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Lecture #6- 6 isms

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Jeff Voth

on 25 September 2015

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Transcript of Lecture #6- 6 isms

Nihilism
“IF I SHOULD CAST OFF THIS TATTERED COAT; AND GO FREE INTO THE MIGHTY SKY; IF I SHOULD FIND NOTHING THERE BUT A VAST BLUE; ECHOLESS, IGNORANT-- WHAT THEN?”
-STEPHEN CRANE,
The Black Riders and Other Lines
Ism #5
Note: Naturalism & Cold Existentialism (Atheistic Existentialism) are in this category.

Ism #6
Agnosticism is a philosophical position that the existence of God is not knowable.  The word “agnosticism” comes from the Greek "a" meaning without and "gnosis" meaning knowledge.  It literally means "without knowledge."
6 isms
KMarx, Chuckie D, Fred. . .
“...there is a sense that a particular way of thinking is disappearing and that we are on the verge of something new...(The) modern age lasted exactly 200 years, from the fall of the Bastille in 1789 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989...Now the assumptions of modernism have fallen apart, from Moscow to San Francisco. The Enlightenment is discredited. Reason is dethroned, even on university campuses. The Industrial Revolution is giving way to the Information Age. Society, technology, values, and basic categories of thought are shifting. A new way of looking at the world is emerging.” (Postmodern Times, G. E. Vieth, pp. 28-29)

HUM 103 - Lecture #6
Contact information
jvoth@oru.edu
cell: 918-978-7262
Ism #1- Modernism
Definition:
Sympathy with or conformity to modern ideas, practices, or standards. The deliberate departure from tradition and the use of innovative forms of expression that distinguish many styles in the arts and literature of the 20th century.
Berlin Wall, 1989
La Bastille, 7/14/1789
"Mr. Gorbachev,
tear down this wall."
1.) The individual in Western civilization typically believed in the supernatural.
2.) The belief in God (or gods) was prevalent,
3.) Life owed its existence and meaning to a spiritual realm beyond the senses.
4.) Belief systems such as mythological paganism, classical rationalism and Biblical revelation were accepted as normal during this period.
5.) Some notable Pre-Moderns: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Paul, Thomas Aquinas
1.) Men desired autonomy and freedom from restrictions, in order to focus on the present rather than a world to come.
2.) there was a turn from Biblical supernaturalism, culminating in Renaissance humanism.
3.) Christian supernaturalism was seen as passe and human achievements in science and technology seemed to open up a new age of progress.
4.) the wisdom of the past was seen as obsolete and the modern world was essentially in full force in the 1700’s via the Enlightenment,
5.) in this period Christianity was rejected as a plausible belief system, but the existence of God was initially accepted,
6.) God was eventually declared to be dead,
7.) some notable Modern thinkers: Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, Darwin & Nietzsche (who is dead...God wanted me to tell you that. He is buried right there. And has been so since August 25th, 1900)
More Defining...
Premodern
Modern
J-Lo
K-Marx
Nietzsche
Chuckie D
Manny K
Looking at his grave because he's... Dead. & God is not. They tried to kill Him but He wouldn't stay dead...Fred.
Ism #2- Naturalism
Theism
Deism
Naturalism
“...In theism, god is the infinite personal creator and sustainer of the cosmos. In deism, god is reduced: he begins to lose his personality: though he remains creator and (by implication) sustainer of the cosmos. in naturalism god is further reduced; he loses his very existence.” (Sire, loc 702)

Prominent figures in the descent (Sire's opinion):
Descartes (1596-1650)
"Je pense donc je suis."
John Locke
Julien Offray de la Mettrie
“A christian theist by conscious confession,
Set the stage (for naturalism) by conceiving of the universe
As a giant mechanism of “matter” which people comprehended
By “mind”. He thus split reality into two kinds of being: ever since then the western world has found it hard to see itself as an integrated whole. The naturalists, taking one route to unification, made mind a subcategory of mechanistic matter.” (Sire, loc 709)

Naturalism
Question 1
Prime reality is matter. Matter exists eternally and is all there is. God does not exist.
Naturalism
Question 2
The cosmos exists as a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system.
Naturalism
Question 3
Human beings are complex “machines”; personality is an interrelation of chemical and physical properties we do not yet fully understand.

Naturalism
Question 4
Death is the extinction of personality and individuality.
Naturalism
Question 5
Through our innate and autonomous human reason, including the methods of science, we can know the universe. The cosmos, including this world, is understood to be in its
normal state.

Naturalism
Question 6
Ethics is related only to human beings (not transcendent.)

Naturalism
Question 7
History is a linear stream of events linked by cause and effect but without overarching purpose. (Survival of the fittest? Darwinsim & Social Darwinism, which would lead to...?)

Naturalism
Question 8
Naturalism itself implies no particular core commitment on the part of any given naturalist. Rather core commitments are adopted unwittingly or chosen
by individuals.
Background:
Naturalism in Practice
• Theistic Humanism (man is inherently good
and will choose rightly because of the
imago)
• Secular Humanism (man is the measure of
all things),
• Social Darwinism
• Marxism

“For a theist, god is the foundation of values. For a naturalist, values are constructed by human beings. The naturalist’s notion follows logically from the previous propositions. If there was no consciousness prior to the existence of humans, then there was no prior sense of right and wrong. And if there were no ability to do other than what one does, any sense of right and wrong would have no practical value.”
(Sire, loc 813)
Does Naturalism give you hope?
and the 8 questions...
Background:
Defined:
"IT IS MORE A FEELING THAN A PHILOSOPHY, MORE A SOLITARY STANCE BEFORE THE UNIVERSE THAN A WORLDVIEW. STRICTLY SPEAKING, NIHILISM IS A DENIAL OF ANY PHILOSOPHY OR WORLDVIEW--A DENIAL OF THE POSSIBILITY OF KNOWLEDGE, A DENIAL THAT ANYTHING IS VALUABLE." (SIRE, LOC 1010)
"It is the negation of everything."
Key Figures:
Franz Kafka
Samuel Beckett
Eugene Ionesco
But how do we know they really exist?
"Nihilism is the natural child of Naturalism."
-Sire
Ism #3
N
A
D
A
R I E N
Z
E
R
O
Nihilism and the 8...
“If all that exists is nature, the great mindless interlocking event. If our own deepest convictions are merely the by products of an irrational process, then clearly there is not the slightest ground for supposing that our sense of fitness and our consequent faith in uniformity tell us anything about a reality external to ourselves. Our convictions are simply a fact about us--like the colour of our hair. If naturalism is true we have no reason to trust our conviction that nature is uniform.” (SIRE, LOC 1120)

No answers to the 8 WV questions.
There is nothing, so the 8 don't matter.
Quiz #5
THE DEFINITION
Fill in the blanks to complete the worldview definition.
"A ________, a fundamental orientation of the _____, that can be ____as a story or in a ___ of __________ (______ which may be _____, partially _____ or entirely _____) that we hold (_______or ______, ________ or ________) about the _____ constitution of _____ and that ______ the foundation on ______ we _____ and _____ and have our_____." (Sire, The Universe Next Door, loc 133)

Quiz 6
THE DEFINITION
“_ __________, _ _____________ _________ __ ___ _____, ____ ___ __ ________ __ a _____ __ __ _ ___ __ ________________ (__________ _____ ____ __ ____, _________ ____ __ _______ _____) ____ __ ____ (__________ __ ___________, _________ __ ___________)_____ ___ _____ ________ __ ______ ___ ____ _______ ___ _______ __ _____ __ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____.” (___, The Universe ___ Door, loc 133)

Quiz 6
Fill in the missing words in each of the 5 Worldview questions
Worldview Groups...
(This will be entry #3)
How does your God(s) deal with, pain, suffering and evil?

