Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

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uwot
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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by uwot » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:00 am

As several people have alluded to, this entire thread is a textbook example of projection, with a side order of martyr complex. From the top:
Nick_A wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:13 pm
Secular Progressives believe they know the path to utopia, peace on earth and how to educate and +organize society to follow it.
Actually, Nick_A, that's what you think.
Nick_A wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:13 pm
However, there are some people who stand in the way of progress. They have been labeled as collectives and have become scapegoats.

Modern examples of these scapegoats are:

1. White males over fifty
2. Christians
3. Political conservatives
In other words, Nick_A.
'Secular progressive' simply means not Christian and not conservative. It is a 'collective' labelled by Bill O'Reilly; a white male, over fifty, a christian and conservative.
Nick_A wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:13 pm
How many other collectives can you think of which deny secular striving towards peace and love culminating in utopia?
Well, since not all white males over fifty are Christians or conservatives, nor all Christians and conservatives white males over fifty, Christians and conservatives pretty much covers it.

uwot
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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by uwot » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:28 am

Anyway:
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:15 am
Sure, a human perspective reflects universal values and laws.
There isn't a universal human perspective which recognises the same values and laws. Christians and other religious nuts, believe some god has some set of values and laws that we should abide by, but they quite clearly aren't universally accepted.
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:15 am
How does that relate to respect for life?
You tell me, Nick_A.
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:15 am
Simone entered the army.
Er, hang on a minute...
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:15 am
In July 1936, I was in Paris. I don’t like war; but I found the position of those outside the war far more horrifying than war itself. When I understood that, as much as I tried to believe otherwise, I couldn’t ethically refuse to participate in the war – that’s to say, I couldn’t wish every day, every hour, victory for some and defeat for others while doing nothing myself, I told myself that I must put Paris behind me and I caught a train to Barcelona with the intention of enlisting. That was at the beginning of April, 1936.
Trans. From Simone Weil’s Écrits historiques et politiques (Paris : Éditions Gallimard, 1960).
“If Mr. Gandhi can protect his sister from rape through non-violent means, then I will be a pacifist.” Simone Weil
I don’t see defense contradicting her respect for life.
What do you mean by "the army"? As your own quote explains, Simone Weil wished victory for an anti-fascist coalition in a foreign civil war. By "defense", you clearly don't mean self-defence.
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:15 am
Why allow innocent people to be killed or raped and call it respect for the sacredness of life?
Why indeed?
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:15 am
We may be all equal in our slavery to force but I don’t see how it relates to pacifism? She was a young pacifist but learned by experience it was a dead end.
And I greatly admire her courage and determination. Fighting conservatism is a noble pursuit.

Belinda
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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Belinda » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:43 am

Nick wrote of Simone Weil:
She was a young pacifist but learned by experience it was a dead end.
You are probably right about this. However rejecting pacifism and embracing violence doesn't involve violence for the sake of self expression. There is always need for self- discipline in line with a thought-out morality. I think nobody could accuse Simone Weil of lacking either self discipline or reflections on morality.

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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Nick_A » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:23 pm

Uwot
There isn't a universal human perspective which recognises the same values and laws. Christians and other religious nuts, believe some god has some set of values and laws that we should abide by, but they quite clearly aren't universally accepted.
The essential question: is Perennial Philosophy a reality?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy
Perennial philosophy (Latin: philosophia perennis),[note 1] also referred to as Perennialism and perennial wisdom, is a perspective in modern spirituality that views each of the world's religious traditions as sharing a single, metaphysical truth or origin from which all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has grown.
Perennialism has its roots in the Renaissance interest in neo-Platonism and its idea of The One, from which all existence emanates. Marsilio Ficino(1433–1499) sought to integrate Hermeticism with Greek and Jewish-Christian thought,[1] discerning a Prisca theologia which could be found in all ages.[2] Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–94) suggested that truth could be found in many, rather than just two, traditions. He proposed a harmony between the thought of Plato and Aristotle, and saw aspects of the Prisca theologia in Averroes, the Koran, the Cabala and other sources.[3]Agostino Steuco (1497–1548) coined the term philosophia perennis.[4]
A more popular interpretation argues for universalism, the idea that all religions, underneath seeming differences point to the same Truth. In the early 19th century the Transcendentalists propagated the idea of a metaphysical Truth and universalism, which inspired the Unitarians, who proselytized among Indian elites. Towards the end of the 19th century, the Theosophical Society further popularized universalism, not only in the western world, but also in western colonies. In the 20th century universalism was further popularized in the English-speaking world through the neo-Vedanta inspired Traditionalist School, which argues for a metaphysical, single origin of the orthodox religions, and by Aldous Huxley and his book The Perennial Philosophy, which was inspired by neo-Vedanta and the Traditionalist School.
Secular progressive philosophy must deny objective truths as the source of subjective opinions. There can be nothing greater than subjective opinions and the correct subjective opinions lead to happiness. All who oppose these opinions must be made scapegoats and eliminated.

