Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Quiz Apr14 (Part One)

Kierkegaard, Marx (LH); WATCH:Marx (SoL); Marx on alienation (HI); LISTEN:Clare Carlisle on Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling (PB)...Podcast

1. (T/F) For Kierkegaard, the "Danish Socrates," the point of the Abraham/Isaac story is simply not to doubt God's word.

2. (T/F) Kierkegaard thought real Christians should find it easy to follow their faith, even if that sometimes means being irrational or abandoning ethics.

3. (T/F) Clare Carlisle says Kierkegaard perceived a complacency of faith among his fellow Christians, and wanted his readers to question whether Abraham did the right thing.



4. For Karl Marx, history was what kind of struggle, involving whom?

5. Marx's famous slogan, describing the governing principle in a post-capitalist utopia: "____ according to ability, _____ according to need."

6. Marx called religion the "____ of the people."

BONUS: Who said "the function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays," and "people demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use," and "life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."

BONUS+: Who said "the philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it," and "the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains."

BONUS++: Who said “Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”



DQ:
1. Some people hear voices and are diagnosed as mentally ill, others respond by committing atrocities in the name of faith, while still others are esteemed as saints and spiritual heroes. If you ever hear an inner voice instructing you to do something you consider ethically wrong, what will you do? What do you say to those among us today who claim that God speaks to them and tells them to fight and slay nonbelievers? Can a civilized society tolerate acts committed in the name of a Higher Law?

2. Have you ever allowed your religion (or your irreligion) to override your commitment to following the law and behaving ethically? Can you imagine a scenario in which you would deliberately harm an innocent person in the name of your faith? Do you respect people who are willing to die and kill "for their beliefs"?

3. What do you think of Kierkegaard's distinction between Christianity and Christendom? Are those who go through the motions of faith (e.g., regularly attend church services) closer to God or more likely to gain "salvation" than those who believe but do not make any public expression of faith?

4. Is it reasonable to think that most people in a capitalist society can hope to achieve satisfying, personally fulfilling careers? Or is "alienation" and 9-to-5 drudgery an inevitable result they should just accept, and stop complaining about?

5. It's cliche to say that Marxist communism is utopian, hence unrealistic about human nature. Do you agree? Is that your experience, that most people are motivated more by greed and selfishness than by altruism and fellow-feeling? Is it possible that the cliche itself reinforces such behavior, and that if we stopped repeating it we might become better people?

6. Is religious faith a drug, distracting people from their problems and making it easier for the "haves" in our society to exploit the "have-nots"? Or does religion sometimes make people more engaged in addressing social and political problems? If a Marxist utopia ever came to pass, would religion "wither away"?
==
“What labels me, negates me.”

“I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.”

“People understand me so poorly that they don't even understand my complaint about them not understanding me.”

“To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.”


“To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception; it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation, either in time or in eternity.”


“It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey.”


“Leap of faith – yes, but only after reflection.”


“The thing is to understand myself: the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die. That is what I now recognize as the most important thing.”



“Where am I? Who am I? 
How did I come to be here? 
What is this thing called the world? 
How did I come into the world? 
Why was I not consulted? 
And If I am compelled to take part in it, where is the director? 
I want to see him.” 


“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it."

"History calls those men the greatest who have ennobled themselves by working for the common good; experience acclaims as happiest the man who has made the greatest number of people happy."

"What is Communism? Communism is the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat. What is the proletariat? The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labor and does not draw profit from any kind of capital; whose weal and woe, whose life and death, whose sole existence depends on the demand for labor...."

"Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution."

"In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic."

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.


The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo... Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.” 

“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guildmaster and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, that each time ended, either in therevolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.” 

“In a higher phase of communist society... after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” 

“The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force... The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.” 

"Modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few.” 




==
An old post-
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Kierkegaard and Marx

Today in CoPhi it's Kierkegaard (and Clare Carlisle on Abraham & Isaac in Fear and Trembling) and Marx. (Not the funny one.) Kierkegaard (whose name means "graveyard") said something similar to what Hegel more cryptically assigned to the owl of Minerva, when he said “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” He also said
  • The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
  • People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. 
  • Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
  • The most common form of despair is not being who you are. 
  • Once you label me you negate me.
  • To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself. 
  • If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!
But what about the possibility of overriding the ethical, humane, and parental demands and privileges of fatherhood in the name of a sacrificial faith? The Abraham and Isaac story still chills, especially in an age when young women around the world continue to be sacrificed by their pious fathers, brothers, and other young men.

"What if Abraham was wrong?" Or delusional, or sick? His actions "can't be understood, and can't be admired, on the basis of any socially acceptable notion of morality."

And what if some modern Abraham thinks God has commanded him to (say) shoot an 11-year old schoolgirl for being “anti-Taliban and secular," i.e., for advocating girls' right to education? [Malala's story... Daily Show]

Honor killings,” such atrocities are sometimes euphemistically camouflaged. There’s nothing honorable about them, and nothing a respectable philosopher can say in their defense.

It’s not just Islamist fundamentalists, btw, who support the abuse and murder of children in God’s name. Ophelia Benson cites an Arkansas congressional candidate who says “God’s law” decrees death for “rebellious children.”

But Clare Carlisle reads Kierkegaard's pseudonymously-delivered message as less commital, and more philosophically inquisitory: "What is faith?" Is it immoral ("morally abhorrent" in Abraham's case), irrational, and yet somehow elective and excusable? Whatever it is, she says he's saying, it's not anything to be complacent about. And it's not something you have just because you go through the motions (i.e., attend church services and criticize atheists).

Fair enough. But if "the truth of human existence can't be adequately grasped or expressed in terms of rational thought," we may be in big trouble.

David Wood, who drove down from Vandy to our campus last April to deliver a Lyceum lecture, has interesting thoughts on why we still read Kierkegaard (and Nietzsche):



A Day in the Life of David Wood...

Marx said some things too.
  • History calls those men the greatest who have ennobled themselves by working for the common good; experience acclaims as happiest the man who has made the greatest number of people happy. 
  • As Prometheus, having stolen fire from heaven, begins to build houses and to settle upon the earth, so philosophy, expanded to be the whole world, turns against the world of appearance. The same now with the philosophy of Hegel. 
  • Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution. 
  • The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force… The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.
  • The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
  • The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working Men of All Countries, Unite!
Whether Kierkegaard’s and Marx’s words have ultimately been a force for emancipation and the change we need is a question for historians, and philosophers, and historians of philosophy, and philosophers of history. It’s probably best to leave the politicians out of it. [Kierkegaard and Marx @dawn... Kierkegaard and Marx at CoPhi... Marx for dogs]

23 comments:

  1. Some interesting reading on Kierkegaard and his philosophy…..

    https://philosophynow.org/issues/24/Soren_Kierkegaard

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jul/04/the-return-of-marxism

    Applying Marx to our life in 2015 and how his philosophy is still relevant and on the rise and apples to today's society/economic status

    ReplyDelete
  3. Janet Peoples (8)
    Some people hear voices and are diagnosed as mentally ill, others respond by committing atrocities in the name of faith, while still others are esteemed as saints and spiritual heroes. If you ever hear an inner voice instructing you to do something you consider ethically wrong, what will you do? What do you say to those among us today who claim that God speaks to them and tells them to fight and slay nonbelievers? Can a civilized society tolerate acts committed in the name of a Higher Law?

    If one day i started hearing voices then i would probably think i was going crazy and end up doing something bad to myself. If it was God speaking to me then i would know anything he said to me would help me get through anything i was struggling with. I would never do anything to hurt anyone, if God was talking to me he wouldn't tell me to hurt anyone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Janet Peoples (8)
    Have you ever allowed your religion (or your irreligion) to override your commitment to following the law and behaving ethically? Can you imagine a scenario in which you would deliberately harm an innocent person in the name of your faith? Do you respect people who are willing to die and kill "for their beliefs"?

    I would never do anything to hurt someone because Jesus didn't die on the cross for our sins for nothing. They wouldn't want you to do anything against the law or even hurt someone. They want people to know about them and want better for everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Justin, Katelin, Trent, Kali
    DQ#4 In capitalist societies, it is impossible for everyone to have a nice job, let alone a fulfilling one. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Capitalism looks good on paper, as do many other forms of goverment, but is ineffective in practice. When citizens stop pointing out problems then progress stops.
    DQ1 Mental illness and hearing voices are culturally defined and their significance is based on the culture.

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  6. Faith in God has been explained in the story of Abraham and issac. Because Abraham was knowing that God was testing his faith by sacrifice issac to god.

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  7. (#8) DQ4:

    I believe that is reasonable to infer that majority of the people living in a capitalistic society are hopeful in achieving fulfilling careers. In accord with Marx's idea of alienation, there is a degree of separation between us humans in that we usually end up working a "9-5" job as society dictates; however, people (I feel) are beginning to understand that no matter what career they choose they will more than likely end up working a "full shift" or this idea of a "9-5" job/career. Having said that, I think people should reduce the amount of complaining they engage in and accept the inevitably, "not-so-bad" result of life that is becoming more and more of a norm.

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  8. (#8) Robby, Whitney, Matt, Alex
    Q4: We do believe that people enjoy their jobs even if the money is not there in the beginning. When you think about nurses and teachers, when they start out their salary does not reflect the intense job and hours they endure, but their passion and love for the job itself is what continues their continuation of the job. There are some people that look forward to their 9-5 job because of their status as a young worker and they was to dive into their career with long hours, but some would oppose and not want to be confined to that job and those hours.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Phil Imran Will Reyna (8) We decided that as long as you are personally happy with your job it doesn't matter what the hours are. A 9-5 isn't necessarily a bad thing if its doing what you love, or you're satisfied with the results.

    ReplyDelete
  10. (8)
    Our group continued the discussion about inner voices, I shared my experiences with inner voices and we discussed the origin of selfishness. I believe it is likely that everyone hears voices, Dr. Oliver recognized these to be an echo of previous conversations. I must say that though the voice belongs to a person, the words do not always. Sometimes I hear my one person with another person's words. But yes, as if the resources for the voice were only the things already stored in my mind. Memories, bits of conversations. The source of the voice is the concern. Where does this sound originate? my mind? Outside? my mind reflecting outside itself? I described it as the universe. yes, it is in my mind and yes it is from the universe. the conglomeration of energy that we all combine to create. My mind is part of that, so is everyone else. collective sensations of the environment around me, combined with sensation I've experienced before and the sensations of the things beginning to happen. I've grown to recognize the messages that are being sent without words, sometimes this formulates words in my mind and it arrives as a voice. I recognize it as a constantly forming, outwardly silent, internal dialogue with the universe. It has taught me a lot about my self, the most important lesson is love.
    I used to berate myself inside, the voice was judgmental and bitter. I had to realize that this voice was part of me, and it was a reflection of the world around me. The only way i could come to terms with what was happening in my life was to start the conversation with myself... "what is this? how did i get here? why are these things happening to me? How can i get happy?" the dialogue began to grow. I started to recognize that the voice wasn't my own voice, it was the voice of life experience. It was the voice in my gut telling me to allow more space between the car in front of me. It was the voice telling me, "you forgot the coffee maker." It was ME saying "these jeans used to fit you" it was my fear saying "that girl is never going to friend with you now". I had to begin to recognize the sources of these messages i was receiving. i am still learning the difference between the sources and intentions of messages, voices, signals from the universe.
    I had to open my mind to myself in order to begin.
    About the origin of selfishness/altruism. I contended that altruism is natural at birth and we are taught selfishness. Then the question was raised about the instinctual nature of an infant. it was mentioned that the recognition of others was the beginning of altruism, the infant sees others and recognizes human as one of the same source. Thus greeting it with altruism, the instinct remains, but fades with non-necessity. Selfishness training begins. We did not get time to discuss that possibility of a human being born without emotion and the implications of such.

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  11. Danielle Bonner Section 4
    Quiz questions
    1) What was the goal of the Communist Manifesto?
    2) Who influenced Marx's ideas about history?
    3) Marx thought all humans should be treated equally, what did that make him?

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  12. Stephen Martin (4)
    Discussion Question:

    What did Frederick Engles Declare about Marx at his graveside?

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  13. Sterling Smith (#6)10:04 AM CDT

    Quiz Question: (T/F) Marx was extremely against Communism

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  14. Amy Young (4)
    2. Have you ever allowed your religion (or your irreligion) to override your commitment to following the law and behaving ethically? Can you imagine a scenario in which you would deliberately harm an innocent person in the name of your faith? Do you respect people who are willing to die and kill "for their beliefs"?

    I have never allowed my irreligion to override my commitment to following the law. I cannot imagine a time when I would hurt an innocent person because of religion. I respect people who would die for their religion, but not those who would kill.

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  15. Sterling Smith (#6)10:07 AM CDT

    DQ: Do the ideas of Marx or Kierkegaard align more with your own personal philosophy?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Amy Young (4)
    DQ: how can Karl Marx's conflict theory related to his philosophical beliefs related?

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  17. Amy Young (4)
    QQ: what were the differences between Kierkegaard and Marx?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous11:00 AM CDT

    Devin Mahoney (6)

    "Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form." - Karl Marx

    Quiz Question:

    Who was Marx "echoing" or heavily influenced by when he stated that "workers had nothing to lose but their chains"? (Hint: They echoed the opening lines from this famous Philosopher's most recognized work)

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  19. Frank Dremel - Section 6
    DQ:
    1. I believe the voices we hear are from different sources. Some are reflections of our own subconscious, some are from forces of evil or God, some are voices of reason, some are voices that are the culmination of our experiences. It is true that mentally ill people hear voices; there are chemical reasons for this. Some people who are deemed mentally ill truly are, but some are not. I don’t know that it is a matter for me to judge in most cases, but more of a personal issue. However when people claim to be acting out God’s will by slaying non-believers, I do not believe that. If God’s ultimate goal is to bring everyone into salvation, why would he have the nonbeliever be killed prematurely? Wouldn’t He advocate for simply teaching them up until the final moment of their natural life? It is not logical for a God who wants everyone to Believe to promote killing people before they have been made to believe. So, no, a civilized society cannot tolerate acts such as this in the name of a Higher Law, not when those acts do not promote the general welfare. Death is contrary to the general welfare.

    3. What do you think of Kierkegaard's distinction between Christianity and Christendom? Are those who go through the motions of faith (e.g., regularly attend church services) closer to God or more likely to gain "salvation" than those who believe but do not make any public expression of faith?
    I have heard in sermons and from people of faith that Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. I have also heard Faith without works is dead. I think there is more to faith than church attendance, but I also don’t support those who say they can be just as faithful without ever stepping foot inside church. It should be the right church --- and by that I mean one that fits the believer, not that there is only one “right” church. I do think certain acts and attitudes strengthen one’s faith. The more one practices one’s faith, whether in a formal church or outside of it, the more one grows in their individual walk with their God. Kierkegaard was right, in formal religion sometimes Christianity becomes dead, because it has been taken over with only outward signs instead of inward work, work on improving our faith. “And this is one of the most crucial definitions for the whole of Christianity; that the opposite of sin is not virtue but faith.” ~Soren Kierkegaard

    DQ: Kierkegaard said, “Once you label me, you negate me”. How important is it that we resist attempts to label people and put people into boxes? What are some ways we could promote the recognition of the Individual, or is that even something we should do?

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  20. Stephen Martin (4)
    Discussion Questions:
    1. Under what pseudonym did Kierkegaard write 'Fear and Trembling'?
    2. Kierkegaard's book 'Either/Or' was written from what two perspectives?

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  21. Sterling Smith (#6)1:31 PM CDT

    Quiz Question: What was Marx's most famous work?

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  22. Section 6

    Suggested DQ:
    Do you think Marx's ideas are ultimately flawed, as shown by the USSR? Or do you think with the right people his society could work?

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  23. Section 4
    DQ
    How is religion described in this passage? Why is it considered "the opium of people"?

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