Ism #4
Existentialism
(cold, atheistic)
A philosophy concerned with finding self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility. The belief is that people are searching to find out who and what they are throughout life as they make choices based on their experiences, beliefs, and outlook. And personal choices become unique without the necessity of an objective form of truth. An existentialist believes that a person should be forced to choose and be responsible without the help of laws, ethnic rules, or traditions.Its definition is thus to some extent one of historical convenience. The term was explicitly adopted as a self-description by Jean-Paul Sartre, and through the wide dissemination of the postwar literary and philosophical output of Sartre and his associates—notably Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Albert Camus—existentialism became identified with a cultural movement that flourished in Europe in the 1940s and 1950s.

Defined:
“Every existing thing is born without reason,
Prologs itself out of weakness and dies by chance.
I leaned back and closed my eyes.
The images, forewarned, immediately leaped up
And filled my closed eyes with existences: existence is a fullness
Which man can never abandon...I knew it was the world,
The naked world suddenly revealing itself, and i choked
With rage at this gross absurd feeling.
Roquentin in jean paul sartre’s, nausea

A happy poem by Jean Paul Sartre:
“A literature of despair is a contradiction in terms...In the darkest depths of our nihilism I have sought only for the means to transcend nihilism. “

Jackson Pollock
Camus
Fyodor
Doestoyevsky
Atheistic Existentialism and the 8...
Atheistic Existentialists answer questions
1, 4, 5, 6,
and
7
in basically the same manner as a naturalist would.
The cosmos is composed solely of matter, but to human beings reality appears in two forms-subjective and objective
Question 2:
“Existence is not something which lets itself be thought of from a distance; it must invade you suddenly; master you, weigh heavily on your heart like a great motionless beast-or else there is nothing more at all.” (Requintin in, Nausea, Sartre)

“...Value and meaning and significance are not tied
To science and logic. We can mean; we can be valuable; or better, we can mean and be valuable. Our significance is not up to the facts of the objective world over which we have no control, but up to the consciousness of the subjective world over which we have complete control.”
(Sire, loc 1321)
“The AE emphasizes the Disunity of the two worlds and opts strongly in favor of the subjective world...An ensemble of values distinct from the material realm.” (Sire, loc 1321)

JPS
Atheistic Existentialism
Question 5:
Question 3:
Human beings are complex “machines”; personality is an interrelation of chemical and physical properties we do not yet fully understand. For human beings alone, existence precedes essence; people make themselves who they are. Each person is totally free as regards his or her personal destiny.

In full recognition of and against the absurdity of the objective world, the authentic person must revolt and create value.
“If god does not exist, there is at least one being in whom existence precedes essence, a being who exists before he can be defined by any concept, and this being is man...First of all, man exists, turns up, appears on the scene, and, only afterwards defines himself...At first, he is nothing. Only afterwards will he be something, and he himself will have made him what he will be.” (Sartre, being quoted by sire, loc 1328)

“To choose to be this or that is to affirm at the same time the value of what we choose, because we can never choose evil.” (Sartre, being quoted by sire, loc 1359)

The good is whatever a person chooses; the good is part of subjectivity; it is not measured by a standard outside the individual human” sire, loc1368

and finally. . .
(Thank God)
The core commitment of every full-blown atheistic existentialist is to himself.

Question 8:
THE 'I AM' IS ME
Existentialism
(warm, Theistic)
Ism #4, part II
Arose from Kierkegaard’s challenge of the theological nihilism that he saw in the church (watered down and lifeless)
Accepts Theism’s answers to WV Questions
1, 2, 3, 4, 6
and
8
.
“The existential version of Theism is much more a particular set of emphases within Theism than it is a separate worldview...because of its confusing relation to atheistic existentialism, it deserves a special treatment...TE’s most characteristic elements are concerned not with the nature of the cosmos or God, but with human nature and our relation to the cosmos and God.” (sire, loc 1468 & 1478)

Human beings are personal beings who, when they come to full consciousness, find themselves in an alien universe; whether or not God exists is a tough question to be solved not by reason but by faith.
Questions 3 & 5:
SK’S “TELEOLOGICAL SUSPENSION OF THE ETHICAL”

TE does not start with God it emphasizes the place in which human beings find themselves when they first come to self awareness.