This is one reason why Simone Weil is so valuable for young minds. A young person can feel that there is something more than opinions: objective understanding.

Excerpted from a letter Simone Weil wrote on May 15, 1942 in Marseilles, France to her close friend Father Perrin:
At fourteen I fell into one of those fits of bottomless despair that come with adolescence, and I seriously thought of dying because of the mediocrity of my natural faculties. The exceptional gifts of my brother, who had a childhood and youth comparable to those of Pascal, brought my own inferiority home to me. I did not mind having no visible successes, but what did grieve me was the idea of being excluded from that transcendent kingdom to which only the truly great have access and wherein truth abides. I preferred to die rather than live without that truth.
A normal young woman should be worried about her nose and talk about boys and the latest fashions. It is abnormal for her to be concerned about objective truth. It is elitism and she must be put on drugs and reeducated so as to become a normal atom of the Great Beast. There is nothing greater than the perpetual battle over opinions to achieve happiness – the goal of the secular progressive.

Then to make matters worse this kid also reads this passage from Jacob Needleman’s book: “Lost Christianity”
Of course it had been stupid of me to express it in quite that way, but nevertheless the point was
worth pondering: does there exist in man a natural attraction to truth and to the struggle for truth that is stronger than the natural attraction to pleasure? The history of religion in the west seems by and large to rest on the assumption that the answer is no. Therefore, externally induced emotions of egoistic fear (hellfire), anticipation of pleasure (heaven), vengeance, etc., have been marshaled to keep people in the faith.
Since there is no objective truth for the secular progressive the only goal can be pleasure. Yet for the young who have survived efforts at spirit killing and are not addicted to materialism, they now know there is a minority both past and present who have shared their need for truth transcending opinions. Their task is to find them and share rather than create and blame scapegoats for their lack of happiness the secular progressives believe they are entitled to.

They will be hated but it is always that way for people willing to "annoy the Great Beast."

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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Impenitent » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:57 am

where did I put that windmill?

-Imp

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Greta
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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Greta » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:00 am

If speaking about "perennial philosophy", have there been any serious and objective comparative religion studies that ascertain the commonalities and differences between religions?

Taoism, Confucianism and various schools of philosophy would also seem to belong in the analysis. Further, one could extend an analysis of their social demands and compare with those of legal systems. It would be interesting to see how much DNA is shared by various legal systems and their predominant religions and/or philosophies.

An obvious example is that most religions seem to reject murder, theft and rape, but there are exceptions in each case, and the commonality of the exceptions could be compared.

A decent analysis of this sort, done in good faith for no other reason than curiosity, could save a lot of pointless debate, or at least settle some basics, allowing the conversation to more forward.

Nick_A
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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Nick_A » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:44 am

Greta wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:00 am
If speaking about "perennial philosophy", have there been any serious and objective comparative religion studies that ascertain the commonalities and differences between religions?

Taoism, Confucianism and various schools of philosophy would also seem to belong in the analysis. Further, one could extend an analysis of their social demands and compare with those of legal systems. It would be interesting to see how much DNA is shared by various legal systems and their predominant religions and/or philosophies.

An obvious example is that most religions seem to reject murder, theft and rape, but there are exceptions in each case, and the commonality of the exceptions could be compared.

A decent analysis of this sort, done in good faith for no other reason than curiosity, could save a lot of pointless debate, or at least settle some basics, allowing the conversation to more forward.
Of course perennial philosophy is discussed and experienced. It is difficult to do in public since the dominant secular mind will only attack it with ridicule and seek to devolve it into social concerns, Take for example "The Transcendent Unity of Religions" by Frithjof Schuon. The author of this page is an open minded scientist. But the verticality of the idea is offensive to dominant seculrism so sincere discussion must take place in private and with people without the need to condemn. It is a shame but it is what it is.

https://integralscience.wordpress.com/1 ... religions/

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Greta
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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Greta » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:53 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:44 am
Greta wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:00 am
If speaking about "perennial philosophy", have there been any serious and objective comparative religion studies that ascertain the commonalities and differences between religions?

Taoism, Confucianism and various schools of philosophy would also seem to belong in the analysis. Further, one could extend an analysis of their social demands and compare with those of legal systems. It would be interesting to see how much DNA is shared by various legal systems and their predominant religions and/or philosophies.

