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The greatest Philosophical idea, ever?

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posted on May, 16 2009 @ 05:49 AM
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I posted this is in the quotes thread aswell. I am a deep reader of Rousseau, Voltaire and recently got interested in Hegel. But the below extract from Rousseau's Emile perhaps has had the single greatest impact, Rousseau crushes the purpose of institutionalized religion. Read and re-read for yourself. Try to get as much possible out of it.




”In my exposition you find nothing but natural religion; strange that we should need more! How shall I become aware of this need? What guilt can be mine so long as I serve God according to the knowledge he has given to my mind, and the feelings he has put into my heart? What purity of morals, what dogma useful to man and worthy of its author, can I derive from a positive doctrine which cannot be derived without the aid of this doctrine by the right use of my faculties?

Show me what you can add to the duties of the natural law, for the glory of God, for the good of mankind, and for my own welfare; and what virtue you will get from the new form of religion which does not result from mine. The grandest ideas of the Divine nature come to us from reason only. Behold the spectacle of nature; listen to the inner voice. Has not God spoken it all to our eyes, to our conscience, to our reason? What more can man tell us?

Their revelations do but degrade God, by investing him with passions like our own. Far from throwing light upon the ideas of the Supreme Being, special doctrines seem to me to confuse these ideas; far from ennobling them, they degrade them; to the inconceivable mysteries which surround the Almighty, they add absurd contradictions, they make man proud, intolerant, and cruel; instead of bringing peace upon earth, they bring fire and sword. I ask myself what is the use of it all, and I find no answer. I see nothing but the crimes of men and the misery of mankind.


Now try and re-read that a few times. I am really, really curious as to what regular ATS members get out of this. What do you think that extract is trying to say? Do you think it was trying to say more than one thing? Would you agree with it?


If the right message can be taken out of this it should be read and understood my as much people as it can here on ATS, i think it is really powerful and demolishes the ideologies and doctrines behind ALL INSTITUTIONALIZED RELIGION in one swift blow.


[edit on 16/5/2009 by serbsta]




posted on May, 16 2009 @ 06:12 AM
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reply to post by serbsta
 


I think that this extract exposes the myth of the primacy of mankind without necessarily relegating him to the bottom of the evolutionary hierarchy. It espouses a singular thought that many people here on ATS have promoted without knowledge of academic philosophy or scholarly learning, that is, religion is a product of man and that religion ascribes human emotions and passions to a Supreme Deity.

I would include quote that confirms this very thought but also justifies a sense of pride in mankind. Written in 1739 it eulogises the concept of God as a Supreme being but takes every effort to differentiate this from religion. Speaking of understanding the "universe" and the folly of believing a supreme purpose of mankind it states...


It shews you the vanity of your body and of your life in this world; but it also solaces you with the hope of eternal salvation. It suggests to you the reflection that if God has infused such wonderful virtues into mere inanimate natural objects, surely we, who may freely accept responsibility so much better than they, must be reserved for some high and glorious destiny. I beseech you, therefore, to acquit yourself wisely in all that you do


This is not a rally to believe in a "divine" purpose as such, but to recognise that in possessing free will to decide our own destiny we can choose to follow a positive path. In other passages in speaks in the context of God as the "universe" rather than a religious creation.



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 06:17 AM
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Originally posted by SugarCube
reply to post by serbsta
 


I think that this extract exposes the myth of the primacy of mankind without necessarily relegating him to the bottom of the evolutionary hierarchy. It espouses a singular thought that many people here on ATS have promoted without knowledge of academic philosophy or scholarly learning, that is, religion is a product of man and that religion ascribes human emotions and passions to a Supreme Deity.

I would include quote that confirms this very thought but also justifies a sense of pride in mankind. Written in 1739 it eulogises the concept of God as a Supreme being but takes every effort to differentiate this from religion. Speaking of understanding the "universe" and the folly of believing a supreme purpose of mankind it states...


It shews you the vanity of your body and of your life in this world; but it also solaces you with the hope of eternal salvation. It suggests to you the reflection that if God has infused such wonderful virtues into mere inanimate natural objects, surely we, who may freely accept responsibility so much better than they, must be reserved for some high and glorious destiny. I beseech you, therefore, to acquit yourself wisely in all that you do


This is not a rally to believe in a "divine" purpose as such, but to recognise that in possessing free will to decide our own destiny we can choose to follow a positive path. In other passages in speaks in the context of God as the "universe" rather than a religious creation.


That sounds very interesting. Can you source that quote? The only link i found was this:

www.levity.com...



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 07:00 AM
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reply to post by serbsta
 


I quoted from a text of Rutilus Faber, written in 1739 but only by default is he presented as the author in the work. Certainly, there is evidence that he simply produced a collection of pieces that he thought relevant and put them together as a kind of compendium so it doesn't surprise me to see paragraphs from other authors intertwined in the text.

I referenced the date incorrectly but clearly, your link is a suitable repository for the original source. The Alchemical philosophy, although mindful of religious sensibilities (and the repercussions) did promote a thoughtful view of the world beyond that which the Church espoused.

Alchemical works should not be taken as mere tomfoolery, especially the philosophy behind them, but the religious overtones of some texts should be taken in the context of the age and the pains taken to prevent a charge of heresy.



[edit on 16-5-2009 by SugarCube]



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 10:53 AM
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For me, the greatest philosophical idea must be Emanationism, which describes the relationship between the Creator and Creation in the way that makes the most sense (though unfortunately little known).

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 12:29 PM
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I am beginning to suspect that everything is whole, perfect, and true, and filled with the spirit of the universe, the spirit of the living God, at all emanations, and at all levels and in all forms.

In this way "God" is everything and the nothing that contains everything.

The problem with the human being, is simply a problem with thinking and the differentiation of meaning and value which imposes the illusion of separation onto the flow or what David Bohm calls the "holomovement". Also, we do not know what to do with the expanse and magnitude of the freedom we possess as our God given right and inheritance as co-creators.

Maybe the first realization we need to have is that there is nowhere to go, nothing to "get" and nothing we must do "in order to" make anything happen. It is said that love may be defined in terms of acceptance. Perhaps to love God above all and neighbor as self, the so-called highest commandment which produces eternal life, is simply to accept BEINGNESS just as it is, and then, from that point, relative to the infinite nothingness from which everything arises, all things become possible, where right doing flows from right thinking, right thinking from right being, and right being, from being itself.

Thus real learning, is unlearning, an opening up to, in unconditional acceptance, for what is already whole, perfect, and true.


[edit on 16-5-2009 by OmegaPoint]



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 04:48 AM
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Originally posted by OmegaPoint
I am beginning to suspect that everything is whole, perfect, and true, and filled with the spirit of the universe, the spirit of the living God, at all emanations, and at all levels and in all forms.

In this way "God" is everything and the nothing that contains everything.


This reflects a point of view nurtured by others:


Let it be understood that in The Great Work so has God foresight and knowledge of all things, lest you forget that all things are part of the same as created in that moment. So did The All come to pass as a realised form and make at the Horizon Æternitatis so that all things may be as now. In that was retained the knowledge and being of everything ante hoc so that all actions and endeavours are at the behest of what they will become rather than as a result of what they have been or indeed, are. So may God become as all things that have not been, yet are known and ordained by eventuality so that by being so they become. Yet, as may be a paradox to man, we may make our decisions with free will such as the worms in the soil and the birds in the air without concern or worry for all is as intended for the passage is but the dissection of summarius to which all things are bound in object and by rote from beginning to end which are the same in absolute.



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by serbsta
 



That was beautifully written. I could have used his words in several arguments i've had.



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 12:53 PM
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Well lets lets him starve some and see if he doesnt say some crazy #$%&. Stop crying about all the crazy stuff that happens in the world and learn from it. There are people out there living horrible lives.. doing horrible things that you will have an opportunity to avoid thanks to them.

Instead of pissing and moaning about all the horrible things other people have done in the past he should thank them for jumping on that grenade for him. Knowledge gives desire... if you wish for people to not desire to define or understand god at all then you will have to remove their memories. You know what im really sorry alot of us all couldnt be born with a silver spoon in our mouths 1000 years from now.

[edit on 17-5-2009 by Wertdagf]



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
Well lets lets him starve some and see if he doesnt say some crazy #$%&. Stop crying about all the crazy stuff that happens in the world and learn from it. There are people out there living horrible lives.. doing horrible things that you will have an opportunity to avoid thanks to them.

Instead of pissing and moaning about all the horrible things other people have done in the past he should thank them for jumping on that grenade for him. Knowledge gives desire... if you wish for people to not desire to define or understand god at all then you will have to remove their memories. You know what im really sorry alot of us all couldnt be born with a silver spoon in our mouths 1000 years from now.

[edit on 17-5-2009 by Wertdagf]



People that only care about battle and death are usually the ones doing the fighting. The reasons why we fight are equally as important as the fights themselves.



