Nature and God are History.

This is the main board for discussing philosophy - formal, informal and in between.

Moderator: Only_Humean

Forum rules
Forum Philosophy

Nature and God are History.

Postby Sauwelios » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:44 am

Nature and God, rightly understood, contradict one another. Nature is supposed to be something fixed, determinate; God is supposed to be omnipotent, i.e., absolutely free. God's keeping his promises to man, even his covenant with man, is not "only fair", but an act of grace. And his intervention in history, for example in the form of miracles, already negates nature in the strict sense.

Nature is the traditional object of philosophy, God of religion. And as Strauss explains in "Reason and Revelation", the two cannot be reconciled. Yet ironically, and paradoxically, history is the middle ground between the two. To begin with, human history and prehistory are basically a long series of customs or conventions. Allow me to quote at length:

"For mystics like al-Ghazālī, God is unknowable, inaccessible, and wholly unpredictable because He is absolutely free. Even the relative stability and predictability according to which the believer acts in response to the divine law is not a sure passport to heaven or to the vision of God in the hereafter. One needs to be patient and hopeful of God's kindness and mercy, go beyond the strict demands of the divine law, and practice the additional mystical virtues that culminate in trust and love [compare Protestant Glaube ("belief, faith") and Vedanta Bhakti], the only virtues with which man can counter an utterly unpredictable relation between himself and his Lord.¹
For the philosophers, however, this type of mystical attitude assumed a kind of divine wisdom that they did not claim to possess. Instead, their understanding of nature and order in the visible world and their understanding of human nature and its place within the natural whole led them to a fresh appreciation of convention. [...] They understood convention to be, not something that is wholly arbitrary or is accepted merely because it is 'our way' or the 'ancestral way', but something that completes and perfects nature; it is a second nature, as it were, indispensable if man is to achieve the ends intended for him by nature." (Muhsin S. Mahdi, Alfarabi and the Foundation of Islamic Political Philosophy, pp. 25-26.)

Modern science demonstrates that no species, including man, has a nature in the sense intended by philosophy from at least Plato to Hegel. Man did not come about all finished like Adam and Eve; he is the product of millions of years of evolution, and not a _finished_ product, never finished, but always subject to further evolution. As such, there is no first nature of man, but only a second nature: convention or custom.

This means that what Georg Picht, following Pascal, called "the God of the philosophers" is dead: Reason is dead, nature is history. Formerly, nature or the Reason in nature was grasped by something likewise considered natural (eternal): human reason, the Reason in man. Now human reason is understood to be historical, a product of evolution. Nature itself, existence, the cosmos, or whatever you wish to call it is now understood to be wholly in flux--or is that only a misunderstanding rooted in the _current_ form of human reason?...

"According to Husserl it is absurd to ascribe to phenomena a nature: phenomena appear in an 'absolute flux', an 'eternal flux', while 'nature is eternal'." (Strauss, "Philosophy as Rigorous Science and Political Philosophy".)

It was relatively late that I noticed the irony in this. Is not an eternal flux eternal, and doesn't this mean nature can be said to be the absolute flux of phenomena? Absurdity may only be a problem for historical human reason...

Yet within the absolute flux of phenomena, there is relative eternity ("eternity" derives from the Greek _aion_, a lifetime or century--cf. _saeculum_). Man, for example, has been relatively consistent since prehistory.

"Nietzsche does not conquer nature conceptually, denying its sway and affirming the modern fiction of our radical power to make ourselves whatever we fancy. Nor does Nietzsche surrender to nature under another name, affirming the radical subjection of our minds to the shifting power of what is given, to Being, say." (Laurence Lampert, Leo Strauss and Nietzsche, page 104.)

God or nature is not absolutely free, nor is man such a free-willed being. The final sentence of the central essay of Strauss's final work, Die vornehme Natur ersetzt die göttliche Natur, means multiple things. Let me start with perhaps the most controversial, to get it over with: "The noble nature, Nietzsche, replaces the divine nature, Plato." (Schopenhauer had called Plato der göttliche Platon; Strauss basically called Nietzsche der vornehme Nietzsche.)

The sentence also means: "Noble, relative nature replaces divine, absolute nature." This is the sense that concerns us here. Nature as conceived by modern science (cf. aphorism 22 of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil) is noble, is to be seen as noble.

"The litany [recited by the murderer of God] states the theology of Dionysian pantheism. [...]
The fifth stanza praises [the Ass-God's or Nature-God's] wisdom of creation: 'What hidden wisdom is it that he has long ears and only says Yea and never No! Has he not created the world in his own image, namely, as stupid as possible?' (Z, 313). This line alludes to the Christian dogma that God created the world in his own image. If the world is created in the image of the omnipotent and omniscient God, it should be the most perfect world as Leibniz claims. But it is far from perfect. It is riddled with so many defects and disasters that some theologians have regarded it as the work of a bungling deity. In his talk with the last Pope on theodicy in 'Retired', Zarathustra said that the Christian God was only an apprentice who bungled too much. But all those defects can be excused and explained if the creator is understood to be the Nature-God, who employs natural selection as the method of creation. Since natural selection is not guided by any design or foresight, it appears to be stupid if it is mistaken as the work of an intelligent agent. But this seemingly stupid method hides its own wisdom, that is, the inventive genius of creating the wonders of life ranging from the single cells to the complex organs of sensation and reproduction. Some biologists are so impressed with these wonders of life that they regard the entire biosphere as a huge inventive brain. The Ass-God has long ears. His virtue lies not in speaking but in listening. Nature listens to everything that takes place in her dominion; it has a wonderful feedback mechanism for natural selection.
Especially impressed with Nature's way of creation, the Scientist says, 'God is supposed to be eternal, according to the witness of the most pious; whoever has that much time, takes his time. As slowly and as stupidly as possible: in this way, one like that can still get very far' (Z, 315). The Nature-God takes billions of years for creation, whereas the Christian God takes only six days. This long stretch of time belongs to the eternity of Mother Nature. Such a long period is required for the creation of Nature-God because its method of creation is natural selection, the blind process of fortuitous happenings." (T.K. Seung, Nietzsche's Epic of the Soul, pp. 293-94.)

Nietzsche, though often considered a secret student and even a plagiarist of Max Stirner, is pretty much the Antistirner. Stirner famously wrote:

"Man with the great M is only an ideal, the species only something thought of. To be a man is not to realize the ideal of Man, but to present oneself, the individual. It is not how I realize the generally human that needs to be my task, but how I satisfy myself. I am my species, am without norm, without law, without model, and the like. It is possible that I can make very little out of myself; but this little is everything, and is better than what I allow to be made out of me by the might of others, by the training of custom, religion, the laws, the state. Better--if the talk is to be of better at all--better an unmannerly child than an old head on young shoulders, better a mulish man than a man compliant in everything." (The Ego and Its Own 2.2, trans. Byington.)

In aphorism 188 of his Beyond Good and Evil, whose great importance Strauss repeatedly emphasized, Nietzsche writes:

"The essential thing 'in heaven and on earth', so it appears, is, to make the point again, that there is obedience for a long time and in one direction: in the process there comes and always has come eventually something for whose sake living on earth is worthwhile, for example, virtue, art, music, dance, reason, spirituality--something or other transfiguring, subtle, amazing, and divine. [...] Admittedly by the same token a great deal of irreplaceable force and spirit must have been overwhelmed in the process, crushed, and ruined as well (for here as everywhere 'nature' reveals herself as she is, in her totally extravagant and indifferent magnificence, which is an outrage, but something noble)."

