Conscience

Theology, Religious Studies, religion, god, faith and other topics of a spiritual nature.

Re: Conscience

Postby Nick_A on March 20th, 2019, 7:58 pm 

hyksos » March 20th, 2019, 6:41 pm wrote:
It doesn't matter what secularists or dedicated atheists think of me. My concern is for the young in high schools and universities who are having their normal attraction to eros as described by Plato crushed by negative secular influences.

Every single nation-state in the contemporary Western world is secular. The only examples of non-secular states that I can think of are Iran and Saudi Arabia.

What definition of "secularist" are you using here?

What is your definition of "secularism"??


Secularism is the World seeking to become the source of values. It is Plato's Beast

this passage from Book VI of his Republic (here Plato critiques those who are "wise" through their study of society):

I might compare them to a man who should study the tempers and desires of a mighty strong beast who is fed by him--he would learn how to approach and handle him, also at what times and from what causes he is dangerous or the reverse, and what is the meaning of his several cries, and by what sounds, when another utters them, he is soothed or infuriated; and you may suppose further, that when, by continually attending upon him, he has become perfect in all this, he calls his knowledge wisdom, and makes of it a system or art, which he proceeds to teach, although he has no real notion of what he means by the principles or passions of which he is speaking, but calls this honourable and that dishonourable, or good or evil, or just or unjust, all in accordance with the tastes and tempers of the great brute. Good he pronounces to be that in which the beast delights and evil to be that which he dislikes...



I do know that there are many young people capable of being more than an automaton functioning in the Gret Beast and seek to understnd who they really are. Jacob needleman describes his experience with some. I know how these students are rejected by secularism so I support the efforts of those who offer awakening influences


From a discussion between Jacob needleman and Richard Whittaker

http://www.conversations.org/story.php?sid=1

.................................I recovered quite well, but I had to find a few other people who shared my hunger. It is the hunger you're speaking of. That is what Plato called eros—a word that's come down to us which has taken on a sexual association. But for Plato it had to do, in part, with a striving that is innate in us, a striving to participate with one's mind, one's consciousness, in something greater than oneself. A love of wisdom, if you like, a love of being.
Eros is depicted in Plato's text, The Symposium, as half man, half god, a kind of intermediate force between the gods and mortals. It is a very interesting idea. Eros is what gives birth to philosophy. Modern philosophy often translates the word "wonder" merely as "curiosity," the desire to figure things out, or to intellectually solve problems rather than confronting the depth of these questions, pondering, reflecting, being humbled by them. In this way, philosophy becomes an exercise in meaningless ingenuity.
I did learn to play that game, and then to avoid it.
My students at SF State were very hungry for what most of us, down deeply, really want from philosophy. When we honor those unanswerable questions and open them and deepen them, students are very happy about it, very interested in a deep quiet way.

RW: It is really very hard to find that, I believe.

JN: Some years ago I had a chance to teach a course in philosophy in high school. I got ten or twelve very gifted kids at this wonderful school, San Francisco University High School. In that first class I said, "Now just imagine, as if this was a fairy tale, imagine you are in front of the wisest person in the world, not me, but the wisest person there is and you can only ask one question. What would you ask?" At first they giggled and then they saw that I was very serious. So then they started writing. What came back was astonishing to me. I couldn't understand it at first. About half of the things that came back had little handwriting at the bottom or the sides of the paper in the margin. Questions like, Why do we live? Why do we die? What is the brain for? Questions of the heart. But they were written in the margins as though they were saying, do we really have permission to express these questions? We're not going to be laughed at? It was as though this was something that had been repressed.

RW: Fascinating.

JN: It's what I call metaphysical repression. It's in our culture and It's much worse than sexual repression. It represses eros and I think that maybe that's where art can be of help sometimes. Some art.....................



I oppose metaphysical repression and its effect on conscience. It is as simple as that.
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Re: Conscience

Postby hyksos on March 20th, 2019, 10:54 pm 

Secularism is the World seeking to become the source of values. It is Plato's Beast

You are using a personal neologism "Secularism" as a philosophy.

Secular is a social division. That's what it means to everyone who speaks english and uses the word. In most cases, it has something to do with the type of government. A secular government is not commanded by bishops, a pope, priests, or Mullahs or clerics. I also contend that "secular" officially means the opposite of liturgical. In that definition, it has absolutely nothing to do with a single word ever spoken or written by Plato.

I know how these students are rejected by secularism so I support the efforts of those who offer awakening influences

even more confusing, you referred to students being "rejected" by secularism. How does a philosophy grow legs and "reject" a person?

You then quote Plato's Republic as "evidence" that you are using the word correctly. This is meaningless distraction and misdirection. The word "secular" does not occur anywhere in that quotation, and in no shape or form does this validate or ground your neologism.

Then you quoted two more people, Jacob Needleman and Richard Whittakker, and neither man used the word "secularism" in all the multiple paragraphs you have quoted. Nor does the word "secular" appear anywhere there. Nor does "secularist".

If you mean to talk about the Beast of Plato, then write the Beast of Plato. Why have you hijacked "secular" for this?
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Re: Conscience

Postby BadgerJelly on March 20th, 2019, 11:18 pm 

Nick -

Well, thanks for your time. It was interesting.
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Re: Conscience

Postby hyksos on March 20th, 2019, 11:57 pm 

I might not be welcoming enough here. Nick_A might be posting to the forum from a seminary.

From his perspective, the "secular world" would seem like a distant place where terrible things are happening. After so many years, one would start referring to secularism and secularists almost by rote habit. I bet he catches up on some Plato works when he's not brewing some delicious beer.
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Re: Conscience

Postby Nick_A on March 21st, 2019, 10:01 am 

hyksos » March 20th, 2019, 10:54 pm wrote:
Secularism is the World seeking to become the source of values. It is Plato's Beast

You are using a personal neologism "Secularism" as a philosophy.

Secular is a social division. That's what it means to everyone who speaks english and uses the word. In most cases, it has something to do with the type of government. A secular government is not commanded by bishops, a pope, priests, or Mullahs or clerics. I also contend that "secular" officially means the opposite of liturgical. In that definition, it has absolutely nothing to do with a single word ever spoken or written by Plato.

I know how these students are rejected by secularism so I support the efforts of those who offer awakening influences

even more confusing, you referred to students being "rejected" by secularism. How does a philosophy grow legs and "reject" a person?

You then quote Plato's Republic as "evidence" that you are using the word correctly. This is meaningless distraction and misdirection. The word "secular" does not occur anywhere in that quotation, and in no shape or form does this validate or ground your neologism.

Then you quoted two more people, Jacob Needleman and Richard Whittakker, and neither man used the word "secularism" in all the multiple paragraphs you have quoted. Nor does the word "secular" appear anywhere there. Nor does "secularist".

If you mean to talk about the Beast of Plato, then write the Beast of Plato. Why have you hijacked "secular" for this?


Here is the dictionary definition of secularism:

Definition of secularism
: indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations


Religious considerations deal with questions of the heart which cannot be answered by the world. Secularism by definition rejects the efforts to find solutions to the problem of the human condition by anything other than what the world can offer. That is why the young attracted to eros must be rejected by secularism which only accepts the authority of the world. The young Simone Weil before becoming known had to be rejected by seculrism when she rejected it.
"To believe in God is not a decision we can make. All we can do is decide not to give our love to false gods. In the first place, we can decide not to believe that the future contains for us an all-sufficient good. The future is made of the same stuff as the present....

"...It is not for man to seek, or even to believe in God. He has only to refuse to believe in everything that is not God. This refusal does not presuppose belief. It is enough to recognize, what is obvious to any mind, that all the goods of this world, past, present, or future, real or imaginary, are finite and limited and radically incapable of satisfying the desire which burns perpetually with in us for an infinite and perfect good... It is not a matter of self-questioning or searching. A man has only to persist in his refusal, and one day or another God will come to him."
-- Weil, Simone, ON SCIENCE, NECESSITY, AND THE LOVE OF GOD, edited by Richard Rees, London, Oxford University Press, 1968.- ©


Secularism is an attitude of belief in the World and in its governments which Simone gradually lost as she rejected Marxism. My point is that some of the young are attracted to eros and feel needs the world cannot satisfy. The secular attitude which considers itself the source of values must seek to destroy this desire as part of what it calls education.
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Re: Conscience

Postby hyksos on March 22nd, 2019, 3:08 am 

The United Nations introduced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It contains the word "conscience."

This topic might be deeper than it first appears.
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