is there a certain word describing my belief

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VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 10:02 pm
@Philosophinatic,
Philosophinatic;155519 wrote:
Turns out you were correct to mention Greek metaphysics. I just recently bought a book titled "Philosophy made simple" by Richard H. Popkin and Avrum Stroll. It is pretty much a basic overview on philosophy so I figured it would be a good place to start. The first chapter of the book is titled Ethics. Within the first 30 pages I read about the philosophers you mentioned (Heraclitus, Aristotle, Plato, etc.); But one philosopher really struck me. His name was Baruch Spinoza. I started reading his essay entitled "On the Improvement of the Understanding." This I came to find out contains almost all of the same ideas as in a school paper I wrote not to long ago about my belief! Life truly amazes me with its unfathomable unpredictability.:bigsmile:


That's great to hear! And interestingly enough, I own that exact same book and I have enjoyed it very much, especially the 3rd chapter on metaphysics. I like how they organize the whole survey in more of a conceptual history rather than an actual history-history, as in making Leibniz follow Spinoza and so on. You got a very good introductory book.

As for Spinoza, he is one of my favorite modern philosophers. If you like On the Improvement of the Understanding, you most certainly will like The Ethics, which in many senses is a misleading title because above all a metaphysical treatise (although "ethics" is used as a metaphysical notion though). The cool thing about Essay
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 10:10 pm
@Philosophinatic,
These is a very interesting recent title on the relationship between Spinoza and Liebniz called The Courtier and the Heretic by Matthew Stewart.
Quote:
By highlighting the way Spinoza's metaphysics justified secular and democratic challenges to traditional regimes, Stewart reveals the piquant irony in the way that metaphysics hypnotized the most brilliant of the status quo's defenders--Gottfried Leibniz, who first eagerly absorbed Spinoza's thought, then recognized in it a perilous threat to traditional beliefs in God and immortality.


It is interesting that Spinoza is regarded by many as one of the founding fathers of secular humanism, especially when the pinnacle of his thought was the 'intellectual love of God'.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 23 Apr, 2010 01:05 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;153819 wrote:
Well - consider the impact of medical science on 'the life of people' such as antibiotics, drugs and medicines of all kinds, improved surgical procedures, knowledge of anatomy. This has had a huge impact on life expectancy, infant mortalility, and the general overall level of suffering endured by humanity. I don't see how that can be denied. Sure having faster cars or better televisions might be a luxury but better medicine is a benefit for everyone.



Anyone who had surgery without anesthetic in the 17th century, could say how science has improved life since. Or indeed, who lived without modern sanitation, or who had to use horses rather than cars to travel any distance. It is simply nonsense to say that science has not vastly improved life.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 23 Apr, 2010 01:53 am
@Philosophinatic,
Of course it has, but you can be rich, healthy, and damned.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 23 Apr, 2010 01:58 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;155564 wrote:
Of course it has, but you can be rich, healthy, and damned.


Yes. But what has that to do with it? What has science to do with damnation?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 23 Apr, 2010 02:22 am
@Philosophinatic,
The OP asked if there is a 'higher purpose'. Your response was that they should seek 'improvement'. By this, I understand material improvement, a better standard of living, science, and the rest. To which I would say, seek these by all means, but if the higher purpose is neglected and one's spiritual progress imperiled then you may well end up rich, healthy and damned.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 23 Apr, 2010 02:30 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;155572 wrote:
The OP asked if there is a 'higher purpose'. Your response was that they should seek 'improvement'. By this, I understand material improvement, a better standard of living, science, and the rest. To which I would say, seek these by all means, but if the higher purpose is neglected and one's spiritual progress imperiled then you may well end up rich, healthy and damned.


I was only responding (as you were) to the nonsense that science has not improved the lot of people immeasurably.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 23 Apr, 2010 02:39 am
@Philosophinatic,
well of course I agree that it has. But I was also agreeing with the OP, that there are higher purposes than money and power (but then he added 'well being' which is a bit unfortunate.) Anyway, I was commending the sentiment.
 
Philosophinatic
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 09:15 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;155579 wrote:
well of course I agree that it has. But I was also agreeing with the OP, that there are higher purposes than money and power (but then he added 'well being' which is a bit unfortunate.) Anyway, I was commending the sentiment.



Well think of war; whatever it is we are searching to achieve through fighting, it ALWAYS comes with consequences. (even if it means thousands must die) I believe that the atomic bombing of japan would be a better example. Thousands died that day but a thousand more lives were spared. I believe that if we give up some of our well being which comes from things like fame and money (which are not infinite) we will come across a new form of well being which comes from the understanding of life itself. (which is infinite)
 
 

 
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