Christianity

For all things philosophical.

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Alexis Jacobi
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:00 am

Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 2:46 pm If I say that people have lost the capability of understanding themselves, and their cultural matrix, and thus of Christian culture (which is so much a part of the whole), it is to try to speak about people who have been, as a result, separated from themselves.
Lacewing wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 6:11 pm
Have they lost it, or is it no longer useful/applicable to them?

Have people (in general) ever understood themselves very well? Hasn't self-reflection always been a practice of a minority?

And to say that they have been 'separated from themselves' is a big presumptive stretch. It suggests that you know what they are/aren't and what they should be. It doesn't allow for humankind to shift or waver or redirect without 'losing themselves'. So perhaps the problem with your thesis is that it is not as flexible as humankind and nature actually are.

Maybe Christianity is losing the immense hold it has had in the past because more people are becoming more self-directed and recognizing more paths/methods/options. Whether the fallout will be difficult from disengaging conventions of belief from everything they have been entwined into, I don't know. But in the long run, humankind seems intent on evolving beyond the beliefs that limit it. You don't seem to give humankind much credit. You conclude that those of us unlike you have lost ourselves, rather than recognizing that it makes more sense that the limits of your beliefs limit your understanding of what is naturally taking place.
I can assert, and I think beyond all doubt, that *it* is still and will always be ‘applicable’ to them. The issue for us all is in defining what ‘it’ is. My view is substantially different from IC’s view (for example) and my view is also deeply problematic and controversial. Why? Because I am researching in those areas in which culture, race, language, origin and self-definition (both real and mythic) converge and are debated.

What I said to you previously applies even more here: the more that you and I pay attention to the conflicts that have risen to the surface today, now, and the more these are examined and plunged, the more that you yourself (were you to do this) would realize how important all these topics are. And you would (this is another assertion of mine) also see with greater clarity how you are deeply involved in those conflicts and problems and the degree to which they inform you.

That is why I say that *when you speak* it is not just you, or put another way it is far more than just you.

People have not ‘understood themselves’. And you and I (and all participating here) do not enough understand ourselves. And how would you define what the process of *understanding oneself* entails? I will admit that it is not a task for everyone. But that leads to the observation that most people, therefore, live in a state of not-knowing. That is what I refer to as ignorance and also as nescience. If this is true what I say then it leads to another more troubling proposition: if I do not know who I am, if I do not know what has *informed* me, then in a tangible sense I am not really a free agent. I lack the power to define myself and also the task or the duty to define myself must then be left up to others. If this is so then I become a ‘field’ that is fought over. Who then has the power to define me? And then: Who or what will I serve as a result of having a defective sovereignty?

Self-reflection, in the sense you use the word, has indeed been a minority project. And that is why those who do that become, necessarily, authorities. And that leads to the problem of the analysis of Authority. Who do we give authority to?
And to say that they have been 'separated from themselves' is a big presumptive stretch.
It suggests that you know what they are/aren't and what they should be.
If I refer to *Europeans*, and if even this term of definition is accepted, I can fairly refer to what has made Europe Europe. And if I can designate that fairly and accurately I can then seek out the elements or the building blocks of *European identity* or the informing building materials. But you have taken ‘what they must be’ in another sense — as an imposition. Yet I say that ‘knowing oneself’ is having (real) power over self-definition. So if I propose anything I propose greater knowledge and awareness. But yes, within defined areas (which are still very wide, inclusive and vast).

Well, I may indeed be presumptive, but in no sense is it a presumptive statement to speak about the real possibility of becoming ‘separated from oneself’. The question is to define what one is talking about. There are hundreds of ways people do become separated from themselves. And not the least being when some other, powerful entity, gains power over them and defines them to them. Controls the definitions. You seem always on the verge of having an understanding of this.

What is *authenticity*? and how shall it be defined? There is a very broad conversation that opens when this question is asked.
Maybe Christianity is losing the immense hold it has had in the past because more people are becoming more self-directed and recognizing more paths/methods/options.
Christianity is a crucial element, if I can put it this way, within what I consider to be a far larger domain and paideia. You have particular arguments against IC’s position, and likely because you are resisting in him the *constraints* you felt were imposed on you when young.