“...The data is not all in and never will be, and so every person who would be a theist must step forth and choose to believe. God will never reveal himself unambiguously. Consequently each person, in the loneliness of his or her own subjectivity, surrounded by a great deal more darkness than light, must choose. And that choice must be a radical act of faith. When person does choose to believe, a whole panorama opens. Most of the propositions of traditional theism flood in.” (Sire, loc 1492)

Theistic Existentialism
“...was a profound and prolific writer in the Danish “golden age” of intellectual and artistic activity. His work crosses the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, literary criticism, devotional literature and fiction. Kierkegaard brought this potent mixture of discourses to bear as social critique and for the purpose of renewing Christian faith within Christendom. At the same time he made many original conceptual contributions to each of the disciplines he employed. He is known as the “father of existentialism”, but at least as important are his critiques of Hegel and of the German romantics, his contributions to the development of modernism, his literary experimentation, his vivid re-presentation of biblical figures to bring out their modern relevance, his invention of key concepts which have been explored and redeployed by thinkers ever since, his interventions in contemporary Danish church politics, and his fervent attempts to analyse and revitalise Christian faith.”
Some Background:
Kierkegaard
1813-1855
“In relationship to God one can not involve himself to a certain degree. God is precisely the contradiction to all that is 'to a certain degree'.”
― Søren Kierkegaard, Provocations
“The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.”
― Søren Kierkegaard, Provocations
A THOUGHT: For Kierkegaard Christian faith is not a matter of regurgitating church dogma. It is a matter of individual subjective passion, which cannot be mediated by the clergy or by human artefacts. Faith is the most important task to be achieved by a human being, because only on the basis of faith does an individual have a chance to become a true self. This self is the life-work which God judges for eternity.

"Leap of Faith"
“Teleological suspension of the ethical”

A Theistic Existentialist starts here...
You can end up here. . .
"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely."
1 Cor. 13:12 (NLT)

History as a record of events is uncertain and unimportant;
but history as a model or type of myth to be made present and lived is of supreme importance!!

Question 7:
Pollock's paintings stop here
And believes that through radical FAITH in
Christ. . .
"THE LEAP OF FAITH"
Kierkegaard
Modernism, Naturalism, Nihilism, Existentialism, Atheism, Agnosticism
Dr. Jeff Voth (Daisy's Grandpa)
Atheism
(Greek) “a”= no + (Greek) “theos”= God; the belief that God does not exist.
Defined:
“There is no place in the humanist worldview for either immortality or god in the valid meanings of those terms. Humanism contends that instead of the gods creating the cosmos, the cosmos, in the individualized form of human beings giving reign to the imagination, created the gods.”
Corliss Lamont

“Humanism cannot in any fair sense of the word apply to one who still believes in god as the source and creator of the universe.”
Paul Kurtz
“No deity will save us, we must save ourselves”
Humanist Manifesto II
Atheistic, Humanistic Thinkers?
ALL DEAD
Jesus. . .
NOT DEAD!!!
THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT!!!!!
Agnosticism
Defined:
Agnosticism is really a subdivision of atheism.
Since atheism denies the existence of God, agnosticism does the same thing by not affirming God's existence.
Weak agnosticism says that God is simply not known if he exists at all. 
Strong agnosticism says that God cannot be known.

Worldview of the Week
Rich Mullins and Playin' Hard to Get

Question 1- What __ _______ _______-- the ______ real?

Question 2- What is the _____ of _____ ______, that is , the _____ around us?

Question 3- What ____ ___ ______ _______?

Question 4- What _____ to ___ ____ at _____?

Question 5- Why is __ _____ to _____ _______ at all?
Full transcript