“Those contemproary theologians who are interested in social change and who at the same time depreiate human intelligence and effort in behalf of the supernatural, are riding two horses that are going in opposite directions.”
Finished watching My Father, My Lord. Powerful. It depicts a rabbi who is engulfed in the study and following of the torah, and has a son who does not seem interested in the torah or its study, but towards life, experiencing the world, understanding, albeit primitively, that there is something more than what the torah says. The story does not center on one individual in the film, but rather on the event of the family, and all their inner struggles.
The turning point in the works of Whitehead as well as in the postmodern movement has been the discovery of quantum physics. Upon this discovery, metaphysics has taken a great turn, specifically in Whitehead’s thought, on how the universe works, is non/structured. But what is quantum physics? I found this link to a 3 lecture series on Quantum Physics Made Simple. Enjoy.
Every scrap of our knowledge derives its meaning from the fact that we are factors in the universe, and are dependent on the universe for every detail of our experience. The thorough sceptic is a dogmatist. He enjoys the delusion of complete futility. Wherever there is the sense of self-sufficient completion, there is the germ of vicious dogmatism. There is no entity which enjoys an isolated self-sufficiency of existence. In other words, finitude is not self-supporting.
In chapter 2 of Process and Reality, Alfred North Whitehead describes the vector characterization of a prehension. Although he is describing a discussion on power in comparison to Locke, what caught my attention was the fact that their is no mirror of what the actual occasion is in its superject, in its expulsion of a response to the universe.
In Impossible Exchange, Jean Baudrillard states that their can never be a copy, or a mirror of the world, of the things around us. What is there is there. This creates in the knowing subject or for an entity an issue: What are we then grasping in the presence of that object? Can we fully know the object? Can we fully understand it? Does it change us?
‘Actual entities’–also termed ‘actual occasions’– are the final real things of which the world is made up. There is no going behind actual entities to find anything more real. They differ among themselves: God is an actual entity, and so is the most trivial puff of existence in far-off empty space. But, though there are gradations of importance, and diversities of function, yet in the principles which actuality exemplifies all are on the same level. The final facts are, all alike, actual entities; and these actual entities are drops of experience, complex and interdependent.
~Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, pg. 18.
I have been in a seminary and university setting for quite some time (I began my masters studies back in 2001). I am now at the point where I work on my qualification exams and dissertation topic. The question that still plagues me is this: What do I write about? Continue reading
Is religion a choice? Is it something that we can pick and choose which is best? In part, yes. Religion, specifically in western culture, or in a consumerist society, would say that religion is something that we can choose when we are looking for something more than what has been given to us. One may have grown up in a particular religion which has no significant for them, and can do one of two things: have a Schleiermachian renewal of ones own faith, or go and seek out a new religion. This is very helpful when we understand that as individuals we are “free” beings, in the sense that we have the power and the ability to perform such an action for the betterment of self, family, and/or society. Continue reading
In considering the history of ideas, I maintain that the notion of ‘mere knowledge’ is a high abstraction which we should dismiss from our minds. Knowledge is always accompanied with accessories of emotion and purpose.
Alfred North Whitehead, Adventure of Ideas, 13, Pelican Books, 1942.