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“What is the meaning of life?” pertains to the significance of existence; the conscious why rather than the human how. Related questions about Life and Meaning include: “Why are we here?” and “What is the purpose of existence?”. Some partial answers include: “For what it’s worth, I don’t think life has a purpose, but I do think it has value” and “Every time you look up at the stars, and wonder what they are and how they got there, you give the Universe meaning. Sadly, the Universe has nothing to give to you. What the Universe had to give, you already have. Oh, and it wasn’t a gift. It was a loan.”

 

People talk a lot about God, in a spiritual omnipresent tangible sense.

Not the bearded white guy of Christianity or the brutal super being of the Old Testament or Islam’s fervid smiter of men (and women). But also not the agnostic God of the gaps or the abstract universal Tao.

Maybe when the kinder souls speak of God, they mean something more like the Pratityasamutpada favoured by Buddhists but also a transcendent being immanent to the universe – or creation or however we term it – manifesting out of the panantheist Brahman of Vedic ontology?

In searching for meaning in life it isn’t a case of fake it ’til you make it. It can’t be inauthentic.

C. S. Lewis wrote: “There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us?”

Point being, you don’t get to pick and choose when faith is or isn’t. It’s real, or it isn’t faith.

God is a participant in that communion, because God is not inanimate and God is a fact. The ultimate fact in fact!

And what God does faith reveal? It can’t be God cherry-picked from a delicious divinity smorgasbord. It must be God that is, because faith isn’t simply an imaginary friend. That’s what C. S. Lewis means with “…He had found us” i.e. it’s the reciprocity, the realness of God, that makes faith what it is and not just another fancy word used to sell a convenient delusion.

Does that make any sense?

If the above is anywhere close to how you conceive God and faith, then what I’m asking is:

  • How do you differentiate a generous faith in a beautiful loving God (Brahman as being) from a merciless faith – that’s equally strongly felt – in a brutal reactionary God (judgmental pedantic super-being)?
  • How does a person find that generous faith; how did you find your faith?

 

ARTICLES

 

“Then there was the educated Texan from Texas who looked like someone in Technicolor and felt, patriotically, that people of means – decent folk – should be given more votes than drifters, whores, criminals, degenerates, atheists and indecent folk – people without means.”Joseph Heller

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philosophers

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There are currently 11 philosophers in this directory
Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer (22-Feb-1788 to 21-Sept-1860) was a German philosopher. He is best known for his 1818 work The World as Will and Representation (expanded in 1844), which characterizes the phenomenal world as the product of a blind noumenal will. Building on the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant, Schopenhauer developed an atheistic metaphysical and ethical system that rejected the contemporaneous ideas of German idealism. He was among the first thinkers in Western philosophy to share and affirm significant tenets of Indian philosophy, such as asceticism, denial of the self, and the notion of the world-as-appearance. His work has been described as an exemplary manifestation of philosophical pessimism.

Arthur Schopenhauer Wikipedia

Confucius
Confucius (551 to 479 BCE) was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period who was traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages. Widely considered one of the most important and influential individuals in Chinese history, Confucius's teachings and philosophy formed the basis of much of East Asian culture and society, and continue to remain influential across China and East Asia today. His philosophical teachings, called Confucianism, emphasised personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity.

Confucius Wikipedia

Daniel Dennett
Daniel Dennett (born 28-Mar-1942) is an American philosopher, writer, and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science.

Daniel Dennett Wikipedia

David Hume
David Hume (7-May-1711 to 25-Aug-1776) was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, librarian and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism. Beginning with A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40), Hume strove to create a naturalistic science of man that examined the psychological basis of human nature. Hume argued against the existence of innate ideas, positing that all human knowledge derives solely from experience. This places him with Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and George Berkeley as a British Empiricist.

David Hume Wikipedia

Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle (born 16-Feb-1948) is a German-born pragma-philosopher, spiritual teacher and self-help author who resides in Canada. He is best known as the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose.

Eckhart Tolle Wikipedia

Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke (12-Jan-1729 to 9-Jul-1797) was a Irish statesman, economist, and philosopher. Born in Dublin, Burke served as a member of parliament (MP) between 1766 and 1794 in the House of Commons of Great Britain with the Whig Party after moving to London in 1750. Burke was a proponent of underpinning virtues with manners in society and of the importance of religious institutions for the moral stability and good of the state.[3] These views were expressed in his A Vindication of Natural Society. He criticised the actions of the British government towards the American colonies, including its taxation policies. Burke also supported the rights of the colonists to resist metropolitan authority, although he opposed the attempt to achieve independence. He is remembered for his support for Catholic emancipation, the impeachment of Warren Hastings from the East India Company, and his staunch opposition to the French Revolution.

Edmund Burke Wikipedia

Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant (22-Apr-1724 to 12-Feb-1804) was a German philosopher and one of the central Enlightenment thinkers. Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics have made him one of the most influential figures in modern Western philosophy. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, Kant argued that space and time are mere forms of intuition which structure all experience, and therefore that while things-in-themselves exist and contribute to experience, they are nonetheless distinct from the objects of experience. From this it follows that the objects of experience are mere appearances, and that the nature of things as they are in themselves is consequently unknowable to us. In an attempt to counter the skepticism he found in the writings of philosopher David Hume, he wrote the Critique of Pure Reason (1781/1787), one of his most well-known works. In it, he developed his theory of experience to answer the question of whether synthetic a priori knowledge is possible, which would in turn make it possible to determine the limits of metaphysical inquiry. Kant drew a parallel to the Copernican revolution in his proposal that the objects of the senses must conform to our spatial and temporal forms of intuition, and that we can consequently have a priori cognition of the objects of the senses.

Immanuel Kant Wikipedia

Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre (21-Jun-1905 to 15-Apr-1980) was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism.

Jean-Paul Sartre Wikipedia

Karl Popper
Karl Popper (28-Jul-1904 to 17-Sept-1994) was an Austrian-British philosopher, academic and social commentator. One of the 20th century's most influential philosophers of science, Popper is known for his rejection of the classical inductivist views on the scientific method in favour of empirical falsification. According to Popper, a theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be falsified, meaning that it can (and should) be scrutinised with decisive experiments. Popper was opposed to the classical justificationist account of knowledge, which he replaced with critical rationalism, namely the first non-justificational philosophy of criticism in the history of philosophy. In political discourse, he is known for his vigorous defence of liberal democracy and the principles of social criticism that he believed made a flourishing open society possible. His political philosophy embraced ideas from major democratic political ideologies, including socialism/social democracy, libertarianism/classical liberalism and conservatism, and attempted to reconcile them.

Karl Popper Wikipedia

Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir (9-Jan-1908 to 14-Apr-1986) was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist, and social theorist. Though she did not consider herself a philosopher, and even though she was not considered one at the time of her death,[5] she had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory.

Simone de Beauvoir Wikipedia

Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine (9-Feb-1737 to 8-Jun-1809) was an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. He authored Common Sense (1776) and The American Crisis (1776–1783), the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, and helped inspire the colonists in 1776 to declare independence from Great Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era ideals of transnational human rights.

Thomas Paine Wikipedia

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independent blogs

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There are currently 7 independent blogs in this directory

labornotes.org

lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com

Lawyers, Guns and Money Blog is a politics and culture blog written primarily by a group of eight academics. LGM was founded in May 2004 by David Watkins, Rob Farley, and Scott Lemieux.


normanfinkelstein.com

Norman G Finkelstein Blog. Norm Finkelstein received his PhD from the Princeton University Politics Department in 1988. He is the author of ten books that have been translated into 50 foreign editions, including THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY: Reflections on the exploitation of Jewish suffering and, most recently, GAZA: An inquest into its martyrdom.​


rodneybrooks.com

Rodney Brooks Blog of MIT Roboticist Rodney Brooks. See also Brooks PREDICTIONS for future technology and entry as part of the ROBUST.AI team.



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