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Choisya
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Re: Ilana's Journal Week 5: Friedrich Nietzsche On Many Things : Faith

I agree to some extent - in other words there are all kinds of 'faiths' and 'beliefs' and whether one is 'superior' to another or thought of as the 'truth' is a matter of opinion. Most of us who are readers read to enrich our understanding and to some extent it depends on what you are reading a book for. Many scholars do not have a belief in the subjects they write about yet make a name for themselves in their field. It is possible to be objective in your reading if you put your mind to it and it is especially what we are taught to do when we are studying at university, particularly when we are doing research. In politics, for instance, it is very important to look at the 'opposition' and to try to see 'where they are coming from' otherwise you could never temper your policies to attract more votes - 'know thine enemy' and all that.

And I thought you knew me well enough to know that if I read a Fabian publication I would also be likely to find inconsistencies in it:smileyhappy:. I have no 'faith', no 'beliefs' and I find inconsistences in everything, perhaps the more so if I know something about a subject.



Everyman wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Hi KathyS: I have looked at your post again this morning and would like to ask you something: If I said to you that you would understand Socialism better if you joined the Socialist Party of America, studied books by great Socialists because 'the concepts become enlighting and meaningful only when you go into the study of it with faith', would you go along with that idea?

I certainly can't speak for Kathy, but it seems pretty obvious to me that you have a different experience of any book if you read it from the point of view of one who believes in the underlying concepts and reads it to enrich their understanding of the subject than if you read it from the point of view of one who rejects the underlying concept but reads it as an intellectual exercise.

We see that on a regular basis. Environmentalists and industrialists tend to get very different things out of Gore's Inconvenient Truth. Catholics and Muslims get very different things out of reading the Koran. A former member of the RAF and a former Luftwaffe ace and still Nazi believer would get very different things from reading Churchill's The Second World War. An avid fox hunter and a member of PETA will take quite different messages from Sassoon's Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man. If you and I both read the Spring issue of the Fabian Review we are likely to approach that reading with quite different viewpoints in mind, and get out of it quite different things; you will probably be looking for points of agreement; I will more likely be looking for factual inaccuracies and logical inconsistencies. And so on.


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Choisya
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Re: To All Here

ROFL. It is only 8pm!:smileysurprised: I am about to watch Crime & Punishment on TV.




Everyman wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Thanks for this post Everyman - I agree with every word. I must be feeling ill again:smileyhappy:


Go to sleep. You'll get over it. I need you healthy and vigorous for our next discussion, whatever it may be on. I find no pleasure in crushing an unworthy opponent. :smileyvery-happy:


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Everyman
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Re: Ilana's Journal Week 5: Friedrich Nietzsche On Many Things : Faith

It is possible to be objective in your reading if you put your mind to it and it is especially what we are taught to do when we are studying at university, particularly when we are doing research. In politics, for instance, it is very important to look at the 'opposition' and to try to see 'where they are coming from' otherwise you could never temper your policies to attract more votes - 'know thine enemy' and all that.

Ah, but the very fact that you view them as 'opposition' and enemy voices shows that you will be reading them not with sympathy or even with neutrality, but with an eye to finding and exploiting what you see as holes in their arguments.
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Romance

Choisya, why do think romance is trivial? It's the subject of many great books.
Inspired Contributor
Choisya
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Re: Ilana's Journal Week 5: Friedrich Nietzsche On Many Things : Faith

[ Edited ]
That may be so if that was the intention. No-one can read anything without putting something of their personal feelings into a book, however objective they might think they are being. I am saying that in some instances you need to try to be as objective as possible. Some people achieve this better than others. A political researcher might achieve it, a political activist would not (I am both so would fall between two stools.) I did not mean 'enemy' literally and 'opposition' is what they are called in Parliament (Congress?) since they hold opposing views to your own.




Everyman wrote:
It is possible to be objective in your reading if you put your mind to it and it is especially what we are taught to do when we are studying at university, particularly when we are doing research. In politics, for instance, it is very important to look at the 'opposition' and to try to see 'where they are coming from' otherwise you could never temper your policies to attract more votes - 'know thine enemy' and all that.

Ah, but the very fact that you view them as 'opposition' and enemy voices shows that you will be reading them not with sympathy or even with neutrality, but with an eye to finding and exploiting what you see as holes in their arguments.



Message Edited by Choisya on 06-24-2007 07:40 PM
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Choisya
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Re: Romance

[ Edited ]
Lots of things are subjects for great books which I do not necessarily like. I am with Mary Wollstonecraft and my grandmother on the subject of 'romances' but it is far too controversial a subject to go into here. I might get asked to shut up again.




Prof wrote:
Choisya, why do think romance is trivial? It's the subject of many great books.



Message Edited by Choisya on 06-24-2007 07:09 PM
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foxycat
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Re: Misplaced reply



Choisya wrote:
I mistakenly copied your post about religion to my post to Ilana on Wittgenstein. Sorry!




I have no idea where that is, Choisya. If your own reply is in there, maybe you can you can reprint it for me or give me the URL.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Choisya
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Re: Misplaced reply

Sorry Foxycat - it was KathyS' post not yours:smileysad:




foxycat wrote:


Choisya wrote:
I mistakenly copied your post about religion to my post to Ilana on Wittgenstein. Sorry!




I have no idea where that is, Choisya. If your own reply is in there, maybe you can you can reprint it for me or give me the URL.


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foxycat
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Re: Misplaced reply

[ Edited ]

Choisya wrote:
Sorry Foxycat - it was KathyS' post not yours:smileysad:



-------------------------------------------------------------
I found it. You 2 are in a different time zone, and I had to catch up tonight.

Message Edited by foxycat on 06-24-2007 08:01 PM
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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foxycat
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Re: Ilana's Journal Week 5: Extreme Positions

Actually I think Choisya and Everyman's discussion is fascinating, but I don't think they will come to any agreement or conclusions. Religion is after all, by definition, taken on faith, meaning no one will ever prove religious beliefs. I almost got in, but didn't submit the post. We would have been debating religion for months.

I would like to know, however if either of them has read Joseph Campbell, a thinker very dear to me.
...............................................................

Onward: in terms of politics, extremes make people fearful. Nobody ever sold democracy to a people who were starving. In most cases demagogues take advantage of fear and war, and promise people the moon. Think of the Third World countries where one dictator after another takes over, with the pendulum swinging toward democracy rarely. And the horrible starvation and ruin after Word War I that led to Hitler's takeover.

In democratic countries, the swing is not so extreme, and conservatism and liberalism tend to revolve more gently instead. But I wouldn't want the next president to be so extremely left as Bush is to the right.:smileytongue:


IlanaSimons wrote:
Rochelle, Huge Kudos for moving on to a new quotation from Friday's post.
Extremes: I think this one is fascinating and psychologically astute. Why do you think we move like a pendulum?

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Love Stories

Dr. Simons, I'd like to hear what you think about this sometime.


Choisya wrote:

I am with Mary Wollstonecraft and my grandmother on the subject of 'romances' but it is far too controversial a subject to go into here.

Prof wrote:

Choisya, why do think romance is trivial?

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Everyman
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Re: Ilana's Journal Week 5: Extreme Positions



foxycat wrote:
I would like to know, however if either of them has read Joseph Campbell, a thinker very dear to me.

I read Campbell many (many many!) years ago, Hero with a Thousand Faces from cover to cover more than once, and portions of the Masks of God. I found his presentations of myths fascinating, and agreed then (and still agree) with him about the power of myth, but I recall not being fully convinced by the extent of the cross-culturalization he suggested. But it's been a long time since I read him, so I really can't and shouldn't try to discuss him without re-reading him.
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Peppermill
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Re: Ilana's Journal Week 5: Extreme Positions

[ Edited ]
“Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones, but by contrary extreme positions.” Nietzsche

Ilana: Why do you think we move like a pendulum?


I don't know that Nietzsche's statement is as empirically, measurably true as often as it sometimes seems. However, in corporations, it is not unusual to see organization oscillating between centralization and decentralization. One (of many) reasons is that either structure has its strengths and weaknesses; when the weaknesses of one become too glaring, some of those weaknesses can be alleviated by the alternate organizational structure, whereas no middle ground may be attainable within the politics and vested interests.


IlanaSimons wrote:
Rochelle, Huge Kudos for moving on to a new quotation from Friday's post.
Extremes: I think this one is fascinating and psychologically astute. Why do you think we move like a pendulum?


foxycat wrote:
This one's interesting, I think applying mostly to politics: “Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones, but by contrary extreme positions.”

The pendulum swings back and forth but doesn't stay in the center too often or not for long. The French Revolution was followed by Napoleon; the hedonism of the 1960's was followed by a generation of kids who couldn't care less about politics. Conservative Republicans are followed by liberal Democrats; The answer to Czarist Russia was another form of totalitarianism, so-called "rule by the people."





Message Edited by Peppermill on 06-25-2007 02:07 AM

Message Edited by Peppermill on 06-25-2007 02:14 AM
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Choisya
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Re: Ilana's Journal Week 5: Extreme Positions

I did not know that Everyman and I were discussing religion - I thought we were discussing the Great Book programme!

I have not read Joseph Campbell, although I know of him, but I have read a great deal of comparative religion because it was one of my subjects when I took a degree in Politics, Social Science & Economics (PSE) at the London School of Economics and I have been reading it ever since. So did my father and so did my grandfather.




foxycat wrote:
Actually I think Choisya and Everyman's discussion is fascinating, but I don't think they will come to any agreement or conclusions. Religion is after all, by definition, taken on faith, meaning no one will ever prove religious beliefs. I almost got in, but didn't submit the post. We would have been debating religion for months.

I would like to know, however if either of them has read Joseph Campbell, a thinker very dear to me.
...............................................................

Onward: in terms of politics, extremes make people fearful. Nobody ever sold democracy to a people who were starving. In most cases demagogues take advantage of fear and war, and promise people the moon. Think of the Third World countries where one dictator after another takes over, with the pendulum swinging toward democracy rarely. And the horrible starvation and ruin after Word War I that led to Hitler's takeover.

In democratic countries, the swing is not so extreme, and conservatism and liberalism tend to revolve more gently instead. But I wouldn't want the next president to be so extremely left as Bush is to the right.:smileytongue:


IlanaSimons wrote:
Rochelle, Huge Kudos for moving on to a new quotation from Friday's post.
Extremes: I think this one is fascinating and psychologically astute. Why do you think we move like a pendulum?




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foxycat
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Re: Ilana's Journal Week 5: Extreme Positions

[ Edited ]
A senior moment :smileyvery-happy:. That's on another thread, the section on Miranda July. I also spent some time reading that one today.

Choisya wrote:
I did not know that Everyman and I were discussing religion - I thought we were discussing the Great Book programme!


Message Edited by foxycat on 06-25-2007 03:37 AM
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Choisya
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Re: Ilana's Journal Week 5: Extreme Positions

[ Edited ]
Well, I thought that was the thread that we had been 'moved on' from because neither of us contributed much to the religious discussion here, except to briefly discuss Nietzche's views as we were asked to do. But who knows, there may have been complaints about every post we made to every thread. There ought to be a list of what we can discuss and how many posts we can make so that we do not tread on anyone's toes:smileysad:.



foxycat wrote:
A senior moment :smileyvery-happy:. That's on another thread, the section on Miranda July. I also spent some time reading that one today.

Choisya wrote:
I did not know that Everyman and I were discussing religion - I thought we were discussing the Great Book programme!


Message Edited by foxycat on 06-25-2007 03:37 AM



Message Edited by Choisya on 06-25-2007 04:14 AM
Inspired Contributor
Choisya
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Re: Prof: Love Stories & romantic love.

[ Edited ]
Prof: To elucidate - here are three quotes explaining MW's position on romantic love (my italics). I do not want to discuss these concepts, which I hold dear, because I know they are far too controversial for these boards and I will be in a minority of one in thinking that 'love stories' show 'Excessive concern for romantic love and physical desirability' and can harm women:-

'Wollstonecraft's lasting place in the history of philosophy rests upon A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). In this classical feminist text, she appealed to egalitarian social philosophy as the basis for the creation and preservation of equal rights and opportunities for women. The foundation of morality in all human beings, male or female, is their common possession of the faculty of reason, Wollstonecraft argued, and women must claim their equality by accepting its unemotional dictates. Excessive concern for romantic love and physical desirability, she believed, are not the natural conditions of female existence but rather the socially-imposed means by which male domination enslaves them..

