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Religion and Philosophers

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KinNaoko90
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Posted 10/23/10 - 10:19 AM:
Subject: Religion and Philosophers
Alright.. I was browsing the web to find recent active philosophers, as I admit I have not taken a course of philosophy nor read anything but overviews, and I happened to find a post on another forum stating something along the lines of this:

"I really hope you aren't saying philosophers create religions"
http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=39379

I was of the opinion that a couple of the most influential religions (i.e. Christianity and Buddhism) were created by applied philosophers. (i.e. Jesus and Siddhartha Guatama)

Do you agree or disagree? Or do you just have a rant to add?

(And would anyone be so kind as to suggest good first reads for an aspiring philosopher?)
libertygrl
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Posted 10/23/10 - 10:24 AM:

i absolutely agree, religious doctrine is born of philosophy.

one of my favorite philosophers is alan watts. i HIGHLY recommend his book "the book (on the taboo against knowing who you are". it's a short read, and brilliant. thumb up
KinNaoko90
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Posted 10/23/10 - 10:30 AM:

Thanks lib. Will do.
praxis
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Posted 10/23/10 - 5:40 PM:

Disagree. In my opinion religion is about meaning and transcendence, essentially. Also philosophy does not pause for religious doctrine or dogma, but ends within rationality.

Epicureanism may be a good case study. Why was it so short lived?
henry quirk
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Posted 10/25/10 - 8:34 AM:

"...an aspiring philosopher..."

Why would you aspire to be THAT?
KinNaoko90
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Posted 10/25/10 - 2:10 PM:

Is there a problem with wanting to become a great thinker? Personally I could never be satisfied with becoming a pure philosopher, but in my opinion, to become an applied philosopher is a goal worth living for.

I originally joined this forum because I had no one who would sit down and philosophize with me. I've always wanted to know the "why" and the "how". A lot of the topics I'd talk about either bored my friends and family, depressed them, or angered them. Back then, I didn't know what I was talking about was philosophy.

There are few things that please me more thsn chatting with people who share my interests about my interests... even if it is online.

More importantly, I aspire to be a philosopher because this world needs to change for the better. I'd like to be part of that change. I don't want to be like the majority of my generation and sit on my bum and let life lead me everywhere I go. I want to lead life.

whee
henry quirk
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Posted 10/25/10 - 5:15 PM:

"Is there a problem with wanting to become a great thinker?"

Gosh, no!

But 'great thinker' and 'philosopher' are not synonymous.

I think, if you're gonna be a 'great thinker' you'll do that on your own...or not.

As for being a philosopher: any mook can exercise endurance and get a sheep's skin...maybe: his or her thinking will improve as a result...maybe not.

More often, though, it seems to me fine, unadulterated, thinkers go in; talking heads come out.

#

"I had no one who would sit down and philosophize with me"

Same here. My interests are off the mark for most I live and work with and around...the net -- for all it's glorious lacks -- does one thing well: allow for communication (no matter how poor the quality may be from time to time).

#

"I want to lead life."

I think: the second you choose to do that, you ARE doing that.
henry quirk
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Posted 10/26/10 - 10:05 AM:

'no matter how poor the quality may be from time to time'

I would have edited the following into my response above, but, the system won't let me, so...


I'm certainly not talking about 'this' conversation, but rather the piss poor state of the net, in general.

Thinker13
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Posted 11/03/10 - 6:11 AM:

Great topic!

will surely like to express my ideas on it in detail...later.


For now: IMHO: Without Charisma--there cannot be birth of a new religious/political movement, no matter how deeply philosophical your ideas are--but--on the same foot--deep philosophy has to contribute somehow in charisma.

Charismatic prophets give rise to new religions whereas Philosphers do contribute in shaping the society (they are interconnected--if we find some time to ponder and contemplate on it methinks!smiling face)

keep up!

Thanks.
henry quirk
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Posted 11/04/10 - 8:47 AM:

Charisma (persuasiveness of personality; charm; magnetism) is useless without idiots to fall sway to the charismatic.

Passion of argument (even if the argument itself is for shit) works best on the stupid (which can include the intelligent, but weak-willed).

To get to '2' (the movement) one must have '1' (the charismatic) plus '1' (individuals lookin' to be subsumed).


Haven't a clue how this all relates to the opening question, "(were) a couple of the most influential religions (i.e. Christianity and Buddhism)...created by applied philosophers. (i.e. Jesus and Siddhartha Guatama)(?)", so, I guess this post falls under "rant".
Thinker13
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Posted 11/04/10 - 9:40 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
Haven't a clue how this all relates to the opening question, "(were) a couple of the most influential religions (i.e. Christianity and Buddhism)...created by applied philosophers. (i.e. Jesus and Siddhartha Guatama)(?)", so, I guess this post falls under "rant".


No henry, inspite of having elements of ‘rant’, it is, much related to the opening question. What I am trying to say is—religions are created by charismatic prophets and not(strictly) by philosophers. There might be individuals devoid of ‘original philosophical ideas’ but with such a strikingly alluring charisma that thousands fall prey to them; such individuals become founders of new religious/political movements.

Moreover, with all respect to all the stakeholders involved, Jesus was not an applied philosopher in my opinion. At best you may call him a mystic, a prophet, a messenger and that too with great charisma, like a yogi. Buddha was not only a yogi but also a very coherent, a very rational thinker; a philosopher indeed. Buddhism seems to be the most rational religion.
annaatkins
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Posted 12/02/11 - 9:56 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
"Is there a problem with wanting to become a great thinker?"

Gosh, no!

But 'great thinker' and 'philosopher' are not synonymous.