What morality, then, can be based on all this? To be as noble as nature, we have to be _indifferent_ as to the direction of obedience; the old custom, religion, laws, state is nobler than the young, as long as it endures. Now of course there may be other considerations; and philosophy remains paradoxical. Aren't genuine philosophers always people who somehow get estranged from "the fold"? And who remain changed by their estrangement, even if they ostensibly return to it? Yet there's an old and (therefore) venerable tradition of Western philosophy--not to mention the Eastern.

"Some day my belief that Homer started it all and that there was a continuous tradition from Homer until the end of the 18th century will be vindicated." (Strauss, letter to Seth Benardete, 15 November 1957.)

The end of the 18th century, be it noted, was right before the death of Kant and the publication of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit:

"For philosophy, Kant's knowledge that reason only has insight into what it itself brings forth in accordance with its design can, if finite reason is historical, only mean that thinking, in an ever-revolving change, makes its own designing of the design the object of its knowledge. If the knowledge however is to be true nonetheless, then absolute spirit must manifest itself in every finite form of reason. For a thinking which radically carries out the change of consciousness, the self-knowledge of reason in the act of its designing becomes a 'phenomenology of spirit', that is to say a doctrine of the forms in which the absolute essence of spirit appears as finite. Now Nietzsche carries out a change which calls into question even the fundamental presupposition of Hegel's: that the absolute in and for itself is already with us." (Picht, Nietzsche, page 71, my translation.)

And yet, must historicism necessarily mean the end of philosophy (the word "scientist", in the modern sense, was coined in 1833), or even of its esoteric dimension? The first use of the term "nature", in Homer, refers to the way in which a certain species of plant _grows_; and Heraclitus applied that concept to his entire phenomenal world. His elusive notion of the Logos did not just refer to Reason. Reason is constituted by the principle of identity or, in other words, of non-contradiction or excluded middle; but that is only half the Logos. As I wrote recently:

"Reason has been misunderstood as being opposed to revelation. To be sure, the principle that constitutes it is that A is different from not-A, but that's only half of it. The other half is to then see the unity of the two, the whole that is more than the sum of its parts. Not a divine but a natural revelation, if the two are even opposed--a revelation of the divinity of nature." (Open letter to Leonardo DiCaprio, 7 October 2017.)

We cannot experience our sober, day-to-day consciousness, with its truisms like the aforementioned principles, as a revelation; but it seems to me that Heraclitus did experience his awareness of the Logos as a revelation: a revelation of the paradoxical character of our phenomenal world.

"They do not comprehend how what pulls itself apart pulls itself together: a high-strung² harmony, thoroughly like that of bow and lyre." (Heraclitus, fragment 51, my translation.)

¹ Consider that empathizing comes in where systemizing fails, like when confronted with chaos-theoretically complex systems like other human beings and the weather. Cf. Simon Baron Cohen, The Essential Difference.

² παλίντονος, "re-flex", as in a reflex bow. Another version has come down to us, which has παλίντροπος, "re-curve", as in a recurve bow.
User avatar
Sauwelios
Philosophical Supremacist
 
Posts: 7180
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:07 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Nature and God are History.

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:43 pm

Certainly the notion known as "God" is dead. The notion was tenuous and fragile from the very beginning ... built in a glass house ... on a sand foundation. Nietzsche shattered the glass house.

Than again ... perhaps the glass house needed to be shattered for the birth of the notion to be known as "GOD" to come into being ... built on a solid foundation. The jury is still out ... only time will tell.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
User avatar
pilgrim-seeker_tom
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1562
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:16 am

Re: Nature and God are History.

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:49 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:Certainly the notion known as "God" is dead. The notion was tenuous and fragile from the very beginning ... built in a glass house ... on a sand foundation. Nietzsche shattered the glass house.

Than again ... perhaps the glass house needed to be shattered for the birth of the notion to be known as "GOD" to come into being ... built on a solid foundation. The jury is still out ... only time will tell.


Wishful thinking with no supporting evidence??

Since I have no access to AI ... how can I present supporting evidence? :-)

Oh! ... wait a minute ... I almost forgot ... I have access to the Noosphere ... let me check my Nooscope. :-)

1) The authors of the notion of noosphere were not droll individuals. Expertise in paleontology, religion and science.

