Post-God or human reinvention

13 Aug

A few days ago I read in Folha de São Paulo (in an online note) that the famous mystical physicist Fritjof Capra (Tao of Physics) said that the pandemic is a “Pandemic is the biological response of the planet”, and also in his conference in the Frontieras debate of Thought about the “Reinvention of the human”, in which the economist also spoke

In his lecture, he supposes an awakening in 2050 and visualizing the world and its post-pandemic transformations, already well defined, what he and the futurist Hazel Henderson propose are imaginable perspectives, as which relatives for the past verified as flaws and human conditions which changes they happen to be perceived, I think so, thinking about a distant scenario, I thought a much more valid reflection than thinking about next year.

In the thinking of the Austrian physical-mystic he considers that an expanded consciousness would help to overcome the cognitive limitations (and cultural addition), the mistaken assumptions and ideologies that are called back in the prices of the 20th century, and development and productivist metrics, such as the GDP, ended up allowing huge social and environmental losses and the destruction of the functions of planetary exosystems.

Little is said about the persistence of Religions and the answers they too can give and the role they will play in a post-pandemic stage, although nicht made explicit by the physicist and not even by economists who also come from the inorganic in the thematic conversation of the Swans, of the earth whether by chemical processes, by hands or by divine breath, the truth is that we were created, so a complete nicht eschatology will speak only of the post-human, but of the pre-human.

Where do we come from, from the dust of the planets, now that we can look at thousands across the cosmos like telescopes that are like the reinvention of Galileo’s spyglass that shook the 17th century, we are now looking at an infinitely more enigmatic, like particles of God and as a collapse of matter in black holes, what awaits us is not just a post-God, but the reinvention of a cosmology capable of also giving man his crisis, whose pandemic is just a symptom. 

Peter Sloterdij wrote in his “Post-God”, that Greek mythology: “had predicted the revenge of time against eternity from afar, when the allusion that even the immortal gods would have to learn to live with a destiny of higher order ”(Sloterijk, 2019, p. 12) and the Greeks called this Moira, but this destiny also foresees the eschatological Matris in Gremio, described by Sloterdijk himself in“ Spheres I: bubbles ”(see our post).

Taking advantage of the allusion to the rebellious nature of Fritjof Capra, and if it has not yet taken place completely, the post-pandemic can predict an aortic rebellion from outside the planet, and if Moira still wants to have one last word, which was three and not just a Cloto, Láquesis and the Atropos, that wove the threads of the destiny (figure).

While Cloto means to spin, Láquesis means to draw, remember the meaning of Fortuna for the Greeks, and, Atropos, means to move away, in an eschatological sense, that is to say an end, but not an end, it may be that after everything ultimate end and then there is a new hope, perhaps a new “enlightenment”.

Whatever these departures from reality are, they all become important in a tragic moment, after all tragedy is not what it seems, and the romanticism and illusion of modernity is what showed its true face of horror, wrapped in beautiful words, promises of happiness and “well-being”.

Christians, in which I include myself, aware of this “night of God”, have hope for a new aortic manifestation, after all it is at the beginning of human life and should also be in this reinvention of the human for a planet that is home to everyone and not just a few.

Sloterdijk, Peter. (2019) Pós-Deus (Post-God). Trad. Markus A. Hediger. RJ: Vozes.



The tragedy of modern culture

12 Aug

Theodore Dalrymple, pseudonym of the English physician and psychiatrist Anthony Daniels, who proposed a reflection on the moral decay of modern culture, the effect of the politically correct dangerous on society (as if it were a single political position) and the consequences for the true culture of peoples, your book Anything goes (2016) is a profound “clinical” analysis of what kind of cultural crisis we are experiencing.

The author collaborates with several periodicals The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer and The Spectator, it is a conservative point of view that looks at history without a doubt, but it is nevertheless important to make some observations about contemporary life and see how many others wear out the current culture.

She won her first Freedom in Flanders in 2011, a region that speaks Flemish two thirds of Belgium, after praising her as an educated woman, she will criticize her nationalism: “I requested a room… the receptionist answered me in English, but not because of my accent with my wife, who is Parisian, she did the same.

