- Nov 19, 2019 at 4:27 pm #3619550
Stated that way it’s very different than the idea of being “functional gods” (your term, not mine). Pokemon cards are one thing, but can’t the same logic be applied to inventing any belief system to live by, no matter how benign or grandiose? In my book that’s an extremely exceptional ability, especially for an animal.
Whether it’s deciding to collect Pokemon cards or worship the Sun God and enslave half the planet in His name, don’t underestimate how absolutely exceptional the ability to create meaning out of thin air makes humans vs. other animals. I’m all for the “we’re not exceptional” argument…except that in contrast with other life on Earth, on this point we clearly are. Look at what it’s allowed us to do…
(Sorry Jeffrey, I know “conjuring meaning out of thin air” flies in the face of the divine, probably a separate discussion.)Nov 19, 2019 at 4:55 pm #3619555
Concerning the NPR scientist, yes I find his notion that all of nature is nothing but empty material to used for whatever purposes science and mankind sees fit, up to and including its destruction, is both empty and extremely full of hubris. People who see nothing of worth, or nothing at all, in wilderness want to put oil rigs and quarries in Yosemite valley. Isn’t that special?
People have recognized the sacred since the dawn of time, in every culture. Ours has taken to scoffing as a predominant attitude. Fair enough. I think our capacities for exploring the mysteries of life in Hahn’s sense are atrophied as a result.
Nov 19, 2019 at 4:56 pm #3619558
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by jscott.
“Ours has taken to scoffing as a predominant attitude. Fair enough. I think our capacity for exploring the mysteries of life in Hahn’s sense are atrophied as a result.”
I would agree with that. I do not believe it needs to be black or white.Nov 19, 2019 at 5:01 pm #3619560
My wife is about to have cataract surgery for the second time in eight days. The physician will cut a hole in her eye, use ultra sonic waves to dissolve her old lens, and then insert an artificial one.
Meanwhile, several countries have the ability to sterilize all life on earth.
Meanwhile, the Voyagers are using 1970s technology to communicate with earth from outside the solar system (depending on whose definition of the solar system you use).
Meanwhile, I’m hobbling around in a boot because I thought it was a good idea to wear Chucks to the range on a day where I would demonstrate the 21 foot rule as an instructor on rocky terrain.
In the known to us universe, I suppose we are exceptional. Relative to each other and our individual successes and failures on any given day, some days we’re perhaps comedic relief on an ant farm for an alien race from the planet Zorbot.
My original quote from Conan probably wasn’t too far off from Genghis Khan’s answer as to why are we here. It probably doesn’t mirror Gandhi’s.Nov 19, 2019 at 5:08 pm #3619566
Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
I think why are we here is the wrong question. How to do the best with our time is a better one also with infinite answers.Nov 19, 2019 at 5:23 pm #3619568
I see we’re now taking the leap from my refusal to be brow beaten into declaring the various mythologies as sacred to a position of if you don’t believe religion is sacred then you support drilling oil in Yellowstone and harpooning whales in your free time :)
That’s a joke.
As far as “sacred’, if I wasn’t clear in my point, I was referring to the notion that mythology in all its forms should be considered sacred by all. I can respect your right to your beliefs, without respecting your beliefs, while respecting you as a person.
Religion in all its forms, which does its damndest to explain the why, is a more than trillion dollar per year business in the U.S.
Forests are real. Whales are real. Starving children are real. It’s not a matter of faith to believe in them when they are clearly proven and observed. Just because some of us don’t value religion doesn’t mean we don’t value actual real things and other beings.Nov 19, 2019 at 5:29 pm #3619570
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
A better set of questions…
Where are we?
How do we know it?
What should we do?Nov 19, 2019 at 5:49 pm #3619573
I guess that’s my larger point. To ask why seems to presume that there’s some purpose to all this, or that this is somehow orchestrated by divine intervention or whatever. For the record, I don’t know that there isn’t a god or that there isn’t a plan. I just reject the false prophets thus far.
I’m more than happy to consider and accept the hows like the idea we should spend 10% of our lives doing charitable activities and contributions, something I don’t do but would help me to become a better person.Nov 19, 2019 at 6:04 pm #3619575
“I think our capacity for exploring the mysteries of life in Hahn’s sense are atrophied as a result.”
I can’t even get my singulars and plurals to agree in a sentence, so I’m not likely to get people to agree with me here. Except Robert!
I wasn’t trying to imply that anyone who doesn’t bow to Minerva and all other gods must support oil rigs in Yosemite. The last was tied to the position of the scientist I heard. And he was simply drawing out the conclusions of his atheism. No God, hence nothing is sacred, humans are the top dog and we can do what we want, including wreck it all.
I don’t think of ‘the sacred’ as a set of terms or texts that must be bowed down to. Rather its a response to the world or an interior state. It’s akin to a perception, like tasting food or smelling the ocean. For me it’s an enhancement of experience–back to exploring mysteries.
in any case I think that people who aren’t religious experience ‘the sacred’ (which risks sounding jingoistic to modern ears) all the time. They use secular terms to describe it. And no doubt many who claim to be religious are missing the boat entirely.
Nov 19, 2019 at 6:37 pm #3619583
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by jscott.
Emphasis on “That’s a joke.”
I’m looking at it from the dictionary definition of sacred although I do understand that it’s used in non religious ways.
“connected with God (or the gods) or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration.”
Nov 19, 2019 at 7:55 pm #3619598
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Ian.
I am in Dante’s Medieval/Christian world right now and I could come up with some problematic answers ;)
We just made it up past the earthly paradise into heaven proper just the periphery though. Difficult reading but I am loving Dante’s take on this.Nov 19, 2019 at 11:13 pm #3619626
Definitions are important. Good thing there are many and we get to choose and interpret the ones that suit us best. ; )
I went and looked up the term sacred as well. Some of the meanings that I enjoyed (from Webster):
-worthy of religious veneration
-entitled to reverence and respect
-highly valued and important
All of these things paint a picture of the “sacred” that can exist in a secular, non-magical world if one so desires.
Concerning the term “spiritual”, one of Webster’s definitions is:
-of or relating to sacred matters
I think of “sacred” as that which transcends the ordinary, inspires awe, and/or tends to provoke contemplation or insight into existential questions. Thus there are places, things, events, and experiences that I consider sacred. And reverence for the “sacred”, or seeking it out, is what I tend to refer to as spirituality. I don’t think either of the terms necessitate the supernatural or non-secular, nor do I think this is entirely out of line with definitions- all a matter of interpretation.
In this regard I tend to agree with what you’re saying Jeffrey.Nov 19, 2019 at 11:42 pm #3619637
If I only wrote “I do understand that it’s used in non religious ways.”
Smiley emojiNov 19, 2019 at 11:46 pm #3619639
.Nov 20, 2019 at 1:17 am #3619652
Just don’t take it from Eve. Too late! the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as they say.
(and no I don’t take that story literally.)
Katt, again, I am so jealous that you can read Dante in the original. It’s an astonishing text. How did you like how Beatrice tore Dante a new one at the end of Purgatorio?
I’d love to hear your impressions. I already mentioned that I really liked Paradiso the first time through, but not as much this most recent time around. Maybe my mood. Keep us apprised!
p.s. Dante has no problems putting Popes in Hell.Nov 20, 2019 at 3:37 pm #3619689
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
Sacred. Meaning. Spirituality. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Looking past the definitions of words to instead try to understand what someone is trying to convey is, IMO, the difference between talking at each other and talking with each other. I’d prefer the latter (though I’m quite guilty of too often participating in the former).
Why are we here? To talk at each other in chaff, so it seems.Nov 20, 2019 at 3:51 pm #3619691
yeah that was not what Dante character would have expected, that’s for sure! I could not help but immediately miss Virgil ….
There is so much it’s overwhelming and I am probably not even scratching at the surface. Yes, popes in hell and imperfect beings in heaven.
I have to say that at least the English version that the rest of the class is reading does not convey a fraction of what can be read in the vernacular. Translating has to sacrifice something one way or the other.Nov 20, 2019 at 4:06 pm #3619693
Can’t help but feel we’re (generally speaking) talking right past each other at this point Doug. I think I’m done.Nov 20, 2019 at 4:07 pm #3619694
With the hopes of clearing up the confusion on my part, I’m pretty sure I explained that I was originally understanding the word to have religious connotations but understood that it was sometimes used in non religious way.
I’m not “talking at” anyone and have read and considered what was written by everyone on this thread.
I’m not sure how to communicate this any better in a written conversation to clear these things up.Nov 20, 2019 at 4:10 pm #3619696
I thought it quite interesting how Dante knew about gravity and how everything flipped when they crawled down Lucifer’s body but suddenly they were going up his body. The language there does something very similar and it’s really something.Nov 20, 2019 at 4:11 pm #3619697
Sorry I keep cross posting and confusing the flow here.
while I am here …technicalities, most of us do this here at one point or another. Just a had a round of it not long ago.Nov 20, 2019 at 4:24 pm #3619699
“Can’t help but feel we’re (generally speaking) talking right past each other at this point Doug. I think I’m done.”
I’ve made a couple attempts to clarify my position regarding sacred and functional god and to have an honest conversation with you. Was your goal for everyone to arrive at a consensus or to exchange ideas?Nov 20, 2019 at 8:36 pm #3619732
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
Thanks Kat and Jeffrey for all the spoilers! I was just getting ready to read The Inferno!
:-)Nov 20, 2019 at 8:53 pm #3619736
Franco DarioliBPL Member
There was no mention of an apple in that story.
Possibly from the “forbidden fruit” from the tree of knowledge of good and evil , it became an apple because in Latin the word malus means both evil and apple.
In English the apple genus is called malus and we get malevolent, malignant , malign, malicious from the evil side.Nov 21, 2019 at 1:54 am #3619771
Franco: thanks for that! I didn’t know that. I was jokingly responding to Craig’s appreciation of tasting an apple, which he deleted for some reason. My relatives were all apple orchardists and I love apples!
I hope people read Katt’s comments about Dante and Virgil and go, ‘whoa!’. Even in English Dante is pretty spectacular, no religious affiliation required. It’s darn good literature.
katt, I settled on the Hollander’s translation and notes. Singleton is a prose crib but at least it’s pretty accurate I hear. I wonder if your classmates are assigned a particular translation? Oh actually I sat in on Durling’s class while at Santa Cruz; he’s fabulous on Dante. I don’t know if he has a translation.
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