Arquivo para August, 2023

Ethics, humanism and philosophy

31 Aug

Peter Sloterdijk told El País newspaper: “current life does not invite thinking” (on 05/03/2019) and the “era of humanism is ending” said Achille Mbembe Cameroonian postcolonial historian and thinker and humanism today is an issue of state and therefore of power, since its base is economism, a materialistic humanism prevails, not always considering human values.

Philosophy became the ideological justification of power, polarization led to extremes even the denial of authors whose authors swore to defend, Eurocentric epistemicide forgets its most basic foundations and surrenders to political polarization.

What did spinozian ethics mean? What is the critique of current reason? Sloterdijk points out the cynicism.

War was inevitable in a growing polarization and new economic order.

Current philosophy already thinks about humanism alternatives, Edith Stein, a phenomenologist and student of Husserl, explored the issue of Empathy, Heidegger, another student of Husserl, the issue of Being, Emmanuel Lévinas on Husserlian hermeneutic influence, and Heidegger defines humanism as beyond essence, that is , the humanism of the other man, which can be a starting point for the new humanism, and also Habermas (The inclusion of the Other) and Byung Chul Han (The exclusion of the Other) touch on the theme.

Religion is confused between ritualism, fundamentalism and the absence of basic humanistic values: love, solidarity and fraternity, so the biblical reading is manipulated and partial, secularism advances in a minefield due to the absence of humanitarian values ​​of faith.

It is hoped that in this crisis and fragmentation of civilizing development, leaders and influential men can find serenity, dialogue and balance for possible solutions.

Philosophy cannot be anything else that does not cooperate with peace, with civilizing progress.



Religion, anthropology and philosophy

30 Aug

Enlightenment and modern philosophy, on the assumption of abolishing all “superstition” and establishing an age of knowledge and reason, divided the system of knowledge into subject and objects, medieval philosophy was not very far from this, there were realists and nominalists and none won, all changed, and everything that was considered “metaphysical” including the Being was left aside.

However, the ideas of concepts, structures that should develop knowledge were already present in an author little read, but important: Boethius (400 – 524 AD), a philosopher, poet, statesman and Roman theologian, whose works had a profound influence on Christian philosophy. from the Medieval.

His main work is the “Consolation of Philosophy”, but his is the “wheel of fortune” and a fragment finds what became known as “the quarrel of the universals”, if the universals (concepts would be today) would be today “if the universals are things or mere words”, hence the division between realists who see things and nominalists who defended “names”, words.

But both Boethius and later Thomas Aquinas who studied and translated Greek works, with their own interpretations, the question of Being was present and the question of history and truth as well.

His humanistic contribution lies in the conception of what we now call “human dignity”, for his Philosophical Anthropology the human person on the horizon of rationality considering his singularity data, a new humanism cannot do without its new and still little understood prism, for Boethius was a staunch defender of the faith for Christians and for humanists his De Consolationes Philosophiae brings essential collaborations.

Even today, his ideas may seem controversial, when he defends that man is also nature, but that he must subsist and achieve it as an extension of “nature”, he says in another work:

“Or, if ‘person’ does not equate to ‘nature’, but if ‘person’ subsists under the reach and extension of ‘nature’, it is difficult to say to what natures it always occurs, that is, to what natures it is fitting to contain ‘person’ and which of them should not be separated from the word ‘person’. Indeed, this is clear: ‘nature’ underlies ‘person’ and ‘person’ cannot be predicated beyond ‘nature'” (Boethius, Against Eutyches and Nestorius, 2005, p. 163).

At a time when anthropocentrism is questioned and the relationship with nature is reviewed, it is important to read this medieval philosopher, theologian and humanist.

Boécio. (2005) Escritos (OPUSCULA SACRA). Tradução, introdução, estudos introdutórios e notas Juvenal Savian Filho. Prefácio de Marilena Chauí. São Paulo, Brazil: Martins Fontes.  