But I do not propose strict limitations of any sort. Yet I do not propose, and certainly do not recommend, severing a connection with Christianity, nor Jesus Christ or angelic being and entity on a metaphysical level, because that has been the *lens* through which higher dimensions of being and meaning have been perceived. You have a distaste for *Christianity* and so you seem to spit it out of your mouth. I regard that as an error borne of misunderstanding. Can I prove this assertion? I think I can. And that is why I do not recommend tossing it out. I recommend, on the other hand, going more deeply into it. That means getting under *surface* and seeing *depth*.

“I stumbled when I saw”.
But in the long run, humankind seems intent on evolving beyond the beliefs that limit it.
Can you really speak for ‘humankind’? Is using such a general term even possible? Do you suppose that now, today, the Chinese Communists and their party or regime are genuinely forging an evolutionary path? What about the people who weild the technology that will lead into the AI and the ‘virtual-reality’ age that seems hard upon the threshold? Can you really be sure what the *long-run* is or how it will develop?

In any case, my own view, which was not easily gained, is that within Christianity and within this idea-realm that we refer to when we use that too-general term are ranges of ideas that are crucial and extremely necessary for defining positive life-outcomes, not the dystopian ones. When you examine the dystopian ones they reveal the degree to which they veered away from this center.

Now that is a statement I can make with a high degree of certainty.

Who and what are you fighting Lacewing?
Dubious
Posts: 3134
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: Christianity

Post by Dubious »

Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 3:46 pmThe first man was not created sinful. Nor was he born prone to death. He could have chosen to remain as he was created, but did not. To borrow a phase from Milton, one might say he was "sufficient to have stood / But free to fall." For man was created "in the image of God," meaning as a creature with genuine volition and choice of his own.
That presupposes the first man was Adam as per Genesis. Having read and actually memorized the first book of Paradise Lost in my late teens, I started writing a poem myself (now lost forever as are many others) consisting of a few hundred lines in rhyme which contained the following two near its beginning...

How original when through it all
Generations were doomed by one man's fall.

...not that I believed it literally, but metaphorically as a simulacrum of a DNA defect carried forward through all generations. Of course, there really wasn't any free will involved, since such a flaw is certain to reveal itself almost immediately. The Fall was preordained to happen with Calvinistic certainty. Character wise, he wasn't "free to fall"; he was "doomed to fall"!
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 3:46 pm"Truth is Hell seen too late." - Thomas Hobbes
I completely agree with that statement. Climate change is a perfect example of that...as are many other things seen too late.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 3:46 pmAnd you know. So I need say no more to you.
It's about time this conversation ended. Nothing last's forever, even belief systems.
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 15281
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Dubious wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:28 pm The Fall was preordained to happen with Calvinistic certainty.
Sorry...I'm not a Calvinist, and see no reason to believe that. You'll have to take that argument to somebody who thinks it can be defended.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 3:46 pm"Truth is Hell seen too late." - Thomas Hobbes
I completely agree with that statement. Climate change is a perfect example of that...as are many other things seen too late.
There are more things like that. Climate change is not the worst thing a God-rejecting Earth will see.

My advice: don't stand in the way of speeding trains.
Dubious
Posts: 3134
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: Christianity

Post by Dubious »

Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:54 pm
Dubious wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:28 pm The Fall was preordained to happen with Calvinistic certainty.
Sorry...I'm not a Calvinist, and see no reason to believe that. You'll have to take that argument to somebody who thinks it can be defended.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 3:46 pm"Truth is Hell seen too late." - Thomas Hobbes
I completely agree with that statement. Climate change is a perfect example of that...as are many other things seen too late.
There are more things like that. Climate change is not the worst thing a God-rejecting Earth will see.

My advice: don't stand in the way of speeding trains.
Thanks for your invaluable advice but, as mentioned, no belief system lasts forever. Eventually, beliefs evaporate and what remains are simply a few surviving traditions which seem to suffice for most people, especially those who were never trained to believe all that biblical nonsense in the first place.

Also, I never said you were a Calvinist.
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 15281
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Dubious wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:20 am ...no belief system lasts forever...
We'll see.

