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soleil • 1 year ago

i guess my main critiques:

1. it's never actually shown that "the divine" exists solely between us,
to the exclusion of being above or independent of us (and this is a
running religious discussion)

2. it's never shown that normativity exists solely as a matter of mutual
recognition or misrecognition, without any independent existence (and
this is a running philosophical and religious discussion)

3. it's taken for granted that everyone, no matter their individual
foibles, can and should strive for absolute philosophical knowledge
(without any recognition or humility about what that philosophical
knowledge is)

4. it assumes a certain degree of institutional rationality and
resilience is possible (when frankly a lot of philosphers, political
thinkers, and history seems to suggest the opposite)

there's some good thoughts here, and i understand that maybe some of my critiques are covered in the book. but there's sort of a failure to engage with
the complexities of the discussions already existing in religious and
philosophical traditions, and an unexamined utopian optimism that really
sort of depends on People In General being more like The Writer

Marco van Heugten • 4 months ago

Not so simple with Spinoza. from E5p36c

Again, since the essence of our mind consists solely in knowledge, whereof the beginning and the foundation is God (E1P15 and E2P47N), it becomes clear to us, in what manner and way our mind, as to its essence and existence, follows from the divine nature and constantly depends on God. I have thought it worth while here to call attention to this, in order to show by this example how the knowledge of particular things, which I have called intuitive or of the third kind (E2P40N2), is potent, and more powerful than the universal knowledge, which I have styled knowledge of the second kind. For, although in Part 1 I showed in general terms, that all things (and consequently, also, the human mind) depend as to their essence and existence on God, yet that demonstration, though legitimate and placed beyond the chances of doubt, does not affect our mind so much, as when the same conclusion is derived from the actual essence of some particular thing, which we say depends on God.

So relationship with or better in God (E1p15) and care for the particular things in loving knowledge is more powerful than universal knowledge.

On grand idea political theories by non-politicians see TP1.1-4 and from 1.5:

And although all are persuaded, that religion, on the contrary, teaches every man to love his neighbour as himself, that is to defend another's right just as much as his own, yet we showed that this persuasion has too little power over the passions. It avails, indeed, in the hour of death, when disease has subdued the very passions, and man lies inert, or in temples, where men hold no traffic, but least of all, where it is most needed, in the law-court or the palace. We showed too, that reason can, indeed, do much to restrain and moderate the passions, but we saw at the same time, that the road, which reason herself points out, is very steep; so that such as persuade themselves, that the multitude or men distracted by politics can ever be induced to live according to the bare dictate of reason, must be dreaming of the poetic golden age, or of a stage-play.

Best of luck

Tim N Thomas • 6 months ago

"Hence, my immanent critique of religion seeks to show that the divine cannot be anything other than a form of social life."

I recognize the above idea, which you claim to be your own, as Emil Durkheim's. It has been around for quite some time. Emil Durkheim died in 1917.

Excerpts from Emile Durkheim's The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (1915)

Before all, [religion] is a system of ideas with which the individuals represent to themselves the society of which they are members, and the obscure but intimate relations which they have with it. This is its primary function; and though metaphorical and symbolic, this representation is not unfaithful. Quite on the contrary, it translates everything essential in the relations which are to be explained: for it is an eternal truth that outside of us there exists something greater than us, with which we enter into communion.

That is why we can rest assured in advance that the practices of the cult, whatever they may be, are something more than movements without importance and gestures without efficacy. By the mere fact that their apparent function is to strengthen the bonds attaching the believer to his god, they at the same time really strengthen the bonds attaching the individual to the society of which he is a member, since the god is only a figurative expression of the society. (257-58)

If, as we have attempted to establish, the sacred principle is nothing more nor less than society transfigured and personified, it should be possible to interpret the ritual in lay and social terms. And, as a matter of fact, social life, just like the ritual, moves in a circle. On the one hand, the individual gets from society the best part of himself, all that gives him a distinct character and a special place among other beings, his intellectual and moral culture. If we
should withdraw from men their language, sciences, arts and moral beliefs, they would drop to the rank of animals. So the characteristic attributes of human nature come from society. But, on the other hand, society exists and lives only in and through individuals. (388-89)

Emphasis added.

I don't understand why it is important to you to specify "your" critique as "immanent".