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The sense of solidarity of Christmas

14 Dec

It seems consumerism, even people with religiousness can condemn, but the spirit of giving and opening the hand to the other, to those who suffer and also to relatives and friends has biblical reference.

We all hoped for some “salvation” and hoped to be real and concrete, John the Baptist, who preceded Jesus and was his cousin, preached in the wilderness and the crowd that followed him are in anguish, they asked him, “What should we do? “John answered,” Whoever has two coats, give one to him who has not; and whoever has food, do the same! “(Luke 3:11).

His fame was great and so tax collectors also went there, and people of the Roman empire, Herod himself knew and feared him, for he told him that he could not have married his brother’s wife. John told the people that besides making the usual religious sacrifices they should also be in solidarity with the people and share their goods, all this was a preparation for the coming of the Savior and at the same time a spiritual preparation.

The solidarity of our times implies the acceptance of peoples and cultures different from the habitual ones of each people, the planet lives a miscegenation of races and creeds, and the exercise of respect and freedom of worship is fundamental for our time.

On the other hand, intolerance grows, a reaction of those who do not accept cultural and religious differences, the result is the growth of nationalistic feelings and with an exaggerated dose of fundamentalism, dialogue and tolerance are remedies for this evil.

The lesson of John the Baptist for his people, in addition to giving disciples to Jesus and also sending messengers to ask if he was indeed the messiah, had an exercise with the Jewish people to make him more open and supportive in preparing him for the “savior”. The Messianic aspects of this time, there were also dozens of false messiahs in the time of Jesus, also grow, but it is fact to identify them by the lack of solidarity and exercises of values ​​necessary for a true spiritual life.

4Preparing the paths, flattening the mountains and discovering the paths are necessary for this, the danger of deception and distemper in time of changes are inevitable, but should not lead those who seek serenity and concrete changes, a new time will come, that is what it means Advent.

 

 

What should we do ?

13 Dec

The aporia of the Greeks, the impropriety (I translated as unreasonableness) of Heidegger, the fear and the fragility of Martha Nussbaum, may all be composed in a juice that helps to look forward with serenity and hope. Before the advent of the birth of Jesus, Christmas has this deeper symbolic meaning, we expect a “salvation” and it must be concrete.
John the Baptist preached in the desert and the crowd that followed him are in anguish, they asked him: “What should we to do? “John answered:” Whoever has two coats, give one to him who has not; and whoever has food, do the same! “(Luke 3:11).
There were also tax collectors, the corrupt ones of today who pollute the entire financial health of the state, this is the protest in France, and it seems that Teresa Mey in the United Kingdom also begins to show signs of weakness, the conservative turn shows her impotence.
What we should do, not lose solidarity, fraternity, and the spirit of the advent of Christmas help us in what must “come” and will come, but it takes strong minds and hearts.
The feeling of death, and even a certain despondency in the hearts desirous of the future may be present, but should not mean surrender or paralysis, but Aporia.
It is necessary to be open to the new, and to develop solidarity denouncing violence and social abuses, the Nobel Prize doctor Denis Mukwege who rescues victims of abuse in Congo and denounces the violence ignored by the West that happens in his parents, along with Nadia Murad activist against the sexual abuse of women, who was herself a victim of violence Denis Mukwege praised the good use of new media to denounce these facts that the major press ignores or makes them less serious than they are, so digital change, artificial intelligence, information and communication are there not to disrupt, but to help this.
The examples of Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad serve us to overcome fear and move forward, the changes will happen.

 

Fear, anguish and change

12 Dec

The philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) invites those who live in fear, to live in impropriety, or a kind of aporia that means to think without assigning values and meaning, letting circumstances attribute it, it seems an alienation, but it is the alienation of the self.
In a world that is always running, and I warn that this was already a reflection of Nietzsche and also Mario de Andrade’s Paulicéia Desvairada of the 1920s, and now the Monarchy of Fear, which is a reflection of Martha Nussbaum for the USA, but that serves to Brazil and others.
Nothing is more related to fear than Death, but it also arouses anguish, it would be to think about their relation to change, I would say none, unless the hypothesis that Heidegger throws us: impropriety, that is, we cease to attribute meaning and allow others to ascribe it, I would say that it is a resigned dialogic.
Heidegger also wrote that it is in anguish that we experience our fragility.
In it we find unexpectedly the change, where neither the anguish and the fear reach, beyond them therefore, where the hope and the “clearing” are born, lights on the forest.
So the fear exists because there is a real danger, and it means that something is changing, the anguish leads us to think about what is the change and the direction of it.
I suspect that the term impropriety used in the national translation for the word of Heidegger unangemessenheit may have another meaning, since angemessen can be translated as what is reasonable, so I would translate unreasonableness, that is, which is not in a sense as being reasonable, but that in the face of  fear and anguish, they arise as having new horizons, from which changes that were previously unthinkable can emerge.
The German poet Hölderlin said that where there is fear there is salvation, it can be said nowadays in a broader way, that is, in science, in politics and because not in spirituality

 

Between Aporia and Aletheia

11 Dec

The Greek word Aporia (Ἀπορία) meant in Greek Mythology impotence, difficulty and helplessness, or even the lack of means, was rethought by the Aristotelian school as impasse, paradox, doubt, uncertainty or even contradiction, its studies are called aporetic.

Aristotle defined it as “equality of contradictory conclusions” (Topics, 6.145.16-20).

It is important because it broke apart, albeit in a participatory way, as the logic of Being or Not Being, and there can be no contradiction, which came to be in contemporary idealism.

It is radically different from Aletheia, because it is cover-up, not contradiction and so was designated by the ancient Greeks as truth and reality, simultaneously.

Heidegger takes it back in the attempt to “unveil” the truth, it is considered an objective descriptive state, and therefore lacking a metaphysical or subjective movement.

Aporia was also used by contemporary authors, such as Derridá and Paul de Man, so in post-structuralist literary theory, is thus the very deconstructive reading of the text, which we have previously warned has nothing to do with denying the truth, but indeterminacy or undecidability .

The sense of putting them together here is precisely to seek a relationship that in contemporary theory is disconnected, being itself an aporia, the linguistic turn seems to have nothing and no connection with the ontological, so aporia and aletheia are disconnected, the Greeks little help because reading is in the past participle and not present participle.

It is curious, but it was Portugal who warned me of the fact, here is not used the gerund: someone is talking, it is saying they say, thus nothing will be, but it is being, said Priest Manuel Antunes: “mystical people, but not metaphysical” (Repensar Portugal).

While aporia is a past participle, it becomes fatalistic, undetermined as the search for truth, and aletheia while unveiling is a constant search for horizons, where there is no definitive truth, but truth in construction: being, revealing, happening.

Philosophical, political and especially religious determinism leads to various types of fundamentalism, from pure aporia to pure “truth”, there is neither dialogic nor unveiling.

Heidegger ‘s hermeneutic circle is not only a method, it is unveiling, to admit the idea that we all have a pre – concept is to unveil to the crisis of modernity, legalism and idealistic positivism gave what it gave, a no way out, but humanity itself points out ways, one already is clear: admitting that there are preconceptions is the only remedy and diagnosis capable of overcoming them.

Cultures, religions and political concepts are in shock this is aporetic, can and should enter into humanistic dialogic, ie unveiling and pursuit of horizons.

 

Digital´s aporetic and maieutic

10 Dec

 In the time of the pre-Socratics, philosophy called the sophist had as a presupposition to create discourses to favor the rulers and this soon led to Greek democracy to languish and a moral relativism, Socrates who lived in the century. IV a.C. proposed a method to address this which was to develop the maieutic, a method of asking which developed the logos.

But the aporetic state that lived was necessary more than to ask, an interlocutor had to abandon its preconceptions and the relativism of the opinions demanded something more than just to ask, something that would make a birth in the new thought, hence the maiuêutica name that was the the art of giving birth, so it was not a matter of “creating” knowledge, but of giving birth.
There is no doubt that the digital medium became twisted of “opinions”, the doxa as the Greeks called them, but can one parturize and inquire in the digital medium? a digital maieutic is possible, the case is not just how twisted (claques in Portugal) are organized, but how they are manipulated by sophisms, now updated as”fake news”.
The sophistry exists in history, never left or will cease to exist, in digital times the problem is the viral process, but the publishing groups through newspapers and TV channels have already done this and there has always been a maieutic that opposed manipulation to the facts.
Let us return to the method of Socrates, he did not initially know any, did not make his judgments according to tradition, customs, opinions, nor had an episteme, or an elaborate method, just asked, the problem today is that the questions are and  modernity has already created “organized” knowledge (in the systematic sense rather than the truth), but we can use this for a  new digital maieutic, repelling wrong speeches.
I think it’s not by chance that Artificial Intelligence is evolving, but practical intelligence, phronesis coupled with techné and praxis itself (which is therefore a part of the practice) may help, so Martha Nussbaum’s speech makes a lot of sense.
Many people talk aboutmaintaining “focus” (but it may be wrong) or emotional intelligence, which, disconnected from practical wisdom (phronesis), can fall into paralysis or alienation.

All we have today is not due to the digital world, it affect its, is a means and so it is incorret to see it as the final or initial cause, not even was the industrial revolution that caused it, but the set of values and feelings built in modern society, which is nothing more than a forma of being-in-the-world, a Dasein as Heidegger writed and explained.

Digital resources seem welcome, but we still have the barrier of preconceptions, an elaborate human hermeneutics is necessary

 

 

The aporia and the desert

07 Dec

What happens in moments of deep crisis is to return to the safe harbor, unfortunately the safe harbor for the masses is what they know: a strong modern state and if not the religious fundamentalism that seems to give back the roots of each people.
There are not few examples in the world, even those who refuse to rediscute the state realize that something is going very wrong: weariness of democracy or even hatred of democracy, it is not so simple, do not get tired or hate what is good , There is something wrong.
Aporia is at this moment more than emptiness, because it means to hear something that comes to mind (the Cartesian cogito that does not go beyond the ego), the alter that is to hear that which is not the Same, aporia is recognition of a fallacy, even if it is a historical step.
Sloterdijk’s diagnosis is hard, we must abandon the depths of our anthropological interpretations: all interpretations of man as “worker” or “communicator” must now be translated into the language of exercise which we have known until then as manifestations of homo faber or homo religiosus , a life of “exercises.”
Of course it is questionable, but his diagnosis has so far, the dualisms: sacred vs. aristocratic common, cognitive cultures knowledge vs. ignorance, military cultures vs. liberal cultics, and goes around now, it is as if for several systems there were only binary dual logic,. Niklas Luhmann went in the same direction and goes so far as to say that his identity is constituted, he allows his internal communication and regulates and at the same time restricts his communication with his environment (Luhmann).
What would be beyond that? The understanding of culture as a rule and not as ancestry, is in fact a new understanding of humanism or even its end some want.
Under culture they understand, from Wittgenstein to Sloterdijk, are the set of all possible behavioral forms within a given society, that is, all forms of life that pass through the sieve of the rule; rule is placed at such a high level of demand that only a life of exercise can achieve it.
So few would be able to fulfill it. Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and even Foucault would all be representatives of a philosophy as a discipline, so philosophy is more than a school subject: it is engaged and characterized by a “vertical tension.”
If Brazilian conservative politics requires a school without a party, it thinks of nothing but a return to a life of exercise: moral, religious, and cultural, because it knows little or nothing about the origin of slogans such as “order and progress,” recalls the positivism of Auguste Comte from which the word “love” was withdrawn, dispensable for dictators.
The necessary aporia is the recognition of a cultural, philosophical and even religious night that the West faces, but also Buddhism and other pacifist Hinduism already show signs of “intolerance” in current cases in regions of India and Myanmar.
Only a “modern aporia” will be able to open a new horizon, old schemes are bankrupt, I am more optimistic than Sloterdijk and others, humanism has not died, there is a humanism of a new kind that must be born: of every man and of every culture, without exclusions.
As it is written in Luke 3,4: “The words of the prophet Isaiah: This is the voice of him that cries in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight’”.

 

Aporia, hope and practice

06 Dec

What can we have beyond aporia, a paralysis in the face of the unthinkable?
We have already posed here on pronesis, practical wisdom, which together with techné and praxis forms a more elaborate form of understanding the dualistic and idealistic relation of theory and practice, but it was Martha Nussbaum who put this in new heights, despite the distrust of critical
Martha Nussbaum was the first to parade in her book The Monarchy of Fear (Nussbaum, 2018), the work that was a clear vision of fear in the USA, is now also applied to Brazil and to the growth of fundamentalisms in the world today.

The name may seem strange, but Rousseau’s line is the most lucid and less authoritarian “contractualist” democrat, where the author argues that in a monarchy the child was born to “enslave” people, but it evolves and becomes a mature human being when can see his parents as an extension of himself and come to respect them and to return the life that he received.
Starting from political theory, psychoanalysis, psychological and classical studies, the philosopher argues that some emotions are sabotaging democracy: fear, repulsion and envy, if they have not taken it seriously before, now is the time to take it at least.
It contrasts with this theory the choice of hope as a practical habit, which means putting ourselves in touch with what we a priori repel: religion, the arts, education and what seems most fundamental: the study in detail of the theories of Justice .
It is one of the paths of transdisciplinarity, but rather we must consider what is beyond common sense, because also in these areas a certain level of deepening is necessary, in addition to the authoritarian and liberal, fair and unjust social, art and fine arts, there is something beyond and it is neither inter nor multi, but trans, that is, beyond and therein is something metaphysical.
Practical hope is also a good recipe because in addition to putting some light in the current crisis of thought, culture and even religion, it puts us in motion not in the active life, but in activities that can be inserted day-to-day and change the life and the results (they incorporate pronesis and techné, although the author does not call it that), she brings to the conversation the theme of emotions, she says about herself: “she had not gone deep enough,” she said in an
interview in Fronteiras do Pensamento (the Frontiers of Thought).
Martha Nussbaum, in addition to being a recognized scholar of classical culture, received in Kyoto in 2016 the Kyoto prize, the Japanese equivalent to the Nobel, which also received Karl Popper and Jürgen Habermas.
I did not read the book, but I’m writing my reading list for

 

Christmas and Winter

05 Dec

Christmas is different in Europe, the contrast between the warmth of hearts and the frost on the streets gives a very special recollection climate, unlike tropical countries.
I thought it was more sad, but it is not, there are hearts attentive to the lights, the buzz of the streets, even if someone criticizes the consumerism or the exaggeration, people want to greet each other, they want to do something almost the same as in Brazil, I feel here even warmer.
We had a lunch with colleagues from my work environment, and it was really a party, they put up the famous Christmas songs, not the conventional ones, but those of children like “I left my shoe”, is a good mood, at least in Portugal.
I went downtown, a beautiful Christmas tree on one side of Praça do Comercio (center place of Lisbon), the conversation on the streets is curious, even Islamist or evangelical, maybe it was only in Portugal, but it warmed my heart.
I will not be here on Christmas Eve, nor at the end of the year, but I gained a more optimistic view.
It is difficult to imagine that among so many religious women, politics are the result of a return to national and xenophobic feelings, there is still room for warmth, love and friendship.
In my corner I celebrated, sure that it will be a little more difficult in Brazil, but not impossible, you have to try to keep ties and avoid making more bombs than the ones there.
Advent time, which means something will come, even if it is contrary to what we want, we must keep hope, the spirit attentive to injustices and not do with others, what we do not want them to do to us.
Even if Christmas is cold by the natural climate or the political climate, let’s keep the heat
The first essential step is to have the right diagnosis, so many self-help books, good nutrition, recipes of happiness that do not seem to move people from anxiety, fear, anguish, and with increasingly serious syndromes like Burnout.
Diagnosis is a society that has pushed us to a job, not only functional but necessary, but with additional burdens of political, social, religious and even family activism as being “necessary” to live well.
There is no room for contemplation, even for rest, for leisure activities, because in them we also put more activism, endless queues of cars for beaches, fields or other retreats that are nothing more than to lead the agitation in the suitcase.
We do not know how to read the signs of the times, and with this activism only increases the emptiness and the sense of concern, the diagnosis already pointed out by Nietzsche has a recipe in Kierkegaard to return to being what we are, and from there to change and evolution with serenity .
The apocalyptic will say signs of the times, the pragmatics will say humanity is thus, always was and always will be, incapacity to read the times, non-fundamentalist reading about the end times “Take care that your hearts are not insensitive because of gluttony, of drunkenness and worries of life, and that this day does not suddenly fall upon you “(Lk 21:35), can serve for our times well before the end of the world that will be delayed.

 

Disruption, do you know the most used words?

04 Dec

The year 2018 will be marked by several disruptions, among them the artificial intelligence that has come to stay, you may think that it is long, but where there is more code is neither on the phone in facebook, but in the car, so it is a disruption.

The second is the use of words in Instagram that have become common and not everyone knows, the hashtag #instagood should be used only for the best photos, but users ended up using it so much that it is the second most used word in Instagram (with number of use of 574.190.28, below just #love that went from 1 billion.

The third one in Instagram is also little known and long: #photooftheday, but if you read it correctly you will see that it is simple: the photo of the day, more than 407 million if it is joined to another word used in the same way # picoftheday would probably be the second .

It will be a bit difficult to know what the word “fashionable” was in 2018, but in Portugal because of a humorous program “Gato Fedorento”, the word “esmiuçar” known to Brazilians, here it came into fashion in 2009, because of excellent mood Ricardo de Araújo Pereira, I promised to read it last year (see my post) and I did not regret it.

There is still no elected word, the initiative in Portugal is from Porto Editora, there are polls on the site www.palavradoano.pt until December 31, so only in the new year will we know.

In English I read on websites that fit the perfect “perf” and “lineswoman”, our English line judge would be the referee of American football, I think it can mean women decided or make a decision.

In Brazil, fake news was widely used, besides the electoral uses of # elenão and #mito, nothing more depoliticized, gave in what gave, not even the future government has a clear future ahead.

The evolution of situations of religious fundamentalism throughout the world, and perhaps now also in Brazil, may create a new word, but there is undoubtedly a return to nationalism and religious foundations unprecedented in history, until peaceful Buddhism is affected.

What word was used for this other than fundamentalism? Not yet. What word was used for the return to nationalism, even in Europe? None, so my conclusion in my posts, there is a diagnostic problem, the word would be thought night, then use a Greek word: APORIA.

 

The case of the birth of Jesus

03 Dec

It is Christian dogma that Jesus was God, and indeed he was resurrected the era, but the fact that was born is not dogma, although controversial in the biblical text of Luke (2: 1-5):
“In those days there appeared an edict of Caesar Augustus, and ordered a census of the whole inhabited world.” This census was the first while Quirinus was Governor of Syria, and they were all enrolled, each in his own city. Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, in the city of David, called Bethlehem, for being of the house and of the family of David, to sign up with his wife Mary, who was with child.
But the controversy is not the Census and the birth of a boy named Jesus, but the fact that when Quirinus was prefect of Syria and Herod king of Judea, remember that Herod wanted to kill the boy who would be “king” thinking that he would steal his throne, and then he does a very infantile one, it happens that this is not simultaneous with Quirino in Syria, but it is only a quarrel.
The fact is that it was not easy either, first they had to go to Bethlehem, José’s homeland a census imposition, and they did not find a house, then they had to flee to Egypt due to the death of the children that Herod sent for not knowing who it was the boy-king.
At last the times were not easy, compared to our time we can say that it is Christmas Yes, although the date is imprecise, for us Christians, those who do not believe also celebrate, it is a time to have hope, to want the “clearing” and to fight for a better future.
False Christianity forgives us, but those who persecuted, who killed and tortured were the Roman empire, the Christians and the simple people, the children killed by Herod, were innocent.