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   Author  Topic: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club  (Read 3531 times)
Stegfucius
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #25 on: Apr 23rd, 2006, 12:12am »
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on Apr 17th, 2006, 6:57am, steelkings wrote:
Tuesdays with Morrie= Great read.

 
That's what I've heard... Having read The Five People You Meet In Heaven, as I mentioned above, I believe it!
 
Quote:
After talking with many people, I have found that Im the only one in the USA that hasent seen the movie.

 
Make that two...  (Hell, as per my post on the "G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic:  Movies" thread, I still haven't gotten around to popping Saw, which I purchased like five months ago, in the VCR yet. )
 
Quote:
Reading: Blink, The power of thinking without thinking.

 
Very good... Read away, my friend... I'll be interested to hear what you have to say about this book. I've never heard of it, but it's title seems... intriguing... or provocative... Again, I'm reading that title from the perspective of a "philosopher",... one who has a strong appreciation for Eastern thought, mind you.
 
...
 
In that vain, I MUST again HIGLY recommend you all to pick up for $5 and read Harry Frankfurt's On Bullshit. This guy is a BONA FIDE philosopher, an old-timer and wiseman from Princeton University. This is not some "pop culture" BS. This is "real", but not overwhelming, scholarly reading. It's a tiny 5"x8" layout and in just 67 pages it gets to the core ugliness of the direction our great nation is going in. Its message needs to be acknowledged and heeded.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #26 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 5:02am »
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On to some serious talk,... not, ironically, "bullshit"...
 
on Jul 18th, 2007, 9:27pm, Philly wrote:
Dr. H. G. Frankfurt, author of a book entitled "On Bullshit." You highly recommended it a couple years ago as an easy yet powerful philosophical text. Believe it or not, I actually picked it up and tried my hand at it. For the most part, it went right over my head (although I did remember the Wittgenstein discussion of someone feeling like a dog that was hit by a car, and a few other tidbits from the book).  ...  But in the end it wasn't my thing.

 
Speaking of the devil, there's one of the posts right above I made regarding On Bullshit.  First off, again, I am flattered by your effort. I'm curious, thought, Jeff...  What about the book wasn't attractive to you?  Were there any specifics?  I'd be totally game to hear you out and work through some stuff with you.  You're a bright guy, so it surprises me when you say that most of it went right over your head.  I will say this much...  It's a short book, but not necessarily a "quick read", at least not relatively speaking.  But, still, I wouldn't peg you as a dude who couldn't handle grappling with it... successfully (given the time).  Moreover, why I am curious is because, frankly speaking,... and I fear being considered a blasphemer when saying this, but remember you're hearing this from a scholar of Pope John Paul II here,... I think Americans need this book right now more than the Bible.  It would (re-)orient us to (substantively) enact the (immanental) message of the Bible.  Right now, we're neither predisposed to nor well-equipped intellectually for its (immanental) message, no less that of other "great books" that are less familiar to us culturally.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #27 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 9:35am »
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on Jul 20th, 2007, 5:02am, StegRock wrote:
and I fear being considered a blasphemer when saying this... I think Americans need this book right now more than the Bible.
My range of emotions after reading this was: to to to to
 
Quote:
It would (re-)orient us to (substantively) enact the (immanental) message of the Bible. Right now, we're neither predisposed to nor well-equipped intellectually for its (immanental) message, no less that of other "great books" that are less familiar to us culturally.
After reading this I was: and
 
Ya' me for a second there Stegger. Nice save!!
 
P.S. Still...... I wouldn't say that ever, even with the explanation!!
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #28 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 10:47am »
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on Jul 20th, 2007, 5:02am, StegRock wrote:
What about the book wasn't attractive to you? Were there any specifics? I'd be totally game to hear you out and work through some stuff with you. You're a bright guy, so it surprises me when you say that most of it went right over your head. I will say this much... It's a short book, but not necessarily a "quick read", at least not relatively speaking. But, still, I wouldn't peg you as a dude who couldn't handle grappling with it... successfully (given the time).

It has been quite some time since I read the book, and I'm sure I didn't spend the requisite time to review and really consider many of the subtleties of the text (I actually listened to it during my commute to work), but from what I recall, I had a hard time reconciling the difference between BSing and lying. While HGF went to great lengths to point out the nuances and levels of lies vis-a-vis BS. I had trouble believing that a person employing BS is as unaware of their position as HGF posited. I see BS as a crutch for the (perceived) truth, yet still an untruth (i.e., a lie). I don't see there being different levels of lying. Certainly, the effect of the lie will vary, but the lie itself is still a statement of untruth.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #29 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 10:53am »
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows...  
 
Are there any Harry Potter readers out there? I've read the six previous books to my son (although, admittedly, he was too young to be interested or care, so I was really reading them for myself and my wife).
 
