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Topics - BillHopkins

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18
Interzone / Buddhism complaint on wikipedia - Buddhism is not 'ethical'
« on: August 22, 2012, 05:40:08 AM »
My topic on the 'talk' section for the article 'Buddhism'... does this bent on buddhism that i'm arguing against shit anyone else?

Eliminating Hatred??
The end of the openinig paragraph states "He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end suffering (dukkha) through eliminating ignorance (avidyā), craving (taṇhā), and hatred, by way of understanding and seeing dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda) and non-self (anātman), and thus attain the highest happiness, nirvāņa (nirvana)."


Where does this special focus on hatred, as opposed to other merely human emotions, come from? And why is it preseted at the outset of the article on Buddhist thought? I suspect it is making Buddhism out to have a subtle political or 'ethical' bent, which it simply does not. In Buddhism, such a focus on reducing hatred, as opposed to happiness or love, would be a reflection of 'Tanha', which as another wikipedia article states "...is the craving or desire to hold onto pleasurable experiences, to be separated from painful or unpleasant experiences, and for neutral experiences or feelings not to decline". The elimination of hatred is not one of the main tenents of buddhism, any more than eliminating it's opposite all-too-human emotion is. Buddhism is only concerned with human emotions insofar as they represent participation in samsaric existence, the world of becoming. Thus it is only concerned with human emotions in so far as they are to be a target of detachment. It is not concerned with human emotions insofar as one or another particular emotion is to be promoted above the others. Therefore it is arbitrary to write in the introduction of the article on Buddhism that one of its main properties, as a cultural phenomenon and religious, spirital and philosophical movement, is the 'elimination of hatred'. I propose this be deleted, or added to in order to include the contrasting human emotions that also reflect an attachment to samsaric existence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 118.138.216.58 (talk) 04:33, 22 August 2012 (UTC)


19
Metal / Music is Math
« on: August 08, 2012, 09:24:49 AM »

20
Metal / What separates good metal from the rest?
« on: August 06, 2012, 05:00:12 AM »
As recently observed in an article in 'The Atlantic', metal (and even 'brutal' metal like Deicide) shares with New Age music an interest in the trascendant. Readers of the DLA will of course already appreciate this.

However it is a mute point to observe that styles of metal which aren't traditional black or death are concerned with trascendence. Bands like OM, Sunn O))), Drudhk (as described by the article) all evoke meditative, reflective, 'spritual' atmospheres. I do not happen to enjoy OM and Drudhk (I like Sunn O)))), and I think that they do not share the same compositional techniques as old school black and death metal, but nevertheless they, like psychedelic bands, some forms of electronic music etc, are obviously motivated by some sort of desire to get beyond the individualistic and solipsistic themes of rock, pop, rap, R&B etc.

The unique compsotional structure of old school death and black metal I think seperates bands belonging to these genres from bands ike Drudhk and OM, and also perhaps the themes of death and black metal bands puts them a rung up the ladder, literally. It could be argued that although stoner, doom, drone, psychedelic music is concerned with the transcendent in appearance, beneath the surface it's really just escapist psychology. You get high to reverb-laced guitars, and lyrics about ancient temples etc. However, the same argument could be made of death and black metal. Even though the themes are more 'ascetic' (war, death, combat) and thus perhaps more trasncendent than doom, drone, stoner etc (and leaving aside the issue of its compositional uniqueness), you can cite countless examples of fans of this music being completely introverted, detached individuals who are hiding away in their medieval fantasy worlds and avoiding the battles they should be engaged in today, here and now in the real world. It is a fine line.