We were thus introduced to Flemish nationalism, which demonstrates that no country is too small for national separatism” (page 30), the other region is French-speaking Wallonia, but only Flemish in Flanders, even if they know French .

He reveals his true identity in the book by saying “as a doctor and psychiatrist, I spent a terrible period of my career trying to take people on a path that seemed appropriate and beneficial to them” (p. 81) and then confesses his failure, he says that their patients were “self-destructive, which, if looked at impartially and with a minimum of common sense, could not lead to anything other than anguish” (idem), but it is not their high point.

In another line, but also in defense of the culture that has arisen among the peoples of the planet, with clear and unmistakable roots, Byung-Chul Han, a Korean philosopher migrated to Germany, also criticizes the culture of the smooth, the absence of imperfections and grooves that are confused in art with the politically correct.

Wrote Byung-Chul wrote that beauty today is smooth, does not show resistance, does not break and requires likes, distance invites only touch, there is no negativity that is opposite, without it, surprise and wonder disappear: “without distance no it is possible to have mystique, demystification makes everything fruiting and consumable. ”, there is no otherness of the Other, there is only room for an aestheticized and homogenized diversity, and thus consumable and explored.

It is not about defending tradition, good critics and good reformers always engage in dialogue with the opposite side, but what is involved is forgetfulness and even contempt for the roots of each culture and a massification that wants to make everything uniform and misshapen .

It is only one side of the culture that reaches the thought that has become vulgar and sophist, of the religion that has become ideological or fundamentalist, and of the culture that we all descend from that is ignored, the social and moral consequences are only the visible part of that occurs in the foundations of modern society.

DALRYMPLE, Thedore. (2016) Qualquer coisa serve. (Our culture: what´s left of it). trad. Hugo Langone. São Paulo: É Realizações.



Between tragedy and idealism

11 Aug

The big theme during the pandemic, which attracts crowds is happiness, not by chance, since happiness was in everything that is now closed: the mall, the cinema, the houses of orgies and drinking, the simple ecstasy of being in a frenzied crowd for some frivolous reason, after all it is the frivolity that everyone wants to come back, there will be nothing great to penetrate the tragedy of a pandemic, it is necessary to find the culprits and punish them for banishing frivolous life and putting us all in constant tension, in fear and far from simple enjoyment.

Nietzsche wrote about The Birth of Tragedy, and blamed Empedocles for his death, but it was Hölderling who will write about Empedocles’ Death, it was he before Nietzsche who rediscussed the tragedy, and the tragic of the tragedy, in a dialogue with German idealism and that’s when he coined his most famous phrase: “where there is fear there is salvation”, almost in the same vein as Cassius Clay who became Mohammed Ali: “it is the lack of faith that makes people fear challenges”.

The pandemic is none other than the fact of understanding the limits of the human, the persistence of tragedy in our lives and destinies, and the fatality of death, those who never thought of it are those who fear it most now, it is never so close of all, but tragedy is evil, or the false sale of easy happiness, it is in it that the charlatans of philosophy, faith and even science without “label” rely.

The Death of Empedocles, an unfinished play, where Hölderlin worked from 1797 to 1799, in his poetic texts from this period, where he thought about the essence of the tragic is marked by a great antagonism, but above all the unification of antagonism with contradiction, where he makes it clear that the theme should be “the true modern tragedy”, perhaps not during the two tragic wars we face, but now in an endless pandemic.

In his analysis, Empedocles hates civilization, is a mortal enemy of limited human existence, cannot bear to live under time, suffers for not being a god, for not being in close union with the whole, and for a need that stems from his being deeper, I decide to die by throwing myself into the volcano.

He is less of a liar than the real ones of simple formulas for happiness, but tragic that he wants to be a god himself and that he would be more “noble” than to admit a God, killed not by tragedy, but by German idealism, after all from Fichte to Schelling, the great expression that transgresses the limit imposed by Kant on human knowledge, when considering all intuition, that which is sensitive to objects, becomes intellectual intuition and artistic intuition, being able to give an immediate knowledge to the absolute, of possibility revelations that are directed to the whole.