You'll find that the truth is always very, very durable.
Dubious
Posts: 3134
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: Christianity

Post by Dubious »

One can't depend on anyone as radicalized as yourself to know or tell others what the truth is.
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 15281
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Dubious wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:17 am One can't depend on anyone as radicalized as yourself to know or tell others what the truth is.
No: but you can certainly rely on God.
Dubious
Posts: 3134
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: Christianity

Post by Dubious »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:24 am
Dubious wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:17 am One can't depend on anyone as radicalized as yourself to know or tell others what the truth is.
No: but you can certainly rely on God.
Many who were once prone to believe lost their faith relying on god. The reason for that usually became obvious sooner or later.
Belinda
Posts: 6442
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Christianity

Post by Belinda »

Dubious wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:28 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 3:46 pmThe first man was not created sinful. Nor was he born prone to death. He could have chosen to remain as he was created, but did not. To borrow a phase from Milton, one might say he was "sufficient to have stood / But free to fall." For man was created "in the image of God," meaning as a creature with genuine volition and choice of his own.
That presupposes the first man was Adam as per Genesis. Having read and actually memorized the first book of Paradise Lost in my late teens, I started writing a poem myself (now lost forever as are many others) consisting of a few hundred lines in rhyme which contained the following two near its beginning...

How original when through it all
Generations were doomed by one man's fall.

...not that I believed it literally, but metaphorically as a simulacrum of a DNA defect carried forward through all generations. Of course, there really wasn't any free will involved, since such a flaw is certain to reveal itself almost immediately. The Fall was preordained to happen with Calvinistic certainty. Character wise, he wasn't "free to fall"; he was "doomed to fall"!
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 3:46 pm"Truth is Hell seen too late." - Thomas Hobbes
I completely agree with that statement. Climate change is a perfect example of that...as are many other things seen too late.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 3:46 pmAnd you know. So I need say no more to you.
It's about time this conversation ended. Nothing last's forever, even belief systems.
Dubious, can you really not see that what IC quoted is timeless in its application to the human condition? The meaning of the quotation has nothing to do with any scientific theory of change through time such as is natural selection as origin of species, nor anything to do with DNA. The original Biblical meaning is the same as that of Milton's and is about what defines man in his relation to God's word. DNA is neither here not there.
Belinda
Posts: 6442
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Christianity

Post by Belinda »

Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:54 pm
Dubious wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:28 pm The Fall was preordained to happen with Calvinistic certainty.
Sorry...I'm not a Calvinist, and see no reason to believe that. You'll have to take that argument to somebody who thinks it can be defended.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 28, 2022 3:46 pm"Truth is Hell seen too late." - Thomas Hobbes
I completely agree with that statement. Climate change is a perfect example of that...as are many other things seen too late.
There are more things like that. Climate change is not the worst thing a God-rejecting Earth will see.

My advice: don't stand in the way of speeding trains.
What are you talking about Immanuel? Putin invading Ukraine? The quasi fascist turn in US politics and religion? The old Adam and his inherent fear and greed ?
if you, IC and others like you, were more pessimistic as was Hobbes then you would be less in danger of impracticality.
Alexis Jacobi
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:00 am

Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

Belinda wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:13 amWhat are you talking about Immanuel? Putin invading Ukraine? The quasi fascist turn in US politics and religion? The old Adam and his inherent fear and greed?

if you, IC and others like you, were more pessimistic as was Hobbes then you would be less in danger of impracticality.
It is an interesting statement you made there. I wonder how it could be explored? I think you are right in a way, but also wrong. If we are really really going to get to the bottom of what is going on now, it takes more and better (?) seeing.

This YouTuber has a perspective that must significantly modify your statement. So — things are going on but do we really understand?

I’m pessimistic! But I do not know how to read the present. If the facts submitted in THO’s presentation are true (are they?) how then to define ‘speeding train’?
Belinda
Posts: 6442
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: Christianity

Post by Belinda »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:05 pm
Belinda wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:13 amWhat are you talking about Immanuel? Putin invading Ukraine? The quasi fascist turn in US politics and religion? The old Adam and his inherent fear and greed?

if you, IC and others like you, were more pessimistic as was Hobbes then you would be less in danger of impracticality.
It is an interesting statement you made there. I wonder how it could be explored? I think you are right in a way, but also wrong. If we are really really going to get to the bottom of what is going on now, it takes more and better (?) seeing.

This YouTuber has a perspective that must significantly modify your statement. So — things are going on but do we really understand?

I’m pessimistic! But I do not know how to read the present. If the facts submitted in THO’s presentation are true (are they?) how then to define ‘speeding train’?
It's best to be pessimistic about human nature so you see the devil which is always present however his waxing and waning. Reasonable man does not have a choice in this. Transcendent Good may be the default from the perspective of the Absolute, but we need to deal with new developments on Terra Firma.
Alexis Jacobi
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:00 am

Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

Truth’s a dog must to kennel; he must be whipped out
When Lady the brach may stand by the fire and stink.

________________________________
Belinda wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 1:45 pm It's best to be pessimistic about human nature so you see the devil which is always present however his waxing and waning. Reasonable man does not have a choice in this. Transcendent Good may be the default from the perspective of the Absolute, but we need to deal with new developments on Terra Firma.
Hmmm. You have not really engaged with my *question* but I realize it would be somewhat hard to do so. What I wish to suggest is that the core issue here is that Terra Firma (your metaphor which needs to be defined) cannot be defined. Solid ground to stand on is not available. If this is true we are all *floating* somewhere else. A true perspectival position from which to *see* is not available. And a coherent discourse that illuminates and does not obfuscate is uncommon, possibly impossible to attain.

I am doing a bit of research into King Lear, which Dubious referenced, yet from the perspective that he — he who tells us that he is clear-eyes and clear-seeing — not only cannot *see* the meaning in this play, and therefore has also lost sense of what the Christian story, as allusion to mysterious things, actually means, but cannot make an accurate interpretation of *what is going on in our present* — and here I do allude to *obfuscation* but with no particular blame cast on him. And this is a boat we are all in: we must interpret, we cannot but interpret accurately, and our interpretive hermeneutics does not quite nail it because it is incomplete and partial — tendentious.

So, you made a rather typical and far to easy statement about ‘neo-fascism’ on the rise among the Right and the religious in America and I presented you with a far more chilling, far more immediate, for more ramifying picture of the rise of real authoritarianism within an advanced Western state, and you respond back to that with something really fuzzy. It is as though you cannot entertain the *sight*.

Here, I suggest, is an example of the deliberate blindness that *we* notice among some who clearly define themselves as *progressive*. I use that *we* because I assume I am pegged as ‘right-leaning’ (and I certainly was working in this territory when writing as Gustav Bjornstrand). But I think we need to be realistic: roles have switched and bizarrely.

There has taken place a strange transposition or is it LARPing? For example, I watched Tucker Carlson’s 3-part exposition on the incident termed an ‘insurrection’ (January Sixth). Unfortunately to see it I had to pay $6. But I did so because I try to pay attention to all the productions that are coming out, both on the Right and on the Left, and to try to grasp how each side frames its views.

This all has to do with elaborate hermeneutics — interpretations of the present and of *what is going on*. I can say that I highly recommend Carlson’s presentation, but not necessarily because I think it should be *believed absolutely*. (It is called *Patriot Purge*). Yet if what the YouTuber I linked to is at all accurate and fair in what he presents (if it is not a lie somehow) then I think we can all step back an try to make an accurate assessment about what it means (if it is true).

The present conversation hovers around, but does not address directly, what is the actual topic of the conversation: Our Present.

The present battles, at least in the domain of narratives whose purpose is to convince the public, all directly involve interpretive models, while under the surface the battles seem to involve States consolidating and strengthening their power while the surface battles rage.
__________________________________

Kill the physician and the fee bestow
Upon the foul disease!
Last edited by Alexis Jacobi on Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 15281
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Dubious wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 9:18 am Many who were once prone to believe lost their faith relying on god.
Myth.

There have been some who were "culturally" religious but whose faith did not survive even a basis test of sincerity. These are nominalists. The Bible speaks of them, and names them frauds...which time has proven them to be, too.

But what about all the many, many Atheists who abanadoned their unfaith to become Christians? How have you forgotten them? What about guys like C.S. Lewis or Anthony Flew, for example: once they loudly declared their disbelief in God...and then look where they ended up.

It's clear that men can change their minds. And when they do, they are making a kind of confession: that whatever they had before, it wasn't worth holding onto. This is the phenomenon you might call "conversion." And it happens quite frequently.
User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 15281
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Belinda wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:13 am What are you talking about Immanuel? Putin invading Ukraine?
????

Where did you pull that out of, B? Nobody even mentioned that situation.
Post Reply