Myths, primary orality and religions

29 Aug

Myth is a way of explaining phenomena, not only natural, but also cultural and historical, in order to maintain a certain fact that occurred beyond the factual state, orality is a form of communication and religions have a structure of cosmogonies that give the facts a deeper meaning.

It is necessary to highlight in religions and ancient primary oralities the role of oracles and prophets, who had some “authority” to narrate historical facts so that understanding was maintained and narrative deviations were avoided, and between oracles and sophists there is a distance.

Sophists existed and still exist to elaborate narratives that justify power, even the atrocities and excesses that occur and are often confused with false prophets and oracles of power.

However, myths were necessary countless times in history, the battle narrated in the Iliad and Odyssey in the form of poems, can only imply a narrative of power, however there some myths are used as a way of maintaining a narrative and there was the battle.

As for the religious myth about Adam, it is even possible that it existed, but the human origin is now known from research that there was a variation between Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens, the first ones that disappeared had a more elongated skull and stronger teeth and that were born earlier, which better adapted them to less treated and harder foods.

All we know of the origin of life is the emergence of microbiotics in the early oceans and then small multicellular animals and shells (pictured) in the Precambrian period.

However, very recent discoveries show that not only did they coexist and interbreed, as there are DNAs from Neanderthals that are still present in current humans, but Neanderthals disappeared about 40,000 years ago.

Thus, the Adamic biblical myth must be understood in two ways, the first is that man came from nature (in the biblical narrative of clay) and that somehow, which even science has difficulty explaining, among the lives that emerged in the formation of the biosphere, man was formed, the second explanation is that the children Abel was a shepherd and Cain a farmer, so it is the sociological period that man already cultivates and initiates the “control” of nature.

Primary orality will play a fundamental role in transmitting the “knowledge” that facilitates this control, and myths must signify this primary “control” of nature, as well as oral transmission without deviations.





It is in autumn that the chickens are counted.

28 Aug

Spring is approaching in the southern hemisphere and autumn in the northern hemisphere, it is the period when Europeans know that they must have provisions to make repairs in their houses for some type of protection against the cold: heating systems, coal, gas and organize the pantry for this period.

There is a saying in Eastern Europe, a version of our saying “you don’t count the eggs before the hen lays”, there it is said “in the autumn you count the chickens”, this serves for the war that approaches to complete two years in the Eastern Europe and which spills over to all humanity.

Many analysts, including the Portuguese Miguel Monjadino, claim that Kiev’s main objective “is to recover enough territory by the autumn to maintain the support of its society, Washington and the European capitals for a military campaign in the spring” from there that will be our autumn here, only after March 2024.

American analysts indicate that more than 500,000 military personnel have already been killed in this war, and the end of the agreement on the shipment of grain from Ukraine in the region of Black Sea ports and the increase in arms, and now also planes, has yet to be considered.

But the count of losses has already begun, the disaster with a Brazilian plane that crashed in Russia and killed its occupants draws attention to yet another strange death of Putin’s opponents, the death of the head of the paramilitary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, all occupants of the plane was confirmed in genetic analysis.

While offering condolences to Prigozhine’s family, Putin said that he had made many mistakes in life, in a clear allusion that he no longer enjoyed his sympathy.

On the economic side, the BRICS, an alliance in which Russia and Brazil participate, announce an increase in its members and a possible currency in the future, the objective is to compete with the euro and the dollar.

Peace seems more and more distant and the tension is increasing



So what is it to believe?

25 Aug

We already believed many things that were not true, the sun is not the center of our galaxy, at the center is a Black Hole, and both matter and dark energy seem to defy current laws called Standard Physics, a scientist said that God did the division by 0 and everything could have miraculously come out of Nothing.

If we closely examine the beliefs, in all of them there is the golden rule: do not do to others what you would not want done to you, especially Jesus said about the greatest commandment (Mt 22, 37-40): “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind!” This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is similar to this: ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself’. All the Law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Without this, we fall into an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, said the philosopher Byung Chul Han about one of the inaugural books of our era, the poem Iliad (8th century BC) (in picture image of the Pablo Delgado), its first word is “menin, namely cholera [Zorn] : “sing, goddesses, the wrath of Achilles son of Peleus” (p. 22), thus human culture, especially Western culture, is founded on violence and the philosopher points out that ‘the disintegration of today’s society does not cease to exist the epic energy of rage.” (pg. 23).

The divine opposition of pacifism is not just a historical inversion, it is in this moment of civilizing crisis the real possibility that the process advances and that humanity does not massacre itself.

It is true that there is not even a correct view of Deus Homo Jesus, he was not a warrior, a miracle worker and if he did so he always asked for discretion, he never did so by an exhibitionist or triumphalist act, he did not stimulate any type of anger, even that the falsehood of many religionists irritated him, and he always asks the disciples: “who do they say that I am”.

In Matthew 16, 14 after asking this: they replied: “Some say that he is John the Baptist; others, that it is Elijah; still others, that it is Jeremiah or one of the prophets”.

And then they are asked why only true disciples recognize Homo Deus love and mercy (Mt 16:16) and Peter replies: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God”.

As in the time of Jesus and throughout history there have always been false prophets and disciples, but Jesus warns that it is only from the good tree that good fruits sprout, so the distinction is simple.

Han Byung-Chul (2018) No Enxame: Perspectivas do digital (“In the swarm: Perspectives of the digital”), trans. Lucas Machado, Br, Petrópolis: Vozes.




God and time do not exist

24 Aug

We hardly explain quantum physics and general relativity well and physics seems to be in crisis, philosophers and physicists seem to have found strange paradigms and phenomena in observations of the universe and particle physics, what is the relationship with God, to exist is in space-time.

It is not the discovery of the Higgs particle or God particle, its existence proven, but an ontological speculation that is now taken seriously, we always affirm a principle of duality, that is, A is false or True and it cannot be the two two at the same time and also if we go from A to B we must go through intermediate B, this is the traditional ontology.

Thus, from the pre-Socratics to Kant, time was absolute and this physics was proven, however the physical discovery of the third included, this so-called “level of reality” brings the contemporary questioning of the questioning of what is existence and Being, a new scientific approach , social and spiritual under a method called Transdisciplinarity.

It was not religious people who proclaimed it, but physicists like Barsarab Nicolescu, educators and philosophers like Edgar Morin and artists like Lima de Freitas, a Portuguese serigrapher and painter, who signed Arrábida’s Charter of Transdisciplinarity.

For theologians and mystics who agree with this principle, God exists since he entered history through the “Deus Homo” Jesus, God is through the eternal divine Being, and God is communication through the Holy Spirit, the Trinitarian hypothesis seems perfect.

If there were divine manifestations, theophanies almost always subject to contestation despite innumerable contestations, both theoretically and practically, a moment of great opening of the “clearing” of a general conscience seems ever closer.

Of course, there are counterfeiters, as there have always been in philosophy, science and religion, where fantasy and imagination can take wing, but there are serious people who know that the phenomenon exists at least in the consciousness of billions of believers around the world, in all cultures and also scientists, philosophers and serious psychologists have their beliefs.

The present reality, at the same time that counterfeiters and false prophets have increased, seems to approach that moment in which the historical Homo Deus Jesus affirmed (Jn 1,51): And Jesus continued: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, You shall see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man,” hich was how Jesus curiously referred to his own existence to say that he became man.

Events in many aspects seem to converge towards this and it is great hope for a confused humanity, a civilization in crisis and a harsh reality.



The eclipse of god

23 Aug

Martin Buber’s book with this name deals with how we can find in the philosophy and history of religion, from pre-Socratic philosophers to 20th century thinkers, an interpretation of Western beliefs, with emphasis on the relationship between religion and philosophy, with ethics and Jungian psychology, which was worth a reply from Jung and a rejoinder from Buber.