Taking a different direction: even if death and black metal do evoke a different variation of the quasi-transcendent themes of a wider variety of music (more 'war-like' or 'ascetic'), the factors which elevate metal, comparatively, then become purely political ones. 'Music X is more transcendent than Music Y because it takes approach 'a' to issues of war, nation and other people as opposed to approach 'b'. This is political or ideological, and the issue hinges on one's conception of what exactly transcedence is (is it the path of action or contemplation, for instance? is it an aristocacy of the spirit, or is it universal compassion? etc)

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/08/doom-metal-has-a-dirty-soothing-secret-its-a-lot-like-new-age-music/260582/


21
Metal / What seperates metal from some other music?
« on: August 06, 2012, 04:32:45 AM »
As recently observed in an article in 'The Atlantic', metal (and even 'brutal' metal like Deicide) shares with New Age music an interest in the trascendant. Readers of the DLA will of course already appreciate this.

However it is a mute point to observe that styles of metal which aren't traditional black or death are concerned with trascendence. Bands like OM, Sunn O))), Drudhk (as described by the article) all evoke meditative, reflective, 'spritual' atmospheres. I do not happen to enjoy OM and Drudhk (I like Sunn O)))), and I think that they do not share the same compositional techniques as old school black and death metal, but nevertheless they, like psychedelic bands, some forms of electronic music etc, are obviously motivated by some sort of desire to get beyond the individualistic and solipsistic themes of rock, pop, rap, R&B etc.

The unique compsotional structure of old school death and black metal I think seperates bands belonging to these genres from bands ike Drudhk and OM, and also perhaps the themes of death and black metal bands puts them a rung up the ladder, literally. It could be argued that although stoner, doom, drone, psychedelic music is concerned with the transcendent in appearance, beneath the surface it's really just escapist psychology. You get high to reverb-laced guitars, and lyrics about ancient temples etc. However, the same argument could be made of death and black metal. Even though the themes are more 'realist' (war, death, combat) than doom, drone, stoner etc (and leaving aside the issue of its compositional uniqueness), you can cite countless examples of fans of this music being completely introverted, detached individuals who are hiding away in their medieval fantasy worlds and avoiding the battles they should be engaged in today, here and now in the real world. It is a fine line.

Taking a different direction: even if death and black metal do evoke a different variation of the quasi-transcendent themes of a wider variety of music (more 'war-like' or 'ascetic'), the factors which elevate metal, comparatively, then become purely political ones. 'Music X is more transcendent than Music Y because it takes approach 'a' to issues of war, nation and other people as opposed to approach 'b'. This is political and so the issue hinges on one's conception of what exactly transcedence is (is it the path of action or contemplation, for instance? is it an aristocacy of the spirit, or is it universal compassion? etc)

The most objective factor seperating old school black and death metal from other quasi-transcendent music, then, is its compsitional structure.

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/08/doom-metal-has-a-dirty-soothing-secret-its-a-lot-like-new-age-music/260582/


22
Interzone / The Ascent of Man (Jakob Bronowski)
« on: August 01, 2012, 03:55:39 AM »
Part 1: Lower than the Angels
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QetE6WvBFY&feature=related

Part 2: Harvesting the Seasons
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZjSiHtaNdM

Part 3: The Grain in the Stone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8ADBHMs79k

Part 4: Hidden Structure
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpeRQNQOTeA

Part 5: Music of the Spheres
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IENM8u47zsI

Part 6: The Starry Messenger
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nb8fKBZlKmU

Part 7: The Majestic Clockwork
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdS8OTffEDg

Part 8: The Drive for Power
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC29cMM74Aw

Part 9: The Ladder of Creation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOtQFRv_si4

Part 10: World Within World
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EXe_op8MkI

Part 11: Knowledge or Certainty
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqOfqBoafTc

Part 12: Generation Upon Generation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_mdQevkKM4

Part 13: The Long Childhood
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gurfaxLlrrg

23
Interzone / Books on organic culture vs liberalism please
« on: July 19, 2012, 06:13:11 AM »
More specifically, books that get right in to the categorical distinction between

1. 'organic', self-organising culture, and
2. the top-down managerial state.

These books will ideally go into the empirical or at least philosophical (logical) connection between 1 and 2, namely the rise in 2 when 1 is on the decline. They will also ideally be in the field of politics, sociology or political philosophy (i.e. written by real academics). Thanking you.

24
Nature, mystery, ethnic solidarity, will to power - revering these things is revering God.  Metal is a different conception of God.

Nietzsche's idea of 'the will to power' formed the basis of his 'metaphysics' or ontology (view about what exists).

A big part of this theory was applied by Nietzsche to come to the idea that your morality, aesthetic tastes, and those parts of realty you decide to pick out and call truths at the expense of other aspects (this isn't relativism, it's perspectivalism) are a reflection of your dialectical position in the whole... your will to power.

Weak people choose chritianity because it advocates love and compassion for the weak (antichrist)
Human beings like tragic art such as Beethoven or greek plays because it stimulates the will in the face of nihilsim and meaininglessness of life (birth of tragedy)
People who don't have much virility becomes scientists because they feel more comfortable being 'objective' and simply acting as passive mirror on reality than as a 'first cause' (beyond good & Evil)
etc.

How, then, do you reconcile the will to power with 'God', the latter being a notion that refers to something fixed, timeless and trascendent? 'God', for Nietzsche, must be a product of the will to power. God, then, must be an idea that reflects the position of a certain organism in the whole, for dialectical purposes. (This is not to discount the concept of 'God'. I'm not suggesting God is purely an invention of weak people, there are other dialectical uses of God no doubt: transcendence, purpose, political reasons. I'm suggesting God is purely an invention of a certian kind of organism, and that if we had been a different kind or organism, then we would have a different conception of God, or no conception at all).

25
Interzone / Metal and traditionalism?
« on: May 28, 2012, 07:43:13 AM »
Anothing thing I don't get about you traditionalist 'nihilists' is how your reconcile metal with traditionalism/perennialism.

Metal (black/death) is overtly Satanic. Most death metal bands you listen to hate God, and even get into rather new-atheist sounding arguments about all the 'lies' 'suffering' and 'shallowness'.

Some black metal bands might come close to constructing, rather than deconstructing. But even then it is rarely all about allegiance to something more trascendent than nature, mystery, ethnic solidarity, and the will to power (i.e. points of trascendence open to naturalists, atheists, libertarians, etc). Maybe i'm setting up a straw man. The argument, then, would be against traditionalists claiming metal 'as their own' as opposed to metal simply being compatible with traditionalism.

Perhaps the question is whether metal is incompatible with liberalism?

26
Interzone / Post-Modernism
« on: May 22, 2012, 04:21:28 AM »
...sometimes touches on 'perennial' truths. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

David Foster Wallace, author of 'Infinite Jest' which was huge in the 90's and propelled Wallace to literary fame. He hung himself due to clinical depression in 2008. In this clip he gives quite a powerful address to his old univserity about the value of learninig to think out of 'default mode' so as to, basically, quite literally transcend the tedium and boredom of modern life in order to survive. He obviously failed, but the sentiments possess some element of profoundity. This is basically a brand of active nihilism, presented at a graduation speech. They audience sounded a little shocked at points.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vET9cvlGJQw

27
1. The ethical concepts we use today we inherited from ancient times. They depend for their objectivity on a particular metaphysical understanding of the self that was unique to that historical period.
2. The modern metaphysical understanding of the self replaced that of the ancient world and thus removed the basis upon which ethics enjoyed any sense of objectivity.
3. The Enlightenment tried to give the fullest expression to this 'modern' understanding of the self, and attempted to provide a new rational basis for ethics on the back of this understanding, but was doomed to fail from the outset.

One:

The moral scheme we use today originated with Aristotle and dominated the medieval period. The framework for that scheme consists of a vital distinction between man-as-he-happens-to-be and man-as-he-could-be-if-he-realized-his-essential-nature. Ethics was seen as the science that enabled humans to know how to travel from the former state to the latter state. This distinction is basically that between potentiality and its fulfilment. Ethics understood human nature as deficient, essentially, and so in need of transformation via the use of practical reason to fulfil its potential.