So in the essay “Foundation for Empedocles” says that tragedy is the expression of the “deepest intimate unity” that is exposed by real oppositions, the idea owes not only much to Schelling’s analysis, which defines the Greek tragedy as a reconciling presentation of contradictions of reason, but anticipates the Hegelian view of the tragic poem as a presentation of the “tragedy that the absolute eternally stages with itself”, but the absolute here is vague, ideal. In the “foundation for Empedocles”, Hölderling explains how the harmonious opposition between art and nature takes place, presenting the process by which nature becomes more organic and man, more agorgic, more universal.

The concept of aorgic here is fundamental, and the reading here is by Françoise Dastur “Hölderling, tragedy and modernity” where he defines it as “it is nature without organicity in its infinite uniqueness”.

The organic is the art, which supposes, on the contrary, organization and, therefore, opposition from the parties”.

In the aorgic relationship that can be found the pandemic, the culprit is ultimately the virus, the control of the virus is questionable until you have the vaccine, we were in favor of social isolation and at certain times of #LockDown, however it is in nature devoid of organicity, a virus that until then was foreign to the man who altered it and became hominating, putting the civilizing process in check, and nature seems to fight back what humanity proposed.

Hölderling, Friedrich. (2008) The dead of Empedocles A Mourning-Play.  NY:  State University of New York.



Waiting for a vaccine

10 Aug

Two vaccines are close to Brazilians due to the participation of local research institutes, the Oxford vaccine, where the Brazilian Pedro M. Folegatti is on the development team (author of the article in The Lancet magazine), in which the laboratory also participates Fio Cruz with government incentive, and the Chinese vaccine in which the USP Butantã Institute participates in the testing stage, with an agreement from the São Paulo government for development.

The fact that the British laboratory AstraZeneca, which is in the development of the Oxford vaccine, closed an agreement to produce the vaccine in China through the company Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products, announced last Thursday, August 6, can cause confusion of interpretation. .

Vaccines also have different developments, while the Chinese vaccine follows the traditional development of vaccines for flu and some common diseases such as measles, cachumba and others, which is the development of a weaker dose of the virus itself thus producing immunity in the body, after some minor annoyances, in the case of the corona virus, a question remains, is there no possibility of reinfection, there are already cases all over the world, which are being studied.

The Oxford vaccine, which has the participation of FioCruz Brazilian Laboratory and encouragement from the Brazilian government, has already been explained in a post that is producing a non-replicating viral vector, it is modified and non-infectious, a protein hidden in the vector takes a protein that produces antibodies and immunizes the vaccinee, the Oxford laboratory says that with two doses it is 100% effective.

There are many other projects under development in the world, Chinese companies participate in addition to these two, in more than 8 of the 26 projects that lead the development of the vaccine because they are already in the stage of testing the vaccines in humans around the globe.

The race for the vaccine has two aspects, the positive is that there is a race that can bring the vaccine earlier, the other fearful is that safety steps are passed, Russia says it has a vaccine soon, but there are doubts about compliance with the protocols before mass vaccination, caution is needed.



If Europe (and the world) awakens

07 Aug

Peter Sloterdijk wondered if a Europe destroyed by war in 1945 could be seen as a metaphor for a modern empire and enlightened on the eve of a new century, it was a more optimistic environment of that time, but the philosopher had already predicted the violent turn of American politics and a possible world crisis.

The pandemic appears to have united Europe, except for the Kingdom that claims to be united, but it seems that it is not, a recovery policy that sustains the “domestic” economy, that is, those companies and businesses that traditionally support different European nations may have a new injection of spirit (and money) to recover.

Sloterdijk’s book If Europe Awakens, from 2002, had despite some optimism of a “new Europe”, the idea that Europeans do not turn to their historical-philosophical foundations to seek an orientation based on a “mitomotricity” that goes from against the founding myths that resulted from cultural, philosophical and political splendors that Europe considers itself heir, but can we think about this after a tragic crop of totalitarianism and world wars?

Edgar Morin prepares his world about the pandemic and despite all expectations, he always so optimistic now seems not to be, in an interview in November 2019 he stated that although “we walk like somnambulists towards a catastrophe”, he did not leave one tip of hope “resisting the dictate of urgency … hope is near.”

However, the climate is gloomy, with clouds hanging over China and the US, and relations with Turkey and part of the Arab world that is not so friendly with the West, what answer a boiling world may have, is the question that remains.

