Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

  1. #1

    Default Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    INTRODUCTION

    One of the main challenges that prevents the honest discussion of religion in Western society is the fact that, by itself, religion is poorly understood by those who discuss it.

    And one of the greatest myths of Scientism itself lies around what I call the modern metaphysics of subjectivity, ergo, the way that modern man sees, grasps and interacts with nature and with the reality around itself.

    Years ago, perhaps, I posted about two almost forgotten intellectual giants: Rene Guenon and Oswald Spengler. These men were very learned, much more so for the standards of our time when intellectual discourse has argueably fallen, and they both, together with some other intellectuals of note - like for instance T. Burckhardt, Ivan Kireyevsky, Tomas Melendo, Maritain and even the controversial and obscure Julius Evola, present a sort of reaction - a baclklash - to the tyrannical dominance of this metaphysics of subjectivity in our times.

    I wrote an essay for Alexander Dugin, in which I laid down my views that were the result of perhaps 28 years of a young life, but nonetheless marked with deep interactions with other traditions, with continental Slavophilia, Eastern Orthodoxy, Sufism, and other forms of religiosity that are little known to the Anglo-Saxon West.

    Now Alexander Dugin!? Isn't he a fascist creep, and a notorious ex-member of the National Bolshevik Party? Perhaps. But perhaps he represents something of an other, something that the West wants to expunge, because it represents a genuine challenge, a genuine something that is completely alien, and thus offensive, to its own liberal and progressive Western mentality.

    Perhaps I am right in saying and arguing, that there's a whole world out there, and the Western world remains as provincial and unaware of it as it was during the parochial old days of Montesquieu-style Orientalism, Hollywood movies of the 30's, and the like.

    In this sense, we seem to be very much conditioned by a certain sense of perception of the Other, as well as of our own past, that is very much the byproduct of the bias and preconceptions of the world of the Enlightenment. Orientalism is itself a byproduct of that, but another problem lies in the concept of civilization that was developed by European minds during the 18th century - a concept that was linear, and consigned the "Other" to the dustbin.

    Progress would naturally lead, in a Hegelian fashion, towards the sort of development that has ocurred in Western society since the XVIII century.

    And the "Middle Ages" were a sort of dustbin of history...!

    In sum, in a very egocentric fashion, the metaphysics of subjectivity developed by the West after Descartes would be a sort of natural pinnacle of intellectual development. Not a FALL, a fundamental forgetfulness, as it should be, but rather, the pinnacle.

    ... In sum the Western world can no longer conceive of what the world was before Descartes. Of what "Wisdom" and "Philosophy" amounted to in the days of the Medieval Scholastics, or even in the days of Ancient Greece - we skip over Plato and Aristotle. We don't truly know the Pre-Socratics. We barely grasp anything that has to do with the Catholic thinking of the Middle Ages.

    And the Catholic ontology of the Middle Ages is precisely the point at which the West was still a "civilization", not in the Hegelian post-Enlightenment sense, of course, but in the sense of something different, something attained to genuine transcendence, something that still worked within the framework of Being as the main philosopher I would like to mention, Martin Heidegger, would say.

    In sum, that the discourse which argues the Middle Ages were an age of obscurity is itself an obscure discourse, which has obscured yet more as to the fundamental roots of the Western tradition, and has led us straight into what would I call - in a very Nietzschean, Heideggerian fashion perhaps - straight into Nihilism.

    And Nihilism is the inevitable byproduct of the modern post-Cartesian and post-Hegelian metaphysics of subjectivity, to be sure

    CONCLUSION OF THESE THOUGHTS

    I am very much indebted to Nietzsche, Heidegger, Guenon, Ahmad Fardid, Ali Shariati, Neo-Thomism, and even currents as diverse as Sufism and Vedanta for making this critique, which is as thorough as it can get.

    Basically, if we are able to perceive, akin to Heidegger, that the metaphysics of the Enlightenment since the dawn of humanism consists in a movement of entrapment in one's one subjectivity, of enframing within pseudo-categories, and that Western metaphysics ignores the question of Truth, of ontology, of Being qua Being, instead submerging itself in the shadows of its own subjectivity.

    In sum, if we are to realize that that Western metaphysics entraps man into Plato's cave, to grasp at his own shadow, rather than the light outside, we are coming close to what I want to express and convey in here.

    ... The wisdom Traditions of the East have never conceived man according to the categories that modern philosophy has thought to be apodictical and axiomatic. That's because these categories, in themselves, are questionable.

    And the fact remains that, they are subjective. In sum, they remain a projection of one's own subjectivity, as opposed to a genuine ontological judgment. And the main abyss of Western philosophy is the abyss of subjectivity, the fall into relativism, nihilism, and a myriad of questions about the individual's subjective perception, as opposed to genuine questions of Truth.

    GOD'S EXISTENCE IN LIEU OF PRE-MODERN VS MODERN METAPHYSICS

    Therefore, the question of whether God exists, of whether there's a God of Being, and also beyond Being and Non-being, remains constricted by the fact that the Western mentality has forgotten to speak about ontology and instead talks only about specific objects that are the byproduct of subjective thinking.

    It is the not the projections of the subjective mind that dictate reality, but rather, the apperception of reality by the faculties of this very same mind. And in the same fashion, we can say that a mentality which cannot understand Being, and Truth, in the logical, and ontological sense, is well nigh *INCAPABLE* of discussing the basics and fundamentals of Traditional Religion, before Protestantism came in of course.

    If we speak of "Tradition" in the sense that Rene Guenon worked it out, we can argue that every Tradition had its own fundamental ontology, its own fundamental justification in rational grounds that do not amount to the rationalism of the Moderns, but something that would approach Aristotle's approach.

    And in this sense, it becomes impossible to justify the existence of God using the Platonic Proof of the One (as elegantly polished and recovered by Edward Feser in Five Proofs of the Existence of God), if we are incapable of understanding the basic, metaphysical level of discussion beyond the Cartesian subject-object dichotomy.

    In sum, it's not the problem with Traditional religion, but rather it consists in the problem of the Western metaphysics of subjectivity, and its own Nihilism, that we are incapable of judging religious tradition beyond what amounts to contigent and solipsistic terms.

    Finally, besides recommending a thorough analysis of Melendo, Heidegger, Feser, Aristotle, Plato, Thomas Aquinas, Plotinus, Ahmad Fardid, ibn Arabi, Rene Guenon, Julius Evola, and the likes, I would conclude with a few brief summaries, one of them of my authorship, dedicated especially to this subject:

    https://www.geopolitica.ru/en/articl...cientific-myth

    https://py111.wordpress.com/2008/03/...-of-descartes/

    https://www.philosophicalcatholic.co...e-of-descartes

    https://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Cont/ContMans.htm
    "Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill, when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it."

    - Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    A lot of names there. Who founded Scientism? If...
    One thing is for certain: the more profoundly baffled you have been in your life, the more open your mind becomes to new ideas.
    -Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    Quote Originally Posted by Marie Louise von Preussen View Post
    In sum, in a very egocentric fashion, the metaphysics of subjectivity developed by the West after Descartes would be a sort of natural pinnacle of intellectual development. Not a FALL, a fundamental forgetfulness, as it should be, but rather, the pinnacle.
    [....]
    In sum, that the discourse which argues the Middle Ages were an age of obscurity is itself an obscure discourse, which has obscured yet more as to the fundamental roots of the Western tradition, and has led us straight into what would I call - in a very Nietzschean, Heideggerian fashion perhaps - straight into Nihilism.
    Very interesting development. Since Descarts the efforts to understand the nature of the Qualia have been long forgotten.

    Where we just pretend the Qualia question got answered, thus working on an Axiom operating on such basis, without really having had any answer to such question.
    It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.

