Fathers’ Rights

A Chicago Blog

Archive for June, 2007

Platonism and Alchemy

Posted by madcap on June 29, 2007

This video discusses the idea that Platonic metaphysics is an Intellectual Yoga, a spiritual tradition which is magnificent, structured, aggressive, descriptive and psychologically profound. Enjoy the Lost treasure of Plato.

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Who Wrote the Bible?

Posted by madcap on June 29, 2007

This documentary explores questions at the  heart of the great Christian faith in a fair open-minded fashion. It is NOT meant to be inflammatory but informative.

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A Thought From Plato – The Cave

Posted by madcap on June 28, 2007

The Republic, Book VII, Chapter I

[Socrates:] And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: –Behold! human beings living in a underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.

[Glaucon:] I see.

And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials, which appear over the wall? Some of them are talking, others silent.

You have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.

Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?

True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?

And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows?

Yes, he said.

And if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?

Very true.

And suppose further that the prison had an echo which came from the other side, would they not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from the passing shadow?

No question, he replied.

To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

That is certain.

And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision, -what will be his reply? And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, — will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?

Far truer.

And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take and take in the objects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him?

True, he said.

And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he ‘s forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated? When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities.

Not all in a moment, he said.

He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day?

Certainly.

Last of he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is.

Certainly.

He will then proceed to argue that this is he who gives the season and the years, and is the guardian of all that is in the visible world, and in a certain way the cause of all things which he and his fellows have been accustomed to behold?

Clearly, he said, he would first see the sun and then reason about him.

And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the den and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them?

Certainly, he would.

And if they were in the habit of conferring honours among themselves on those who were quickest to observe the passing shadows and to remark which of them went before, and which followed after, and which were together; and who were therefore best able to draw conclusions as to the future, do you think that he would care for such honours and glories, or envy the possessors of them? Would he not say with Homer,

Better to be the poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner?

Yes, he said, I think that he would rather suffer anything than entertain these false notions and live in this miserable manner.

Imagine once more, I said, such an one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness?

To be sure, he said.

And if there were a contest, and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the den, while his sight was still weak, and before his eyes had become steady (and the time which would be needed to acquire this new habit of sight might be very considerable) would he not be ridiculous? Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending; and if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death.

No question, he said.

This entire allegory, I said, you may now append, dear Glaucon, to the previous argument; the prison-house is the world of sight, the light of the fire is the sun, and you will not misapprehend me if you interpret the journey upwards to be the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world according to my poor belief, which, at your desire, I have expressed whether rightly or wrongly God knows. But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally, either in public or private life must have his eye fixed.

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Intelligent Design public debate

Posted by madcap on June 28, 2007

Cross Posted on my new blog www.thoughtsongod.com

Stephen Meyer vs Peter Ward

I spent the last two days reviewing debates on the issue of intelligent design, trying to find one that is worth watching. This is a clean debate with well presented arguments from the ID camp, without the use of the Bible. People who use the Bible in these debates are embarrassing, and do more damage to the credibility of ID theory than anything the materialists could ever do with pure rational arguments.

I noticed a few patterns while sifting through videos on this topic. First, those in the ID camp continually bring the Bible into the debate. This is disingenuous, in that  the Bible crosses over into sacred theology. Not only is this different than natural science, it is different than natural theology or philosophy. I’m not discrediting the ligitimacy of any of these ways of knowing, I’m simply stating that each has a right to its particular value sphere. I believe that these distinctions must be kept in mind.

Another pattern that I notice is the smug, often plain rude behavior coming from the materialist camp. In the above debate, the materialist was rather mild compared to some. I still could not help but notice that he interrupted often, threw in political one liners, made sarcastic inferences, and was forced to call out for help from other materialists that were in the audience.  These are tactics of  rhetoric.

Also notice how the crowd reacted when the materialist claimed the debate hurts true intellectual development. This is a reflecton of the attitude of many of these materialists who simply brush off any questioning of what they claim to be true, as simple insanity. Typical of any gnostic enterprise, “thou shalt not question” is the  underlying theme. Hard line materialists claim that their value sphere is the only real value sphere. These folks are known as Gross Reductionists due to their collapsing of the Kosmos into the cosmos. The conversation is very much worth having; and it has only just begun.

I also have a simple solution to the issue of science in schools. Start teaching Plato and Aristotle at the same time we start teaching earth science. This banishment of philosophy by both the church and science, does a great disservice to our citizenry.

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Intelligent Design – Unlocking The Mysteries Of Life

Posted by madcap on June 28, 2007

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Rumi-Unfold Your Own Myth

Posted by madcap on June 28, 2007

Who gets up early to discover the moment light begins?
Who finds us here circling, bewildered, like atoms?
Who comes to a spring thirsty and sees the moon reflected in it?
Who, like Jacob blind with grief and age, smells the shirt of his son and can see again?
Who lets a bucket down and brings up a flowing prophet? Or like Moses goes for fire and finds what burns inside the sunrise?

Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies, and opens the door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there’s a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet and leaves with blessings.
Chase a deer and end up everywhere!
An oyster opens his mouth to swallow one drop.
Now there’s a pearl.
A vagrant wanders empty ruins.
Suddenly he’s wealthy.

But don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth, without complicated explanation, so everyone will understand the passage.
We have opened you.

Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy and tired. Then comes a moment of feeling the wings you’ve grown, lifting.

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Stephen Hawking’s Universe 2: The Big Bang

Posted by madcap on June 27, 2007

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.

Science has shown that this is far more than a tale told by an idiot.

(1/5)

2/5

3/5

4/5

5/5

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Stephen Hawking’s Universe 1: Seeing is Believing

Posted by madcap on June 27, 2007

Also see

Holons and The Four Ways of Being

Stephen Meyer vs Peter Ward: Intelligent Design

EP1:Seeing Is Believing (1/ 5)

EP1:Seeing Is Believing (2/ 5)

EP1:Seeing Is Believing (3/ 5)

EP1:(4/5)

EP1:(5/5)

Posted in Science, The Big Bang, Video | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »