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Author Topic: Why is this so common?  (Read 1853 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 30, 2011, 07:06:36 AM »

Anytime you ask what the purpose of life is you get this response from the secular realm:

"The purpose of life is reproduce, and survive. Like any other species on Earth, we're suppose to pass our genes to our offsprings, and so and so on.

Other than that, our purpose in life is what we make it out to be. We have one life, and with this life, I hope that we're all capable in doing what we want to do before we die. To me, it's to be the best human being that I can be, be successful and happy with my future career, and to have a family one day."

Is this plainly naive? That comfortable that they don't taste death on their lips?
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 11:34:25 AM »

For them it seems like the truth. They would ask the same of theists: don't they realise how naive it is to believe in a God? Don't they realise how little time they have on earth to truly develop a happy and purposeful life?
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2011, 11:09:44 AM »

Because they begin from an entirely different premesis than Christians.
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2011, 03:57:46 PM »

For them it seems like the truth. They would ask the same of theists: don't they realise how naive it is to believe in a God? Don't they realise how little time they have on earth to truly develop a happy and purposeful life?

The problem with that is not only is it merely subjective but it's purpose is in vain. How many of them truly are so selfless to leave behind a good legacy that will inspire others in the future? But even then what if the world dies of a heat death, I guess it wouldn't matter how much of a legacy we live behind.

Yes there is little time, however I would wager on betting on something that is infinite. Even if I am wrong about a supposed afterlife that would mean I'm still equal to the atheist; we both go into nothing. That's why I'd spend a little more time on that hope.
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2011, 05:53:03 PM »


...the purpose of life is to make as much of a positive difference you can before you die.

To educate the world about Orthodoxy, as much as possible.

To help as many people, as possible.

There's so much to be done, and so little time in which to do it.
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2011, 10:30:00 AM »

I am preparing to attend the funeral of my grandfather today, so I have two thoughts concerning this post:

1) All of us know that death is wrong. For whatever reason, we have a hard time accepting death. Yet, if death were natural, we would simply embrace it. Even some animals know death is wrong, that it shouldn't be this way. Why do we give a eulogy when ultimately it doesn't matter?

2) The atheist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre famously said that our being comes before our essence; in other words, we exist first and decide how to exist second. But there is no hope in such an existence; I validate my existence when I help an old lady cross the road, but I validate my existence just as much when I push her in front of a car. No matter what I choose, 4.5 billion years from now when a dying sun expands and consumes the earth in a rage, my choice won't have mattered. To paraphrase from the philosopher John Caputo (who is a nihilist and a metaphysical atheist), the cosmos doesn't hear the cry from the child with AIDS and doesn't pay attention to our toils, we cry out and it simply shrugs its shoulders.

So you're right, atheism simply cannot provide for a purposeful life, yet atheists will continue to live with purpose because they are made in the image of God. However, they lack justification for their belief in purpose. Hence why existential atheism was in vogue in the 60's and 70's, when people asked the big questions; we avoid the big questions now either because we're ignorant or too afraid to ask them.
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 06:10:47 PM »

Great post theo, as always, but I do have a slight problem.

1) All of us know that death is wrong. For whatever reason, we have a hard time accepting death. Yet, if death were natural, we would simply embrace it. Even some animals know death is wrong, that it shouldn't be this way. Why do we give a eulogy when ultimately it doesn't matter?
Wouldn't our fear of death is because we are hardwired to survive?
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 06:31:28 PM »

For them it seems like the truth. They would ask the same of theists: don't they realise how naive it is to believe in a God? Don't they realise how little time they have on earth to truly develop a happy and purposeful life?
The problem with that is not only is it merely subjective but it's purpose is in vain. How many of them truly are so selfless to leave behind a good legacy that will inspire others in the future? But even then what if the world dies of a heat death, I guess it wouldn't matter how much of a legacy we live behind.Yes there is little time, however I would wager on betting on something that is infinite. Even if I am wrong about a supposed afterlife that would mean I'm still equal to the atheist; we both go into nothing. That's why I'd spend a little more time on that hope.
Actually, although I wouldn't advocate pascal's wager as an approach to life, I would say that if an atheist was looking at it from a pragmatic point, he is on the losing side.  Let me show you what I mean.  From the atheist "pragmatic" position, regardless of whether there is an afterlife or not, the following is true:
1.  The atheist will never have the reward of knowing he is right if he is right.  He will only know if he is wrong if he is wrong.
2.  The theist will never have the 'loss' of knowing he is wrong if he is wrong.  He will only have the reward of knowing he is right if he is right. 
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2011, 07:29:19 PM »

Very good argument Father, I have this to add:

Quote
If God does not exist, it does not matter how you wager, for there is nothing to win after death and nothing to lose after death. But if God does exist, your only chance of winning eternal happiness is to believe, and your only chance of losing it is to refuse to believe. As Pascal says, "I should be much more afraid of being mistaken and then finding out that Christianity is true than of being mistaken in believing it to be true." If you believe too much, you neither win nor lose eternal happiness. But if you believe too little, you risk losing everything.

But is it worth the price? What must be given up to wager that God exists? Whatever it is, it is only finite, and it is most reasonable to wager something finite on the chance of winning an infinite prize. Perhaps you must give up autonomy or illicit pleasures, but you will gain infinite happiness in eternity, and "I tell you that you will gain even in this life "—purpose, peace, hope, joy, the things that put smiles on the lips of martyrs.
http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/pascals-wager.htm
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2011, 07:39:38 PM »

According to St. Nikolai Velimirovic, the purpose of life is to love God more than sin. I've lately been struck by the beauty and simplicity of this.
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2011, 07:46:43 PM »

Very good argument Father, I have this to add:

Quote
If God does not exist, it does not matter how you wager, for there is nothing to win after death and nothing to lose after death. But if God does exist, your only chance of winning eternal happiness is to believe, and your only chance of losing it is to refuse to believe. As Pascal says, "I should be much more afraid of being mistaken and then finding out that Christianity is true than of being mistaken in believing it to be true." If you believe too much, you neither win nor lose eternal happiness. But if you believe too little, you risk losing everything.

But is it worth the price? What must be given up to wager that God exists? Whatever it is, it is only finite, and it is most reasonable to wager something finite on the chance of winning an infinite prize. Perhaps you must give up autonomy or illicit pleasures, but you will gain infinite happiness in eternity, and "I tell you that you will gain even in this life "—purpose, peace, hope, joy, the things that put smiles on the lips of martyrs.
http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/pascals-wager.htm

Of course, even if you accept this, there is still the problem of which God to bet on. And then, if there are many different groups as with Christianity, which group to be in.
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2011, 07:55:40 PM »

Very good argument Father, I have this to add:

Quote
If God does not exist, it does not matter how you wager, for there is nothing to win after death and nothing to lose after death. But if God does exist, your only chance of winning eternal happiness is to believe, and your only chance of losing it is to refuse to believe. As Pascal says, "I should be much more afraid of being mistaken and then finding out that Christianity is true than of being mistaken in believing it to be true." If you believe too much, you neither win nor lose eternal happiness. But if you believe too little, you risk losing everything.

But is it worth the price? What must be given up to wager that God exists? Whatever it is, it is only finite, and it is most reasonable to wager something finite on the chance of winning an infinite prize. Perhaps you must give up autonomy or illicit pleasures, but you will gain infinite happiness in eternity, and "I tell you that you will gain even in this life "—purpose, peace, hope, joy, the things that put smiles on the lips of martyrs.
http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/pascals-wager.htm

Of course, even if you accept this, there is still the problem of which God to bet on. And then, if there are many different groups as with Christianity, which group to be in.

How many people actually read Pascal? It would seem at times from the quotes everyone is familiar with that he in the end is arguing for a theism, the god of the philosophers.

But he was an ardent Christian and eloquently writes about his faith.

To remove "the wager" from the context of the Pensées is sad. That work is worthwhile of reading no matter of one's religious leaning. It is a well articulated and honest reflection on faith by a profound thinker.

The fact that works like the Pensées which go unread by many, while C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity is celebrated as brilliant which grieve me.

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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2011, 08:11:20 PM »

Not only should you read Pensees but also know the context of the time and why it was written, because it was done in a time of great skepticsm. It's funny how atheists attack it harshly when they don't understand it's not a proof of God
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2011, 08:20:15 PM »

Not only should you read Pensees but also know the context of the time and why it was written, because it was done in a time of great skepticsm. It's funny how atheists attack it harshly when they don't understand it's not a proof of God

Have you read it?

Time, culture, and all the stuff is great, this is what I do, but the work holds its own as literature.

When people go reading to find things either "right" or "wrong", they simply are not reading.

But Christians do the same with their enemies. Example par excellence: Nietzsche. I lol to myself every time someone calls him an atheist or attributes "God is dead" to him.

But if asked, if they have read a single work of his much less his entire corpus, the answer is not.

Both the angsty teen-ager and scandalized Christian probably have the same crummy Kaufmann Nietzsche reader.

Of course, we can't expect everyone to be experts at everything, but we now more than ever live in a time where not only do people think they can be but they truly are in virtue of the accessibility of "information".

For the record, the Nietzsch saw that coming a mile away.
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2011, 08:26:49 PM »

Wait a second, Nietsczhe wasn't an atheist? From what I read he was a strong atheist.
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2011, 08:39:31 PM »

Wait a second, Nietsczhe wasn't an atheist? From what I read he was a strong atheist.

Again, as he would predict, he would be forever misunderstood.

It is a complex subject. Nietzsche is much more of subtle thinker than those who pick up some excerpts of his think or who even make their careers studying him.

Now he knew irony. Too bad he and the Kierkegaard never were able to have contact as contemporaries. Very kindred spirits and again Kierkegaard is someone much talked about and read in excerpt, but rarely studied. He might be the one ironist IMHO who surpassed Neech.

But this discussion would become too long and too technical. Just putting out a few other thinkers who get very short shrift to the misfortune of many.

But there is too much to read, much less truly read.

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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2011, 08:52:05 PM »

Very good argument Father, I have this to add:

Quote
If God does not exist, it does not matter how you wager, for there is nothing to win after death and nothing to lose after death. But if God does exist, your only chance of winning eternal happiness is to believe, and your only chance of losing it is to refuse to believe. As Pascal says, "I should be much more afraid of being mistaken and then finding out that Christianity is true than of being mistaken in believing it to be true." If you believe too much, you neither win nor lose eternal happiness. But if you believe too little, you risk losing everything.

But is it worth the price? What must be given up to wager that God exists? Whatever it is, it is only finite, and it is most reasonable to wager something finite on the chance of winning an infinite prize. Perhaps you must give up autonomy or illicit pleasures, but you will gain infinite happiness in eternity, and "I tell you that you will gain even in this life "—purpose, peace, hope, joy, the things that put smiles on the lips of martyrs.
http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/pascals-wager.htm

Of course, even if you accept this, there is still the problem of which God to bet on. And then, if there are many different groups as with Christianity, which group to be in.

How many people actually read Pascal? It would seem at times from the quotes everyone is familiar with that he in the end is arguing for a theism, the god of the philosophers.

But he was an ardent Christian and eloquently writes about his faith.

To remove "the wager" from the context of the Pensées is sad. That work is worthwhile of reading no matter of one's religious leaning. It is a well articulated and honest reflection on faith by a profound thinker.

The fact that works like the Pensées which go unread by many, while C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity is celebrated as brilliant which grieve me.



And to add a point lest anyone thinks the above reeks of snobbery, my point is that anyone literate enough to read Lewis can read Pensées. It is very accessible to all.
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2011, 08:53:22 PM »

I know that whole "God is dead" was blown way out of porportion and misinterpreted. That's why I like him and Dostoevsky (who was a strick Orthodox Christian) they get to the heart of the problem.

orthonorm, I'm curious you don't have a faith or jurisdiction listed. Are you Orthodox? What's your faith?
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2011, 09:06:53 PM »

Both the angsty teen-ager and scandalized Christian probably have the same crummy Kaufmann Nietzsche reader.

Ouch.

(Asteriktos slowly backs away from the computer and casually hides his Kaufmann book titled The Portable Nietzsche)
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2011, 09:10:12 PM »

I know that whole "God is dead" was blown way out of porportion and misinterpreted. That's why I like him and Dostoevsky (who was a strick Orthodox Christian) they get to the heart of the problem.

orthonorm, I'm curious you don't have a faith or jurisdiction listed. Are you Orthodox? What's your faith?

I've been thinking about jumping in on the recent talk about Karamazov in the book thread. The Priest at the parish I attend said it was his favorite work of fiction and a life changer. I mentioned that I had to deal with it in my education and we had a very productive discussion which is ongoing about some of the "extra"-Russian context in which it is written.

I am an "inquirer" at an OCA parish. Alotta reading and listening to more podcasts on Orthodoxy than anyone should.

I am coming up on about a year of attending nearly every service offered at the parish I visit as my health allows.

Would probably be a catechumen in the last month or so, but some rather grievous personal losses around Nativity for both my Priest and me have setback our informal regular discussions.

As mentioned elsewhere, my biggest hang-up is that I believe and know in my gut Orthodoxy is the truth. Hanging around here and folks at the parish have assuaged my vain fears, especially the children.

Before the last couple of years once I started delving into Orthodoxy, I had no religious affiliation. Was brought up primarily in a Fundie, Scofield Red-Letter KJV home, but most of my extended family was RC or Jewish.

FWIW.

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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2011, 09:11:36 PM »

Both the angsty teen-ager and scandalized Christian probably have the same crummy Kaufmann Nietzsche reader.

Ouch.

(Asteriktos slowly backs away from the computer and casually hides his Kaufmann book titled The Portable Nietzsche)

LOL. That's the one.
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« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2011, 09:12:42 PM »

Both the angsty teen-ager and scandalized Christian probably have the same crummy Kaufmann Nietzsche reader.

Ouch.

(Asteriktos slowly backs away from the computer and casually hides his Kaufmann book titled The Portable Nietzsche)

LOL. That's the one.
LOL! Cheesy
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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2011, 10:12:01 PM »

As mentioned elsewhere, my biggest hang-up is that I believe and know in my gut Orthodoxy is the truth. Hanging around here and folks at the parish have assuaged my vain fears, especially the children.
I don't know if you wanted to share this with me or not, but I was curious if you could go more in depth with this.

You have a problem with people at the parish?
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« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2011, 12:09:03 AM »

As mentioned elsewhere, my biggest hang-up is that I believe and know in my gut Orthodoxy is the truth. Hanging around here and folks at the parish have assuaged my vain fears, especially the children.
I don't know if you wanted to share this with me or not, but I was curious if you could go more in depth with this.

You have a problem with people at the parish?

I don't mind elaborating and I am not sure why you think the folks at the parish are a problem. They were very helpful.

I won't get much into biography, because I am not too sure it would that helpful. I share a bit of it here now and then in relation to Church practice and dogma to see how I stand. (But I will add that already with the little contact I've had with the Church, it has truly been a hospital).

To put it very simply and this time I ask for no correction, because I know what I am writing ain't ueber-Orthodox.

From my fundie background, I know my Bible pretty well. I know it well enough to read the Gospels and what is claimed is pretty straight-forward IMHO. (Folks can argue for decades over Fatima or whatever, it can be fun, challenging, etc., but really I try to read the Gospels and take them seriously).

OK.

Just read the Sermon on the Mount. That is the law for Christians. If you truly believe those words, I can't imagine not being incredibly scared by the prospect of accepting the Gift of God and that those are the words you are to live by in doing so.

It's not for nothing, I believe, that throughout the Bible people are constantly being told to "Fear not!" when encountering God in a very direct manner.

The Ten Commandments? Kinderspiel compared to the Sermon on the Mount. And if you truly believe that your salvation is "worked" out with God over time and you aren't just saved after a confession of faith, it is a pretty frightening commitment.

And if that were not daunting enough you have this:

Matthew 7 NKJV

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Well I ain't prophesied much in my time nor cast out demons. I believe you could reasonably extend this passage to include many pious actions: fasting, attending Liturgy, praying, giving alms, etc.

I'll stop the quoting here and assume you know enough of the Gospel to allow me to say in general, that its words are hard, very much so. People can debate and rightfully so over a lot, but some of the message is just plain clear and any explanation is usually to explain the difficulty of the praxis away.

So if you truly believe this truth and you're not the Theotokos, I can't see taking it lightly (not that she did, but I don't burst out into beautiful canticles of praise to God, when I take these things into consideration.)

I believe this and it frightens me. I could regale you with my "big sins", but frankly I know God can forgive those. The funny thing is and perhaps this might ring true for others, it is my nearly moment to moment petty and banal and uncharitable thoughts, words, and deeds that I know judge me the most severely. And even knowing that I often actively engage with them and revel in them.

In short, I think it is a big commitment and a frightening one. People get cold feet over just getting married. What is the response to becoming part of the Bride of Christ?

As I alluded to above, for reasons innumerable I am sure, going to liturgy has help a lot of my vanity and pride in these areas, but an honest and realistic, and dare I say healthy, fear remains.

But what allays it the most is seeing the small children take the Blood and Body of Christ. For whatever reason, it softens my perceived severity of the Gospel. It softens my heart. And I realize I am rather foolish and prideful and want nothing more than to be able as fully Christian as they are.

And yet, I must honestly ask, if I am willing to die to everything to follow Christ.

For now, I show up to every service I can (~98%). Participate within the parish as much as I can. Follow my very humble prayer rule. Read the Gospels everyday, a couple Psalms, and a text from the OT. I continue to play on here when sick or staring at the ceiling at work. And listen to a ton of Ancient Faith Radio.

Well, you asked for it. Feel free to ask any questions. Again, I am just an inquirer.







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« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2011, 04:27:08 AM »

I am preparing to attend the funeral of my grandfather today, so I have two thoughts concerning this post:

1) All of us know that death is wrong. For whatever reason, we have a hard time accepting death. Yet, if death were natural, we would simply embrace it. Even some animals know death is wrong, that it shouldn't be this way. Why do we give a eulogy when ultimately it doesn't matter?

2) The atheist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre famously said that our being comes before our essence; in other words, we exist first and decide how to exist second. But there is no hope in such an existence; I validate my existence when I help an old lady cross the road, but I validate my existence just as much when I push her in front of a car. No matter what I choose, 4.5 billion years from now when a dying sun expands and consumes the earth in a rage, my choice won't have mattered. To paraphrase from the philosopher John Caputo (who is a nihilist and a metaphysical atheist), the cosmos doesn't hear the cry from the child with AIDS and doesn't pay attention to our toils, we cry out and it simply shrugs its shoulders.

So you're right, atheism simply cannot provide for a purposeful life, yet atheists will continue to live with purpose because they are made in the image of God. However, they lack justification for their belief in purpose. Hence why existential atheism was in vogue in the 60's and 70's, when people asked the big questions; we avoid the big questions now either because we're ignorant or too afraid to ask them.

Why do we desire survival? If survival is hardwired as desirable, then what do we make of sacrifice?
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« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2011, 04:38:49 AM »

Wait a second, Nietsczhe wasn't an atheist? From what I read he was a strong atheist.

Not to jump on orthonorm's statement and thus derail the thread (seems we have very, very, very, very similar backgrounds and tastes), but...

Nietzsche is best described as a metaphysical atheist, but not a strong atheist. He certainly had no belief in "God" as we understand God; his whole "God is dead" statement was in reference to the metaphysical God, the all-powerful Yahweh who vanquishes enemies. Rather, Nietzsche (via "The Antichrist") opens the door for a "weak" god (c.f. Gianni Vattimo or John Caputo), one that exists within the actions of the Übermensch. Thus, "god exist," but the metaphysical God is dead.

The best way I can think of to describe it is similar to Peter Rollins (someone who is advancing weakness theology) who says that he denies the resurrection whenever he lives in a way that harms people, but affirms the resurrection when he lives in a way that fulfills his obligation to the 'Other.' Yet, in all of this, he denies the metaphysical reality of the resurrection (though he would never say this on stage, it is something he says over a beer).

Then again, one could argue (quite successfully) that such weakness philosophers who say they are in the Nietzschean tradition are simply co-opting religion in order to promote neo-Marxism, and that Nietzsche somehow ends up the victim in such a scheme. While I think there is some truth to that, I do believe that their interpretation of Nietzsche is mostly accurate.

Regardless, I do believe that Nietzsche has little value in terms of benefiting Christianity, except by how accurate he is in some of his criticisms. But this merely an interpretation of Nietzsche, which is all one can offer; anyone who offers up a "reader" or an "explanation" of Nietzsche that is considered authoritative or absolute is selling you philosophical snake oil.
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« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2011, 03:20:40 AM »

Wait a second, Nietsczhe wasn't an atheist? From what I read he was a strong atheist.

Not to jump on orthonorm's statement and thus derail the thread (seems we have very, very, very, very similar backgrounds and tastes), but...

Nietzsche is best described as a metaphysical atheist, but not a strong atheist. He certainly had no belief in "God" as we understand God; his whole "God is dead" statement was in reference to the metaphysical God, the all-powerful Yahweh who vanquishes enemies. Rather, Nietzsche (via "The Antichrist") opens the door for a "weak" god (c.f. Gianni Vattimo or John Caputo), one that exists within the actions of the Übermensch. Thus, "god exist," but the metaphysical God is dead.

The best way I can think of to describe it is similar to Peter Rollins (someone who is advancing weakness theology) who says that he denies the resurrection whenever he lives in a way that harms people, but affirms the resurrection when he lives in a way that fulfills his obligation to the 'Other.' Yet, in all of this, he denies the metaphysical reality of the resurrection (though he would never say this on stage, it is something he says over a beer).

Then again, one could argue (quite successfully) that such weakness philosophers who say they are in the Nietzschean tradition are simply co-opting religion in order to promote neo-Marxism, and that Nietzsche somehow ends up the victim in such a scheme. While I think there is some truth to that, I do believe that their interpretation of Nietzsche is mostly accurate.

Regardless, I do believe that Nietzsche has little value in terms of benefiting Christianity, except by how accurate he is in some of his criticisms. But this merely an interpretation of Nietzsche, which is all one can offer; anyone who offers up a "reader" or an "explanation" of Nietzsche that is considered authoritative or absolute is selling you philosophical snake oil.

A humble request:

Your avatar is confusing me. I think your posts are from ialmisry, since that is his avatar.

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« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2012, 09:42:27 PM »

Because it has been on my mind as of late. It's a totally acceptable position to hold that Nietzsche was not exactly an atheist right? I know you laughed at it, but I assume he was a pretty complicated guy.

I still find it fascinating he listed Napoleon as one of his "supermen", a critical examination on Napoleon has slowly crept to the top of my to-do-list. And also Julius Caesar.

I'm reading bits and pieces of Nietzsche because he had quite the fondness for Dostoevsky, who has considerably shaped my thought. I definitely identify more with existentialism than before, and maybe Neetch can offer even more insight. I see you frown upon the Kaufman translations or maybe not? I know I'm at the mercy of the translators but I would like the best.

Anyway are you saying accesibility to so much information is a good thing? I've always believe it to be bad because it does make, as you mention, pseudo-experts in any given field. Or claim to know more when they really don't. I think we are in an age of information overload and we have way too much on tap and not enough filtering of the good stuff versus the bad stuff.
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« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2012, 10:36:33 PM »

I don't think 'norm has a problem with Kaufmann translations (?) so much as the popularization (= vulgarization) of Nietzsche, such that every hipster has a copy of "Basic Writings" or whatever of Nietzsche and thinks they understand them. Only orthnorm understand Nietzsche! Wink I like Kaufmann generally and find him much more interesting than the little of other 20th century philosophy I've read (outside a few existentialist/absurdist writings, which I also liked, but those were fiction). As for Nietzsche, I've heard many say that he was not an atheist, that he can be understood and simply speaking provocatively to make a point, etc. (sort of like Chrysostom and the Jews, um, kinda... lol)  I haven't read enough of Nietzsche (4-5 of his works and a book about him) to say much with anything approaching a strong opinion.
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« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2012, 10:46:38 PM »

What about his mental illness near the end of his life, was that caused by nihilism? I've also heard he wasn't a nihilist either which is another interesting thing.
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« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2012, 02:40:10 PM »

EDIT: Double post, sorry.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 02:45:54 PM by JamesR » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2012, 02:45:34 PM »

Wait a second, Nietsczhe wasn't an atheist? From what I read he was a strong atheist.

That is a very controversial topic. Nietzsche indeed did write some things that could potentially be interpreted as atheistic, thus leading to the conclusion that he was an atheist. Yet, at the same, he criticized many atheistic trends that were common during his time. I think that he had a love-hate relationship with religion but that is just my speculation.
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