We live, as Buber says, in a time of God’s eclipse, when seeing the Moon pass in front of the Sun, it seems that it no longer exists, when in fact it is covered up, this is curious, because the controversy with Jung is caused by a question in In an interview about the existence of God, Jung replied: “I don’t need to believe, I know” (Jung, 1977, p. 428).

This caused a furor at the time and even today books like God: a Delusion (the title in English is The God delusion) we find a quote on page 51, in a book that shows Dawkins’ delusions more than the delusions of those who believe, mainly what in philosophy it refers to the Absolute, whose culmination of Western elaboration is Hegel’s abstract concept of the Absolute.

Hegel’s absolute, which is an articulation between the dualistic objective and subjective of idealism, is a singularity of a substantial power, proper to subjectivity and the concept as having a universal substance, which through abstraction becomes effective in self-consciousness and becomes if equal to essence, an essential I-myself species.

Jung’s later comment, expressed chiefly in a letter to a friend which has been published, he explains: “Whatever I perceive from without or from within is a representation or image…caused, as I rightly or wrongly suppose, by a corresponding “real” object. But I have to admit that my subjective image is only roughly identical to the object… our images are, as a rule, of something… the God-image is the expression of an underlying experience of something I cannot reach by intellectual means…” (Jung, 1959).

Jung’s response, without articulating it in an implicitly philosophical way, is a response to idealist subjectivism, it cannot be reached through reason, it is an object of faith, of belief and whoever has it has it inside and out while being at the same time subjective and objective.

The biblical passage that best illustrates this feeling is the one (Jn 15, 45-46): “The Kingdom of Heaven is also like a buyer looking for precious pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all his possessions and buys that pearl.”

Jung, C.G. (1977) The Face do Face entrevista in C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Princeton, Belligen paperbacks, p. 424-439.

Jung, C.G. (1959), Letter to Valentine Brooke in C.G. Jung Letters, Volume 2, 1951-1961, edited by Gerhard Adler, (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul), pp. 525-526, 1959





About the modern and God

22 Aug

If it is true that the religious discourse of our days borders on insanity, it is also true that what modernity thought and still thinks about God is practically unknown.

Born to a family of Lutheran pastors, Nietzsche did not speak of the Death of God as his shallow reading thinks, they did not read the Gay Science where the philosopher proclaims “The mad man – You have not heard of that mad man who in the middle of the morning lit a lantern and ran to the market , and began to cry out incessantly: ‘I’m looking for God! I’m looking for God!’?” drink the sea entirely? Who gave us the sponge to erase the horizon? What have we done, in untying the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving?'” is in §125.

He sought in the philosophy of the East: Thus spoke Zarathustra the lost mystique, but his work The Birth of Tragedy has striking passages where he shows the need to understand this way of understanding life, where he makes studies on the Apollonian and the Dionysian, where chapter 5 it is believed that this is where Heidegger starts to write the Origin of the Work of Art.

From Husserl’s Influence were born the philosophies of Heidegger and Edith Stein, who later became mystic, being Jewish became Christian and was a martyr in Nazi Germany, still under the influence of Heidegger is Hannah Arendt, whose doctoral thesis is “Love in Santo Agostinho”, although there are gaps that his contemporaries attest, it is a good read.

From Hannah Arendt came the meditations on Vitta Activa and Vitta Contemplativa, which the contemporary philosopher Byung Chul Han will take up again in his Society of Tiredness, not forgetting to touch on the Christian philosophy of Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (or Nazianzen).

He was strongly influenced by Peter Sloterdijk, who despite his atheism, in all his works the deep marks of the knowledge of Christian thought, claims the prophet Jonah to say that we all have a whale (Jonas when refusing his mission was devoured by a whale and returned to the beach) and a little Jonas, refuses our mission on this planet.

Byung Chul Han makes a very current diagnosis, he adds that the “modern loss of faith, which concerns not only God and the beyond, but reality itself, becomes radically transitory human life” (Han, p. 42) .

This is not a separate problem, it is an essential part of modern thought, refusal of the essential, adoption of the transitory, fleeting and frivolous life and of fleeting and ecstatic pleasures.

Han, Byung Chul. (2015) Burnout Society. Ed. Stanford Briefs; 1ª ed., Stanford, USA.


Cultural plane and threat to peace

21 Aug

Russia officially announced the revision of all history books taught to teenagers, which there are the 8th., 9th. and 10th. series of the teaching cycle, recounting the history of the 1970s to 2000, the period of the end of the “Soviet Union” and a new section from 2014 to the present day, where the war is called “special military operation”.

The announcement was made by Vladimir Medinsky, Russian adviser to President Vladimir Putin at a press conference, and by reaching the age group of teenagers, not only does it predict a long war, they are being prepared for the next 10 years when they will be adults, as arouses distrust of military plans more audacious than the war in Ukraine.

The threats to Poland are already real, and besides Poland belonging to NATO, this recalls the 1st. September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland triggering the 2nd. World War.

This puts peace further away, and hope now comes from the bloc of declared or tactical allies of the Russian government, Ukraine’s own Zelensky believes that the Brics, the international bank that Russia participates in, could be a last attempt and mediation of the War.

The cultural war with even opposing narratives, about what the civilizing process is and its threat are increasingly present on the world stage, a war on a global scale these days, with nuclear weapons much more lethal than before the real civilizational threat .

Among several analyses, the Israeli writer and journalist Yuval Harari, author of the book “Sapiens – Brief History of Humankind”, declared to the London newspaper The Guardian, that the war in Ukraine will define the future of the whole world, “Every day that it becomes clearer that Putin’s gamble is failing. The Ukrainian people are resisting wholeheartedly, winning the admiration of the whole world and winning the war,” but there are other views.

What is clear is that the civilizing process is at stake, yes, not in the sense that Russian cultural books point out, it is not about the victory of this or that “cultural” tendency, but about the coexistence of different ideas within democratic environments and dialogue .

There is always hope for peace, but armed spirits and threats only prepare war.




Between testimony and forgiveness: the cure

18 Aug

Paul Ricoeur’s analysis of whether forgiveness can heal ranges from memory to oblivion, but the author clarifies that “in the framework of the broader dialectic of the space of experience and the horizon of experience”, and recalls that Freud calls this “translaboration”, which means overcoming the belief that the past is closed and determined and the future is indeterminate and open.

Past facts are inerasable: we cannot undo what was done, nor make what happened not happen, but we must remember that the testimony of those who suffered the facts or who practiced them can and must be modified, depending on “our memories”.

It is not about forgiveness, or about building a new narrative, but Paul Ricoeur recalls Raymond Aron in his Introduction to the Philosophy of History, as what he calls the “retrospective illusion of fatality” and which he opposes to the historian’s obligation to transport himself to the moment of action and become contemporary with the authors.

The author sentences: “all memory is selective”, and reminds the author “if one could implement the oblivion of escape, the strategy of excuse, the task of bad faith, which makes passive-active oblivion a perverse undertaking”, then not just forget, but re-see.

The point in Ricoeur’s text where the testimony can be inserted is precisely this where he states, trying to combine forgiveness with work and mourning: “He marries one and the other. And, joining both, it brings what in itself is not work, but precisely a don”. Isn´t gift because in French (don, term used in the work of Marcel Mauss) or in Italian donno, whose translation is difficult but would be gratuity, I don’t like a gift because although it may have something divine, it is a detachment from the one who gives (forgiveness) the testimony.

Recalling the biblical Adamic myth, death, revenge and war seem natural, but it is the gift (don) and forgiveness that can turn civilization around and build peace and prosperity.

Ricoeur, P. (1967) Symbolism of Evil, Harper & Row Pub, New York: USA. (pdf)