In order to make any sense, ethics presupposes two conceptions: (1) a conception of untutored human nature, and (2) a conception of the telos or end of that nature. Ethics is the knowledge which allows human beings to move from their present state to a new one.

Two/Three:

The modern understanding of the self dispensed with the idea of a human telos, and thus any sense that human nature as it happens to be might be discordant with a more fulfilled state. Enlightenment philosophers (Kant, Hume, Smith) all agreed that morality’s key premises would capture some feature of human nature as it is and the rules of morality would be justified as those that a being possessing such a nature would be prepared to accept (i.e. Kant’s deontology – deriving morality from some aspect of 'how we are' (reasonable and thus autonomous) . However, since the ethical concepts they inherited and wanted to justify were originally intended to assist individuals in achieving some function (telos) rather than to fit with human nature in its untutored state, the enlightenment’s attempt to derive these ethical notions from features of present human nature was not possible. In fact, it is more likely that human nature in its untutored state would have a strong tendency to disobey the precepts of morality.

A notion of a human telos is essential to morality and ethics understood as a rationally justifiable or objective enterprise. It alone warrants deriving statements of value or obligation from statements of fact – ‘ought’ from ‘is’. We can move from the knowledge that a knife is blunt to the conclusion that it is a ‘bad’ knife because a knife is something with a telos (function/purpose). Only functional concepts are able to transform evaluative judgements into a type of factual statement.

(See Alisdair MacIntyre's beyond virtue for the whole story)

In the Ancient world, ethics derived its functional aspect, or telos, from the social roles the individual found himself in. The self was essentially characterised by its social aspect. The ethics attached to being a solder, for example, facilitated the movement of human nature as it happens to be to human nature as it should be to carry out the function of a soldier. In the modern world, on the other hand, the self is seen as antecedently individuated in that the essential element of the self apparently exists prior to any social, political or communal setting it finds itself in. Any social role the individual occupies is not constitutive of his person, on the modern view (because the essential metaphysical element of the self is characterised by freedom, autonomy and choice).

In the medieval world, ethics derived its function aspect from the Christian idea of original sin. Ethics facilitated the movement of human nature as it happens to be (in sin) to human nature as it should be, not in order to carry out some social role, but to fulfil the more universal idea of a Christian human being attaining the image of God.

While Christianity maintained a form of human telos that enabled the enterprise of objective ethics to go ahead, it could be argued that it contributed to the modern erosion of ethics via its universalist metaphysical conception of the self, as being actecedently individuated prior to social roles (the essential element of the self is the soul, in possession of the divine logos which transcends embeddedness in a particular culture or point of view)). In terms of the political-metaphysical understand of the self, Christianity represents a transitional stage that began with an Ancient, communitarian, understanding of the self as deriving its subjectivity from the social body, and ended in a modern, liberal, understanding of the self as antecedently individuated prior to all social roles and possessing all its goals, desires and outlook ‘before society’.

28
Interzone / Feminism
« on: April 16, 2012, 01:02:47 PM »
To me, feminists appear to be essentially unattractive females revolting against a social system which is motivated commercially to perpetuate expectations of beauty and sexy-ness. Their anti-capitalist sentiments I appreciate but that unignorable element of their mission which is bound up with revolt towards a system which celebrates standards that they, being unattractive, can never atain, is curious.

Unattractive men don't get together in salons creating literature on the evils of masculinity. They become science fiction fanatics, or intellectuals concerned with the stars as opposed to revolt, exclusively


29
Interzone / This guy is a 'traditionalist' and he is a wanker...
« on: April 16, 2012, 08:31:13 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20nuTITfhko

I could be wrong but he seems to be an authority...

See particularly from 21:00

"in scientism there is no place for consciousness, no place for humans to feel like the universe is constructed for them and stroking their egos bla bla bla, evolution is psudo-religion, fap fap".."we have descended from the perfect archetype". No room for transcendence at all with stupidity like this. Give me evolution.