I also saw HP and the Order of the Phoenix last weekend.
 
So I'm all set for the next book. I'm not going to be camping out so I can get it at midnight or anything, but I will be heading out tomorrow morning (I reserved it at my local Borders) and will dive into it starting tomorrow night.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #30 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 12:58pm »
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on Jul 20th, 2007, 9:35am, MordecaiCourage wrote:

  My range of emotions after reading this was: to to to  to
 
   After reading this I was: and  
 
Ya'   me for a second there Stegger. Nice save!!  
 
P.S. Still...... I wouldn't say that ever, even with the explanation!!

 
I knew, based on my very own words there, that that was going to be tough to hear for some. You got to know, though, man,... I endure the same range of emotions and have to bite my tongue (in the "vice-versa", so to speak, of this kind of situation) all the time.  That's why I've gone cyber.  My tongue is in shreds,... quite literally.  (Okay, well not really, but you get the point.)  I'll follow this up with as pithily of a stated point later on.
 
on Jul 20th, 2007, 10:47am, Philly wrote:
...but from what I recall, I had a hard time reconciling the difference between BSing and lying. While HGF went to great lengths to point out the nuances and levels of lies vis-a-vis BS. I had trouble believing that a person employing BS is as unaware of their position as HGF posited. I see BS as a crutch for the (perceived) truth, yet still an untruth (i.e., a lie). I don't see there being different levels of lying. Certainly, the effect of the lie will vary, but the lie itself is still a statement of untruth.

 
This is the key to "getting the book".  But, I suppose I see how this could be a problem for you.  Let me think!
 
on Jul 20th, 2007, 10:53am, Philly wrote:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows...  
 
Are there any Harry Potter readers out there? I've read the six previous books to my son (although, admittedly, he was too young to be interested or care, so I was really reading them for myself and my wife).
 
I also saw HP and the Order of the Phoenix last weekend.
 
So I'm all set for the next book. I'm not going to be camping out so I can get it at midnight or anything, but I will be heading out tomorrow morning (I reserved it at my local Borders) and will dive into it starting tomorrow night.

 
Well,... for one,... we're definitely not on the same page here, and unfortunately I'm not going to be able to return the gesture of checking out one of your recommendations this time.  My mom, bless her dear heart, bought me one of the Harry Potter books, I think the first one, back in the day for my birthday.  EVERYBODY at her job had dissuaded her, telling her, "Joan, that's not Steve's kind of thing," and shook their heads when she went ahead and bought it for me against their advice.  They were right (but, I would guess, based on the Steve they knew, the high school and college version, only at the surface level).  My mom was wrong (so don't beat yourselves up too much for not "getting me").  Thing is, I don't read to escape.  Frankly speaking, most (in America) do.  (And, incidentally, I think this is why the message of the Bible has become so over-simplified in America, in a way that paradoxically and ironically obscures the simple truths contained within it.)  In fact, quite the contrary, I read to confront and understand (or, maybe, I escape to understand ... ).  And, although there is more to both of our "attitudes", this is at the core of your lack of "appreciation" (mostly in its "second" sense) of On Bullshit AND of my lack of "appreciation" ("ditto") of Harry Potter.  And, of course, there is our VERY different life circumstances, of which I am not unaware.  You've taken the (usual) path of a wife and kids and a regular job, and I surely haven't.  [To wit, this is the grounds of that "most (in America) do" comment above.  It's also the grounds, I realize, of why I'm not so easily understood by the "average Joe" in my home country.  What to make of all that (in terms of curiosity and deference), that's the key.]  This, of course, affects our respective attitudes about reading, i.e. the desired function of reading in our respective lives.  I mean, my attitude, put more simply,... others may not be reading Harry Potter because they are not into the whole "wizard boy", "D & D-type" schtick.  That too is the case for me [at least, at this point in my life (though, I must admit, the "at this point in my life" part goes back quite a ways)], but not the main reason.  That's just at the surface level.  That's just a matter of taste.  I'm sure, in its genre, Harry Potter is VERY WELL DONE (unfortunately, for me, it's "well done" more so in the other sense, figuratively speaking).  For me, ultimately, it's not on my... for the same reason Madden NFL 2008, the new iPod, etc., etc., etc., aren't.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #31 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 3:18pm »
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Yes, I do see the differences there.  
 
My "regular job," as you put it, requires me to spend most of my day reading for understanding (and some of that understanding or lack thereof leads to confronting). Part of my job is to analyze literary texts for their literary elements and ideas that are stated and inferred. When my workday is done, I'm generally spending a couple hours doing the family stuff (eating dinner, bathing kids, reading Dr. Seuss or Curious George to my son) and then another couple hours of work-related stuff (with a few minutes of internet browsing mixed in) before heading off to bed.
 
So when I do find time to read outside of work, I tend to read for pleasure and entertainment (or escape as you termed it). The most important thing for me in a novel is well-drawn characters. It's not the fantasy schtick (D&D elements) that make Harry Potter such a big hit (remember when we were in school in the 80s, the kids who read fantasy novels were usually considered to be nerds?), it's the characters themselves that make it work for me. Honestly, the books themselves have a very formulaic plot, but JK Rowling has done a knock-up job on creating complex characters and relationships between those characters. As a former English major (and HS English teacher, and English Language Assessment Specialist, and wannabe novelist), most of my reading tends to fall into one specific genre: the bildingsroman. I am a sucker for a really good coming-of-age novel (Catcher in the Rye, A Separate Peace, and Lord of the Flies made an early impression on me in school) and am in the midst of writing one myself (and have been for about 10 years now). These novels certainly lend themselves to confronting and understanding, but in an inherently different sense than the books that are on your shelves.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #32 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 5:05pm »
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Try reading Air Force Technical Orders, Instruction  Manuals, DoD manuals, and NFPA codes for the last 23 years!! That will kill any enjoyment you could possibly get from reading!! I can't even pick a book up and enjoy it anymore...my eyes are too tired and I can't get my heart into it.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #33 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 6:31pm »
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Nice write-up, Jeff.
 
Okay,... I'm gonna take a stab at the "lying" versus "BS" thing...  In a stroke of good fortune, this is going to overlap with that "reality"/"meta-reality" distinction I was talking about up "between the 20's" on the CBFL commentary thread.
 
First off, generally speaking, Frankfurt's point is to show that there is a meaningful, useful and enlightening distinction to be made between lying and BS-ing.  In Philosophy terms, he wants to show that they are a different "species".
 
According to my understanding of Frankfurt, in stark contrast to lying, when you BS, you don't even know what the truth is.  When you lie, you do.  BS-ing, commonly considered to be a "lesser evil" than outright lying, is (unfortunately) VERY compatible with our Americano, entrepreneurial, consumer-driven capitalist society.  Frankfurt really plays this up in terms of the "(commission) saleman" mentality.  BS does NOT have a necessary relation to truth the way lying does.  Lying is a conscious departure from the truth, whereas, to BS is to just "talk out of your ass" as we say these days.  You don't know what the hell the truth is and probably don't care.  In fact, the truth may be (perceived to be) injurious to your modus operandi, and that tendentious backdrop may be the pathetic reason behind the BS.  In this sense, in BS-ing, you've set yourself up against truth.  The truth of truth is the foundation of truth (if you haven't figured, we're already knee-deep in this "reality"-"meta-reality" distinction).  It's what makes the truth true, and BS-ing, more than lying, stands in opposition to this.  When lying, on the other hand, you are just opposing this or that particular truth (on the ground level), not the truth of truth (on the higher level).  The fact that a BS-er ignores the truth in the formulation of his/her BS lays, in an immanental/matter-of-fact way, the groundwork for an ignorant attitude toward truth, which, in turn, is a big step toward the denial of and even disdain for the truth, i.e. relativism, a nightmare "by any standards". Furthermore, that ushers in a very shallow mindset and culture, which is surely exhibited in the "short attention span" of America.  In addition, BS in its denial of truth lends itself to a very comfortable, especially in the kind of political environment we find ourselves in in America, deniability factor.  BS embeds an "out" for the BS-er.
 
Also, BS-ing is almost always used in a self-serving way.  Unlike lying, there are very few opportunities to BS in a way that is good for the other party, such as white-lies to smooth things over, like telling your wife she's the most beautiful woman in the world (something I don't have to lie about ), or, as the Buddha correctly taught, as an "expedient means", or for various other "good" purposes (e.g., police in a sting operation don't typically BS; they lie).  In this immanental sense, BS sets the stage for a selfish citizenry, which, as just so happens to be the case, is UNFORTUNATELY VERY "cultivatable" in an Americano, entrepreneurial, consumer-driven capitalist society.  When BS-ing, you're just trying to make yourself look good.  BS is a great strategy when making connections, pitching a product, etc., and, as has become a modern capitalist cliche, the all-important skill of "selling yourself".  So, besides an ignorance of the truth, there is also little-to-no or, at least, less (frequent) incentive to have consideration for the person you are BS-ing.  There is a sense of the ignorance of, not just truth, but the "other", period.  This desensitizes us toward the needs and even mere sentience of others and the fundamentality of relationality [as per that paper of mine that I presented at the Philosophy conference:  http://www.internetstitute.com/Ni-paper.doc, revised as of June 3, by the way].
 
Now, we are at a point where the two-level "reality"-"meta-reality" distinction can be of particular help.  When you BS, intrinsically, you are misleading the person you are BS-ing on two levels.  This is NOT the case when lying, at least not intrinsically or necessarily, and actually probably not at all since to lie you need to know what the truth is, i.e., you don't deny the truth of truth.  Otherwise, it's not a lie.  When BS-ing, on the "ground level" of reality, you likely deceive the person directly or, at best, only happen to give him or her accurate information.  On the "ground level", you are either an ignoramus, denier or disdainer of the truth and almost always, to the tune of 99.999~%, serving yourself and only yourself, caring less for the person with whom you are dealing, NOT at all appreciating the truly all-important immanental impact of your relationships on your self-authorship (again, as per my essay).  But, worse yet, on "higher ground", so to speak, on the "meta-level" of reality, you are indirectly pawning yourself off to your interlocutor as an authority, as someone who knows what he/she is talking about, which, when BS-ing, is ABSOLUTELY, necessarily NOT the case.  It's like the BS-er has taken the BS-ed into some sort of alternate reality, some parallel universe, some La-la land.  That's the "higher-level" deception.  What you are portraying yourself to be is NECESSARILY EXACTLY what you are NOT!!!
 
But, that's still perhaps not the worst deception! That is because the HEIGHTENED level of self-deception required of the BS-er is now, alas, finally exposed and lucid.  Self-deception is the worst deception, and it's the inevitable next piece in the puzzle here.  This eschewal of the truth combined with a generally selfish disposition that works against an understanding and appreciation of relationality leads to self-absorption, a mono"self"ism of sorts, which basically requires you to have to lie to yourself.  To have a society of people lying to themselves, no less each other,... is,... well,... a BIG mess.
 
PLEASE, anybody, everybody, if you have questions and comments (but remember initial negativity is often a sign of a lack of understanding and appreciation, so it's always best to ask questions first and try to understand), have at it...
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #34 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 8:25pm »
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I'd love to hear more about your book, Philly.  Just curious, have you read "The Writer's Journey" by Christopher Vogler or the Joseph Campbell & Carl Jung things?  Character things.
 
As for Steg, I'd love to hear if you have studied Jung, and I'd love to hear your take on that as a philosopher.  What I'm interested in is more about the human psyche basis for philosophical development.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #35 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 10:11pm »
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on Jul 20th, 2007, 5:05pm, MordecaiCourage wrote:
Try reading Air Force Technical Orders, Instruction Manuals, DoD manuals, and NFPA codes for the last 23 years!! That will kill any enjoyment you could possibly get from reading!! I can't even pick a book up and enjoy it anymore...my eyes are too tired and I can't get my heart into it.

 
Heh... I actually read some of that stuff. My wife is a civilian contractor for the USAF and she has me read/interpret some of those things once in a while. I can see how that could kill any enjoyment for the written word.  
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #36 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 10:24pm »
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on Jul 20th, 2007, 8:25pm, Callie wrote:
I'd love to hear more about your book, Philly. Just curious, have you read "The Writer's Journey" by Christopher Vogler or the Joseph Campbell & Carl Jung things? Character things.

I haven't read any of those, but I'll look into them.
 
My novel right now is nothing more than about 15,000 words worth of little vignettes. I'm still trying to flesh out the characters a bit (one of the most annoying things is that I can't even settle on names for the protagonist and the antagonist--I seem to change them every time I go back to read what I've written). Another problem that I have is that the overall plot of the story keeps turning into A Separate Peace with a different setting and marginally different characters. The story follows the events of a pair of summer friends that are first-year lifeguards in the mid 1980s (something I am intimately aware of, but have to try not to turn into an autobiography).
 
I do have a title for the novel. That was the first thing I settled upon and it hasn't changed during the whole process. Unfortunately I need a LOT more than just a title.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #37 on: Jul 20th, 2007, 10:56pm »
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on Jul 20th, 2007, 6:31pm, StegRock wrote:
The truth of truth is the foundation of truth (if you haven't figured, we're already knee-deep in this "reality"-"meta-reality" distinction).
OK, you're starting to lose me with statements like that. I think that's part of what keeps me from being more interested in philosophy, to be perfectly honest.
 
Quote:
In this immanental sense,
Can you explain this word, "immanent"? You've taken a real liking to it of late and I don't recall your use of it previously. (I only noticed it initially because of the fact that I thought you misspelled "imminent". I'm able to spot an incorrectly spelled word immediately. When I saw it a second, and third time, I went to Noah Webster (and American Heritage) and wasn't able to get a firm grasp of your understanding of it.
 