The spirits are high and the society of speed and fatigue does not seem to have given much space for a break, even though the pandemic imposing this on everyone, after 6 months it seems that there is no more balanced policy that convinces citizens to civility, compassion and solidarity.
In the midst of a rough sea, the disciples when they saw Jesus walking on the waves shouted “it is a ghost”, but soon He said to them “Courage! It’s me. Do not be afraid!” (Mt 14,26-27), the crisis is for the brave and the visionary, that leaders and leaders really fraternal and solidary help us in the post-pandemic and in a world with dark aspects.




Simplism or complexity

06 Aug

William Ockham proclaimed that between two explanations about a certain phenomenon one should stick with the simplest one, this principle became known as Ockham’s razor, but what to do with problems that are complex, as is the case of the current crisis of the corona virus, the more simplistic explanations are fake News, conspiracy theories or simple lies.

The complexity problem came from Biology, the ecological problem and the ecosystems showed that the phenomena are more interconnected than previously thought, there is a whole food chain going from the simplest, cellular to the most complex organisms and this includes the man.

However, the Arrábida Charter of Transdisciplinarity, signed by serigraphists Lima de Freitas, by Barsarab Nicolescu, written in 15 articles, highlighted “… the contemporary rupture between an increasingly accumulative knowledge and an increasingly impoverished inner being, leads to the rise of a new obscurantism, whose consequences on the individual and social level are incalculable ”(Arrábida, Portugal, 1994).

As method was Edgar Morin who thought about complexity, written in six volumes: Method 1 – The nature of nature (1977), Method 2 – The life of life (1980), Method 3 “The knowledge of knowledge” (1986), Method 4 – “Ideas: habitat, life, customs and organization” (1991), Method 5 – “Humanity of humanity: human identity” (2001), and Method 6 – “Ethics” (2004), however the epistemological question developed in a December 1983 lecture in Lisbon, which became a book, published in Portuguese in 1985.

In essence, thinking about complexity is outlined in three new concepts: the dialogical operator (understood as different from the dialectic), the recursive operator (which means understanding the consequences of acts, in a cause-effect relationship that produces a new cause) and the holographic operator (the part is in the whole and the whole is in the part, it does not separate all and part).

So it can be summarized from Transdisciplinarity to the Complex as an essential problem of humanism, we are 100% nature, 100% culture without dualism between them, solving the question of what we are as a “natural” man, as well as the ecological problem as well as the humanism are intertwined, the problem of nature is a human problem and the fundamental problem of man is his relationship with nature including the Other as part of his nature, regardless of race, color.



Cultural differences of the pre-Socratic and the modern

05 Aug

It was Karl Popper who drew attention to the origin of modern Enlightenment, so it is not possible to criticize contemporary Enlightenment idealism and empiricism without an attentive re-reading of the history of Western thought.

First because it is the history of thought, much of the civilizing night is in the crisis of thought, warns Morin, and also Marx when making the Critique in Theses on Feuerbach (1845) actually pointed to the idealism present in modern Christianity, but the root Jewish-Christian is another, the division occurs in two points of history the liberation by the Maccabees (167 BC – 37 BC) and the incursions of the apostle Paul.

Returning to the pre-Socratic Enlightenment, the root of Western thought, Popper made a foray into the three greatest philosophers of this period Xenophanes, Parmenides and Heraclitus: “the greatest and most inventive period in Greek philosophy”. The author notes that the “adventure of Greek critical rationalism”, and identifies a principle of crisis already in Aristotle who after developing his episteme: “he killed critical science, to which he himself made a major contribution.”

As Popper develops “it was this conception of demonstrable knowledge, presented by Aristotle, that eclipsed the critical attitude developed by the pre-Socratics, and thus all the modern inheritance of this demonstrable“ logic ”, although admitting Popper’s development as this enlightenment having ontological (and not logical) roots, the famous maxim of Parmenides: “being is and non-being is not”, with no third hypothesis besides dual logic and an included third, besides the classic excluded third, there is no third hypothesis.

Only in the 20th century with quantum physics formulating the already proven hypothesis of a third state of matter called “tunneling”, and Barsarab Nicolescu’s proposal for the third included, can one be thinking about a being and not be simultaneous, in the Trinitarian god there is also a third possibility.

Only in the 20th century with quantum physics formulating the already proven hypothesis of a third state of matter called “tunneling”, and Barsarab Nicolescu’s proposal for the third included, can one be thinking about a being and not be simultaneous.

It is not a question of affirming the paradox of the existence of something and its contrary, there would be an evident reciprocal annulment, there would be no possibility of predictions and the scientific approach of the world would be collapsed, which Quantum Physics admits, and Barsarab is based on this. is that there are countless immutable connections on which to experiment or interpret results, it is both Heisenberg’s “uncertainty principle” and Popper’s “falsifiability” method.

It does not abolish the logic of Yes and No by Parmenides and Aristotle, it only admits a third hypothesis, the philosophical, social and political consequences are evident, the scientific is what was formulated as transdisciplinarity, while we are confining the third to a specialized disciplinary theory hypothesis seems unfounded or non-existent, if it looks from another angle it appears.

Edgar Morin’s complex thinking goes in the same direction, but let’s leave that for the next post.

POPPER, K. The world of Parmenides: pre-Socratic enlightenment. Portuguese translation: Roberto Leal Ferreira. BR-SP: UNESP, 2014.




The dark night of humanity

04 Aug

Watching political debates or even relevant issues of public life, a brief look at culture and religion, any angle that looks at the moment aggravated by the pandemic, it is relevant to point out the confused features of this civilizing moment.

It is a fact that we have already been through another pandemic, in frightening numbers the so-called “Spanish flu” in the middle of the 1st. world war, it was a great and humanitarian disaster that challenged humanity, and even then came the second war, the concentration camps and the Hiroshima bomb, but the contours of this moment seem even more serious, there is a crisis of thought.

What can be observed are phrases made with a doubtful impact, appeals to impossible optimism in the face of the pandemic scenario or the hope “after all this is over”, however as the vaccine does not reach reality it imposes it, even on the wise on duty a little sobriety, but still without the solidarity and humanity that would be desirable.

The crisis of thought already pointed out by Edgar Morin, Nicolescu Barsarab and many others, in addition to the scientific and technical debate, is the difficulty of composing elements that should go beyond the limits of specialties to solve problems beyond the disease, the social and the religious, to tackle the problem together would require an overall view and not an impoverished disciplinary view of specialists.

When less is seen by pure and simple analysis, the darker this night becomes, the foundations lost, even if the civilizing foundations can be overcome: the Greek culture, the Judeo-Christian religiosity that so many scholars had, also the Islamic with Avicenna, Averroes, Al-Khwarismi and more recently Abdus Salam, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979.

Science is still strongly linked to the positivism and logicism of two centuries ago, while Karl Popper, Tomas Kuhn or Bachelard are still little known and confined in circles of “experts of the scientific method” which indicates a shallow reading of these questioners of conventional science.

The last century gave us Gustave Klimpt, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali, the bold architecture of Antoni Gaudi, by Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer, but the straight façades, the abuse of glass and crystals that appear for the first time in the Crystal Palace (photo), English architectural structure of the 19th century that invoked a recreation center for “education of the people”, cited by Sloterdijk and his disciple Byung Chul Han as representative of current architecture, as centers of consumption and “an architectural form was proclaimed as the key to capitalism . condition of the world ”(SLOTERDIJK, 2005, P. 279).

The Creator’s greatness and daily novelty are a stark contrast to repetitive, outdated religions that say nothing to the world today, about the pandemic oscillating between simple adherence to current discourse to models of solidarity and defense of life that are too fragile for tragedy pandemic.

SLOTERIJK, P. Crystal Palace,  Chapter 33 of in Globalen Inneren Raum des Kapitals: Für eine philosophische Theorie der Globalisierung (In the Global Inner Space of Capital: For a Philosophical Theory of Globalization). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2005, pg. 265-276.


The historical origin of hiding pandemic data

03 Aug

The idea of ​​hiding data about the pandemic had already occurred in the Spanish flu, which received this name only for political reasons since Spain remained neutral during the First World War, the original name was trench flu because it affected many soldiers and weakened some armies.

