesis. And the civilization has made life easy for itself under the aegis of the Christian mind, which has always done its thinking for it, on a proxy basis and in its own way. In the last one thousand five hundred years Christianity and mercantilism have had a devastating effect, a lethal effect on the Western spirit, as all the evidence shows. In these one thousand five hundred years, on can say, Christianity and mercantilism extirpated thought and ushered in an efflorescence of consumerism. The mind having been suppressed for centuries, the West became the land of consumerism. Having become a thoroughly mindless people during the centuries of Christianity and mercantilism, we are now a thoroughly consumerist people. Having become a thoroughly mindless people during the centuries of Christianity, we have allowed mercantilism to take over and allowed consumerism to flourish. No other civilization, except the Muslims, has allowed the religious institutions and scripture to rob it so unscrupulously of the faculty of thought, no other civilization has allowed itself to be decapitated, as it were, by the bible.
Oh please! Give it a rest. That is utter rubbish. What sort of child would be reading sections of the bible that are corrupting and even if they were, do you think they would really understand it? I can't believe I have read so much bile on my screen. I am an agnostic (I think we are all somewhat) and I can tell you now that for all the Christians I meet, I don't think one of them would accept the premise of the opening of your 2nd paragraph.
 
Jul 10, 2010
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The Gnome said:
. . .when he went with the old failed theologic sleight of hand "if I have an idea of God...he must exist"...this was done to satisfy the Church because the Church tended to kill people who were too reasonable back then...
Philosophy and sophistry, down the lane, hand in hand, eh?

Same root sophis. Greek for knowledge or wisdom? Also I think it was the name of a school - the Sophists? Who taught their student followers how to argue any side of any argument, and how to bring an argument 360', logically and rationally.

rhubroma said:
. . . to progress phylosophically.
PHYLOsophically? Now I have to deal with a new word construction?

phylosophy
"inherited knowledge and wisdom??" from Gk. phylon "race, stock," related to phyle "tribe, clan," and phylein "bring forth" (see phylum) + sophia "knowledge, wisdom," from sophis "wise, learned;"

:D;)
 
hiero2 said:
Philosophy and sophistry, down the lane, hand in hand, eh?

Same root sophis. Greek for knowledge or wisdom? Also I think it was the name of a school - the Sophists? Who taught their student followers how to argue any side of any argument, and how to bring an argument 360', logically and rationally.



PHYLOsophically? Now I have to deal with a new word construction?

phylosophy
"inherited knowledge and wisdom??" from Gk. phylon "race, stock," related to phyle "tribe, clan," and phylein "bring forth" (see phylum) + sophia "knowledge, wisdom," from sophis "wise, learned;"

:D;)
You know, all in a frenzy. Oops.
 
hiero2 said:
Philosophy and sophistry, down the lane, hand in hand, eh?

Same root sophis. Greek for knowledge or wisdom? Also I think it was the name of a school - the Sophists? Who taught their student followers how to argue any side of any argument, and how to bring an argument 360', logically and rationally.



PHYLOsophically? Now I have to deal with a new word construction?

phylosophy
"inherited knowledge and wisdom??" from Gk. phylon "race, stock," related to phyle "tribe, clan," and phylein "bring forth" (see phylum) + sophia "knowledge, wisdom," from sophis "wise, learned;"

:D;)
The other day in Castel Gandolfo I had made what now strikes me as some quite inept comments on Nietzsche's Zarathustra. I always had the utmost difficulty with Nietzsche, and on this occasion I had been unable to say anything apposite about him. Look, hiero2, I said to Nicola, I've been wrestling with Nietzsche for decades, but I haven't gotten any further with him. Nietzsche has always fascinated me, but I've never understood him properly. To be honest, it's the same with all the other philosophers, I told Nicola, with Shopenhauer and Pascal, to name just two. All my life I've found them difficult and done no more than begin to understand them. They've always been Greek to me, though I've always been attracted and excited by them. The more I study these men's writings, I told Nicola, the more helpless I become. It's only in moments of megalomania that I can claim to have understood them, just as it's only in such moments that I can claim to have understood myself, though to this day I've never been able to understand anything about myself. The more I study myself, the further I get from the truth about myself, the more obscure everything becomes, I told Nicola, and it's the same with these philosophers. When I think I've understood them I've actually understood nothing.

This is probably true of everything I've studied. But now and then in moments of megalomania, I venture to say that that I’ve understood something about these philosophers and their writings. None of these men or their works can be understood, not Pascal, not Descartes, not Kant, not Schopenhauer, not Schleiermacher, to name only those who preoccupy me at present, those I’m working on at the moment. With the greatest ruthlessness toward them and to myself, I added. With the greatest audacity and the greatest impudence. For when we work on one of these philosophers, hiero2, it’s impudence and presumptuousness to take hold of them and, as it were, tear the philosophical guts out of the living body. It’s always impudent to set about a work of philosophy, but without such impudence we can’t approach it and get anywhere philosophically. We actually have to attack these philosophical writings as roughly and toughly as possible—and the writers themselves, whom we must think of as our enemies, as our most formidable opponents, hiero2. I have to pit myself against Schopenhauer if I want to understand him, against Kant, against Montaigne, against Descartes, against Schleiermacher—you understand. I have to be against Voltaire if I want to get to grips with him properly and have some prospect of success.

