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Little Known Early Hegel on Christ

 
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:00 pm
From Copleston's History of Philosophy:

Quote:

During his Frankfort period, Hegel's attitude towards Christianity underwent a certain change, which found expression in The Spirit of Christianity and its Fate, 1800. In this essay, Judaism with its legalistic morality becomes the villain of the piece. For the Jew God was the master and man the slave who had to carry out his master's will. For Christ God is love, living in man; and the alienation of man from God, as of man from man, is overcome by the union and life of love. Kant's insistence on law and duty and the emphasis he which he lays on the overcoming of passion and impulse seem now to Hegel to express an inadequate notion of morality and to smack in their own way of the master-slave relationship. Christ, however, rises above both Jewish legalism and Kantian moralism. He recognizes, of course, the moral struggle, but his ideal is that morality should cease to be a matter of obedience to law and should be the spontaneous expression of a life which is itself a participation in the infinite divine life. Christ does not abrogate morality in regards to its content, but he strips it of its legal form, substituting the motive of love for that of obedience to law.
I agree with this, generally. What do you all think?
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prothero
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:09 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;172811 wrote:
From Copleston's History of Philosophy:

I agree with this, generally. What do you all think?
I agree. The primary principle in Jesus teaching was the primacy of love over law and of spirituality over external piety or materialism.

Which makes one wonder why orthodoxy (correct belief) came to dominant over orthopraxy (correct action). It also makes one wonder why the crucifixation as a sort of legal payment for the sins of the world, and a bodily resurrection instead of spiritual ascension became orthodoxy. How did the message, teaching and example of love become converted into a legalistic system of sin,payment (crucifixtion) and reward(resurrection and heaven)?
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:12 pm
@prothero,
prothero;172813 wrote:
I agree. The primary principle in Jesus teaching was the primacy of love over law and of spirituality over external piety or materialism.

Which makes one wonder why orthodoxy (correct belief) came to dominant over orthopraxy (correct action). It also makes one wonder why the crucifixation as a sort of legal payment for the sins of the world, and a bodily resurrection instead of spiritual ascension became orthodoxy. How did the message, teaching and example of love become converted into a legalistic system of sin,payment (crucifixtion) and reward(resurrection and heaven)?


I'm with Blake on this one. We get high on accusation, on setting ourselves up as righteous, which of course requires others to be sinners, fools, imbeciles, subhuman. Or we can even set ourselves up as great sinners, which is another version of the same vanity, hatred, contempt.
Religion is generally viewed as a bad thing because indeed religion most loudly manifests itself as self-righteousness, as a hatred of sex and science, and of course as greed.

"He who despises himself still respects himself as one who despises. " Nietzsche.

---------- Post added 06-04-2010 at 12:20 AM ----------

Quote:

Nature can well be described as life posited for reflection or understanding. But the individual things, the organization of which is Nature, are transitory and perishing. Thought, therefore, which is itself a form of life, thinks the unity between things as an infinite, creative life which is free from the mortality which affects finite individuals. And this creative life, which is conceived of as bearing the manifold within itself and not as a mere conceptual abstraction, is called God.


I also like this. I feel that we must identify ourselves with the infinite life, and not with the necessarily mortal finite vessel. If we can really identify with it, we have no death to fear, except perhaps the death of the species.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:21 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;172814 wrote:
I'm with Blake on this one. We get high on accusation, on setting ourselves up as righteous, which of course requires others to be sinners, fools, imbeciles, subhuman. Or we can even set ourselves up as great sinners, which is another version of the same vanity, hatred, contempt.
Religion is generally viewed as a bad thing because indeed religion most loudly manifests itself as self-righteousness, as a hatred of sex and science, and of course as greed.

"He who despises himself still respects himself as one who despises. " Nietzsche.
well that is one aspect of religion,yes, and certainly not the best one.
The religous dichotomy is between God as power and God as love.
God as power attributes to god that which belongs to Ceasar, law giver, ruler, judge and encourages this type of behavior in religious followrs.
God as love, god as divine loving persuasion, not as coercive power, exemplied in the example, teachings and message of Jesus encourages a different sort of behavior.

I think modern cosmology and modern evolution would more encourage the notion of god as persistant, patient loving persuasion, providing possiblities for creative advance but subject to the freedom and decisions of the world. Much more in keeping with the god as love vision of divine action. In my view a vast improvement over god as power or as supernatural intervention.
0 Replies
 
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:25 pm
@prothero,
prothero;172813 wrote:
I agree. The primary principle in Jesus teaching was the primacy of love over law and of spirituality over external piety or materialism.