An obvious example is that most religions seem to reject murder, theft and rape, but there are exceptions in each case, and the commonality of the exceptions could be compared.

A decent analysis of this sort, done in good faith for no other reason than curiosity, could save a lot of pointless debate, or at least settle some basics, allowing the conversation to more forward.
Of course perennial philosophy is discussed and experienced. It is difficult to do in public since the dominant secular mind will only attack it with ridicule and seek to devolve it into social concerns, Take for example "The Transcendent Unity of Religions" by Frithjof Schuon. The author of this page is an open minded scientist. But the verticality of the idea is offensive to dominant seculrism so sincere discussion must take place in private and with people without the need to condemn. It is a shame but it is what it is.

https://integralscience.wordpress.com/1 ... religions/
Yes, we know you consider secular thinkers to be less than vermin in your eyes so the reminders in every single post are increasingly superfluous. It's okay. We get it. Really.
To the subject matter. Yes, I remember you previously noting that the esoteric aspects of religions were far more in line with each other than their more culturally-coloured exoteric aspects.

So it appears the angle is that each esoteric tradition, like Dolores in Westworld, aims to get to "the centre of the maze", and each major religion is tailored to suit the temperament of the particular culture in getting to that centre. Boy oh boy, did that aim not work out, looking at the misguided metaphysical oddities prominent in today's religions, which you would claim is due to 'secularisation".

Thing is, I think he overestimates the relative homogeneity within cultures. In truth, the differences within cultures are greater than those between them. You will find that wealthy people everywhere speak the same emotional and intellectual "language", as do scientists, religious moderates, fascists, helpers and so on.

Certainly the devotional approach of Christianity has never worked for me due to its logically absurd anthropomorphism and gendering of God. I have always lived in the west and have no Asian relatives, yet as far back as the 80s I had rejected Abrahamic religions and was a keen consumer of Buddhist teachings and there's an increasing number of westerners converting to Buddhism as compared with adoption of Christianity.

I think the connection between cultural tendencies and aptitudes and their predominant faiths are historical and traditional rather than innate, especially given global population fluidity in recent decades. In truth, just about anything can act as a conduit for spiritual exploration or development, so there are adherents to obviously nonsensical cargo cults leading full, productive and happy lives. What one needs is sincerity. Religions have, through their experience in these matters before they aligned with conservative politics, developed various techniques to accelerate spiritual progression. However, if the ideas presented are archaic or odd then it's not easy to elicit the level of buy-in - the faith - needed to give such approaches their power.

uwot
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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by uwot » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:01 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:23 pm
The essential question: is Perennial Philosophy a reality?
But not the one we are addressing.
Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:23 pm
Secular progressive philosophy must deny objective truths as the source of subjective opinions.
Tell you what; you keep saying 'secular progressive' and I'll keep saying 'non Christian and non conservative'. Anyway, the above is nonsense. Christian conservative philosophy is a broad church, but it pales in comparison to everything else which is non Christian and non conservative. You can find any opinion you are looking for, but if you apply that to everyone who is non Christian and non conservative, the world outside your little bubble is going to be hopelessly distorted. Personally, like most non Christian and non conservative thinkers, I assume there is an universe, about which some things are objectively true, and for the most part, are independent of our subjective perceptions and beliefs.
Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:23 pm
There can be nothing greater than subjective opinions and the correct subjective opinions lead to happiness. All who oppose these opinions must be made scapegoats and eliminated.
That's just you projecting one of your bugbears onto billions of people to whom it doesn't apply.
Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:23 pm
This is one reason why Simone Weil is so valuable for young minds. A young person can feel that there is something more than opinions: objective understanding.
Science does it better.
Nick_A wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:23 pm
There is nothing greater than the perpetual battle over opinions to achieve happiness – the goal of the secular progressive.
Don't be silly; that's religion...
Jacob Needleman wrote:...externally induced emotions of egoistic fear (hellfire), anticipation of pleasure (heaven), vengeance, etc., have been marshaled to keep people in the faith.
See? Even Jacob Needleman says so.

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Greta
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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Greta » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:05 am

uwot wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:01 pm
Personally, like most non Christian and non conservative thinkers, I assume there is an universe, about which some things are objectively true, and for the most part, are independent of our subjective perceptions and beliefs.
Ay-men!

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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Nick_A » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:33 am

Greta wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:53 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:44 am
Greta wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:00 am
If speaking about "perennial philosophy", have there been any serious and objective comparative religion studies that ascertain the commonalities and differences between religions?