2) The notion of noosphere dovetails nicely with Karl Jung's work ... archetypes, synchronicity etc. Ditto for Plato's cave allegory.

3) All living organisms have a conduit to the noosphere ... be it conscious or unconscious.

4) Since AI is not a living organism it will never have a direct conduit to the noosphere ... ergo ... AI will always require human agency. ergo ... AI will always lag ... be inferior to ... human intelligence.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
User avatar
pilgrim-seeker_tom
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1562
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:16 am

Re: Nature and God are History.

Postby Sauwelios » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:30 am

Mr. Aldiladellenuvole,

Yes, THE question of philosophy is QUID SIT DEUS. The difference between philosophy and religion is implied by the fact that it's a question. Its religious counterpart is something like the statement HOC EST DEUS. Let us see where this difference leads us. I will start by quoting the other Harry.

"Unlike unphilosophic herd members, philosophers, that is, philosophic herd members do not unquestioningly accept what their herd believes to be right and good. They transform their herd's main concern, to live the good or pious life, into a question." (Neumann, "Politics or Nothing!")

What the herd believes to be right and good is a conventional right and good. Its God is a conventional God. What philosophy seeks to establish is the natural right and good, the natural God. And it seeks to establish this with what it conceives as the natural equipment of man as the rational animal.

"Scholium T at 10.305 say that for Odysseus to take the moly means he took the complete logos." (Benardete, THE BOW AND THE LYRE, note 132.)

With that natural equipment, man has been able to establish that he has evolved--indeed, that his species (eidos!) is an abstraction, an illusion. He has established the true "teachings of sovereign Becoming, of the fluidity of all concepts, types and kinds [or species], of the lack of any cardinal difference between man and animal" (Nietzsche, USES AND DISADVANTAGES, chapter 9, my translation.)

Now in order not to go to ruin and lose his last self-respect (cf. BGE 188), he needs a Platonic Idea, albeit now understood as the summit of falsehood, not of truth ("inverted Platonism"):

" 'In order that there might be any degree of consciousness in the world, an unreal world of error had to--emerge: entities with the belief in persisting things, in individuals etc.' (V 2, 11 [162]). What is called the unreal world of error here? Nietzsche's answer reads: 'entities with the belief in persisting things, in individuals etc.' On a cursory reading, one might think that what is unreal about this world of error be only the belief of the entities that populate it. But the entities are actually themselves that in which they believe, namely individuals, more precisely put: that which they call their Being organises itself through their will to be individuals. Life means self-assertion; life rests on the delusion that there were a self-identical Self, which can persevere through time, which can hold its own. Greek ontology calls that which perseveres as something identical through the change of an organic being, its εἶδος, its form. This form is never purely realised. It never comes into full presence. But all the phases in the development of a living being may be designated as Becoming or Perishing, that is to say as degrees of approximating or moving away from the realisation of the form. Therefore the form has the character of τέλος--the goal immanent in each living being. Greek ontology designates the self-identical τέλος as the true Being of each thing that moves. The designation of τέλος as the Being of being suggests itself strongly when one considers that Becoming, that is, the transition into Being, is a process of approximating the immanent τέλος, and that Perishing, conversely, is a process of moving away from the immanent τέλος. But with the decline and eventual fall of metaphysics, the possibility of designating a non-sensual, never given entity as the true Being of the temporal vanishes as well. If the τέλος has no Being, then the only remaining alternative is to interpret it as a Non-Being that presents itself as a Being, that is, to interpret it as a semblance. Now it remains true, however, that all life is only made possible by the fact that an entity organises itself in the striving after such a unity. One cannot say that the τέλος were a man-made fiction. Every living being is in actual fact oriented towards an organising unity. Thus the semblance of the τέλος is a semblance brought forth by Nature itself. Semblance, or, as Nietzsche also puts it: error, is the condition of the possibility of life. The unreal world of error is thus no man-made fiction but the real world of living creatures. All living creatures whatsoever exist only through the belief in persisting things, that is to say through their striving after the organising unity of τέλος. But that after which they strive never has a Being. Thus they only exist by virtue of error. The ultimate truth is the flux of things with the contradiction that it contains within itself. Being torn between its opposites and formless, this ultimate truth is not world, either. There is only an unreal world; the real is nothing but pure negativity, time, or, as Nietzsche also calls it: suffering. But pure negativity has, for itself and out of itself, no existence [BESTAND]: it exists [IST] only as it produces semblance out of itself, which however, because it stands in opposition to it, is itself not real either but only a semblance. [... W]ithout semblance, the eternal flux has no existence. It must produce semblance out of itself. Semblance therefore belongs to its truth." (Picht, NIETZSCHE, pp. 250-252, my translation.)

The question "What shall be God?" is the question "What shall be my herd's telos-eidos?" The natural telos-eidos of any herd is what Jung called its collective archetype--e.g., Wotan for the Germans. What political philosophers have always been is people who came to understand all of the above and who managed to intentionally adjust their herd's telos-eidos. After all, philosophy is itself "something for whose sake living on earth is worthwhile"--indeed, the thing PAR EXCELLENCE.

Homer basically set up two ideals for his Greeks: for the lovers of honour, Achilles, and for the lovers of wisdom, Odysseus. Plato likewise: for the former, the exoteric Socrates--whom men like Glaucon thought to emulate--, and for the latter, the esoteric Socrates. By the Middle Ages, however, Platonism had been popularized: Jesus is Socrates for the people. Thus Machiavelli and his successors set up comfortable self-preservation for the lovers of well-being and ease, natural philosophy (science) for the lovers of honor, and Joabin for the lovers of wisdom...

Now Nietzsche made comfortable self-preservation contemptible as "the Last Man", and set up the Übermensch (Zarathustra/Dionysos) as the counter-ideal to the ascetic (Socrates/Jesus). His successor Lampert, with enduring gratitude to Strauss, has shown that philosophy's asceticism was always just its exoteric guise: "Plato and Nietzsche share [...] the essential paganism of all philosophy, eros for the earth, and that is the deepest sharing, for each discovered that in being eros for what is, philosophy is eros for EROS[.]" (Lampert, HOW PHILOSOPHY BECAME SOCRATIC, page 417.)

This eros for eros is noesis noeseos. Rightly understood, this means noesis POIESEOS and thereby POIESIS poieseos (poiesis "noeseos"). Genuine philosophers, political philosophers, love human reason, that faculty (compare by the way the etymologies of "faculty" and "poetry") which emerged so CONTINGENTLY in prehistory. They love it so they seek to conserve it, which means to further it--digging the riverbed deeper by channeling and fanning the "water".

"Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy. [...] Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy." (Blake, THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL, Plates 3-4.)

"[The Circe episode] points, by way of contrast, to a humanity that, though it belongs to man as man, is not open to every man, since what he is necessarily he is not necessarily unless he knows that that is what he is necessarily." (Benardete, THE BOW AND THE LYRE, page 87.)

Let those of us who ken pierce and tether together our eyes like Oedipus. The Being of our species is its being torn in twain.
User avatar
Sauwelios
Philosophical Supremacist
 
Posts: 7180
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:07 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Nature and God are History.

Postby Sauwelios » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:01 am

I didn't specifically say the Biblical God was a conventional myth. As you point out, Maimonides interpreted the Hebrew Bible as pervaded by philosophy:

"[According to Maimonides,] the Bible and the Midrashim contain 'strange but correct notions attained by the speculation of the most sublime of those who have philosophized' (Guide, I.70), presented enigmatically, too strange to be understood by the vulgar. (To understand their correct meaning, therefore, one must become a 'most sublime philosopher'.)" (Mahdi, _Alfarabi and the Foundation of Islamic Political Philosophy_, final chapter: "Religion and the Cyclical View of History".)

Yet Picht refers to Pascal's "Memorial", which says:

"GOD of Abraham, GOD of Isaac, GOD of Jacob
not of the philosophers and of the learned."

Picht argues that only the God of the philosophers and of the learned, Reason, is dead; not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Who is "FIRE".

Picht usually just speaks of "the God of the philosophers", perhaps because "the learned", _les savants_, modern scientists and scholars, forgot about philosophy's esotericism. Indeed, Picht translates _les savants_ as _die Weisen_--the wise or the sages. If we understand this, not so much as _hoi sophoi_ but as _hoi sophistes_, the connection to exotericism should be clear.

The God of the philosophers is the crux of Platonism, i.e., of Socrates' and his successors' exoteric teaching. Thus Jaffa himself, in his essay in Neumann's book, writes:

"Both Holmes (Moriarty) and Socrates are engaged in the quest for the true or ultimate causes of things. The Greek word for cause, _aitia_, also means responsibility. The criminal who caused the crime is responsible for it. The Bible says that God caused the world and is responsible for it--but not for evil, which is caused by Satan. Science however is invincibly monistic. Science therefore tells us that if 'God' is responsible for the world, He (he) is also responsible for the evil in it. From the scientific point of view, therefore, God and Satan must be One, which is to say that science is invincibly atheistic. From this perspective--which Professor Neumann ostensibly represents--it would follow that Holmes and Moriarty, Socrates and Thrasymachus (or Socrates and the tyrant, or Socrates and the City of Athens) are One. The exoteric quest for causes--_aitiai_--may deceive us into believing that there is an alternative between God and Satan, or between the philosopher and the tyrant. But such alternatives depend upon the reality of the self-subsisting 'ideas'. For God to exclude Satan, God must be bound by the reality of his own Goodness--represented in the Bible by His promises, but in Plato by the Idea of the Good. But if there really are no ideas, or miracles, then philosophy and tyranny (and God and Satan) are indeed one.
Socrates' art of detection--his art of justice--is the art of refutation, of the _elengthus_, by which erroneous opinions are compelled to contradict themselves. To compel someone to contradict himself is to convict him. Here is the original of Holmes's science--since from the Platonic point of view virtue is knowledge, and ignorance is vice (and crime). Socrates' motive however is not merely to serve his fellow-men. Refuting others is 'not unpleasant'. The supreme pleasure is in that discovery of truth intrinsic to the art of refutation. The wrong way of life--the 'criminal' way, so to speak--is heedless of self-contradiction. But self-contradiction would be wrong and vicious only if a non-self-contradictory way of life were really possible. This in turn depends on whether the ideas really exist. Does Socrates prove that they exist, or merely assume their existence as a means of compelling others to contradict themselves? Socrates replaces the gods of Athens with the ideas--but his philanthropy depends upon whether the 'priests of the ideas'--the philosophers--are in fact adepts of something or of nothing. We do not know _a priori_ whether the heart of reality is non-self-contradictory, and whether the idea of a consistent life is not itself inconsistent with the most compelling evidence, whether it is not an illusion. Leo Strauss, in his critique of the higher criticism, which focuses on the alleged contradictions in the Bible, asks by what right does the higher critic assume that speech about God--the First Thing--is possible without self-contradiction? Can one then be certain that Socrates' attack upon self-contradiction--by which he accuses his accusers--does not serve ultimately to conceal a deeper self-contradiction? The one by which he supposes non-self-contradiction about the 'first things' to be possible? Is not this the myth which Plato plants in our unwitting souls, while pretending to exhibit to us the noble lies which Socrates says will be induced into the souls of the future citizens of the best regime? But if Socrates' art of detection is based upon an illusion, then it is in the service, not of knowledge, but of power, not of philosophy, but of tyranny--as Thrasymachus said. The philosopher will in truth be a masked tyrant." (Jaffa, "Neumann or Nihilism: The Case for Politics".)