I think, if you're gonna be a 'great thinker' you'll do that on your own...or not.

As for being a philosopher: any mook can exercise endurance and get a sheep's skin...maybe: his or her thinking will improve as a result...maybe not.

More often, though, it seems to me fine, unadulterated, thinkers go in; talking heads come out.

#

"I had no one who would sit down and philosophize with me"

Same here. My interests are off the mark for most I live and work with and around...the net -- for all it's glorious lacks -- does one thing well: allow for communication (no matter how poor the quality may be from time to time).

#

"I want to lead life."

I think: the second you choose to do that, you ARE doing that.



I am not sure I get exactly what you meant so correct me if I am wrong.
You said: I think, if you're gonna be a 'great thinker' you'll do that on your own...or not.

Well I m gonna have to disagree with that if by saying that you mean you can actually be a great thinker without necessarily having read the great thoughts of those before you. I have studied philosophy for 5 years and I have been told that on and on, by all kinds of people who hadn't really read philosophy. That's what all the people, that can't be bother to open a philosophy book, like to think. It's their way of finding excuses for their laziness. "I haven't read...but what can be written there that I can't figure out by myself." Well...quite a lot of things. Ignoring every 'great thought' of others is like being an inventor trying to invent the wheel and ignoring in the process every other invention before him. He might find out in the end that the thing he thought so unique has already been used for a while by others.
Reading philosophy is I think the best exercise you can use for your mind. Is it gonna be hard? Damn sure! Is it gonna be time consuming? Oh yeah! Is it gonna make you feel ignorant and little at times? Only if you understand the real difficulty of it.
Enjoy your reading!
henry quirk
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Posted 12/02/11 - 10:17 AM:

"...you mean you can actually be a great thinker without necessarily having read the great thoughts of those before you..."

Not what I said at all.

A 'thinker' will educate him- or her-self...a 'philosopher' (today) will enroll in university and be indoctrinated.

If I read Mad Fred on my own and deem him a melodramatic narcissist: that's one thing.

If I'm forced to read Mad Fred and am told he was a fucking genius (despite my personal assessment) and that any other view of Mad Fred is wrong and I'll get a friggin' 'F' for the course if I don't view Mad Fred as a fucking genius: that's another.
annaatkins
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Posted 12/02/11 - 10:23 AM:

As long as you can explain why YOU don't think Mad Fred is a genious I'm guessing no one will give you and F. At least they didn't give me one when I tried to bring down Heidegger...but maybe that because I had thoroughly read him and knew exaclty where to hit with my arguments smiling face
henry quirk
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Posted 12/02/11 - 10:32 AM:

Agreed.

And still: there is 'education' and there is 'indoctrination'.

*shrug*
annaatkins
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Posted 12/02/11 - 11:19 AM:

Yeah of course there is a difference...but then again that goes for anything not only philosophy. And it's in fact up to us to 'sniff' it and stay away from it.
Thinker13
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Posted 12/02/11 - 12:03 PM:

annaatkins wrote:
Yeah of course there is a difference...but then again that goes for anything not only philosophy. And it's in fact up to us to 'sniff' it and stay away from it.


Hi annaatkins! I find your views interesting and hence I have started a new topic in Thinking Spot:http://www.thecouchforum.com/comments.php?id=1832
Morgena
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Posted 12/03/11 - 3:57 AM:

Well, my fevered philosopher Wilhelm Vossenkuhl used to have a philosophical discussion with his partner Harald Lesch about this issue and both came to the conclusion, that without philosophers, there would be no religion and without religion no philosophy. And those who strictly deny this fact aren’t philosopher.
annaatkins
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Posted 12/07/11 - 3:24 AM:

Thinker13 wrote:


Hi annaatkins! I find your views interesting and hence I have started a new topic in Thinking Spot:http://www.thecouchforum.com/comments.php?id=1832


Thanks Thinker!
I will take a look at the new thread!
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 12/07/11 - 5:35 AM:

And those who strictly deny this fact aren’t philosopher.


Ad hominem? wink


Frankly, I think religion comes from ignorance. smiling face
If the same is the case for philosophy, well, that doesn't say much in favor of philosophy. sticking out tongue
Thinker13
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Posted 12/07/11 - 8:53 AM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:


Ad hominem? wink


Frankly, I think religion comes from ignorance. smiling face
If the same is the case for philosophy, well, that doesn't say much in favor of philosophy. sticking out tongue



I think, true ignorance comes from enlightenment; like Socratic ignorance!True child-like ignorance does not give birth to religions but rather charismatic prophets inebriated with visions do!
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 12/08/11 - 5:37 AM:

You make it sound like ignorance is a good thing. I don't believe for a second that Socrates was ignorant.
henry quirk
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Posted 12/13/11 - 10:08 AM:

Philosophy, religion (and most 'everything'): "Trifles light as air..."
Thinker13
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Posted 12/13/11 - 12:04 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:
You make it sound like ignorance is a good thing. I don't believe for a second that Socrates was ignorant.



But if I would get my hands upon the texts where Socrates suggested that 'He knew nothing' ( and meant it!)--I would cite them.

Nobody would believe for a second that Socrates, or Laozi or a Zen master was ignorant, but they were ( according to their own opinions).

'Ignorance' not as in the lack of worldly knowledge, but as in 'emptiness' which comes after transcendence of worldly knowledge!

[ I do wonder if I am indulging in Sophistry again]smiling face
thedoc
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Posted 12/13/11 - 7:53 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:

'Ignorance' not as in the lack of worldly knowledge, but as in 'emptiness' which comes after transcendence of worldly knowledge!




To put it another way, the realization that worldly knowledge is not as important as you thought it was.
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