Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those
who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this
or that problem will never be solved by science.
"Science is a part of culture. Indeed, it is the only truly global culture
because protons and proteins are the same all over the world, and it's the one
culture we can all share."
MALALA YOUSAFZAI, EDUCATION ADVOCATE: They would like
to speak against me, it's their right. But the thing is, I only want support
for my cause of education. It's the right of every girl and every boy.
DIANE SAWYER, ABC ANCHOR: The kind of education you
were getting, they argue, is a Western education.
YOUSAFZAI: If I want to go to school, and I want to
become a doctor, so there would be an Eastern doctor or a Western doctor? Is
there a difference in the studies? If I wanted to become an engineer, is there
a different way to become an engineer, Eastern engineer or a Western engineer?
This is education. This is knowledge. It can neither be Eastern nor
“Never trust anyone, Daniel, especially the people you admire. Those are the ones who will make you suffer the worst blows.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
It does seem that who you trust and what you doubt does have its roots planted in your axioms and experience. Organization is power and power must be guarded against. Different times in history religion, state, and the corporation have shackled the liberty of individuals to various degrees. Vigilance and skepticism of power and claims to power would seem to be a wise starting point.
As far as faith I can see where questions of origin would make one speculate on some transcendent meta power. But for me Christianity is beyond faith in God and is faith in men and the claims of men. When you consider this as St. Augustine stated he believes the gospels because he believes in the Church tradition. For me faith in christianity would mean faith in the miracles of the old testament, adam and eve, the various writers and theological claims from other primates in the past...that faith is an altogether different faith that requires faith in man and that is where I think it wise to be vigilant and skeptical. To quote James Madison “The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.”
When one considers the apostle Paul and doubting Thomas they both had personal experiences that changed their
doubt. It took a personal experience for them not a philosophical argument or claim from authority.
I don't take the subject lightly but for me with the modern scientific narrative, an indifferent universe seems to be a closer view to whatever cosmic origins we come from. The God that might exist could be altogether different than the religions of our ancestors. To paraphrase the Psalms what is man to be known by God or even to know God. Humans are a fragile species anchored in unpredictable nature. That we live in one galaxy of billions and our planet is warmed by one star in a galaxy of billions of stars and think this to be the center of the Universal drama? What is man that nature's God should take notice? How is man the central actor in the Cosmos?
I also do not see human tradition as a cloth without corruption and the human species as physically or metaphysically all encompassing so I cannot think that faith in the dogma of our ancestors is a wise leap. Life is many things and human existence is a puzzle without all the pieces. In rather cynical terms to paraphrase "the human experiment is like a blind man in a dark basement searching for a black cat that is not even there."
What religious faith provides is getting one in touch with the absolute, with solid ground, with certainty.But the pursuit of certainty can also cause problems as Becker noted and the enlightenment phrase "The sleep of reason produces monsters." To use Melville and Moby Dick the solid land(certainty) versus the unpredicatable and mysterious ocean(existential wandering). As Becker said man is condemned to move in the world by cutting it and managing it and those that cannot may get lost in the Ocean deep of despair and confusion.
I think ideology has 3 big pillars of construction because of that:
1. Explanation: Stories and patterns are important in navigating existence for humans
2. Justification: The purpose driven life, self esteem, identity ego
3. Sanctification: protection and security in hostile
The Philosopher Cioran thought that intelligent life developing in the universe obeying physical laws is absurd and therefor only the irrational can justify irrational life. For Cioran to live at all is to be a person of faith. He like Nietzsche thought that faith in secular humanism was as irrational as other ideologies to some degree. It is as Nietzsche said a fox that escaped a cage only to be ensnared in a trap. It wants to deny the tree of metaphysical absolutes and yet keep its fruits. The critique is that if it follows its logic it will dry the fruit up. But then what will justify human civilization?
In Basel, I stood undaunted
Yet solitary there — God have pity,
And I cried out: Homer! Homer!
Thus annoying everyone.
They go to church and then go home
And laugh at the loud crier.
Now I no longer mind it;
The finest audience
Hears my Homeric cries
And is quietly patient withal.
As a reward for this exuberance
Of kindness here is my printed thanks.
"In Basel, I stood undaunted" (1869)
Nietzsche acquired a position on the classical philology faculty at the University of Basel. The Swiss university offered Nietzsche the professorial position, and he began teaching there in 1869, at the age of 24. *Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
I think most people are able (compartmentalization and partialization) to use skepticism on the other ideology all the while keeping their ideology protected from the sword they use on other ideas of justification. The rare person turns it on themselves with just as much vigor as on other ideologies. As Camus said “An intellectual is a person whose mind watches itself. "
The Human dilemma: Thinking on the macro scale. Living in the micro scale.
Only the living need faith. The dead will not need faith either by natural oblivion or supernatural finality.
How can the dead please their god with no faith and no free will?
Lao-tzu 570 BCE
Confucius 551 BCE
Siddhārtha Gautama 480 BCE
Mo-Tzu 479 BCE
Mencius 479 BCE
Han Fei -Zi 280 BCE
Wang Chong 27 CE
Nagarjuna 230 CE
Adi Shankara 788 CE
Al-Kindi 801 CE
Al-Farabi 870 CE
Ibn-Sina 980 CE
Ramanuja 1017 CE
Ibn Rushd 1126 CE
Zhu Xi 1130 CE
Maimonides 1135 CE
Rumi 1207 CE
Ibn Khaldun 1332 CE
Wang Fuzhi 1619 CE
Muhammad Iqbal 1877 CE
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan 1888 CE
*Note* For the purposes of this video it is a provincial distinction simply to
highlight other philosophers not an all encompassing description of their
tradition. It is not exhaustive by any means on the complexities of human
thought and the limitations of our categorical language.
myself to studying the texts—the original and commentaries—in the
natural sciences and metaphysics, and the
gates of knowledge began opening for me."
Ibn-Sina 980 CE
"Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter"