August 1, 2016:
Nussbaum has over 9 books to her credit: A living, great philosopher.
In a chapter of her book she deals with philosophical approaches to the ’emotions’:
The ‘stoic’ vision of the human world skewed: the freezing of the “seas of pity” is, after all, a precursor of, “intellectual” and hence moral “disgrace”.
In other words ‘reason’ (a la science) can liberate us and makes the emotions more than suspect.
Yet: emotion, the sense of awe at nature has values that should not be maligned.
June 23, 2016:
In his paper, Thus Spake Zarathustra N. says “Suffering was the excuse for Christianity”a hatred of the world, a contempt for beauty and a fear of sensuality.” The thought of death and the idea of Heaven were nihilistic: His response, religion is important but God as a monotheistic religion was bad; that God is dead.
Note that the idea of God is metaphysical; on a physical level we see the universe as complex, plural and includes freedom and chance. Note that modern science; its emphasis on inductive thinking and its love of causality can be said to be partial to the idea of the metaphysical; and monotheism.
While Z felt that “the doctrine of Eternal recurrence and the reality of death were negative forces he also felt in his “principle of individuation” that he was an ‘Overman’; that is he could be creative.
Clearly N. felt that religion faced bravely included the idea of a degree of freedom and the capacity for creative endeavors, as well as the mere delight of being alive in a universe that can only be considered amazing.
June 9, 2016:
Ir has been a while since my last entry on this site, how ever I finally discover Spinoza, the Apostate Jew:
Spinoza had the courage and insight into God not as a person, not as a force outside the universe: For Spinoza God is nature. period. Nature of course is complex and thus humans have the gift of being self-conscious and with a degree of freedom that makes us unique; with a degree of god-ness within.
Einstein had a problem with quantum mechanics; he did not like ‘Uncertainty’ But his famous formula was and is the issue:
the convert-ability of mass and energy simply is a limited view of the universe. It assumes that matter is made up of particles, but most of the universe does not consist of particles; for example photons. So much for E-M times the speed of light squared. By definition, light is not made up of particles of matter.
A more serious view of the standard model of Physics is the limited view of gravity: We know what gravity in the universe of mass and matter, but in the sub-atomic realm there is neither and hence there is no gravity. Repeat: in the sub-atomic realm, gravity ceases to exist. the universe does not contract according to gravity and in fact evidence favors the idea of an expanding universe.
Again: The view that most of the universe consists of ‘dark matter’ and dark energy’ makes sense except that what is called dark is not matter or mass; Light for instance is not made of matter, has no mass. That is why Einstein’s formula is limited to the atomic realm.
Note also the fact that nature is not consistent. In the world we experience, the greater a wave, the more energy and power it has. In the sub-atomic realm the smaller a wave the greater the energy. Notice it is waves that are involved and not just matter.
Jefferson’s use of the phrase “all men are created equal”, in the Declaration of Independence: A simple phrase, but a damaging one; it is probably allied with the Monisim of most organized religions. The idea of sameness and oneness: One god, one truth, one nature: But nature can’t be reduced to some finite like existence, nature is complex, not simple. It is true that we humans are a single species, but what make the species the apex of evolution is not equality but difference. At any rate the emphasis on equality needs to be evaluated.
Who knows ‘nothing’, knows everything:
The idea is that knowing one can’t know ‘absolutely’ or know all, sometimes makes the individual that is more intuitive, that does not need to rely on Reasons, and is a kind of knowing.
On a practical level: Our political system often stalemated except in times of crisis. Meaning when there is no crisis there is null leadership, equivalent to knowing nothing.
First what it is not:
Gnosis is not Gnosticism: it is not another Ism like Communism, or some organized religion.
In 1945 a discovery in an Egyptian cave came to be known as Nag Hammadi: The texts, apparently dated c.60-100 provide material for many books about the early history of western Religion. There were Gnostics back then and in time, to be a gnostic was to be an heretic.
In a recorded video Carl Jung is asked, “Do you believe in god?” He responded, “Difficult to answer, I do not know about belief , I experience God.”
Jung is considered to be a gnostic; his religious foundation is not some dogma, and not even knowledge, it is in fact the contrast between a spiritual feeling and dogmatic faith: a spiritual feeling or experience rather than in some fixed definition of god.
The implication is important: Faith for most organized religions involves a concept of One supreme being; a monotheistic God, meaning God is only good, and there is only one god: I remind: to the extent that we have a degree of freedom, we all have god-like qualities.
Conclusionthe contrast between ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Spiritual’ with a judgement: Knowledge for its oun sake is stirile. Cultures need to work at sustaining spiritual values. Spiritual values would do well to resist the urge and apparent need for certainty and unity: One and Many co-exist; chance and paradox are what make life interesting.