I contend that "that discovery of truth intrinsic to the art of refutation" is not the discovery of the non-self-contradicting idea(s), but of the aporia--in which so many of Plato's dialogues end. The Biblical God is indeed "An original derivation", to speak with Blake (see below), from the mystery of Being, mysterious Being. The community of ideas, however, is essential to _politics_. If there could be a community of philosophers _without_ a community or polity of non-philosophers as well as philosophers, it wouldn't be essential. Nor would the philosophers need to call themselves philosophers; their claim of wisdom would be understood, because it would be shared. There would be no need for the different strategies--i.e., the different political philosophies, e.g. the Platonic and the Machiavellian--suited to different circumstances. "[A] Nietzschean history of philosophy could say with Lessing, 'there is no other philosophy than that of Spinoza' (PAW 182)." (Lampert, _Leo Strauss and Nietzsche_, page 56.)

"I confess, that the theory which subjects all things to the will of an indifferent deity, and asserts that they are all dependent on his fiat, is less far from the truth than the theory of those, who maintain that God acts in all things with a view of promoting what is good. For these latter persons seem to set up something beyond God, which does not depend on God, but which God in acting looks to as an exemplar, or which he aims at as a definite goal. This is only another name for subjecting God to the dominion of destiny, an utter absurdity in respect to God, whom we have shown to be the first and only free cause of the essence of all things and also of their existence. I need, therefore, spend no time in refuting such wild theories." (Spinoza, _The Ethics_, Part I, Prop. XXXIII, Elwes translation.)

"Nature" as a term of distinction is not so much a discovery as a _find_: thus Strauss speaks of the "discovery or invention" of nature, if memory serves me in "Progress or Return?" But all this doesn't mean that the philosopher is a criminal _simply_. The philosopher straddles the fence between contradiction and non-contradiction, like Heraclitus. Heraclitus was evidently, eminently aware of what Aristotle chided him for. The philosopher or the wise--that is, the scientist who is perfectly aware of philosophy's esotericism--is the master of identity, excluded middle and non-contradiction as well as non-identity, included middle and contradiction.

The (early) Nietzsche's inverted Platonism differs from--exoteric--Platonism, not in that it doesn't deem the Ideas the most highly--it does--, but in that it doesn't consider them the truest, but the falsest. The unity(?) of the true, the beautiful and the good is severed. In Nietzsche's artists'-metaphysics, the Ideas are the furthest from the truth and _therefore_ the best, the most beautiful. But Nietzsche does find beauty and goodness in truth, at least later on. This is his doctrine of the will to power, which Strauss called "a vindication of God":

" 'Life _ought_ to inspire confidence': the task thus imposed is tremendous. To solve it, man must be a liar by nature, he must above all be an _artist_. And he _is_ one: metaphysics, religion, morality, science--all of them only products of his will to art, to lie, to flight from 'truth', to _negation_ of 'truth'. This ability itself, thanks to which he violates reality by means of lies, this artistic ability of man _par excellence_--he has it in common with everything that is. He himself is after all a piece of reality, truth, nature: how should he not also be a piece of _genius in lying!_" (Nietzsche, _The Will to Power_, section 853, Kaufmann translation.)

Spinoza's "utter absurdity" is only a problem from the point of view of "Athens", not of "Jerusalem". And man needs both sides. If any, the Idea of _man_ is essential. This however is contradictory: man has been created in God's image. Thus he is both male and female, both master and slave, both philosopher and non-philosopher.

"That the Poetic Genius is the true Man, and that the body or outward form of Man is derived from the Poetic Genius. Likewise that the forms of all things are derived from their Genius, which by the Ancients was call'd an Angel & Spirit & Demon." (Blake, "All Religions are One".)