In fact, science can 'redisover the sacred', which is a phrase this guy parrots about regularly, by realising we are permeated with the same energy as suns and that, possibly, something has come from nothing.

30
Interzone / Nihilism and Atheism
« on: April 15, 2012, 02:22:37 PM »
In response to the thread on Nihilism and Traditionalism, I have created a thread on Nihilism and Atheism. This is not to be in opposition to the views expressed on that thread, of course, but to include other nihilists who hold different metaphysical beliefs but similar aesthetic and pragmatic beliefs.

Many people hear the world 'atheism' and they take it to one of two bad places: (1) Scientism, or the belief that everyone must follow and abide by the challenging and counter-intuitive picture of reality that is emerging in the 21st century, or (2) Materialism, the belief that because there are no objective trasncendental values, everyone must worship matter and society must be reduced to the lowest common denominator.

Atheism does not lead to either (1) or (2), a priori. Furthermore, an atheist may content that some of the pragmatic benefits of nihilism are more forthcoming than for the traditionalist nihilist. Atheism allows complete detachment from prior ordained knowledge in order to example any situation from the greatest amount of perspectives and to choose the most appropriate soultion.

Atheism is the idea that reality is the universe operating according to a Logos. Our understanding of this Logos might need to be improved and modified from time to time (i.e. the move from newtonian physics to relativity), but this represents a PROGRESSION in our grasp of 'the mind of god'. The atheist is sustained 'spiritually' (or psychologically) by his aesthetic appreciation of reality that is being revealed by science. His evolved psychological tendencies to value beauty, goodness and truth are not left wanting by, for example, cosmology, evolutionary biology and botany. He is simply more able to function with metaphysical uncertainty than the theist. Alternatively he might favour pagan interpretaitons of reality when pressed for a more orthodox spiritual position.

The understanding of the Logos need not to be restricted to the real of inert matter. It can also be applied the realm of animate matter. Certain ideas and ways of structuring society throughout history have led to 'higher' socieites, higher in the sense of aesthetic appeal. You do not need to believe in a transcendetal order to conclude that electro-pop guzzling, city ghetto dwelling environments are sub par. You simply observe psychological facts of human beings to determine that such environments do not lead to human flourishing. A similar pramatic stance holds in relation to religious belief. Just because the atheist does not accept a literal, metaphysical and anthropomorphic interpretation of reality like exoteric chrisitinaity does not mean he will ruin the organic basis of a soceity by demanding that everyone drop the beliefs which provide the internal glue for a group in individuals to live together and thus aver the need for totalitarian nanny states. He believes that the philosophy of liberalism holds erroneous conceptiosn of the person when it posits pure 'subjects' which are autonomous agents prior to society. He holds a communitarian political philosophy which traces the sources of the self to attachments to family, village, tribe, nation, and not universal humanity. Any criticisms of justice must necessarily draw upon the materials already present in a culture and the liberal advocate is in error when she suggests that there is some universal, rational standard from which to construct rights and obligations from. The Logos contains the word of the universe, it is silent about any 'rights of man'. A greater knowledge of the Logos as it pervades human psychology will increasing reveal, in antithesis to liberal modernity, that human beings are deprived of energy when they are deprived of roots, culture and communal responsibility. Most great art is produced by metaphysical belief in something, and a society cannot function long term above the level of animals if death is not given a meaninig. In opposition to Francis Fukayuma's proclamation that 'History has ended' in face of liberal democracy, the atheist observes that 9/11 happened and that fundamentalism vs liberalism will be the great antithesis that defines the 21st century, while capitalism/communism was the one which drove the 20th. The atheist acknowledges that fundamentalismm while misguided, respons to elements of the human condition left out by liberal democracy.

Atheism has been correlated with intelligence and this link must be embraced. A love of objective truth and a love of beauty need not be seperate.

Texts:

* The Will to Power, by Friedrich Nietzsche
* The Leap, by Bill Hopkins
* All great books of the ages

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