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 04:03 PM
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Originally posted by serbsta
If the right message can be taken out of this it should be read and understood my as much people as it can here on ATS, i think it is really powerful and demolishes the ideologies and doctrines behind ALL INSTITUTIONALIZED RELIGION in one swift blow.


What? And stand on our own as individuals, fully aware and fully responsible without anyone telling us that we're doing it wrong or how to do it right? A society without rulers, gods or kings? Without hierarchy to tell us our proper place? Without rigid formulas and systems to keep the straight lines straight and curved lines curvy? A world where we can actually be free?

Utter madness, sir



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 08:55 PM
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I never liked any type of "main stream" religion...

I do think there is something greater than us, and I will leave it at that.

The idea of following someone else's ideals never intrigued me...yes others have influenced me, but to actually live under something (a god)? I prefer being a leader.



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by TravelerintheDark
 


Living in a system and serving your life to a god are two different things.

I live for myself, but by doing so, I must work in the system. That, or I can have a much rougher time in the wild.

What will a god do for me? Give me ignorant hope?

I always ponder those who ACCEPT the idea of living under something else.



posted on May, 17 2009 @ 09:42 PM
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Originally posted by FritosBBQTwist
reply to post by TravelerintheDark
 


Living in a system and serving your life to a god are two different things.


Are they? By living within the boundaries of the system aren't you serving that system? Perpetuating it? Just as I see that by believing in god those who do are really only serving the purpose of perpetuating god (as god stands from the viewpoint of most who consider themselves religious), maintaining that system. I think prejudicial thinking which differentiates religion as anything more or less, or any different, than another human construct whether it be political or social simply because it embraces the "invisible unknown" rather than the "visible known" is rather narrow. In fact, every human organization I'm aware of embraces some invisible, and sometimes illogical, concept as a core value. Compound interest for example.

I find that broadening is the key to my own sense of fulfillment personally. That by expanding rather than narrowing, allowing more choices, I become more free.


Originally posted by FritosBBQTwist
I live for myself, but by doing so, I must work in the system. That, or I can have a much rougher time in the wild.


Absolutely. The systems we create are necessary since humans aren't that capable of solitary survival. People formed tribes not just for the potluck dinners, but as a root to survival. The question to my mind is always should I work for the system or should the system work for me? The obvious balance of give and take seems the most profitable route for all involved. Which leaves no room at the top, I suppose.



Originally posted by FritosBBQTwist
What will a god do for me? Give me ignorant hope?


I guess if that's what you're asking for.


Originally posted by FritosBBQTwist
I always ponder those who ACCEPT the idea of living under something else.


Then perhaps it's best to start with yourself. What systems do you choose to live "under"? Because you see them as useful, does that make you any more "on top" of them? We all live "under" something. At it's most basic, we call it "reality". To look down on others is just a way to distract ourselves from the # falling on our own heads. In that light, hope doesn't appear quite so ignorant to me.



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 12:43 AM
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reply to post by ScRuFFy63
 


well dont get me wrong religion is mearly a inevitible progression of evolution. Its all a load of crap and god isnt a magical being who grants wishes or awnsers prayers.

[edit on 18-5-2009 by Wertdagf]



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 01:52 AM
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I think it depends on how one defines prayer, and faith..



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 02:00 AM
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A star and a flag to you and Rousseau.

I believe that organised religion is destroying mankind.

I am a follower of Jesus, but I am very sceptical about the Bible, written and (mis)interpreted by many people. I detest organised religion. It does nothing but cause war, famine, misery, guilt... on and on, all negatives.



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 02:29 AM
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Originally posted by TravelerintheDark

Are they? By living within the boundaries of the system aren't you serving that system? Perpetuating it? Just as I see that by believing in god those who do are really only serving the purpose of perpetuating god (as god stands from the viewpoint of most who consider themselves religious), maintaining that system.


Throughout history there are people who bow down to some higher power. It happens at work, and in your life if you are a spiritual person. This *really* comes from human beliefs that heaven awaits after you are dead and gone.

I think the "system", or systems that humans live under is something quite different.



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 02:33 AM
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im going to toot my own horn here

its very simple

someone or something is asking a question and we are one side of the answer that has manifested itself due to the question and how it works

2 clear points

what is life

what are we in

answers

life is a component of something "logical"

what is your mind what are you "mind wise" well take a look up at the universe

that is your mind

very big ; )



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by OmegaPoint
I think it depends on how one defines prayer, and faith..


They're both delusions. I think it was Rousseau, or might have been Voltaire who said that religion was a very powerful thing. Because it made the weak individual believe they had all the answers, when in essence, they knew nothing.




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