'Although acknowledging certain differences between men and women from the outset, Vindication of the Rights of Woman bases its argument on the spiritual equality of all human beings. From this first principle, she ridicules the contemporary gender construction of females as weak and modest, attractive and shallow playthings for men, reinforced by an education based in sentiment and focused on luring a suitable mate, however deceptively. Wollstonecraft reasons that if women are indeed capable of being moral beings, then their education should be designed to help them achieve a moral and intellectual development equal (or very nearly so) to men's. In marriage, she maintains, women should be the equal partners of their husbands, not merely attractive and desirable objects of male passion.'

'In Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft applied principles of liberty and equality to sexual politics. Vindication is a devastating critique of the 'false system of education' which she argues forced middle-class women to live within a stifling ideal of femininity: 'Taught from infancy that beauty is women's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage seeks only to adore its prison'. Wollstonecraft addressed women as 'rational creatures', urging them to aspire to a wider human ideal which combines feeling with reason and the right to independence.'

Message Edited by Choisya on 06-25-2007 04:20 AM
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foxycat
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Re: Prof: Love Stories & romantic love.

[ Edited ]
And in spite of the almost 200 years separating us from Wollstonecraft, too many women still think their purpose in life is to attract a man. It's as if the Women's Movement of the '70's never happened. I still see hundreds of frivolous magazines dealing with housekeeping, sexual attraction and dieting, and silly romance novels made a resurgence about 20 years ago, and sell by the gazillions.

Message Edited by foxycat on 06-25-2007 04:44 AM
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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foxycat
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Re: Prof: Love Stories & romantic love.

You're not a lone voice, Choisya. It's sad to see women who don't value what we fought for during the Women's Movement, and that they now hold their prestigious jobs because of our work during the past 30 years.

I think we still have Wollstonecraft on our reading list at Literature by Women, unless pedsplhleb changes the list again.

I like this one:

Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own superiority.

--Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Choisya
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Re: Foxycat: Love Stories, romantic love, fashion & the Women's Movement.

[ Edited ]
(My earlier reference to my grandmother was about this foxycat. My grandmother was a Suffragette who had read MW and she forbade me to read such magazines or 'romances' when I was a girl because she disapproved of their influence on women.)

I agree it is as if the Women's Movement never happened and I particularly deplore the return to 'pink for girls', and the 'hooker chic' fashion which has invaded the high street these past few years. Was it you who posted about 'extremes'? This is an example of fashion going from one extreme to another - from 'unisex' to extreme femininity. Even house decor is now all frills and furbelows. When I was bringing up two boys and two girls it was much easier (and cheaper) to be able to mix-and-match clothes and how on earth do working women today find the time to iron all these frills on clothes, curtains etc? Yet another way to keep the woman at the proverbial kitchen sink! What happened to drip-dry?

It is no good saying 'these things do not influence me, I am a rational woman' because they influence society overall and it is difficult to see their sociological effect if you look at it from a personal perspective. But if every book/magazine stall and every TV advert in the Western world is pumping out this frivolous ('trivial') stuff by the 'gazillion' it is bound to have an effect on our culture. (Ditto pumping out war stories, toy guns and combat gear for boys.) IMO it is a 'decadence' we will pay dearly for:smileysad::smileysad:.



foxycat wrote:
And in spite of the almost 200 years separating us from Wollstonecraft, too many women still think their purpose in life is to attract a man. It's as if the Women's Movement of the '70's never happened. I still see hundreds of frivolous magazines dealing with housekeeping, sexual attraction and dieting, and silly romance novels made a resurgence about 20 years ago, and sell by the gazillions.

Message Edited by foxycat on 06-25-2007 04:44 AM



Message Edited by Choisya on 06-25-2007 05:59 AM