Καλή Ανάσταση! (On the irrationality of the modern belief in death)

Advertisements

Happy Easter! (“Καλή Ανάσταση” in Greek literally means ‘Happy Resurrection’)

And let not the irrationality of the miracle of resurrection hinder you from believing.

The most important things in life we anyway do not understand.

Our self.

Being.

The cosmos itself.

And yet we are defined by them. And we live by them.

Yes, the resurrection is irrational.

And that is why it is true. (refer to “Resurrection – Illogical, thus True.“)

Because knowing is not about understanding, as Shestov said.

You think you need to believe in order to accept the resurrection.

But it is the other way around…

You already believe so many things and that is why you accept death.

Think again.

Time. Existence. Matter. Identity. Me. You. The notion of change itself.

Who told you these exist?

Do not ask whether Christ was risen.

But instead.

Could you ever die?

PS. Refer to the “What does it take to believe in Death” series of articles at the Blogger Harmonia Philosophica portal for more extensive coverage of the ideas that support our belief in Death. I was much younger when I wrote it and did not wrote so eloquently as now (at least not as much as I believe I do anyway), but my ideas were far more clear and raw. Thus, I still like them. Hope you like them too.

Placebo.

Advertisements
Photo by JACK REDGATE from Pexels

Give people a sugar pill, they have shown, and those patients – especially if they have one of the chronic, stress-related conditions that register the strongest placebo effects and if the treatment is delivered by someone in whom they have confidence – will improve. Tell someone a normal milkshake is a diet beverage, and his gut will respond as if the drink were low fat. Take athletes to the top of the Alps, put them on exercise machines and hook them to an oxygen tank, and they will perform better than when they are breathing room air – even if room air is all that’s in the tank. Wake a patient from surgery and tell him you’ve done an arthroscopic repair, and his knee gets better even if all you did was knock him out and put a couple of incisions in his skin. Give a drug a fancy name, and it works better than if you don’t.

You don’t even have to deceive the patients. You can hand a patient with irritable bowel syndrome a sugar pill, identify it as such and tell her that sugar pills are known to be effective when used as placebos, and she will get better, especially if you take the time to deliver that message with warmth and close attention. Depression, back pain, chemotherapy-related malaise, migraine, post-traumatic stress disorder: The list of conditions that respond to placebos – as well as they do to drugs, with some patients – is long and growing. (1)

Fool yourself that you will live.

And you will.

Fool yourself that you will gain knowledge.

And you will.

Fool yourself that you die.

And you will.

But tell me. Why did you need to fool yourself in the first place?

Yes, at the end you will be healed.

But no one can ever be healed.

Unless he wasn’t sick in the first place…

At the end, even the healed ones will die.

While Nature is laughing at their anguish.

Look at yourself in awe.

Can you laugh while crying?

Believing in the brain…

Advertisements
Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels

Humans constantly experience an ever-changing stream of subjective feelings that is only interrupted during sleep and deep unconsciousness. Finnish researches show how the subjective feelings map into five major categories: positive emotions, negative emotions, cognitive functions, somatic states, and illnesses. All these feelings were imbued with strong bodily sensations. (1)

In both ADHD and emotional instability disorders (e.g. borderline and antisocial personality disorder as well as conduct disorder in children), the brain exhibits similar changes in overlapping areas, meaning that the two types of conditions should be seen as related and attention should be paid to both during diagnosis. This according to researchers at Karolinska Institutet behind a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry. The results can lead to a broader treatment for both conditions. (2)

We believe in the brain. And we have become slaves of it.

We used to be sons of God. And for that we were free.

So free to forget Him. And enslave ourselves to nothingness.

Still, we can go back.

Only if we stop believing in the power of non-believing.

And we start believing again…

Moon landing. Jesus resurrection. Stories told. Stories forgotten.

Advertisements

We recently celebrated the 50 years anniversary of the moon landing. And yet, we saw many headlines of people speaking in favor of a conspiracy theory which wants the moon landing to be a hoax. I will not stand in the details of this funny conspiracy theory. What I will try to do is show how truth can easily be turned into a lie with only one key ingredient added to the recipe: time.

You see we went to the moon not so long ago, but the new generation is already questioning this. It could be for fun, it it could be due to stupidity, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that a story which was held true from one generation is now considered by make as false. An event which was considered the most important event man ever experienced, is now ridiculed by people who see obvious flaws in the story.

But many people went to the moon! one might argue.

Well, many people were resurrected as well.

But resurrection is a miracle, it defies natural laws! one might say.

So does s journey to the moon, for scientists who lived well before Armstrong. (remember that many years ago scientists didn’t even believe we could fly and after that they didn’t believe we could surpass the speed of sound limit)

But we will go again to the moon! one might say.

Sure we will. And many people will resurrect again! (or are they already? Check for NDE-related articles in Harmonia Philosophica)

But many people can testify that the moon landings happen! Well, I have a much better one: Many people DIED because the resurrection happened!

All in all, time along with the arrogance (we know better) and ignorance of newer generations, will always result in the manifestation of one of the major (brain) functions of the human intellect: forgetfulness. Nothing mysterious or fancy. No conspiracies or high-end philosophy. Just plain and raw dementia.

It takes courage to accept your limits. And recognize that what you might not remember could be something you once knew. Because in order to do that you must challenge your own self. Only because deep inside you can never doubt him…

Credo!

Advertisements

Tertullian is widely regarded as having originated the expression “Credo quia absurdum” (est) (I believe because it is absurd) and the phrase often appears in contemporary polemics about the rationality of religious belief. Patristic scholars have long pointed out that Tertullian never said this or meant anything like it. (although as I have explained many times in Harmonia Philosophica, there is nothing wrong with the irrational – it is the logical which is unfounded and full of fallacies) However, little scholarly attention has been paid to the circumstances in which this specific phrase came into existence and why, in spite of its dubious provenance, it continues to be regarded by many as a legitimate characterization of religious faith. A new paper shows how Tertullian’s original expression – “It is certain, because impossible” – was first misrepresented and modified in the early modern period. In seventeenth century England a “credo” version – I believe because it is impossible – became the common form of Tertullian’s maxim. A further modification, building on the first, was effected by the Enlightenment philosophe Voltaire, who added the “absurdity condition” and gave us the modern version of the paradox: I believe because it is absurd. These modifications played a significant role in Enlightenment representations of religion as irrational, and signal the beginning of a new understanding of faith as an epistemic vice. This doubtful maxim continues to play a role in debates about the cognitive status of religious faith, and its failure to succumb to the historical evidence against it is owing to its ongoing rhetorical usefulness in such debates. (1)

People once understood the irrationality of existence.

Then they invented Logic.

And they tried to formulate logical ways to believe in God. Let’s not forget that the founder of Logic believed in the Unmoved Mover. And the second greatest logician of all times (Gödel) formulated a renowned proof for the existence of God.

Then came “Enlightenment”.

And tried to convince people that logic has nothing to do with irrational things like religion. That rational people cannot believe in absurd things like the soul, the spirit, Jesus or God.

They were both wrong.

Logic itself is absurd and irrational. Based on axioms selected arbitrarily, without any solid foundation whatsoever. The only thing we know for sure about any set of axiomatic theories – logic included – is that it cannot prove everything.

Life IS absurd and irrational. We exist without reason, we die without reason, we love and hate with no reason, we just Are. Any attempt to rationalize life will hit the wall of reality and collapse as soon as it started.

So believe what you want.

No you are not irrational.

Because there is no such thing as “rational”…