The idea of ​​hiding the disease was even supported by prestigious institutions, such as the Royal Academy of Medicine in London, until the end and 1918 few believed in the flu.

The name of Spanish influenza is also old, Brazilian newspapers (there was an article from the magazine A Careta, n. 537) used the name but as now the beginning of the fight against the disease was troubled, and the coercive measures defended by the sanitary Oswaldo Cruz were seen as a sanitary tyranny in the country and political groups opposed to the Wenceslau Braz (see the Brazilian daily) government saw the flu as a government pretext for intervention in the lives of the population.

Political use has also been made, but at this serious moment in history, it is desirable that true humanitarian spirits disarm themselves to defend the lives of the population, the action of doctors, aid groups and efforts for the vaccine.

The insistence on polarizing in such a tragic moment reveals only the decadence of the most expensive values ​​of compassion and solidarity, even by groups that should be more committed to joining efforts, and curiously we find even those on the other side of both solidarity and those seeking divert attention from the real enemy: the pandemic that affects everyone.

In the country, lost the opportunity to do a #lockDown when the disease was still located in some regions, now it has spread throughout the country and only the measures already known should continue to be adopted, I see medical teams and support services reaching depletion , the cases of infection of this true heroes continue to grow.

What is new is a worldwide tension in truly worrying limits, the departure from abandoning the basic foundations of society and attitudes that vary between conformism and the simple abandonment of any measure of protection and social isolation, such as the march of thousands of people in Germany.

The levels of the pandemic in Brazil remain stable, neither is it true that the pandemic is under control, nor is it true that there is a genocide in the country, simply the measures that could be taken were not, and time passed and the disease spread.

We are left with the hope of the vaccine, that of Oxford, one of the most reliable due to scientific criteria, the transparency of the working scientists (a detailed article was published in The Lancet magazine) and the rigor of the vaccine’s release stages, without being hit.

The post-pandemic is frightening because there are no attitudes of sobriety and balance even in conscious sectors of society, the impression of a humanism that is more political than true.



There is no healthy citizenship without areté

31 Jul

The construction of wisdom and virtue (the Greek arete) in the fight against doxa (mere opinion of the relative truth) and the sophists, who despite being wise were corrupted by the taste of power, passions and instincts, made Socrates, who we know him from Plato’s dialogues, and Plato himself to build a new model of citizenship that needed to educate, to leave the Cave for the light and to organize knowledge for the true Good.

 It is a fact that the sense of excellence was adopted by state authorities, but its etymological origin remains valid and to defend it is to defend the good, otherwise we fall into sophist relativism, any truth and any argument is valid, the Socratic maieutics is still valid and to ask is to dialogue.

Martha Nussbaum, one of the most renowned philosophers today in classical antiquity, pointed out in her book The Fragility of Goodness: “… indolence, error and ethical blindness cause countless tragedies”, are relevant aspects that Democrats must remember for the defense of democracy and the risk that modern sophists will seize power and manipulate opinions, these are not just fake news, mistaken and authoritarian positions, it is necessary to defend the values ​​of true citizenship, areté (in picture sculpture in Ephesus).

We have already explained the biblical meaning of the net, the fishing and the casting of the nets, in another passage after returning from the Sea of ​​Galilee Jesus and the disciples meet the crowd, and since the place is deserted, the apostles think of dismissing the crowd for lack of food, but Jesus says to see what was food and makes the well-known miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish, from 5 loaves and 2 fish.

 It is clear that Christian virtue is beyond the proposal of the Greeks, it extends personal morality and the understanding of mercy, but it does not exclude the citizen arete and dominion of instincts and passions, nowadays so flourishing and reaching even the religious , poor reading of the multiplication of bread and fish that is more related to Christian arete than polis, as they were “in a deserted place” (Mt 14,15), that is, a kind of “retreat” of the polis.

The virtue of compassion is necessary for the distribution of goods, the process of concentration of wealth has accelerated with the pandemic, without collecting the few loaves and fish left of an economy in crisis to help thousands who are hungry, jobless and many without hope, this should be the real new normal if we want better days, only if there are better days for everyone without forgetting the millions who lost jobs, hope and family in this pandemic.