    -George Orwell

  4. #4
    basics's Avatar Praeses
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Scotland, UK.
    Posts
    8,904

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    Yep, there sure is a lot of words up there but the problem is that they are only words and words that usually lead man from God in Whom any action is found. You see God is not static, rather the very opposite, all action that has resulted in people being drawn to Him from the dawn of time. You see even the unbeliever cannot stear clear of Him in their trying to understand why He shouldn't exist and despite the mountains written on that God carries on doing what God does.

  5. #5
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Colfax WA, neat I have a barn and 49 acres - I have 2 horses, 15 chickens - but no more pigs
    Posts
    12,369

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    And in this sense, it becomes impossible to justify the existence of God using the Platonic Proof of the One (as elegantly polished and recovered by Edward Feser in Five Proofs of the Existence of God), if we are incapable of understanding the basic, metaphysical level of discussion beyond the Cartesian subject-object dichotomy.
    Let me guess Feser is warmed over retread of Aristotle/Plato, Aquinas, and later neo platonic thinkers? I not going to google it.

    Finally, besides recommending a thorough analysis of Melendo, Heidegger, Feser, Aristotle, Plato, Thomas Aquinas, Plotinus, Ahmad Fardid, ibn Arabi, Rene Guenon, Julius Evola, and the likes, I would conclude with a few brief summaries, one of them of my authorship, dedicated especially to this subject:
    I counter recommend that nobody waste their time with whinny mystic fascist Evola (who of course imagined himself in the upper end of the world of caste goodness)

    Overall so say I accept ontology hand waving logic game of most of your cited names... What then all you get is a prime mover and no particular reason for it to care or continue to exit after it creates the first move - you certainly don't have the big guy or gal or multiple ones in the sky or that they care about you personally.
    Last edited by conon394; March 22, 2019 at 07:17 AM.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    I counter recommend that nobody waste their time with whinny mystic fascist Evola (who of course imagined himself in the upper end of the world of caste goodness)
    If you label him that way, you're already atracting curiosity for the author, given in this cycle the right wing is the rising fashion.

    One thing Evola did was to separate his ideas from Fascism, and instead focusing on a mix of Right Wing/Eastern Mysticism.
    Evola is very sceptical of literally anything that came out after WWI, be it communism, fascism, whatever.

    The title of one of his books is "Fascism viewed from the Right", which means he positions himself an observer of Fascism, rather than a Fascist.

    Now due to Evolas interests in "Eros and Mysteries of Love: Metaphysics of Sex" (one of his book's titles, look it up), Yoga, and Eastern Mysticism, he will obviously be misunderstood by any casual look from XXI century left.

    The fact Evola gives such importance and interest to ideas from the East, mainly in his timeframe, already shows a big humility towards non-Western societies, even some admiration for them, despite being a Traditionalist. To claim he is part of any "Western Supremacy" is a rookie's mistake.
    Last edited by fkizz; March 22, 2019 at 11:19 AM.
    It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.

    -George Orwell

  7. #7

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    Quote Originally Posted by Marie Louise von Preussen View Post
    And in this sense, it becomes impossible to justify the existence of God using the Platonic Proof of the One (as elegantly polished and recovered by Edward Feser in Five Proofs of the Existence of God), if we are incapable of understanding the basic, metaphysical level of discussion beyond the Cartesian subject-object dichotomy.
    Oh hey, Feser. Not long ago, I've had a little discussion about that on these forums. He's a hack who goes off his peculiar idea of platonic realism, and constructs imaginary structures that he tries to pass off as logic, ignoring-and thus, when subjected to critical analysis, shows-the essential problem of diving too deep into metaphysics. Once you get away from the empirical basis, the possibilities quickly balloon into infinite number, and you end up substituting your own beliefs for facts, because you have nothing else to guide you.

    Rationalism avoids this by simply acknowledging that it's impossible to choose between infinite possiblities and thus ignores these avenues and focuses on the objective reality and empirical experience with it. Thus, naturally, it can't answer all questions, but those it can, it can answer more accuretely and reliably than anything else invented to date.

