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Messages - nous

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Metal / Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
« on: February 23, 2011, 09:24:20 AM »
Well, I don't know much about music theory or the construction of classical. Hence, I feel I wouldn't contribute much to the discussions in the classical forum. I do really appreciate the subforum though; as there's a good amount of interesting discussion which takes place. I lurk to learn.

I still do enjoy the classical I have, but its a genre I've really only started listening to heavily within the past 2-3 years.

I understand, but would that you didn't fear discussing classical music because you are new to it; also, when will you no longer be "new", at 5 years?! Knowledge of theory is not in the least necessary in order to share one's thoughts about the music, I can assure you of that.

Interzone / Re: Rant and rave about religion etc.
« on: February 23, 2011, 05:28:40 AM »
Do you believe there are definitive proofs of God?  If so, to which do you refer (you can answer generally, there is no need to explicate the specifics)?  Thinking back, I believe you may have mentioned some before and I probably just broadly dismissed them.  I've encountered a number of proofs both for and against the existence of God, and all of them seem to fall short in some area.  I can see only arguments over the likelihood of specific Gods existing as being of merit.

Yes, I have mentioned them in an older thread. If you want a fresh perspective, try this essay on the ontological proof, written by a philosopher, which tries to explain it and answers also to criticism.
I think that all these proofs only prove one of the many aspects of God. Also, the knowledge that a proof is consistent is different from profound knowledge of the subject matter, so one should keep that in mind when confronted with proofs of God. But this I have already said above.
Recently, I also detected that Parmenides already tried to demonstrate that existence requires an Eternal Being. He does so rather brilliantly, in my opinion; one can find this demonstration in the fragments of Parmenides (which are not many).

Metal / Re: Indian classical music
« on: February 23, 2011, 04:50:57 AM »
I would like to mention L.Subramaniam as a great introduction to Carnatic Classical music(violin, instrumental)

For more info, check http://www.carnaticcorner.com

Thank you for mentioning both the artist (I corrected his name in the quote) and the website; remain steadfast in the face of adversity!

If others want to know what kind of music we are talking about: Carnatic Classical: L Subramaniam - Violin (5 Albums)
Link is to a torrent tracker page.

I am beginning to really appreciate this kind of music. It takes some time, but there is genuine beauty to be discovered.

Metal / Re: We should change this into a gossip channel
« on: February 23, 2011, 02:06:51 AM »
I applaud this forum for branching into classical, but most of us are just barely moving beyond initial knowledge, so that's not going to do it.

I wonder why there are still so few users interested in classical music. Are metal listeners and classical listeners antipodes, after all? Are those on this forum who like metal and classical merely the exception that proves the rule? Maybe the problem is merely that people do not know where to start. Or is this a silly thought, and "where there's a will, there's a way"?

Thought experiment: imagine that the object of essential metal were nothing more than to lead some individuals from rock music to classical music, and from the profane to the sacred. Once transformed, those individuals would then discuss other things, and differently...

Interzone / Re: Modernity is procedural
« on: February 16, 2011, 06:45:47 AM »
What do you mean by "Modernity is procedural"? That modernity itself were a "sequence of actions or instructions to be followed in solving a problem or accomplishing a task"? I guess not. That in modernity, people often accept the craziest rules as long as they are a sequence? I would agree with that, and maybe this is even a specific trait of modernity; but then the next interesting question is: why do moderns do this? Are they gullible?

Procedural inflexibility may result in punishing people who actually legally do the right thing and whose actions were successful. We also do not know if their not acting would have gotten all four murdered as witnesses along with shoppers within hearing range:

A silly rule was broken and the creator of the rule punished the brave rule-breakers because it was his rule, and we concede that right to him, the right to a double moral standard. Why do we grant merchants such double standards?

Interzone / Re: Rant and rave about religion etc.
« on: February 16, 2011, 04:24:06 AM »
Faith is a complex  subject. And you are right, some religious currents think like you described it above; but in general, faith does not work like this. Under normal conditions, faith means simply to follow the truth without having fully understood it.
How do you obtain this truth if you can't understand it?  This is the question that always bothers me about this type of thinking.  I'd honestly like an answer.

Of course one only obtains when one understands. No one would deny that.
However, nothing prevents you from following something which you have not fully understood or do not know with absolute certainty. We do this all the time in our daily life, trusting our senses, although we know of the possibility of sense illusion.

You forget that most people don't have the mental capacities to understand all proofs. Or, like Frithjof Schuon said it, "with Plato you cannot save everybody. But with religion you can save the last man."
What exactly are you referring to when you say "all proofs?"  Do you just mean logical proofs generally, or is there something more specific you had in mind?

I mean only logical proofs, and concede that my usage of "all proofs" was rhetorical. The essence of the statement is this: to fully understand a proof, one needs firstly reason, but also, if one does not only want to know the logical consistency, one needs some kind of knowledge of the matter. Or again: all opinion has a logical form, but that alone does not make all opinion true opinion, nor does it make it knowledge. This knowledge of the matter of a logical argument is what I meant. Most people simply do not have the qualitative intelligence required to fully understand all proofs. In fact, maybe no man has, but at least there are differences in intelligence, which I believe we all acknowledge.

There is nothing extraordinary about this; after all, we all accept that not everyone can understand all mathematical proofs, but maybe only the best mathematicians. The same is true of proofs of God etc.

Interzone / Re: Rant and rave about religion etc.
« on: February 16, 2011, 03:53:57 AM »
True, but still it rejects logic, just covertly rather than overtly, after all rejection can be a passive thing: if you refuse to go looking for proof past a certain point, it's true you're not holding up a shield against somebody hurling truth nuggets at your face, but still you're deflecting it in a way away from you. I would say the religions are generally very skilled at this deflection, especially in the sense that those religious persons the most skilled really have success manipulating the rest of religion to their own (often malevolent) ends. Indeed faith-based people are in some ways like sheep, more vulnerable to wolves.

Actually, faith does not reject logic at all, and I tried to make this clear already. If we concede that some religious sects view faith as you did, this is not what is essential about faith. As I said, I already showed this in an earlier post, so I do not see why you would bring up the same point again.

I think it's very complex to say some people 'can't get it'. What do we mean by this in reference to their level of awareness or wisdom? Is there something within them that totally prevents them from getting it? In my paradigm this is the same as the Christian doctrine of innate sinfulness and very unhealthy to believe. So we must look at the context more expansively: if even the slowest person (barring actual mental handicaps of a physical nature in the brain) were given literally an infinite amount of years to realize enlightenment, could they eventually succeed? I definitely say yes, however obviously the human lifespan is limited. But is there a specific amount of years that is required? No, it's not like they would absolutely need 1000 years--not 999 or 1001 but 1000 exactly--which means the chances of them realizing enlightenment in this lifetime is not an either/or issue but a matter of degrees, even if the chances are extremely slim. One of the reasons I think it's so important to frame the conversation this way is it affects interpretation of policy, how government and/or society to deal with the lower strata of people. For example I think mainstream consciousness is so stagnated and repressed these days by various factors such as the mainstream institutions and etc--and I think I may believe this even more strongly than most posters on this forum, even though most of you believe this also to some degree or other--so I don't want to just give up on the lower strata, I actually think it can be relatively easy to spread enlightenment widely; this would be easy for a variety of reasons, a major one for example being the level of technology we have now achieved that can automate many aspects of life and free up more time to cultivate greater awareness (currently though this time is being filled with other pursuits and often it's not even freed up at all in the first place as there's still much economic poverty).

Thank you for your explanation, I appreciate it. It is funny that I too do not want to give up on the lower strata, but that I think that faith is actually the only effective method to do so. Which evaluation follows from my perception of enlightenment. You painted a picture in which enlightenment is only a matter of time, and you said: "I definitely say yes, however obviously the human lifespan is limited." One could say you have extreme faith in the masses, haha. But you actually gave no reasons for your opinion.

Still, I can try to give reasons for mine, and I will do this by analogy: no matter how long you try to fill a square opening with a triangular brick, you will not succeed; and if you eventually do, then you had to corrupt one or both of the forms.

The opening represents truth, the triangular brick represents a false conviction. Faith means to confer the form of the opening to that of the brick, even if that means that the brick will be too small to fill out the opening; but at least they will have in common the geometrical form.

A traditional civilization would be one in which some individuals are quadrate bricks with the proper size to fill out the opening (saints), and the masses (hoi polloi) will be smaller quadrate bricks. In a modern, anti-traditional civilization, the venerated individuals and most people will be triangular bricks of various sizes. The triangulars will overestimate themselves because it is easier to clog up a quadrate opening with a triangle than with a square brick of the same mass.

I think that it is safe to say that for most people, enlightenment is not possible, nor is this even necessary for any civilization, because as long as they have faith in the truth, their lives will be in conformity with the life of a saint. But what is most important here is to adhere rigidly to the fact that enlightenment is not a question of (quantitative) time, but of (qualitative) intelligence.

