RE: MD secular humanism and dynamic quality

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Mon Apr 05 2004 - 00:07:32 BST

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    David M said:
    I also suspect that part of the problem that allows
    fundamentalism is the withdrawal from the conversation
    of meaning that secularism represents. The urgent thing for
    me is to have a single conversation that can somehow
    integrate politics, religion, science, education. The post-modernist
    aversion to this leave us with a social crisis.

    dmb says:
    Exactly. Prior to the rise of Modernity art, morals and science were all
    integrated into a single world view. This rise of Modernity is marked by a
    differentiation of "the big three", as Wilber likes to call them. And it was
    good for science to get out from under the church and all that. Each of
    these domians needed to mature and become independent before a modern
    intellectually guided soceity could become possible. The problem is that
    each of these domains has gone past the point of gaining its independence
    and have instead become dis-associated with each other. So what we need as a
    next step is to begin a re-integration of things. I think this is exactly
    what Pirsig's MOQ tries to do. Thnik about his criticism of the way SOM
    undermines the subjective with the common phrase, "just subjective" and his
    complaints about the inability of the metaphysics of substance to explain
    values - and then look again at what Wilber and friends say about this kind
    of materialism...

    "But the inherent downsides of this approach are perhaps obvious: All
    subjective truths (introspection, consciousneess, art, beauty) and all
    intersubjective truths (morals, justice, substantive values) were collapsed
    into exterior, empirical, sensorimotor occasions. Collapsed, that is, into
    dirt. Literally. The great nightmare of scientific materialism was upon us
    (Whitehead), the nightmare of one-dimensional man (Marcuse), the
    disqualified universe (Mumford), the colonization of art and morals by
    science (Habermas), the disenchantment of the world (Weber) - a nightmare I
    have also called
    flatland. ...when modernity pledged allegiance to sensory science, and
    then promptly decided that the entire world contained nothing but matter,
    period. The bleakness of the modern scientific proclamation is chilling."

    dmb says:
    I think the "withdrawl from the conversation of meaning that secularism
    represents" is one of the main problems with the "disenchantment of the
    world" And that is also why I find myself so disenchanted with the kind of
    postmodernism that Matt has presented. Its part of that same problem, a cure
    that is worse than the disease. It doesn't exactly fail to recognize the
    loss of meaning, but it fails to recognize the seriousness of the problem
    and instead offers up reassurances that we don't need meaning and could
    never have it anyway because there is no such thing. It breaks my heart that
    anyone finds value in a thing so cold and empty as that.

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