  8. #8
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Colfax WA, neat I have a barn and 49 acres - I have 2 horses, 15 chickens - but no more pigs
    Posts
    12,369

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    Quote Originally Posted by fkizz View Post
    If you label him that way, you're already atracting curiosity for the author, given in this cycle the right wing is the rising fashion.

    One thing Evola did was to separate his ideas from Fascism, and instead focusing on a mix of Right Wing/Eastern Mysticism.
    Evola is very sceptical of literally anything that came out after WWI, be it communism, fascism, whatever.

    The title of one of his books is "Fascism viewed from the Right", which means he positions himself an observer of Fascism, rather than a Fascist.

    Now due to Evolas interests in "Eros and Mysteries of Love: Metaphysics of Sex" (one of his book's titles, look it up), Yoga, and Eastern Mysticism, he will obviously be misunderstood by any casual look from XXI century left.

    The fact Evola gives such importance and interest to ideas from the East, mainly in his timeframe, already shows a big humility towards non-Western societies, even some admiration for them, despite being a Traditionalist. To claim he is part of any "Western Supremacy" is a rookie's mistake.
    Sorry fkizz I wasted a weekend and 11 bucks reading his drivel and it remains drivel including the eastern mysticism. Even Aristotle manged a better attack on democracy. The only humility I saw was wannabe caste love and of course an I am sure I would at the top. Honestly a bad translation of Plato was better reading or learning Greek to grind through it myself. At least the bits that seem to be Socrates and not Plato as Socrates are funny. Something Evola shares with the real Plato that is being a boring and not interesting - but Plato even does that better. Were I a teacher I'd assign Plato for a reasons to real classes, Evola just to the kids in detention for the pain. And maybe to have to write a paper about all of logical BS if they wanted to leave.
    Last edited by conon394; March 22, 2019 at 12:56 PM.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  9. #9
    Muizer's Avatar member 3519
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    8,460

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    I do not think in modern philosophy the subjectivity is inevitably an option of being limited by our senses is denied. Rather, it acknowledges that the 'rational mind' is itself subject to that subjectivity. Hence, no thought we have can be non-subjective. There is no escape from Plato's cave. Every though, concept or whatever you want to call it must by necessity exist in that cave. There can be no exceptions, philosophical, religious or otherwise. It is understanding that we all inhabit this cave that we have to make choices what thought serves us best.

    I do agree with one thing though. I think modern man is forgetting how 'real' and 'visceral' religious experience used to be. These days, especially religious people are too dismissive of the literal interpretation of scripture, dismissing things as metaphorical when in the past no such distinction was even conceived of except perhaps by a few sceptics. That is really hard to truely come to grips with. The idea that bread and wine would turn into the blood and body of christ in a physical way, not in a metaphorical way or in a way that we now call 'supernatural'.
    Last edited by Muizer; March 22, 2019 at 01:20 PM.
    "Lay these words to heart, Lucilius, that you may scorn the pleasure which comes from the applause of the majority. Many men praise you; but have you any reason for being pleased with yourself, if you are a person whom the many can understand?" - Lucius Annaeus Seneca -

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    I do not think in modern philosophy the subjectivity is inevitably an option of being limited by our senses is denied. Rather, it acknowledges that the 'rational mind' is itself subject to that subjectivity. Hence, no thought we have can be non-subjective. There is no escape from Plato's cave. Every though, concept or whatever you want to call it must by necessity exist in that cave. Including religious thought.
    There is escape to Plato's cave, but you eventually fall back into another cave, which then you escape, to fall into another, and so on, that's life and growing up/evolution. Which is what Descartes meant, what you believed to be true 15 years ago, you no longer believe to be true, and what you believe to be true now, you likely will disbelieve/have different opinion in 15 years - hence the question, how to know if your thoughts are not deceiving you? Or how to be sure if they are fake or real, given such change over time?

    And how to know the thought "I exist" is deceiving you or not? Ergo Cogito Sum, I think therefore I am, and that dilema is solved, potential existencial crisis adverted.

    However the point of this is not to put so much importance on "power of thought", as people in modernity interpret it, but simply to find an escape to the dilema on how our worldview and beliefs keep constantly changing, and how we disagree with our past selves/beliefs of 20 years ago/20 years foward, making our beliefs very fragile, so how to make the sure that the belief "I exist" is real - ergo cogito sum, which is given a wrong interpretation of where Descartes wanted to lead us to.

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Sorry fkizz I wasted a weekend and 11 bucks reading his drivel and it remains drivel including the eastern mysticism. Even Aristotle manged a better attack on democracy. The only humility I saw was wannabe caste love and of course an I am sure I would at the top. Honestly a bad translation of Plato was better reading or learning Greek to grind through it myself. At least the bits that seem to be Socrates and not Plato as Socrates are funny. Something Evola shares with the real Plato that is being a boring and not interesting - but Plato even does that better. Were I a teacher I'd assign Plato for a reasons to real classes, Evola just to the kids in detention for the pain. And maybe to have to write a paper about all of logical BS if they wanted to leave.
    Well I'm not claiming Evola to be better than Plato - in fact, even if you say Plato is better, just by placing Evola and Plato in same league, is a big indirect flattery to Evola you're making.
    It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.

    -George Orwell

  11. #11

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    I counter recommend that nobody waste their time with whinny mystic fascist Evola (who of course imagined himself in the upper end of the world of caste goodness)

    Sorry fkizz I wasted a weekend and 11 bucks reading his drivel and it remains drivel including the eastern mysticism. Even Aristotle manged a better attack on democracy. The only humility I saw was wannabe caste love and of course an I am sure I would at the top. Honestly a bad translation of Plato was better reading or learning Greek to grind through it myself. At least the bits that seem to be Socrates and not Plato as Socrates are funny. Something Evola shares with the real Plato that is being a boring and not interesting - but Plato even does that better. Were I a teacher I'd assign Plato for a reasons to real classes, Evola just to the kids in detention for the pain. And maybe to have to write a paper about all of logical BS if they wanted to leave.
    I should say this, that Evola's The Doctrine of Awakening gathered important positive reviews and even official recognition from the Pali Texts Society.

    It should also be important that Evola, despite being an adherent of Absolute Idealism in his youth, quickly bulged and wrote his critique of Western metaphysics in terms very similar to Heidegger's.

    "Eastern" mysticism, is not easy to understand at first. But it makes wonderful sense. But Rene Guenon is usually credited as Evola's mentor, and his ideas are much more well fleshed out.

    Well I'm not claiming Evola to be better than Plato - in fact, even if you say Plato is better, just by placing Evola and Plato in same league, is a big indirect flattery to Evola you're making.
    Plato and the Neoplatonists are much better than Evola, of course. Evole merely worked out as their late epigone, and restorer, for modern audiences.

    Oh hey, Feser. Not long ago, I've had a little discussion about that on these forums. He's a hack who goes off his peculiar idea of platonic realism, and constructs imaginary structures that he tries to pass off as logic, ignoring-and thus, when subjected to critical analysis, shows-the essential problem of diving too deep into metaphysics. Once you get away from the empirical basis, the possibilities quickly balloon into infinite number, and you end up substituting your own beliefs for facts, because you have nothing else to guide you.
    I'm not particularly a Neo-Thomist or Aristotelian myself.

    In fact I'm closer to the Pythagorean-Platonic stance that is totally critical of Empiricism as a whole. Empiricism is worthless except for the physical sciences, and in this, I depart from the scholarly consensus of much of the Anglo-Saxon world that is focused on physicalism, analytic philosophy and is essentially post-Humean and post-Kantian.

    It is a fact that Feser goes off on abstractions, but his rehashing of Aristotle, and of the Platonics, is very good for basic outline of ontology and something of a skeleton for theistic arguments. I've never seen any atheist offering a convincing refutation of it.

    Just to point it out better

    Rationalism avoids this by simply acknowledging that it's impossible to choose between infinite possiblities and thus ignores these avenues and focuses on the objective reality and empirical experience with it. Thus, naturally, it can't answer all questions, but those it can, it can answer more accuretely and reliably than anything else invented to date.

    It is not "Rationalism", but "Empiricism", a competing school of thought for much of the post-Cartesian period.

    Rationalism is often associated with idealism and the idea that "all is mind", such as was taught by Hegel and his idealistic disciples, including even the young Marx.

    "Empiricism" focuses too much on the contents of immediate sense perception.

    In this sense, Empiricism is a good framework for measuring particle physics. But when it comes to questions that predate it, it falls into inconsistency. Empiricists are generally unable to define anything that cannot be measured mathematically well, and that's why there's such a divide between "hard" and "soft" sciences.

    Simply speaking, things like human nature, morality, "Being", ontology, God, etc... are not something that can be "measured" in precise mathematical terms, yet the fact that qualia are irreducible to mathematics doesn't mean qualia are unreal.

    The existence of qualia, as pointed out, is the definite weak link that breaks Descartes' paradigm and sends us straight into the pre-Enlightenment age. And it's impossible to understand any ontological statement if you don't get out of the subject-object paradigm dictated by post-Enlightenment episteme. And in a sense, a lot of the effort by Continental idealism revolved around bridging the limitations of the Cartesian approach on qualia by adopting an ultra-idealistic, ultra-rationalistic approach to knowledge, to their failure of course.
    Last edited by Marie Louise von Preussen; March 22, 2019 at 03:11 PM.
    "Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill, when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it."

    - Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

  12. #12

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    I do not think in modern philosophy the subjectivity is inevitably an option of being limited by our senses is denied.
    Quite simply and bluntly stating, it is. It is a dreamlike projection of mental representations, and thus very much diverse from what would constitute "intellect" in the Neo-Platonic mould.

    Heidegger is one of the first conscious critics of subjectivity within the mould of post-Cartesian philosophy. He, and the Thomists, of course.

    It is not the idea of object inside our mind that dictates the object, but rather the opposite. And Heidegger's critique, that we speak about mentally framed "beings' and not Being, is spot on and also a source of my criticisms of the post-Enlightenment rationalist episteme.
    "Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill, when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it."

    - Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    ... And, let me add, this, God is not - according to Classical Theism - a "big guy in the sky".

    The Platonic Argument of the One doesn't make the argument that God is an object in space.

    That's precisely one of the big, big limitations of the post-Cartesian perception of things vs what truly constituted theism in the "Classical", "Traditional", mould.

    In sum Feser himself, with a few snaps of Aristotle, could refute this very easily. It's not the Science of objects, but the Science of Being qua Being.
    "Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill, when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it."

    - Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

  14. #14
    basics's Avatar Praeses
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Scotland, UK.
    Posts
    8,904

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    Muizer,

    When Jesus broke bread saying that this was His body given for you, He was using the bread as a figure for what He was about to experience, it wasn't literally His body. The same for the wine which He said was the blood of the New Covenant. It wasn't then and isn't now literally His blood but a pointer to what He would achieve on the cross for them. He said do this in remembrance of Me, that is every time bread and wine are taken. Therefore it is a sign to believers to never forget just exactly what He did at the cross on their behalf the Supernatural already having happened at the cross. To begin to assume that the wine and bread actually become the blood and body of Christ every time a priest administers it is in fact denying that once only sacrifice He made by repeating it over and over again as many systems do and it's quite wrong as well as being unscriptural.