But so far I’ve been pretty unsuccessful at getting to grips with these philosophers and their works. Life will soon be over; my existence will be extinguished, I told Nicola, and I’ll have achieved nothing. Everything will have remained firmly closed to me. In the same way I’ve been pretty unsuccessful up to now in getting to grips with myself. I treat myself as an enemy and go into philosophical action against myself, I told Nicola. I approach myself with every possible doubt, and I fail. I achieve absolutely nothing. I have to regard the mind as an enemy and go into philosophical action against it if I am to enjoy it. But I probably don’t have enough time. Man’s greatest misfortune is that he never has enough time, and that’s what’s made knowledge impossible. So all we have ever achieved is an approximation, a near miss. Anything else is nonsense. When we are thinking and don’t stop thinking, which is what we call philosophizing, we come to realize that our thinking has been wrong. Up till now all their thinking has been wrong, whoever they were and whatever they wrote, yet they didn’t give up of their own violation, I told Nicola; they gave up because nature forced them to, through sickness, madness, and finally death. They didn’t want to stop, however grievous the suffering; they carried on against all reason and despite all warnings. Yet they ultimately committed themselves to false conclusions, I told Nicola—ultimately to nothing, whatever this nothing might be, which, though we know it is nothing and therefore cannot exist, still dooms everything to failure, halts all progress, and finally brings everything to an end.
 
In my humble opinion there's only one thing which is needed to understand the world:



And not just any brain, your own brain! It does not matter how many books, or which books, or whatever you read/watch/follow/listen to, you need to actually think for yourself.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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rhubroma said:
Christianity and the bible are to blame for the fact that for so many centuries Western civilization had no philosophers, no philosophical thought, no philosophy. It's fair to say that until the nineteenth century for the past one thousand five hundred years all thought had been ruthlessly suppressed by the Christian faith and the biblical exegesis.
Lol, this is just factually untrue, unless you define 'philosophy' as 'philosophy that I like'. Ever heard of Augustine, Anselm, Thomas of Aquino, John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Voltaire, Descartes, Spinoza, Locke?

Seriously, you can't claim philosophy only started again in the 19th century........

I mean, at least get your facts straight.
 
Sep 22, 2012
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RedheadDane said:
In my humble opinion there's only one thing which is needed to understand the world:



And not just any brain, your own brain! It does not matter how many books, or which books, or whatever you read/watch/follow/listen to, you need to actually think for yourself.
I totally disagree.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Maaaaaaaarten said:
Lol, this is just factually untrue, unless you define 'philosophy' as 'philosophy that I like'. Ever heard of Augustine, Anselm, Thomas of Aquino, John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Voltaire, Descartes, Spinoza, Locke?

Seriously, you can't claim philosophy only started again in the 19th century........

I mean, at least get your facts straight.
It never has been rhubroma's strong point. He/she is more about ad hominem.
 
Mad Elephant Man said:
I totally disagree.
Care to explain why?

Would you say that a person who's been living away from the world for their entire life, but with access to all types of books/stuff, is really understanding the world?
Also remember that I see/understand the world different from you, who understand it different from ACF, who understand it different from Maaaaaaaarten, who understand it different from rhubroma... and so on...
 
Sep 22, 2012
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RedheadDane said:
Care to explain why?

Would you say that a person who's been living away from the world for their entire life, but with access to all types of books/stuff, is really understanding the world?
Also remember that I see/understand the world different from you, who understand it different from ACF, who understand it different from Maaaaaaaarten, who understand it different from rhubroma... and so on...
Maybe yes, maybe no, but they would have a better understanding than someone who has never read a book, never been educated in anything, but has just used their brain to try and figure it all out by themselves.
 
Mad Elephant Man said:
Maybe yes, maybe no, but they would have a better understanding than someone who has never read a book, never been educated in anything, but has just used their brain to try and figure it all out by themselves.
That person might have a better theoretical understanding, but they won't have any practical understanding.
 
Sep 22, 2012
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RedheadDane said:
That person might have a better theoretical understanding, but they won't have any practical understanding.
What practical understanding? There are facts about the world or things we think are facts about the world. They are either correct or not. If you have the facts correct then you have a correct understanding of the world. Nothing practical about it at all.
 
Mad Elephant Man said:
What practical understanding? There are facts about the world or things we think are facts about the world. They are either correct or not. If you have the facts correct then you have a correct understanding of the world. Nothing practical about it at all.
How to function in the world.
Besides; what is the 'correct' understanding of the world? Does the professor at Harvard have a more 'correct' understanding of the world than the person living in the middle of Borneo's jungle?

Also, an important part of functioning in the world is the ability to think critically; if you have all your understanding through books you'll be more inclined to just believe whatever's written in those books. On the other hand; if you has practical knowledge then you'll be able to see what of the things you read really just is nonsense.
 

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