Taoism, Confucianism and various schools of philosophy would also seem to belong in the analysis. Further, one could extend an analysis of their social demands and compare with those of legal systems. It would be interesting to see how much DNA is shared by various legal systems and their predominant religions and/or philosophies.

An obvious example is that most religions seem to reject murder, theft and rape, but there are exceptions in each case, and the commonality of the exceptions could be compared.

A decent analysis of this sort, done in good faith for no other reason than curiosity, could save a lot of pointless debate, or at least settle some basics, allowing the conversation to more forward.
Of course perennial philosophy is discussed and experienced. It is difficult to do in public since the dominant secular mind will only attack it with ridicule and seek to devolve it into social concerns, Take for example "The Transcendent Unity of Religions" by Frithjof Schuon. The author of this page is an open minded scientist. But the verticality of the idea is offensive to dominant seculrism so sincere discussion must take place in private and with people without the need to condemn. It is a shame but it is what it is.

https://integralscience.wordpress.com/1 ... religions/
Yes, we know you consider secular thinkers to be less than vermin in your eyes so the reminders in every single post are increasingly superfluous. It's okay. We get it. Really.
To the subject matter. Yes, I remember you previously noting that the esoteric aspects of religions were far more in line with each other than their more culturally-coloured exoteric aspects.

So it appears the angle is that each esoteric tradition, like Dolores in Westworld, aims to get to "the centre of the maze", and each major religion is tailored to suit the temperament of the particular culture in getting to that centre. Boy oh boy, did that aim not work out, looking at the misguided metaphysical oddities prominent in today's religions, which you would claim is due to 'secularisation".

Thing is, I think he overestimates the relative homogeneity within cultures. In truth, the differences within cultures are greater than those between them. You will find that wealthy people everywhere speak the same emotional and intellectual "language", as do scientists, religious moderates, fascists, helpers and so on.

Certainly the devotional approach of Christianity has never worked for me due to its logically absurd anthropomorphism and gendering of God. I have always lived in the west and have no Asian relatives, yet as far back as the 80s I had rejected Abrahamic religions and was a keen consumer of Buddhist teachings and there's an increasing number of westerners converting to Buddhism as compared with adoption of Christianity.

I think the connection between cultural tendencies and aptitudes and their predominant faiths are historical and traditional rather than innate, especially given global population fluidity in recent decades. In truth, just about anything can act as a conduit for spiritual exploration or development, so there are adherents to obviously nonsensical cargo cults leading full, productive and happy lives. What one needs is sincerity. Religions have, through their experience in these matters before they aligned with conservative politics, developed various techniques to accelerate spiritual progression. However, if the ideas presented are archaic or odd then it's not easy to elicit the level of buy-in - the faith - needed to give such approaches their power.

You are commenting on the exoteric level of reality and I am referring to the vertical connection between the exoteric and transcendent levels of reality.

Imagine a three story building. The first floor is the exoteric level. That is where we are. Some at this level begin to sense life at this level is absurd for humanity. Arguing absurdities becomes empty. They become attracted to the great questions of life and agree that there must be a transcendent level where human life has objective meaning and purpose. They seek the third story. They learn that they must open to the vertical esoteric inner direction which connects the transcendent and the exoteric. Only a few have the will and the need to consciously open to the esoteric direction. Most are content to make the best of a bad situation at the exoteric level.

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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Arising_uk » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:30 am

Nick_A wrote:Of course if reincarnation is a reality you may find that like Sisyphus getting nowhere, ...
Er!? if it is a reality then you will always be getting somewhere, that's the point. You don't seem to understand the concept, is this because you just wiki stuff rather than go study or do it?

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Greta
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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Greta » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:39 am

Nick_A wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:33 am
Greta wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:53 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:44 am


Of course perennial philosophy is discussed and experienced. It is difficult to do in public since the dominant secular mind will only attack it with ridicule and seek to devolve it into social concerns, Take for example "The Transcendent Unity of Religions" by Frithjof Schuon. The author of this page is an open minded scientist. But the verticality of the idea is offensive to dominant seculrism so sincere discussion must take place in private and with people without the need to condemn. It is a shame but it is what it is.

https://integralscience.wordpress.com/1 ... religions/
Yes, we know you consider secular thinkers to be less than vermin in your eyes so the reminders in every single post are increasingly superfluous. It's okay. We get it. Really.
To the subject matter. Yes, I remember you previously noting that the esoteric aspects of religions were far more in line with each other than their more culturally-coloured exoteric aspects.