  15. #15
    Muizer's Avatar member 3519
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    8,460

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    @basics, you have adopted a certain position on this matter that can be traced back to late medieval times. If you were to look at earlier history through that lense, as if this interpretation was somehow already foreshadowned and inevitable, you would be making exactly the mistake I am cautioning against. It is very doubtful that common folk in ancient times had anything like the concept of a distinct physics and metaphysics. There are so many examples of religious practices that point to people not making any sharp distinction between the natural and the supernatural. It would be a huge mistake to assume their expressions of religious thinking are metaphorical.
    "Lay these words to heart, Lucilius, that you may scorn the pleasure which comes from the applause of the majority. Many men praise you; but have you any reason for being pleased with yourself, if you are a person whom the many can understand?" - Lucius Annaeus Seneca -

  16. #16

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    These days, especially religious people are too dismissive of the literal interpretation of scripture, dismissing things as metaphorical when in the past no such distinction was even conceived of except perhaps by a few sceptics. That is really hard to truely come to grips with. The idea that bread and wine would turn into the blood and body of christ in a physical way, not in a metaphorical way or in a way that we now call 'supernatural'.
    Allegorical interpretations of Jewish scripture were common in the century before Jesus. There were targumim (interpretations/translations) which were meant to be recited for the common people in Aramaic vernacular that had exegesis built in. For example, any wording that depicted God anthropomorphically (as with a body and/or emotions) was rephrased so that it would not be understood as literal.

    From Philo's Allegorical Interpretation of Genesis:

    I. (1) "And the heaven and the earth and all their world was Completed." (Genesis 2:1) Having previously related the creation of the mind and of sense, Moses now proceeds to describe the perfection which was brought about by them both. And he says that neither the indivisible mind nor the particular sensations received perfection, but only ideas, one the idea of the mind, the other of sensation. And, speaking symbolically, he calls the mind heaven, since the natures which can only be comprehended by the intellect are in heaven. And sensation he calls earth, because it is sensation which has obtained a corporeal and some what earthy constitution. The ornaments of the mind are all the incorporeal things, which are perceptible only by the intellect. Those of sensation are the corporeal things, and everything in short which is perceptible by the external senses.

    II. (2) "And on the sixth day God finished his work which he had made." It would be a sign of great simplicity to think that the world was created in six days, or indeed at all in time; because all time is only the space of days and nights, and these things the motion of the sun as he passes over the earth and under the earth does necessarily make. But the sun is a portion of heaven, so that one must confess that time is a thing posterior to the world. Therefore it would be correctly said that the world was not created in time, but that time had its existence in consequence of the world. For it is the motion of the heaven that has displayed the nature of time.

    (3) When, therefore, Moses says, "God completed his works on the sixth day," we must understand that he is speaking not of a number of days, but that he takes six as a perfect number. Since it is the first number which is equal in its parts, in the half, and the third and sixth parts, and since it is produced by the multiplication of two unequal factors, two and three. And the numbers two and three exceed the incorporeality which exists in the unit; because the number two is an image of matter being divided into two parts and dissected like matter. And the number three is an image of a solid body, because a solid can be divided according to a threefold division. (4) Not but what it is also akin to the motions of organic animals. For an organic body is naturally capable of motion in six directions, forward, backwards, upwards, downwards, to the right, and to the left. And at all events he desires to show that the races of mortal, and also of all the immortal beings, exist according to their appropriate numbers; measuring mortal beings, as I have said, by the number six, and the blessed and immortal beings by the number seven. (5) First, therefore, having desisted from the creation of mortal creatures on the seventh day, he began the formation of other and more divine beings.
    And from his Questions and Answers on Genesis:

    (6) Why is God said to have planted a Paradise? And for whom? And what is meant by a paradise? (Genesis 2:8). The word paradise, if taken literally, has no need of any particular explanation; for it means a place thickly crowded with every kind of tree; but symbolically taken, it means wisdom, intelligence both divine and human, and the proper comprehension of the causes of things; since it was proper, after the creation of the world, to establish a contemplative system of life, in order that man, by the sight of the world and of the things which are contained in it, might be able to attain to a correct notion of the praise due to the Father. And since it was not possible for him to behold nature herself, nor properly to praise the Creator of the universe without wisdom, therefore the Creator planted the outlines of it in the rational soul of the principal guide of man, namely the mind, as he planted trees in the paradise. And when we are told that in the middle was the tree of life, that means the knowledge not only of the creature, but also of the greater and supreme cause of the universe; for if any one is able to arrive at a certain comprehension of that, he will be fortunate and truly happy and immortal. Moreover, after the creation of the world human wisdom was created, as also after the creation of the world the Paradise was planted; and so the poets say that the chorus of musicians was established in order to praise the Creator and his works; as Plato says, that the Creator was the first and greatest of causes, and that the world was the most beautiful of all creatures.
    These two texts were written during the lifetime of Jesus, or at latest, a few years after his death.