"[T]he Prolific would cease to be Prolific unless the Devourer as a sea recieved the excess of his delights.
Some will say, 'Is not God alone the Prolific?' I answer, 'God only Acts and Is, in existing beings or Men.'
These two classes of men are always upon earth, & they should be enemies: whoever tries to reconcile them seeks to destroy existence.
Religion is an endeavour to reconcile the two." (_The Marriage of Heaven and Hell_, Plates 16-17.)

But is my teaching not an attempt to reconcile the two? Shouldn't I pretend to believe in philosophy's exotericism, like you?--The prolific is the devourer who devours not so much to sustain and aggrandise himself, as to aggrandise his whole world. He strives for the bestowing virtue, or he doesn't just have the first evil--Wollust--, but also the second--Herrsch-Lust.

ΚΑΤΑΒΑΙΝΟΜΕΝ
User avatar
Sauwelios
Philosophical Supremacist
 
Posts: 7180
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:07 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Nature and God are History.

Postby Meno_ » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:16 am

To.specify self identity in the rational man , a look at an article from Academia, titled. "From Hegel to Heidegger, 's ritual basis of ethnic identity'' may offer a glimpse here.

Just mentioning this source as complimentary to the question of man as an ideal, acquired by ritual. History gaps faith to ritual.
Ritual as opposed to rational reposition of an ideal.

Ontological Anthropology may open a new direction into how to view the historical divide between the 'Old' and the modern approaches.

Not necessarily in terms of an original identity or resolution of its contra-indication.The above cited discusses the various views regarding the nature of the relationship between myth and ritual.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2515
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am

Re: Nature and God are History.

Postby Fixed Cross » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:53 am

The Eternal Recurrence of Odin

Ragnarok came and went.

Odin lives again.

The ER must be real!

Of Ice and Fire you were born
into Ice and Fire you are thrust

It is all a test of minerals.
Are you able to build Earth?
Or are you merely a... pack of spirits?


To him who turned out well, I send out this message:

If you walk Ice and Fire make sure you have Goats Skin on the soles of your feet.

Jeraz!
Wisdom.

Now down,
into the Earth
with the Pillars
Uruz
Zeus must laugh again. That is the mission of the Doric order.
Make Gods laugh so they can exist and Reign and pay tribute to us mortals in eternity.

The world is so damned complicated because being is so beautifully simple.
Thunderbolt steers all things.

Image

I've been guided somewhat by William Blake's quote: "I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create". Just change 'system' for 'style'. - Bill

The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
- Thucydides
User avatar
Fixed Cross
Doric Usurper
 
Posts: 6870
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:53 am
Location: Thrudheim

Re: Nature and God are History.

Postby Some Guy in History » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:18 pm

nature is surrounding us from the day we are born to the day we die and beyond. Nature will never be locked away to history with us free from it to call ourselves unnatural, for even that is natural. It is not a departure from God and Nature that mankind moves into as we move into the future, but a journey further into and deeper.
Image

Behind the mask is nothing; just an ideal, an idea, a hope. It is undying, impossible to hide. Anonymity isn't something you feign or pretend at, it's where your life takes you as you walk down a road you had no choice but to walk down. The mask isn't something to hide behind, nor a cover for a visage burned, but what the world forces you to wear to become their version of you.
User avatar
Some Guy in History
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2428
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:26 am

Re: Nature and God are History.

Postby Fixed Cross » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:07 am

Some Guy in History wrote:nature is surrounding us from the day we are born to the day we die and beyond. Nature will never be locked away to history with us free from it to call ourselves unnatural, for even that is natural. It is not a departure from God and Nature that mankind moves into as we move into the future, but a journey further into and deeper.

I agree.

Nature likes to hide
and seek
Thunderbolt steers all things.

Image

I've been guided somewhat by William Blake's quote: "I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create". Just change 'system' for 'style'. - Bill

The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
- Thucydides
User avatar
Fixed Cross
Doric Usurper
 
Posts: 6870
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:53 am
Location: Thrudheim


Return to Philosophy



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users