Which makes one wonder why orthodoxy (correct belief) came to dominant over orthopraxy (correct action). It also makes one wonder why the crucifixation as a sort of legal payment for the sins of the world, and a bodily resurrection instead of spiritual ascension became orthodoxy. How did the message, teaching and example of love become converted into a legalistic system of sin,payment (crucifixtion) and reward(resurrection and heaven)?


The type of religion you are describing prothero is what Hegel called "positive religion" which is an approach to religion that early Hegel took pains to refute while at the same time not abandoning religion altogether.

Quote:
1. In the first place, it is not religion in general that we have before us, but positive religion, regarding which it is acknowledged that it is the gift of God, which rests on higher than human authority, and therefore appears to be outside the sphere of human reason, and to be elevated above it. The first hindrance in this connection is, that we should be called upon, before proceeding further, to verify the competence and capability of reason to deal with the truth and doctrine of a religion which is supposed to be withdrawn from the sphere of human reason. Rational or philosophical knowledge comes, however, and must of necessity come, into relation with positive religion. It has been said indeed, and is said still, that positive religion is "for itself," or stands on its own basis. We do not question its doctrines; we respect them, and hold them in honour; on the other side stands reason, thought, which seeks to grasp its object intellectually, and these two are supposed not to come into relation; reason is not to interfere with these doctrines. Formerly, it was imagined that the freedom of philosophical investigation could be guarded in this way. It was then said, that it was a thing by itself, which was not to do any harm to positive religion, and its result, moreover, also was subordinated to the teaching of positive religion. We do not wish, however, to place the present investigation on this footing. It is a false idea that these two, faith and free philosophical investigation, can subsist quietly side by side. There is no foundation for maintaining that faith in the content or essential element of positive religion can continue to exist, if reason has convinced itself of the opposite. The Church has, therefore, consistently and justly refused to allow that reason might stand in opposition to faith, and yet be placed under subjection to it. The human spirit in its inmost nature is not something so divided up that two contradictory elements might subsist together in it. If discord has arisen between intellectual insight and religion, and is not overcome in knowledge, it leads to despair, which comes in the place of reconciliation. This despair is reconciliation carried out in a one-sided manner. The one side is cast away, the other alone held fast; but a man cannot win true peace in this way. The one alternative is, for the divided spirit to reject the demands of the intellect and try to return to simple religious feeling. To this, however, the spirit can only attain by doing violence to itself, for the independence of consciousness demands satisfaction, and will not be thrust aside by force; and to renounce independent thought, is not within the power of the healthy mind. Religious feeling becomes yearning hypocrisy, and retains the moment of non-satisfaction. The other alternative is a one-sided attitude of indifference toward religion, which is either left unquestioned and let alone, or is ultimately attacked and opposed. That is the course followed by shallow spirits.
-Intro to Philosophy of Religion Hegel


Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion by Hegel
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:30 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;172814 wrote:
I also like this. I feel that we must identify ourselves with the infinite life, and not with the necessarily mortal finite vessel. If we can really identify with it, we have no death to fear, except perhaps the death of the species.
It some ways it always comes down to where the ideals, the forms, the mental experience resides in the scheme of reality.

For materialism of course matter is the primary ontology of reality. In this scheme all mental experience, all forms , all ideals are rare, fleeting and ultimately emergent features of a nature which is primairly lifeless, insentinent, accidental and random.

For any spiritual view of reality, there is some higher realm of reality, The One, God, Brahman, the forms, eternal, changeless and on which the material and sensory aspect of reality are modeled. A realm of possiblity which is imperfectly brought into material actuality.

God takes in the experience of the world (its sorrows, joys, and suffereings) (the fellow traveler who cares) and the past (including each life, personal immortality in the eternal mind of god) is preserved in its intense vividness in the immortal life. We are spatial temporal creatures. In the spiriitual worldview there is general an eternal changeless nature to the universe as well which provides its underlying order and purpsoe.
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:33 pm
@Reconstructo,
As much as I respect more sophisticated conceptions of God, I can't embrace them. I see all concept as vulnerable. No concept is eternal, in my view, except the empty proto-concept, the form of forms. I interpret Plato's Form of the Good as Love/Beauty, and think that this is just as well called the Holy Ghost or what you will, as it is not in my book a concept, but an emotion, or rather a lit living totality of emotion, sensation, conception.

---------- Post added 06-04-2010 at 12:35 AM ----------

prothero;172823 wrote:
We are spatial temporal creatures. In the spiriitual worldview there is general an eternal changeless nature to the universe as well which provides its underlying order and purpsoe.


Geist ist Zeit. Spirit is Time. The eternal element is Love, I think. And also the One, which is for me the proto-concept, or indeterminate unification. Nothingness. Or negative one, hence my avatar.Smile

---------- Post added 06-04-2010 at 12:37 AM ----------

prothero;172823 wrote:

For any spiritual view of reality, there is some higher realm of reality, The One, God, Brahman, the forms, eternal, changeless and on which the material and sensory aspect of reality are modeled. A realm of possiblity which is imperfectly brought into material actuality.


For me, these would still have to exist as concepts within a particular embodied being.

---------- Post added 06-04-2010 at 12:39 AM ----------

prothero;172823 wrote:
It some ways it always comes down to where the ideals, the forms, the mental experience resides in the scheme of reality.

I think Hegel and Aristotle corrected Plato a bit. I think that Forms are just Concepts, and that most concepts are created and therefore destroyable. For instance, mind, matter, self, other, etc. I don't think any concepts are r eternal except that proto-concept. (Well, I except spatial concepts, and color perception...as I am focusing on Forms as Concepts just now.) You know how they say existence is not a property? I think all concept already is. Being is. Ain't ain't.Smile

---------- Post added 06-04-2010 at 12:41 AM ----------

prothero;172823 wrote:

For materialism of course matter is the primary ontology of reality. In this scheme all mental experience, all forms , all ideals are rare, fleeting and ultimately emergent features of a nature which is primairly lifeless, insentinent, accidental and random.


We both strongly agree here, I think. Matter is an abstraction, and obviously so. I frustrates me to see it treated as something else. We apply various concepts to sensation and emotion, and forget we have done so. Hence matter. Hence our causal description is taken as an explanation. Or one can say we have seriously lowered our standards as far as explanation goes.....Smile
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:51 pm
@Reconstructo,
[QUOTE=Reconstructo;172824] As much as I respect more sophisticated conceptions of God, I can't embrace them. I see all concept as vulnerable. No concept is eternal, in my view, except the empty proto-concept, the form of forms. I interpret Plato's Form of the Good as Love/Beauty, and think that this is just as well called the Holy Ghost or what you will, as it is not in my book a concept, but an emotion, or rather a lit living totality of emotion, sensation, conception. [/QUOTE] Well I think as finite, spatial, temporal limited beings we have to be satisfied with reflections or shadows of truth. I despise deconstructive postmodernism however with its notions that there is essentially no truth only competing concepts. I think as in science some theories or some concepts correspond better to reason and to experience and thus more likely represent a glimmer or ripple of truth.

[QUOTE=Reconstructo;172824] Geist ist Zeit. Spirit is Time. The eternal element is Love, I think. And also the One, which is for me the proto-concept, or indeterminate unification. Nothingness. Or negative one, hence my avatar. [/QUOTE] Limited beings are we are, could not be expected to capture the essence or truth of the eternal source of being itself. The via negative (not this, not that, neti, neti) I do not think is as much a reflection of the One being nothing (per se) as of our inability to capture it in thought and language.

[QUOTE=Reconstructo;172824] For me, these would still have to exist as concepts within a particular embodied being. [/QUOTE] Well of course for Plato, for Plotinus, for many mystics and even scientific geniuses, these "Truths, the Forms, The Good, the One, God, The Eternal" are not just concepts but a higher and more "real" level of reality than the flux, the flow, the impermanent world of matter and of sense perception. This is really the divide between a world of spirit and a world of matter.

I prefer Platos (idealism and rationalism) to Aristotles (empiricism).
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 11:57 pm
@prothero,
prothero;172834 wrote:
Well I think as finite, spatial, temporal limited beings we have to be satisfied with reflections or shadows of truth. I despise deconstructive postmodernism however with its notions that there is essentially no truth only competing concepts. I think as in science some theories or some concepts correspond better to reason and to experience and thus more likely represent a glimmer or ripple of truth.


Well I agree with you here. That some theories are very much preferable to others. I would never want to level them all down. And I also agree that we must be satisfied with our best pragmatic shadows of truth. I would still argue that absolute concept can be intuited, and that it is empty. I think Parmenides did this in his own way, and also that mathematics is built on this concept, with just a slight addition of sequence. I view concept as its own realm. All concepts are real in that they exist for us in this realm, but most of them are shaped spatio-temporally. I just feel that there's a root concept, something like pure unification, which is a cornerstone that other conceptions are built from. I'm more about Reconstruction than Deconstruction. Smile

---------- Post added 06-04-2010 at 01:00 AM ----------

prothero;172834 wrote:

Limited beings are we are, could not be expected to capture the essence or truth of the eternal source of being itself. The via negative (not this, not that, neti, neti) I do not think is as much a reflection of the One being nothing (per se) as of our inability to capture it in thought and language.

I was unclear. The Supreme One in my opinion is indeed transconceptual, and related to Love. The One I mentioned first is just the proto-concept, the corner stone of math, or absolute concept. I think the Supreme One is Plato's Sun or Form of the Good. I associate this w/ God is Love. The other One is my current interpretation of the Form of Forms. I do utterly agree that the Good cannot be captured in thought or language. "The letter kills. The spirit giveth life."

---------- Post added 06-04-2010 at 01:04 AM ----------

prothero;172834 wrote:

Well of course for Plato, for Plotinus, for many mystics and even scientific geniuses, these "Truths, the Forms, The Good, the One, God, The Eternal" are not just concepts but a higher and more "real" level of reality than the flux, the flow, the impermanent world of matter and of sense perception. This is really the divide between a world of spirit and a world of matter.

I prefer Platos (idealism and rationalism) to Aristotles (empiricism).


Forgive me for leaning a little more toward absolute idealism/realism. For me, the eternal exists within time. I should also add that "concept" is anything but an ideal word here, especially as "concept" is one more "concept". "Conception" is too biased toward idealism, I think. I'll use Form just now.
Form, for me, is prior to mind/matter distinctions and the source of such. So Form is neither mental nor physical, but its own sort of being. In fact, all logos would be this kind of Form. And what all Forms have in common is the Form of Forms, or indeterminate Form. Which just is. But man is also sensation and emotion. Thus the idea that man is Logos Incarnate. Smile

I lean toward Plato myself, except when its comes to Forms of hair and mud, and Forms that are impermanent. Hegel presented Form/Concept as a semi-permanent rainbow of nonbeing. Our short-lived Forms seem to be abstracted from beings that come and go, but our abstractions outlive these beings. And thus Kojeve describes them as non-being. Of course for Hegel Geist ist Zeit, Spirit is Time, because man is a dynamic system of Forms on the flux of sensation and emotion, and this system negates and synthesizes Forms from Forms, abstractions from abstractions. And thus philosophy evolves dialectically. The truth is born from error, or error evolves into the Truth, which is no longer subject to meaningful negation.
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 12:32 am
@Reconstructo,
I suppose I see concept as ossification when it should serve as a rudder for the emotion that makes any religion real.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 08:08 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;172821 wrote:
Quote:
The one alternative is, for the divided spirit to reject the demands of the intellect and try to return to simple religious feeling. To this, however, the spirit can only attain by doing violence to itself, for the independence of consciousness demands satisfaction, and will not be thrust aside by force; and to renounce independent thought, is not within the power of the healthy mind


I am interested in this passage. He provides two alternatives: the intellect on the one side, and 'simple religious feeling' on the other. Is there another option - neither 'intellect', not 'simple religious feeling'?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 09:56 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;174453 wrote:
I am interested in this passage. He provides two alternatives: the intellect on the one side, and 'simple religious feeling' on the other. Is there another option - neither 'intellect', not 'simple religious feeling'?

Well we would expect to see a synthesis of some kind with Hegel - a negation of the negation. But Hegel's philosophy of religion may itself be a synthesis of the dogmatism of positive religion and the apparent reasonableness of atheism.

Also in German the word geist is difficult to translate. Hegel treated it as spirt/mind/intellect/consciousness all rolled into one. So I think that the intellect is not necessarily the cold mechanical tool we often assume it to be in modern technocratic English.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 10:24 pm
@Reconstructo,
I don't think he has got to the root of 'the divided spirit'. And I don't think he ever resolved it. Of course, to make that argument stand up I would probably have to do a lot of work. But it is just a feeling I have about him.

Incidentally, I love the word Geist. Geist->gist->meaning->spirit. It is much nearer to the import of the word 'spirit' that 'spirit' itself is.
0 Replies
 
 

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