Interzone / Re: Modernity is graceless
« on: February 16, 2011, 02:30:57 AM »
Anyway, what exactly has degraded over the years? I think it's clear that, whatever the answer, there is sufficient evidence to conclude that attitudes on sex are not among them. I think it's also clear that a return to previous systems of value is neither possible nor desirable...

If that is so clear to you, then it should be no problem at all for you to state your reasons.

What has degraded? Everything but the sub-human has degraded.
Religion has degraded, politics has degraded, the family, the individual etc. To understand this, one first needs to understand how the traditional man lived and what is meant by the traditional man in the first place. For example, he is not a certain historical civilization, but an ideal which is represented by some historical civilizations, while others were maybe as anti-traditional as the modern west, only with the qualification that the anti-traditional tendency in mankind was never so prominent as today.
Not to say that there weren't some compensations for the individual who sees through all this, but such compensations would not be necessary but for the overall state of mankind.

Interzone / Re: Modernity is graceless
« on: February 16, 2011, 02:19:19 AM »
Why contaminate this debate with relativism? If "modern" means only a point in time, it is a quantitative term; if it refers also to the condition of the world or mankind at that point in time, it also is a qualitative term, no matter whether you view this condition positively or negatively. In fact, most people use it as a qualitiative term, albeit denoting something good.

If nothing is sacred, what about the sentence, "Nothing is sacred"?

Interzone / Re: Rant and rave about religion etc.
« on: February 15, 2011, 05:54:05 AM »
If Christianity quit with the egalitarianism, everyone in black metal would convert instantly

Ha ha ha. Kryst the Conqueror.

Seriously, though, the overt anti-religion (Christianity) aspect of black metal does seem to have become a detriment to its development. A lot of the (then) kids that were involved in it "grew up" and lost their spirit for such obvious rebellion. Admittedly, some made much more terrible music after reaching this stage (IHSAHN!). But there are better ways to promote quality thought than with inverted crosses and 666 references to Satan. Burzum was on the right track.

While this does not have too much to do with religion, it is a remarkable observation that good music needs inspiration, but not in the sense of an external motive, but an inner configuration of being. Opposing something can have political or social relevance, but it seems that good music is not about what one does not like, nor even about what one does like; on the contrary, music can only be beautiful when it communicates something beautiful which must already be in the soul of the composer like a substance. Great composers have an immensely rich inner life which they share using the medium of music. Anti-movements are for those who have no such inner life.

What does it mean that life is sacred?  Since you capitalized life are you referring to the larger process which we refer to as life, in contrast to individual living organisms?

I refer to that by which every animated organism lives, yes. I'm not sure whether "life" is different from "soul"; maybe only insofar as "life" seems to denote the thing in its common aspect and "soul" in its individual aspect.

Taking your approach, we would have a large population of short lived mediocrity and waste.  Under a eugenics system, we would have a high quality, low number population that lived long lives.  Which do you view as preferable in this light?

False dichotomy. Look at the traditional Redskins as an example. They didn't have any overpopulation problems. They lived honourable lives. Machines and humanism are the true population multipliers.
A eugenics system is a truly demonic and thorougly modern pipe dream as soon as it violates intrinsic morality. Castes are great, marriages in which the parents have a say are also great. Machines or medicine should not be used in order to keep alive disabled infants that would chronically require such machines or medicine.

Would you agree that modern Christianity and Liberalism are essential two manifestations of the same underlying thought pattern?

Exactly to the degree that any religion is infested with modernism it is a subspecies of modernism, like liberalism, yes.

Do you literally believe in some type of life after death?

Yes. It is an article of faith. If one believes in God, and accepts divine revelation, one must also accept the idea of an afterlife, otherwise one is a hypocrite. This is accompanied by the Platonic theory that there exists eternal knowledge and that the soul can assimilate this knowledge and become immortal.

Interzone / Re: Egypt
« on: February 10, 2011, 02:21:06 PM »
Tyranny means that the ruler is completely self-serving.

I was explaining Plato to some local Metalheads/Hessians last night, and people were confused when I had finished breaking down the five levels of government.  The point of confusion was that the best form of government was perceived to be totalitarian, and the worst was also totalitarian.  The difference lies in the above: in tyranny, the ruler is self-serving; in Kingship, the ruler serves the society.  This is an incredibly important distinction, which, thankfully, everyone managed to grasp once I'd explained it.  The problem is in getting a ruler who is entirely selfless, and will only serve his people.  I find Plato's rather weak suggestion of pulling a Pol Pot and removing children from their parents to be unsatisfactory, primarily because I endorse the concept of filial piety (it's a bit hard to respect one's parents if one's parents aren't around to be respected).

Yes, according to Plato, the philosopher kings do not even want to be kings, because it is a huge responsibility; it is hard enough to live a just life, but to govern a State justly is much more difficult.
The community of wives and children really is curious. I think to a certain degree (and maybe for a very selected few) it could be possible, like celibacy is possible, but then again, such a family seems to infringe intrinsic morality, while celibacy does not. Plato errs when he says that multiple families destroy the unity of the caste; on the contrary, the family has its own place and its members can be analogically compared to the individual faculties or the castes.

Interzone / Re: Egypt
« on: February 10, 2011, 11:59:15 AM »
However, all of this is then again assuming that the current order is optimal. You are basically talking about form while ignoring execution, as if every totalitarian rule is good based on the sole premise that it is in fact not democratic. Let us take the example of Robert Mugabe: what positive sociocultural foundation or "system of knowledge" has this leader established? This man is more of a simple criminal than an ideologist or visionary. If a strong leader only works for personal gain (as in the case of Mugabe) instead of the ultimate good of his society, he defeats his purpose and is obviously not fit for his role. Now, as for the specific case of Egypt, I am not sufficiently familiar with how efficiently this country has been ruled by its regime to have an opinion, but of course it is obvious that the mob-infused political chaos they are heading for is not to prefer.

Not every form of government is preferable to democracy. Actually, there are roughly three forms of government preferable to democracy: kingship, aristocracy, and a limited "democracy" (as compared to the more common ochlocracy or idiocracy which we call democracy). Oligarchy is worse than democracy, and tyranny the worst. Tyranny means that the ruler is completely self-serving.

Interzone / Re: Egypt
« on: February 10, 2011, 12:19:12 AM »
I thought along those lines too, until this problem occured to me: No equality-minded low-brow mob will ever accept a philosopher king without some element that forces them to do so. Because the lowest, or common man does not want to transcend himself. But that is essentially what accepting a philosopher king means: to transcend oneself.

So then I asked myself again, if not from democracy, then wherefrom could the philosopher king arise? And I think that subjectively, there must be some kind of divine inspiration, and objectively, force of arms. Because neither the mob nor a tyrant would give way voluntarily.

-*-          -*-          -*-

On freedom as absence of force, I'd say that "force" can be said to mean that A effects something in B. From which it can be said that there is no absolutely free being other than the Absolute Good itself, and that the more we resemble this Good, the free-er we are.

But in liberal jargon, freedom seems to mean something else. Every prole would agree that he is affected by some B, but he would add: with my assent. So that it now means: freedom is to be affected by something, AND willing this. It is obvious to me that this second thing called "freedom" is very different from the first.

Note that every normal human being has will, but that those who resemble the Highest Good will be able to act truly freely because they are free.
On the other hand, those who are far from the Highest Good will be unfree, but still be able to act according to the liberal definition of freedom. So in a very weak sense of freedom, they will be free, but in the intrinsic sense of freedom, they will be unfree.

What follows from this? I think that this follows, namely that only does he truly act free who intends, by his act of the will, to either be good or become good, i.e. closer to the Absolute Good; and that on the contrary he who does not intend to do this, acts unfree and slavelike. Or more succinct: free will is either the good will, or the will towards the good.

For Egypt, or any country ruled by a dictator, this means that the liberal understanding of freedom is not a good criterion to judge the real freedom of the people. Yea, these citizens would be free while enduring some good that is against their will; and they would be unfree while accepting some evil that pleases them.

Interzone / Re: Rant and rave about religion etc.
« on: February 09, 2011, 11:36:13 PM »
The argument that faith is counter to intelligence would go something along the lines of that if there is conclusive proof then there can be no faith, therefore conclusive proof is always rejected.

Faith is a complex  subject. And you are right, some religious currents think like you described it above; but in general, faith does not work like this. Under normal conditions, faith means simply to follow the truth without having fully understood it.

You forget that most people don't have the mental capacities to understand all proofs. Or, like Frithjof Schuon said it, "with Plato you cannot save everybody. But with religion you can save the last man."

Or in the words of St Thomas:
Now as stated above (Article 4), it is impossible that one and the same thing should be believed and seen by the same person. Hence it is equally impossible for one and the same thing to be an object of science and of belief for the same person. It may happen, however, that a thing which is an object of vision or science for one, is believed by another: since we hope to see some day what we now believe about the Trinity, according to 1 Corinthians 13:12: "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face": which vision the angels possess already; so that what we believe, they see. On like manner it may happen that what is an object of vision or scientific knowledge for one man, even in the state of a wayfarer, is, for another man, an object of faith, because he does not know it by demonstration.

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