Socrates says in Platoâs Gorgias that thereâs nothing more serious than âthe question (of) how we ought to live.â We may aspire to live a good and happy lifeâbut what does such a life consist in? Good in what way? And happy how?
For a pious Jew or Christian, perhaps, the answer seems simple: a life in line with Godâs will as expressed in the Bible. But what about the rest of us who have turned our backs on revelation? One of the first to do so was the Dutch Portuguese Jewish philosopher Benedict de Spinoza in the seventeenth century. The prophets had no wisdom, he claimed, and the Bibleâs picture of God was utterly wrong: there is no creator God who performs miracles and reveals his will to Moses, let alone records it on tablets. (It shouldnât come as a surprise that Spinoza was excommunicated from Amsterdamâs Jewish community in 1656 for âhorrible heresies.â He was twenty-three.) Spinoza had to find a new answer to that most serious question. Forget revelation, he argued, and follow reason, which will lead you to peace of mind and lasting joy. If you want to be âblessedâ and âsaved,â let the philosopher guide you, not the prophet. (...)
Greater than all physical dangers are the tremendous effects of delusional ideas, which are yet denied all reality by our world-blinded consciousness. Our much vaunted reason and our boundlessly overestimated will are sometimes utterly powerless in the face of âunrealâ thoughts. The world-powers that rule over all mankind, good or ill, are unconscious psychic factors, and it is they that bring consciousness into being and hence create the sine qua non for the existence of any world at all. We are steeped in a world that was created by our own psyche.
Anything new should always be questioned and tested with caution, for it may very easily turn out to be only a new disease. That is why true progress is impossible without mature judgment. But a well-balanced judgment requires a firm stand point, and this in turn can only rest on a sound knowledge of what has been. The man who is unconscious of the historical context and lets slip his link with the past is in constant danger of succumbing to the crazes and delusions engendered by all novelties. It is a tragedy of all innovators that they empty out the baby with the bath-water.â
Location: Wytheville, Virginia (There's Only One!) Gender:
Oct 23, 2020 - 8:21am
Some here might get a big kick out of this, or just another laugh!?
Iâd like to thank you for posting this video. I found it quite informative, and frankly , a validation to some previous thoughts Iâve had on this subject. Which kind of proves my assertion that the only thing faster than the speed of light is the speed of thought.
David Hume, who died in his native Edinburgh in 1776, has become something of a hero to academic philosophers. In 2009, he won first place in a large international poll of professors and graduate students who were asked to name the dead thinker with whom they most identified. The runners-up in this peculiar race were Aristotle and Kant. Hume beat them by a comfortable margin. Socrates only just made the top twenty.
This is quite a reversal of fortune for Hume, who failed in both of his attempts to get an academic job. In his own day, and into the nineteenth century, his philosophical writings were generally seen as perverse and destructive. Their goal was âto produce in the reader a complete distrust in his own faculties,â according to the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1815â1817. The best that could be said for Hume as a philosopher was that he provoked wiser thinkers to refute him in interesting ways. (...)