An emotional need for certitude regarding general principles
Posted by: Janus ()
Date: May 28, 2006 04:54PM

is not the same as a philosophc explanation, IThat which compels many to accept a religion is not a philosophical justification, not an actual search for an absolute, but an emotional need occaisioned by existential pressuret

breaks my heart to see what people have surrendered themselves and ruined their lives and the lives of their children for the most insane reason...they believe.

“Believe - and sink not! Doubt - and perish! Thus would run the edict of the other God, Who names me demon to his angels; the echo the sound to miserable things, which knowing nought beyond their shallow senses, worship the word which strikes their ear, and deem evil or good what is proclaimed to them in their abasement. I will have none such: worship or worship not, thou shalt behold the worlds beyond thy little world, nor be amerced, for doubts beyond thy little life, with torture of my dooming.”

Cain, a Mystery, Act II, Scene 1, Lord Byron

I first read those lines when I was 14, during the Summer of Love. After all these years they still inspire me. Why should such things as God and the human soul be (as Locke supposed them to be) unknowable by definition (and why do such poets as Milton and Byron attribute their most inspired thoughts to the literary Satan, as if the very act of doubting the veracity of the stories that we are presented with constitutes a damnable act?

Cry it from the roof tops, shout it in the streets; belief is only ignorance. God damn belief!

And why? Because a man will live for his beliefs, he will die for them and he will even kill or be killed for them all because he has never learned or has forgotten that to believe or to disbelieve in a thing is not to know whether that thing that one believes or disbelieves in is so or is not so.

Belief IS only ignorance.

John Locke whose theories are pretty much accepted as being axiomatic truths and which are also foundational to modern day social and economic theory stated that such things as God and the soul where unknowable by definition. If Locke was correct then there is no possibility of obtaining tp any perspective other than to one of belief, or ignorance in respect to one's relationship with such things.

Easter philo however does not accept Lockes proposal and offers various systems by which it is said that one may come to realize or to know spiritual reality in a cognitive sense while one is still alive.

One would think then that all of the Hare Krsna's or for that matter all of the other Eastern traditionalists would be self realized, but although I havn't interviewed all of them I do not see much indication that many of them are on any platform other than blind faith belief. Kinda frustrating.

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