So it appears the angle is that each esoteric tradition, like Dolores in Westworld, aims to get to "the centre of the maze", and each major religion is tailored to suit the temperament of the particular culture in getting to that centre. Boy oh boy, did that aim not work out, looking at the misguided metaphysical oddities prominent in today's religions, which you would claim is due to 'secularisation".

Thing is, I think he overestimates the relative homogeneity within cultures. In truth, the differences within cultures are greater than those between them. You will find that wealthy people everywhere speak the same emotional and intellectual "language", as do scientists, religious moderates, fascists, helpers and so on.

Certainly the devotional approach of Christianity has never worked for me due to its logically absurd anthropomorphism and gendering of God. I have always lived in the west and have no Asian relatives, yet as far back as the 80s I had rejected Abrahamic religions and was a keen consumer of Buddhist teachings and there's an increasing number of westerners converting to Buddhism as compared with adoption of Christianity.

I think the connection between cultural tendencies and aptitudes and their predominant faiths are historical and traditional rather than innate, especially given global population fluidity in recent decades. In truth, just about anything can act as a conduit for spiritual exploration or development, so there are adherents to obviously nonsensical cargo cults leading full, productive and happy lives. What one needs is sincerity. Religions have, through their experience in these matters before they aligned with conservative politics, developed various techniques to accelerate spiritual progression. However, if the ideas presented are archaic or odd then it's not easy to elicit the level of buy-in - the faith - needed to give such approaches their power.

You are commenting on the exoteric level of reality and I am referring to the vertical connection between the exoteric and transcendent levels of reality.

Imagine a three story building. The first floor is the exoteric level. That is where we are. Some at this level begin to sense life at this level is absurd for humanity. Arguing absurdities becomes empty. They become attracted to the great questions of life and agree that there must be a transcendent level where human life has objective meaning and purpose. They seek the third story. They learn that they must open to the vertical esoteric inner direction which connects the transcendent and the exoteric. Only a few have the will and the need to consciously open to the esoteric direction. Most are content to make the best of a bad situation at the exoteric level.
Actually Nicholas, I'm talking about the applicability of different methodologies for personal growth aka transcendence. If there is another level of existence, another dimension where the lucky ones go to after death, then all of the religions seem to agree that doing good works brings people closer to what is seemingly required of them - and without the need for metaphysical leverage. Maybe the old masters worked out various "life hacks" to bring one to another level, as if reality has distinct levels like a computer game.

So, maybe those without the "spiritual hack" could be considered to be honest plodders rather than superstars in the race towards the "soul integration level" (???) but, if there is as hard a line between the end of our lives and the beginning of new lives as is currently supposed, then honest plodders are actually the high achievers while the "spiritual superstars" may be less effective through their belief's demands on their time and energy.

It ultimately depends on what happens after we die, which is probably the core of many heated debates on philosophy forums.

Belinda
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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Belinda » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:26 am

Nick_A quoted and commented:

Of course it had been stupid of me to express it in quite that way, but nevertheless the point was
worth pondering: does there exist in man a natural attraction to truth and to the struggle for truth that is stronger than the natural attraction to pleasure? The history of religion in the west seems by and large to rest on the assumption that the answer is no. Therefore, externally induced emotions of egoistic fear (hellfire), anticipation of pleasure (heaven), vengeance, etc., have been marshaled to keep people in the faith.
Simone Weil
Since there is no objective truth for the secular progressive the only goal can be pleasure. Yet for the young who have survived efforts at spirit killing and are not addicted to materialism, they now know there is a minority both past and present who have shared their need for truth transcending opinions. Their task is to find them and share rather than create and blame scapegoats for their lack of happiness the secular progressives believe they are entitled to.
Apart from those people whose main motive is towards gratifying physical and affectionate needs often for reasons of necessity, one important motive is towards the search for truth, beauty, or goodness.Simone Weil was obviously one of the latter, and it's unusual for her sort of motivation to completely overshadow physical needs.

Faith in transcendent good may be justified at least for pragmatic reasons, and even by sceptics. Nick, you seem to have misunderstood Weil as quoted. She is contrasting innate attraction to transcendent good on the one hand, and religious coercion on the other hand.

You, however mistakenly take her to be contrasting secular institutions with religious institutions. This is wrong as a matter of fact; all institutions religious and secular are perennially in danger of smothering whatever there be of the instinct towards truth,goodness, and beauty. You as usual tilt at your windmill.

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Re: Scapegoats for Secular Progressives

Post by Belinda » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:31 am

Greta, there is study of a sort of religious unity. It's the theory of the Axial age by Karl Jaspers. The study is historically not theologically based.

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