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  1. #91
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post

    So despite being non-believers, both seem to agree that religion has something important to say in the conversation.
    But not for the same purpose than believers would!

    Habermas is a sociologist, so he can't possibly try to ignore the social effect of religions. That would be clearly unprofessional.
    That's about all you can say, because otherwise, Habermas's main works focus on the critique of any form of proselytism, whether ideological or religious.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  2. #92
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    What's your point, Blackmail, in terms of the thread?
    "Only an irrational dumbass, would burn Jews." - Jaguar

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  3. #93
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    But not for the same purpose than believers would.
    Of course. In fact I have read Christian comentaries that speak both ways(pro, con) towards Habermas and Zizek on their supposedly positive stances towards religion.

    Habermas is a sociologist, so he can't possibly try to ignore the social effect of religions. That would be clearly unprofessional.
    Indeed, but the Secularization thesis has been a major part of sociological discussion in regards to religion. Post-Secular studies are about lchallenging that thesis on the grounds that religion not only has continual but even renewed relevance in social matters.

    Just earlier this month, Yale University held a conference "Exploring the Post-Secular", which discussed issues related to this, and even addressing renewed academic interest towards religious issues.

    I haven't read any transcripts from this conference, so I can't comment specifically on what was discussed there. But this does seem part of a growing trend in intellectual and academic discourse. And I pointed to Zizek and Habermas, since they're probably the two more famous names often referenced to within these studies.

    Quick aside question: what would you classify Habermas as? I see him as more INTJ in nature.

  4. #94
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    That's fine. All I'm doing is pointing out that, in acting on such preferences, you are deliberately choosing cultural illiteracy... in other words, ignorance
    I'm sure it doesn't come as a surprise to you that I find some of what you said a bit patronizing. It's the "if you don't like/believe what I do, you're ignorant" viewpoint that gets me. Obviously people in the past have learned a lot, and have a lot to say that's relevant today - I'm just not interested in the Bible as a tool for that sort of thing. There are plenty of other places to learn - I just choose other avenues.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Again this is an effect of the post-modern worldview, in which bodies of information are fragmented and pigeonholed, not bearing any relationship to one another, or relative value.
    I'm not sure how you got that I lack the desire and/or ability to build relationships between different topics from my post - that wasn't my intent. In fact, I'd wholeheartedly agree that this is important - I just don't think that the Bible (or any other single work - especially a religious one) is imperative for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I'll put it as succinctly as I can, assuming you're still reading and haven't quit in disgust: Education is the process by which you learn how to decide what's important.

    Please note that I didn't say that education is how you learn what's important. It's not a matter of what to think, but how to think... how to weigh relative merit of competing ideas, how to go about setting priorities in your life, how to make informed choices about what you believe about all the big philosophical questions.
    No, I'm not upset. Annoyed at worst . And I agree - education is not *what* you learn, it's how you pattern yourself to think and make decisions. Again - no argument there... I just don't find religious references, including the Bible, to be necessary ingredients to knowing this.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    At the root of it, you may discover a reason to live. (I know... to a post-modern, that very statement is absurd... it's like whistling about architecture... but still, there it is.) If that isn't important to you, well, I can't really help you.
    Well, I'm not really looking for "help" there, really. "Reasons to live" come in many places, in many ways. Friends, love, accomplishments, the joy of learning new things, seeing new places, experiencing new things, connecting with other people. From my perspective, there is no *a* reason to live - to limit yourself that way seems very closed-in and limiting. Might not be what you meant, but that's how I see the "there's one way to be educated" argument - sort of elitist, exclusionary, and condescending. Now I certainly have no issue with people educating themselves in classic literature, including the Bible - it's them high-handedly calling me "ignorant" when I consider different things important that annoys me. We're all ignorant if you look at things in the wrong light.
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  5. #95
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    Kelric, you're making my lower lip tremble.
    "Only an irrational dumbass, would burn Jews." - Jaguar

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  6. #96
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangirl View Post
    Kelric, you're making my lower lip tremble.
    Aw Why's that, Kangirl?

    So I was trying to think of a better way to say things when I was working out... this is what I came up with:

    "There are many paths to wisdom - that mine is different from yours does not make it inferior."

    So there you go. Part fortune cookie, part swimming liger.
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  7. #97
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    I'm sure it doesn't come as a surprise to you that I find some of what you said a bit patronizing. It's the "if you don't like/believe what I do, you're ignorant" viewpoint that gets me.
    No, that wasn't my point at all. What I said wasn't my opinion so much as an observation.

    What if I told you that I was going to undertake to learn modern biology without reading Darwin or anything that referenced Origin of Species very heavily?

    You'd say I was being foolish. You'd say "Modern biological theory draws so heavily on the work of Darwin and those who followed and refined his ideas that excluding Darwin from your reading is tantamount to educational malpractice." You'd say "It doesn't matter if you like Darwin or not... if you don't get Darwin, you won't really get any of the guys that came after him, which is just about all the discipline these days." You'd say "You can skip Darwin if you like, but if you do you're handicapping yourself. It's your choice, but you need to understand that that's what you're doing."

    And you'd be right.

    Well, the same is true of the Bible and Western literature. No, scratch that... it's bigger than just literature. It's Western culture, Western civilization. The art, the architecture, the music, the politics, the way the common people in Prague or Seattle or London think. Try to understand all those things without a nodding acquaintance with the Bible, and you're as much as trying to study biology while avoiding Darwin.

  8. #98
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    No, that wasn't my point at all. What I said wasn't my opinion so much as an observation.

    What if I told you that I was going to undertake to learn modern biology without reading Darwin or anything that referenced Origin of Species very heavily?

    You'd say I was being foolish. You'd say "Modern biological theory draws so heavily on the work of Darwin and those who followed and refined his ideas that excluding Darwin from your reading is tantamount to educational malpractice." You'd say "It doesn't matter if you like Darwin or not... if you don't get Darwin, you won't really get any of the guys that came after him, which is just about all the discipline these days." You'd say "You can skip Darwin if you like, but if you do you're handicapping yourself. It's your choice, but you need to understand that that's what you're doing."

    And you'd be right.

    Well, the same is true of the Bible and Western literature. No, scratch that... it's bigger than just literature. It's Western culture, Western civilization. The art, the architecture, the music, the politics, the way the common people in Prague or Seattle or London think. Try to understand all those things without a nodding acquaintance with the Bible, and you're as much as trying to study biology while avoiding Darwin.
    I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this. Actually, now that you mention it, I *haven't* read the original Darwin (or Mendel, for that matter, and I probably haven't read anything that referenced them *directly*, either) - and yet I have a very good grasp of modern biology (studied it for years in grad school). You don't have to read the original to read and understand concepts - you always *can* go back if you want to, but not having read the "original" (and Darwin wasn't the first or only to posit evolution, if I recall) doesn't necessarily diminish understanding. I could make a strong point that you gain *more* from reading the derivative works, as they've taken into account new knowledge and have refined the theory (of evolution, in this case).

    My point is that there are many ways to gain wisdom, or understanding, or most anything, really. To say that "if you don't do it this way, you can never understand anything wholly" seems limiting and to me, a bit condescending. That would be like me saying "You got from point A to point C *without* going through point B? How Ignorant!" Maybe you had your reasons - maybe you found point B uninteresting, or liked the route via point D (or E, or F) better. Has the Bible influenced modern Western culture? Undoubtedly. If you want to make a study of how it has influenced it, or compare different works from a biblical perspective, or the links between works drawn through biblical references, sure - I'd agree that a working foundation in it would be required. But I don't consider it absolutely required to "be educated" in general, and I believe that it's becoming less relevant in general as people have many more opportunities for reading (and learning) outside of a religious context.

    Anyway, I've said my bit .
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  9. #99
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Well, the same is true of the Bible and Western literature. No, scratch that... it's bigger than just literature. It's Western culture, Western civilization. The art, the architecture, the music, the politics, the way the common people in Prague or Seattle or London think. Try to understand all those things without a nodding acquaintance with the Bible, and you're as much as trying to study biology while avoiding Darwin.
    You're deeply biased Oberon. Do you know it?

    Why don't you want to respect Kelric's way of life?

    ---

    If you want my opinion (for what it's worth), the Bible is an empty book. There are some pages worth reading in the Tanakh (especially the Kohelet and the Book of Job), but you don't get far besides them. And just as Nietzsche noticed, the New Testament is absolutely uninteresting and has a very weak literary content.

    This book is partly responsible for the long atrophy that froze Western civilization, during centuries of scholastic babblings. Anything that was brilliant within the Western antiquity period, the birth of science and philosophy, was almost destroyed by early Christian attempts. Those fanatical, intolerant savages waged a war against intelligence that lasted during centuries.
    It took millenias so we could be free at last, free from the grasp of this boring, shallow book, that is not worth a single line of what Epicure, Aristarcos or Democrite could have written instead. But the Christians burned their books by dozens, everywhere they could find them, because they hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated INTELLIGENCE.

    To hell with the Bible! To hell with the Quran!

    When I read them (and I've did it several times), I'm stuck between hilarity and contempt. It's like having a perverse fascination for the iron chains that kept the slaves locked, or when you visit a museum of torture.

    Metaphysics are meaningless. There's absolutely nothing we can do with them, just as Kant noticed. What a waste of time and energy!

    ---

    "When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion."

    David Hume, "Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding"
    Last edited by Blackmail!; 04-16-2009 at 09:28 PM.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  10. #100
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    You're deeply biased Oberon. Do you know it?
    Oh, absolutely!

    It would be dishonest of me not to face up to my biases, which are many and profound.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Why don't you want to respect Kelric's way of life?
    Because Kelric is deliberately choosing ignorance.

    Look, I hope one day to read the Bhagavad Gita... it's on my lifetime to-do list. I will do this to broaden my understanding. What would you say of me if I declared to you that I found this essential summary of the Vedas to be absurd, nonsensical, and irrelevant, and therefore not worth my time?

    I say none of these things in fact... but if I did, you would be right to answer me that my opinion of the text has no bearing on its essentiality to a thorough understanding of Hindu culture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    When I read it (and I've did it several times), I'm stuck between hilarity and contempt.
    Blackz, I respect your point of view on the matter far more than I respect Kelric's. Regardless of your opinion, you have at least bothered to do the reading. You may think it absurd that so many people spent their lives so foolishly building Notre Dame cathedral, but at least you know why they did it. At least your opinion is an informed one. Thank you.

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