Atheism, the Bible and Doubt

Any topics primarily focused on metaphysics can be discussed here, in a generally casual way, where conversations may take unexpected turns.

Moderator: Soul_of_Shu

User avatar
Posts: 2920
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Atheism, the Bible and Doubt

Post by AshvinP »

findingblanks wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:51 pm I like that. I find that my materialistic friends (those who deny free will) are just as good and just as bad at mustering up their will power as my idealist friends. So far I simply don't believe we have any evidence that the content of one's intellectual stance on free will helps us predict a person's commitment and dedication to the beautiful and the good. I fully grasp the various ways we can cherry-pick data but nobody really enjoys that. At least not on purpose.

We can imagine a planet (somewhere out there) filled with people respecting each other (despite real differences in world-view) because we already know that this capacity acts independently of the intellectual schemas we use to 'explain' it. And we've seen how the all the major ontologies have provided strong examples of justifications for the best and for the worst of human actions.

The problem seems to be when a given metaphysic insists that it's the only way fruitfully forward.

There are so many modern prejudices involved here. For one, it is assumed that your way of thinking about metaphysics, i.e. purely abstract intellectual speculations, is the only way metaphysical views can be usefully employed. As you know, Steiner and Barfield never viewed it that way, and actually barely mention "idealism" in their writings (Steiner less than Barfield). That is not because they find philosophical-metaphysical assumptions and outlooks unimportant to practical life, but because they want us to start thinking of those worldviews in more living, dynamic ways. Why? Because the ideational activity which underlies all these endeavors is essentially living and dynamic, not rigid intellectual concepts of modern analytical philosophy. The ancient idealist worldview was a much different animal than the modern one, and, if we take the evolution of consciousness seriously, the latter does not have much more shelf life, and the former will be a critical element going forward. Metaphysics transfigured in this manner will be extremely relevant to practical realities, just as science and any other thoughtful inquiry will be, including aesthetics. To deny that is to deny the evolution of consciousness and to deny the living essence of ideational activity itself.

Beyond that, I think your view of "intellectual stances" expressed above, that you keep repeating, has already been summed up by Steiner in a quote that I keep sharing here, which you no doubt have also come across in Goethean Science:

Steiner wrote:This makes it explainable to us how people can have such different concepts, such different views of reality, in spite of the fact that reality can, after all, only be one. The difference lies in the difference between our intellectual worlds. This sheds light for us upon the development of the different scientific standpoints. We understand where the many philosophical standpoints originate, and do not need to bestow the palm of truth exclusively upon one of them. We also know which standpoint we ourselves have to take with respect to the multiplicity of human views. We will not ask exclusively: What is true, what is false? We will always investigate how the intellectual world of a thinker goes forth from the world harmony; we will seek to understand and not to judge negatively and regard at once as error that which does not correspond with our own view. Another source of differentiation between our scientific standpoints is added to this one through the fact that every individual person has a different field of experience. Each person is indeed confronted, as it were, by one section of the whole of reality. His intellect works upon this and is his mediator on the way to the idea. But even though we all do therefore perceive the same idea, still we always do this from different places. Therefore, only the end result to which we come can be the same; our paths, however, can be different. It absolutely does not matter at all whether the individual judgments and concepts of which our knowing consists correspond to each other or not; the only thing that matters is that they ultimately lead us to the point that we are swimming in the main channel of the idea.

The major difference, however, is that Steiner views the above truth as an impulse for us to continue asking deep philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific questions - to continue Thinking about them in ever-expanding meta-analyses which simultaneously increase spiritual knowledge and deepen our Thinking to prepare its soil for the seeds of higher cognition. You approach, however, seems to be something along the lines of, "intellect cannot make any progress with these different conceptual systems, so let's stop Thinking about them altogether, or only think about them in the most superficial feel-good ways possible, with an eye towards, not logical reasoning to approach the truth of the matters, but an imposition of artificial egalitarianism so we can all feel better about our total lack of answers to the deepest questions". Cleric also pointed this out on another thread, which went ignored. I am sure this will be too. But at least we have tried to highlight this difference as best we can.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
Post Reply