Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Philosophy 118: 21 and 24 November, 2008

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last Friday and this Monday...

.:Critique Of Metaphysics:.

Nietzsche underscores the uselessness of metaphysics insofar as the world that one can experience is real, and not this metaphysical world that is simply vague and undefined. He labels this desire by metaphysicians to find “the world we really belong to” as a form of escapism: instead of dealing with the issues of this world, we instead spend our time aspiring for another world that we have only vague ideas about.

Husserl himself feels that this metaphysical inference becomes merely an assumption that we take for granted and make no attempt to prove that it is true. What is logical is not necessarily true.

The farther you get away from human experience, the more doubtful the conclusions you can draw are. At the end of the process, you still need to verify the truth behind the conclusion you managed to acquire from a logical concatenation.

.:Critique of Religion:.

He is mainly railing against the Christian religion at this point.

1. The stress on authority, hierarchy, and dogmatic formulation.

There was a pronounced emphasis on the jurisdiction of a church authority, and a slavish sense of importance to titles. Nietzsche underscores that this has nothing to do with the meaning in life one is looking for. What worth is your title to an all-powerful God?

The same weaknesses are manifest in dogmatic formulation. Why bicker over technicalities and phrases in the bible when one's soul is supposedly on the line?

2. The stress on eschatology.

There is far too much emphasis on eschatology. Instead of valuing our present life that we just assume our present life to merely be a stopover towards the end, towards the “real world” that we pursue, in this case, heaven.

3. The stress on God's absolute majesty.

God is indeed supreme, but why must it come at the cost of the dignity of man? Nietzsche and Sartre are in agreement here that the dignity of man must not be ignored, and they would rather choose it than the absolute majesty of God.

4. The stress on suffering.

Why is it that in Christianity, there is so much emphasis on suffering, as though suffering itself were positive? Is it suffering itself that saves us? Or is it not precisely the very responsibility of a savior to at least alleviate the suffering of humanity? Yet here we are with a religion that glorifies suffering, and even encourages inflicting suffering upon the self as something that gives God glory. Why are we making for a bloodthirsty God?

Why is the crucifix the symbol of Catholicism? The crucifix, after all, was the mode of punishment employed by the Romans for the worst criminals. Is this not tantamount to having a gas chamber or electric chair as the symbol of Catholicism if Christ were to have died in contemporary times?

While suffering is necessary in doing what is right, it is not the goal in and by itself. To seek out suffering on its own is simply irrational, for suffering is not a positive value, after all. Isn't it odd that the original symbol of Christianity is the fish, often a symbol of life, and regeneration?

Nietzsche predates psychology as a science, but he seemed to have a keen grasp of how something like this is in reality masochistic.

5. “God is dead.”

This phrase is often misinterpreted as a celebratory statement. It is rather a lament, that in Nietzsche's time, the people have lost their sense of God, in effect, killing Him. Contrast the average European Christian with a Buddhist, and you can see that the Buddhist lives his life as a Buddhist, while the Christian is as good as any other secular man. The Christian life was a nihilistic life.

.:Quotable Quotes:.

“Hey! Who are these bright boys trying to invade my parish?!?”

- Dr. Reyes' Parish Priest

“We see grown men, debating about the Blessed Mary's hymen. What does this have to do with the meaning of life?!?”

- Dr. Reyes

“Looking at all you innocent, innocent boys, sometimes, I wish I had a gun right now, so I could shoot all of you right now. So you can go to heaven right away!”

- Fr. J.P. Delaney

“Rrrrrramon Rrrrrreyes. The Spanish really roll their r's. The French, on the other hand, they sound so nice. 'Remmon Reyes?' Can I hear that again?”

- Dr. Reyes

“The men are expected to be responsible only when they're married. By then, it's too late!”

“You are a Christian nation, but very masochistic.”

- Dr. Reyes' foreigner friend

“You've seen me for two weeks, rambling on, and you were free to leave, if you wanted to, but now that we're three weeks in, I think you're stuck with me.”

- Dr. Reyes

“Nyaa! Nyaa! Nyaa! Nyaa!”

- Dr. Reyes, impersonating an infant

“Ever heard of the story of the sadist and masochist?”

- Dr. Reyes

1 comment:

Unknown said...

skipped right to the QQs. always fun.