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When you BS, intrinsically, you are misleading the person you are BS-ing on two levels. This is NOT the case when lying

OK... this is the distinction I was looking for. I couldn't get past the idea that the BSer wasn't really just the same as the liar. But I see the difference now. Thanks!  
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #38 on: Jul 21st, 2007, 4:27am »
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on Jul 20th, 2007, 10:56pm, Philly wrote:
OK, you're starting to lose me with statements like that. I think that's part of what keeps me from being more interested in philosophy, to be perfectly honest.

 
Yea,... that's pretty abstract. It's the kind of language you see philosophically in reaction to (the nightmare of) relativism.  Hardcore relativists don't just dispute truths, this or that truth, but rather the very notion of truth itself.  For them, there is no truth.  It's all relative.  Even if pressed to admit to the existence of truth, the relativist will still point out that truth has no value (in both senses).  It's just what is and like Hume they'll say that an "ought" cannot be derived from an "is".  So, truth itself has no truth value (in terms of logic, it cannot be assigned a value of T/F), so to speak, and, thus, is of no value in reality.  To subscribe to such a paradigm would be not to subscribe to the "truth of truth".  So, in some sense, maybe it would be a little more accurate for me to have said "the truth of truths", but it is more sexy (and not incorrect, mind you) to say "the truth of truth".
 
Quote:
Can you explain this word, "immanent"? You've taken a real liking to it of late and I don't recall your use of it previously. (I only noticed it initially because of the fact that I thought you misspelled "imminent". I'm able to spot an incorrectly spelled word immediately. When I saw it a second, and third time, I went to Noah Webster (and American Heritage) and wasn't able to get a firm grasp of your understanding of it.

 
Without consulting a dictionary, though I'm sure I'll be in the same ballpark as the dictionary definition, what I have in mind when I use it is a cross-section of the following set of [all (grammatical) kinds of] words/notions:  pervasive, pervading throughout, de facto (as in "it is what it is" and "A=A"), wholistic, in toto, embodied, inherent, internality, internalization, through-and-through, proactive...
 
Now, some ostensive exemplification...
 
- Pantheism and Process Theology, a la A. N. Whitehead, are immanental religious sensibilities.  (Western) Christianity proper, as is understood, practiced and manifest in Catholicism and your traditional Protestant branches, is not, at least, in the case of Catholicism, not in its theology, though it is in its philosophy, from Augustine to Thomas to C. S. Lewis (actually an Anglican, whose work Catholic philosophers have adopted) to, my boy, Wojtyla.  Christianity is based on the authority of a radically transcendent God and, thus, can be said to be authoritarian and transcendental, a transcendental authoritarianism if you will.  Theologically at least, this is the opposite of an immanental sensibility.
 
- To act in accordance with a maxim, let's say "Thou shalt not kill," not based on authority, but because you understand the wisdom of such a law, why it makes sense and is right, even righteous, in terms of the human condition within which it is employed and actualized, is to let the law immanently work through you as opposed to its just being a restrictor plate on your actions.  In following the law in this immanental manner rather than on authority, you give the commandment life.  The commandment lives, in fact, has life through you.  On the other hand, if you just do what the law says because it happens to be the law and you don't want to get into trouble, the law is a mere external barrior as opposed to something that shines forth into the world through you.  Acting immanently is proactive.  Acting based on authority is reactive, perhaps, even inactive.  (True authority lies in wisdom, not legality.  Point being, it's not that there are no authorities.  But, true authorities are followed like Jesus and Buddha, not obeyed, so to speak, like a policeman.)
 
- Immanental appreciation is to appreciate things as they are in their totality.  For example, I have a friend who considers himself a "best friend" with all the according "rights and privileges", so to speak, based on our going way back and having been extremely close at a time, in fact, for a long time.  However, years have passed and, as adults, there have been periods of falling out, and for years there has been intellectual, spiritual, psychological, emotional, mental, philosophical, professional and even great physical distance.  Yet, that friend still has expectations like a best friend would.  In this case, his understands "best friendship" only in a nominal sense.  He doesn't have an immanental understanding of best friends because, if he did, he would realize that we are no longer "best friends" with all the according rights and privileges, so to speak.  To see a relationship immanentally is to see it wholistically and for what it is at the moment.  Having an immanental approach to relationships is conducive to the rehabilitation of friendships or maturely moving on.  A mere nominal understanding of relationships leads to neither progress in nor the maturity of friendships.
 
Did that help?
 
Quote:
OK... this is the distinction I was looking for. I couldn't get past the idea that the BSer wasn't really just the same as the liar. But I see the difference now. Thanks!

 
NICE!!! But, you "get this" (better) based on the post overall and not just the part you quoted, right?
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #39 on: Jul 21st, 2007, 5:44am »
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on Jul 20th, 2007, 8:25pm, Callie wrote:
As for Steg, I'd love to hear if you have studied Jung, and I'd love to hear your take on that as a philosopher. What I'm interested in is more about the human psyche basis for philosophical development.

 
Well, first off, generally speaking, philosophers tend to look... at psychologists. Psychology gives us Cartesian flashbacks. Anymore, Descartes, for all of his insight, genius, and innovation, or, at least, Cartesianism isn't very en vogue among philosophers from, on the one side of the spectrum, Catholic philosophers to Existentialists to Nietzscheans to Wittgensteinians to Heideggarians to Chinese philosophers to, on the very opposite end of the spectrum, Tibetan Buddhist philosophers. Now, that is not to say that there isn't some specific areas where some intriguing work between Psychology and fellas like Carl Jung and Philosophy can't be done. In fact, on the Eastern Philosophy side of the ball, I could see some really neat work being done between the Yogacarin/Cittamatrin (the Mind-Only School of) Buddhist Philosophy and Psychology... and Cartesianism, for that matter. It is in this kind of area where I could see "legitimate" philosophical development along the lines of investigations into the human psyche. Of course, I kind of need to better know what you mean by "the human psyche basis for philosophical development."
 
However, I must confess I don't know much about old Carl. I haven't studied him since undergrad, some 15 or so years ago now. I do know that he didn't do a whole lot for me then, and, surprise, I went the route of Philosophy and not Psychology. However, my boy, Wojtyla, good old JPII, had read and was quite influenced by Jung. Unfortunately, as I do not share Wojtyla's interest in Jung, I do not know how "immanently" present (as opposed to present "per se") Jung's psychology was in Wojtyla's phenomenology. My sense is quite a bit so. But, at the end of the day, Wojtyla was a theologian and philosopher, not a psychologist, so...
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #40 on: Jul 24th, 2007, 3:20am »
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Well,... for those of you who are actually interested, but want to save the 100 bucks,... I stumbled upon this goodie on the internet awhile back:
 
http://www.personalism.net/jp2/actingperson.htm.
 
I don't know what the copyright deal is on this, but, in any event, I've looked through and compared it against my hardcover (legit) copy, and it's the real deal.  Enjoy!
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #41 on: Jul 24th, 2007, 9:49pm »
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on Jul 20th, 2007, 10:53am, Philly wrote:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows...
 
Are there any Harry Potter readers out there? I've read the six previous books to my son (although, admittedly, he was too young to be interested or care, so I was really reading them for myself and my wife).
 
I also saw HP and the Order of the Phoenix last weekend.
 
So I'm all set for the next book. I'm not going to be camping out so I can get it at midnight or anything, but I will be heading out tomorrow morning (I reserved it at my local Borders) and will dive into it starting tomorrow night.

 
i sometimes read to escape, but i always feel like i read to learn.  i read hp when my kids were reading them and it was alot of fun to discuss and learn their insights to the stories and characters.  my wife picked up #7 at costco and i will probably read while on vacation in a few weeks.  i think rowling is a talented writer.  in the words of stephen king these books are "shrewd mystery tales".  hope you enjoy the book Philly!
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #42 on: Jul 25th, 2007, 1:58pm »
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on Jul 24th, 2007, 9:49pm, rickgpin wrote:

 
i sometimes read to escape, but i always feel like i read to learn. i read hp when my kids were reading them and it was alot of fun to discuss and learn their insights to the stories and characters. my wife picked up #7 at costco and i will probably read while on vacation in a few weeks. i think rowling is a talented writer. in the words of stephen king these books are "shrewd mystery tales". hope you enjoy the book Philly!

 
My wife and I were both very excited about Harry Potter.  (We have kids, but they are too young to read them too)  By Monday night we had both finished the book!  We both loved it.  It tied up all the loose ends with no dangling parts.
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #43 on: Jul 25th, 2007, 8:34pm »
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on Jul 25th, 2007, 1:58pm, DirkDiggler wrote:

 
My wife and I were both very excited about Harry Potter. (We have kids, but they are too young to read them too) By Monday night we had both finished the book! We both loved it. It tied up all the loose ends with no dangling parts.

 
 
that's some fast reading!
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #44 on: Jul 25th, 2007, 8:34pm »
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Hey now... no spoilers for Harry Potter #7! I only managed to read about 50 pages before I had to leave on a business trip. (The book stayed at home with my wife and son.)
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #45 on: Jul 25th, 2007, 9:12pm »
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on Jul 25th, 2007, 8:34pm, Philly wrote:
Hey now... no spoilers for Harry Potter #7! I only managed to read about 50 pages before I had to leave on a business trip. (The book stayed at home with my wife and son.)

 
you have a couple of weeks before i spill my guts!
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #46 on: Jul 25th, 2007, 11:27pm »
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on Jul 20th, 2007, 12:58pm, StegRock wrote:
I'll follow this up with as pithily of a stated point later on.

 
I hate to cut in here, fellas, and, moreover, I hope this post doesn't get lost in the shuffle. Or, maybe, that would be better, actually... What I'm going to pithily present here is definitely either a thesis or foundational premise of a book someday, and IT HAS PUNCH!!!
 
In VERY short...
 
In the Far East (we're not talking India, and remember Buddhism is Indian), traditionally, culturally and historically, ethics and morality is NOT based on religion. There is no religious system which provides for you ethical maxims, like the Ten Commandments. Religion and belief are used more for dealing with the unknown, especially death, and, as my wife puts it, "wishing". Its most common manifestation is in the way of ancestor worship and wishing for good fortune. (Incidentally, this combinational dynamism is what makes Tibetan Buddhism so fascinating and useful because, while being very religiously Buddhist, it has a certain humanistic bent when it comes to ethical conduct, which is very evident in the works of Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama.) Religion does NOT act as the basis for acting in the world together with others. Religion and, moreover, belief are not the ground for ethics and morality. [In fact, making religion/belief(s) the ground of action is my definition of "belief system".]
 
In the West, traditionally, culturally and historically, this is quite the contrary. Religions and belief systems are precisely what provided us with our morality and ethics. The only way the western mind has been trained to have a moral and ethical sensibility is through religion. In fact, we call people who don't live according to their religious/religion's moral beliefs hypocrites. Now, there are differences from western religion to western religion, but the "Thou shalt not kills" overlapped enough that we could get by. However, and here's the rub, this fledgling country comes along (America) and, with good, but imperfect intentions, declares the separation of Church and State. It is no wonder how, in a short 225-year span, we have a country in rather extreme moral decay. At least, we all recognize the steady downward trend in morals from generation to generation. (How many times have you had that conversation about "how it once was", probably hearkening back to a time before you were even born???) This psychological process of being told what's right and wrong and what to do in a religious, "Ten Commandments" type of way has made us reliant on rules and laws to tell us what and what not to do, and that's why the Constitution has become God in America. I see it right here on "the Gridiron". Rules are not seen as guidelines. They are seen as commandments. Whenever a situation arises that requires thinking outside or beyond the rules and forces us to confront morality and ethics in its more raw form, head-on, I watch the moral compasses spin out of control (mine used to too). But, it's not a great mystery. How couldn't an ethical sensibility of a people have been lost and morals undergone decay when we have gone and separated OUT of our leadership model that which has been the source of moral and ethical understanding and guidance in our cultural heritage for millennia?
 
Again, summed up, there's a people whose morals and ethics are bound up in religion. That same people creates a society that separates out religion from governance. It's no surprise that that people is going to lose its moral and ethical way. WE ARE THAT PEOPLE!!!
 
Now, mind you, I'm not saying that (Western-style) religion is the best source of moral conduct or that we should work backward and try to rescind our separation of Church and State. What I'm saying is that we are at a VERY unique juncture in human history where the wrong move could mean eventual, inevitable oblivion to America, BUT the right move would mean America's reclaiming its great status in the world. Western-style religiousness could enrich the Far-eastern way of believing, and a Far-eastern understanding of ethics could enrich the western way of acting in the world.
 
AND, you'll all hopefully be reading the best-seller by Dr. Steve Stegeman about this someday... ...
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #47 on: Aug 27th, 2007, 2:10am »
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Mind you,... as regards the above,... America's separation of Church and State is NOT the only culprit... or even the main... or original one. The above speaks ultimately to WESTERN humanism writ large as it was spawned and spurred on most notably by the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, western science, and Darwinism. America's separation of Church and State is, in fact, more residual than ground-breaking,... but it is our distinctive way into the discussion. Make no mistakes, though... The observation and according hypothesis I am making is much broader than its statement above.
 
"Moving right along",... back to... 's and
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #48 on: Aug 30th, 2007, 10:13pm »
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I'd like to return to the discussion begun by Steggie and followed up by . . . no one?  Such an interesting topic should be a nice platform for a real discussion.
 
Your point, Steg, about Western vs. Eastern understandings of the relationship between ethics and religion, in the context of ethics and daily life, may be a little bit extreme as far as the Western understanding goes.  Early on in Western thought, with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, there was a clear understanding that ethics is not derived from religion nor dependent on it, but rather derived from the nature of man.  Ethics is, therefore, a branch of philosophy.  Ethical truths are accessible to human reason, and not merely truths codified by religion.  Now perhaps you weren't implying that ethics depends on religion per se, but rather that to make man ethical religion is the best means (acc. to the Western understanding).  This I think I would indeed grant (and St. Thomas Aquinas would also, I think, agree) -- religion serves to show man ethical truths more easily and readily than man's own reason, clouded by self-interest and passions, could do of its own accord (although man's own reason, clouded in this way, CAN indeed arrive at ethical truths -- see Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle).
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Re: G.T.K.Y.G. - Topic: Book Club
« Reply #49 on: Sep 3rd, 2007, 4:44am »
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on Aug 30th, 2007, 10:13pm, T-Rave wrote:
Now perhaps you weren't implying that ethics depends on religion per se, but rather that to make man ethical religion is the best means (acc. to the Western understanding). This I think I would indeed grant (and St. Thomas Aquinas would also, I think, agree) -- religion serves to show man ethical truths more easily and readily than man's own reason, clouded by self-interest and passions, could do of its own accord...

 
I think, T, that's all I need to validate my position.
 
But, I digress... This is all to fail to factor in the historical influence of the (Greek) polytheistic religions, the roots of which predated Socrates.
 
In any event, the western (Classical Greek-based) philosophical tradition (at least, vis-a-vis the eastern tradition) is guided by the "One behind the many". (Overly) Simply put, this was the case when Heraclitus's philosophy of change lost out to the philosophy of the Parmendian One. As I see it, we just didn't see a whole lot of philosophical tread in a philosophy of change. It didn't leave a whole lot of room for comtemplative philosophy. So, this philosophy of the One behind the many naturally segues into a focus on theoria, logos, the "Word", theism, telos, formal logic, rhetoric, principles, contracts, rule of law and (extreme) constitutionalism, certainty, rationalism, equations and theorms, categorization and individuality, virtues and virtue ethics, western science and scientific (hypothetical) method, laws of nature, objectivity and objectivism, intentionality, accuracy, contemplative meditation, knowledge, the discovery of meaning, etc., etc. in the West. Mind you, this all goes hand-in-hand with the western monotheistic religious sensibility. In fact, like God, in the philosophies of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, et al., human nature, for all intents and purposes, is the one behind the many. One of the few (notable) philosophers to make a run at a revival of Heraclitean philosophy was Nietzsche, but by then it was such a mess that,... well,... you know...
 
Now, the above is in STARK contrast with the far-eastern (Classical Chinese-based) philosophical tradition. Hell, the seminal work of Chinese Philosophy is the Yijing or The Book of Change. They surely had a sensibility of the One behind the many, Taiji and Dao, wholism, but, in a fashion absolutely opposite the western trend, they did not see a whole lot of philosophical tread there. They became more concerned with the "Many in front of the one", an immanental philosophy of change that emanates forth from the ineffable Taiji , the "unnamable" Dao and a wholism beyond human comprehension. This naturally segues into an emphasis on praxis, pathos, the "image", the unspoken and that which is beyond words, ambiguity, guidelines, correspondences and metaphors, judgments, intuition, humanism (even rule of the mob), pragmatism, interconnectivity and relationality, entropy, appropriateness and circumstantial ethics of action, harmony with nature, subjectivity and subjectivism (NOT relativism), extensionality, efficacy, "clear- or no-mind" meditation, understanding(s), ritual, the creation of meaning, etc., etc. in the Far East. This all fits well with a Buddhistic religious sensibility. For Confucius and Laozi, et al., human circumstances act as the many in front of the one.
 
Mind you, Aristotle [in his (attempt to) break away from his mentor Plato] in, especially, Books 1 through 3 of Nicomachean Ethics with his espousal of, so to speak, an immanental "it is what it is" "actions speak louder than words" ethics approaches an eastern ethical sensibility, but at the end of the day his "Doctrine of the Mean" is a rationalistic agent-oriented virtue ethics, not a pragmatic circumstantial ethics of action (though the distinction here is tight; it can be highlighted by wrapping your mind around the difference between Aristotle's notion of habit and Confucian ritual action, and the Aristotlean virtues and how they predicate moral conduct and the Confucian "virtues", which are really ingredients of moral conduct). That said, Acquinas's Personalism is grounded in that Aristotlean move, but it isn't, I contend, really perfected until it all hit the post-Heideggarian mind of Karol Wojtyla. Instead of busting it all apart like Nietzsche, Wojtyla puts it all together and takes the next step.
 
The point being, we've seen how the Far East has augmented their societies with western science, i.e. "physics". In a similar vain, I think we'd do ourselves a great service by augmenting our society with eastern ethics, i.e. "metaphysics", in the Wojtylian sense... as in through the phenomenal, not beyond the phenomenal (you can locate my citation of that in the paper I presented at the conference in March: http://www.internetstitute.com/Ni-paper.doc).
 
Taking this all one further step just for fun, I would even contend that in the West the above even evolves into the "atomic one (individual) in front of the One (God)" and in the East the "relational many (individuals) behind the Many (Ways)". But, I'm just gettin' whacky now... ...
 
I hope that was a coherent response... I'm pretty damn bleary-eyed tonight. I was up almost all night last night doing StegsList.com stuff.
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