    I don't know very much about the history of early Christianity relatively speaking, but I do know that literally consuming the blood of an animal would have been absolutely abhorrent to First Century Jews, much less the body and blood of a person.

    That said, I don't think you're entirely mistaken in your assertion broadly speaking, but then I'm likewise skeptical that people today are generally capable of separating an abstract representation from a falsifiable proposition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


  17. #17
    Protector Domesticus
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    4,166

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    No denomination teaches that Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist, or that Christ's physical flesh and blood are somehow united with the bread and the wine. That's a popular misconception. This doctrine is known as "impanation", which has been unequivocally rejected by all the major denominations, even by the Roman Catholic Church, which is the usual target for accusations of cannibalism.
    Last edited by Prodromos; March 23, 2019 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Might be irrelevant

  18. #18
    basics's Avatar Praeses
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Scotland, UK.
    Posts
    8,904

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    Quote Originally Posted by Prodromos View Post
    No denomination teaches that Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist, or that Christ's physical flesh and blood are somehow united with the bread and the wine. That's a popular misconception. This doctrine is known as "impanation", which has been unequivocally rejected by all the major denominations, even by the Roman Catholic Church, which is the usual target for accusations of cannibalism.
    Prodromos,

    You may then be shocked to hear that when I was not long saved I went with my RAF friends to a church of the Anglican faith and saw this Bishop tell a child that the bread and wine did in fact turn into Jesus as the child partook of it. On rising to leave one of the guys took hold of my arm and said keep still, say nothing. So, we stayed as our people were doing the music on that particular day. Just remembered it was the Episcopalian church of St John in Forres.

    At the time Jesus gave the disciples the bread and wine the gathering had not long before just come back from making sacrifice at the Temple so Jesus was telling them that rather than animal sacrifice the bread and wine would remind them of what He was about to do on the cross on their behalf although He had not yet done it. Clearly it was figurative and clearly the disciples must have been confused not knowing what was about to happen to Him a few hours later. The penny only dropped when the Holy Ghost fell on them all at Pentecost.

  19. #19
    Protector Domesticus
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    4,166

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    Oh, these days nothing Anglicans do shocks me anymore, but still, they believe in the Real Presence, which is different from Jesus being physically present in the bread and wine; that would be cannibalism, not to mention logically impossible, since a body can't be physically located at several places at once. Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and others believe Jesus is "really" but still not "physically" present in the Eucharist.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Why Religion Cannot Be Measured by Modern Rationality - A Critique of Rationalism, Scientism and Post-Modern Metaphysics

    [quote]Oh, these days nothing Anglicans do shocks me anymore, but still, they believe in the Real Presence, which is different from Jesus being physically present in the bread and wine; that would be cannibalism, not to mention logically impossible, since a body can't be physically located at several places at once. Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and others believe Jesus is "really" but still not "physically" present in the Eucharist.[/quote]



    The 28th article of the Anglican faith reads:



    [spolier]XXVIII. Of the Lord's Supper

    The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.

    Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

    The Body of Christ is given, taken and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith.

    The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up or worshipped. [/spoiler]



    Make of this what you will. There is certainly theological room to view the Eucharist as being merely symbolic. After all, if we assume God’s divine omnipresence, then He is neither more nor less present during Communion than at any other moment. The purpose of the Eucharist, therefore, is to bring us to God rather than to bring Him to us.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •