1. Unknown Territories
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    01 Oct '07 18:35
    Along the lines of thought made popular by C.S. Lewis, has anyone satisfactorily responded to his contention that all needs are exteriorly-driven?
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    01 Oct '07 18:38
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Along the lines of thought made popular by C.S. Lewis, has anyone satisfactorily responded to his contention that all needs are exteriorly-driven?
    If by that he means that we are creatures of stimulus and response, sure, what's the problem here?
  3. Unknown Territories
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    01 Oct '07 18:42
    Originally posted by Starrman
    If by that he means that we are creatures of stimulus and response, sure, what's the problem here?
    Part of this thought dealt with the fact that all of man's desires/needs find their satisfaction in objects outside of himself. Hunger-food, thirsty-water, lonely-companionship, amorous-sex, etc. Part of what he was driving at was to contend with the charge that man's desire for God was self-induced.
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    01 Oct '07 18:48
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Part of this thought dealt with the fact that all of man's desires/needs find their satisfaction in objects outside of himself. Hunger-food, thirsty-water, lonely-companionship, amorous-sex, etc. Part of what he was driving at was to contend with the charge that man's desire for God was self-induced.
    But that doesn't follow; if the satisfaction of desires like hunger can be external, why should not the satisfaction of some other desire be found in the notion of god? This speaks nothing of origins, but of satisfactions.
  5. Unknown Territories
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    01 Oct '07 18:55
    Originally posted by Starrman
    But that doesn't follow; if the satisfaction of desires like hunger can be external, why should not the satisfaction of some other desire be found in the notion of god? This speaks nothing of origins, but of satisfactions.
    I may not be representing it in the intended fashion, more likely along the lines of what makes sense to me. The basic two-part gist is that the origin demans satisfaction from outside and the outside exists--- maybe not solely for the satisfaction of the need, but certainly represents a key aspect of the same.
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    01 Oct '07 19:00
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    I may not be representing it in the intended fashion, more likely along the lines of what makes sense to me. The basic two-part gist is that the origin demans satisfaction from outside and the outside exists--- maybe not solely for the satisfaction of the need, but certainly represents a key aspect of the same.
    There's certainly no necessary connection between the requirement of satisfaction for a desire and the existence of an external satisfier. That's like saying because I need sex there must be women. It might be true both that I need sex and that there are women, but it's certainly not a valid argument.
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    01 Oct '07 19:18
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Part of this thought dealt with the fact that all of man's desires/needs find their satisfaction in objects outside of himself. Hunger-food, thirsty-water, lonely-companionship, amorous-sex, etc. Part of what he was driving at was to contend with the charge that man's desire for God was self-induced.
    One could say that the desire for a god (at least a particular kind of god) stems from the desire not to face up to mortality. Or the desire for relief from our existential fears generally. Or the desire to have answers to existential questions that are not answered simply by examining nature—or at least answers that we find satisfactory. Or the desire to escape from the fact that we make up such answers on our own authority—or choose from answers that others have made up. Or...

    Even if Lewis is right, the plethora of religious views does not point to a singular existent that satisfies those needs/desires. It might point to the human urge to seek such answers, and also to human creativity and artfulness in telling stories. It may speak to our aesthetic needs as well as our philosophical questing, and the art forms that conjoin the two (such as myth-making). But I’m not sure how far we can legitimately go in mingling our aesthetics and our epistemology, beyond the fact that both are informed by our sense of coherency.
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    01 Oct '07 19:33
    Originally posted by vistesd
    But I’m not sure how far we can legitimately go in mingling our aesthetics and our epistemology
    It seems strange to me, but the more I learn, the more I feel the sky's the limit.
  9. Hmmm . . .
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    01 Oct '07 19:51
    Originally posted by Starrman
    It seems strange to me, but the more I learn, the more I feel the sky's the limit.
    I don’t know. I find theistic symbology often aesthetically “valid”—but the notion of a supernatural being makes no sense to me. Ergo, I follow the non-dualist streams as they are expressed in several religions. That is, I take the theistic language as aesthetic/symbolic, rather than epistemic.

    For example: Kashmiri Shaivism, much like Christianity, speaks in triune terms of Shiva-Shakti-Spanda—and even refers to the ultimate ground of being as “Lord Shiva.” Nevertheless, they intend that strictly symbolically, and are as non-dualist/monist as are the Advaita Vedantists.

    I’d be interested in hearing how you think “the sky’s the limit” in terms of aesthetics informing epistemology, though (if that’s what you mean). I haven’t come to a specific conclusion, as I say.
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    01 Oct '07 21:51
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I don’t know. I find theistic symbology often aesthetically “valid”—but the notion of a supernatural being makes no sense to me. Ergo, I follow the non-dualist streams as they are expressed in several religions. That is, I take the theistic language as aesthetic/symbolic, rather than epistemic.

    For example: Kashmiri Shaivism, much like Christianity, s ...[text shortened]... stemology, though (if that’s what you mean). I haven’t come to a specific conclusion, as I say.
    For me aesthetic considerations are basically questions of quality; the beauty of things, relativity of judgements, dependency of context, synthetics. Epistemological ones are those of quantity; the measurement of things, limits of arguments, dependency of empirical values, analytics.

    But when the boundary of knowledge and theory grows wide, the advances of science meet an informality of (to use your term) 'grammar', the problem of induction and the nature of things as simple and innate as love and hope are so entangled and intrinsic to each other, I find it hard to imagine there ever being the physical, materialistic framework I believe in, let alone the ordered pathway to it's core. String theory, poetry, passion, 'will the sun rise tomorrow?': I fear (maybe fear is the right word, maybe not) the universe is too absurd to make quantitative headway and that qualitative understanding has half the job to do.

    A friend of mine told me recently that she believes that through the ages philosophers have been the poets and shamans of their times, that as technologically opportune as we have become, we (I use the referent lightly) are the bards of our respective times. You'll recall our discussion on the supernatural category recently, I don't mean to turn that on its head, I still think there's a natural explanation at hand, but that it is perhaps a qualitative one, rather than a quantitative one. Of course this post is whimsically qualitative (channelling Quine for a bit maybe) and in one of my more positivist moods I'm sure I'll reKant 😉
  11. Hmmm . . .
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    01 Oct '07 23:00
    Originally posted by Starrman
    For me aesthetic considerations are basically questions of quality; the beauty of things, relativity of judgements, dependency of context, synthetics. Epistemological ones are those of quantity; the measurement of things, limits of arguments, dependency of empirical values, analytics.

    But when the boundary of knowledge and theory grows wide, the advan ...[text shortened]... Quine for a bit maybe) and in one of my more positivist moods I'm sure I'll reKant 😉
    Thank you! I need to ponder it for awhile, but it strikes me immediately as being on target. Which means that of late, perhaps, I have been trying to separate the two somewhat artificially—especially since I tend to give great weight to the aesthetic (for lack of a better word) side in how I live (more than half the job).

    I need to, as I say, ponder this awhile before trying to say anything else.

    For some reason that I can’t make clear to myself, your post is making me think of Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus...hmmm. Maybe it was that word “absurd.”
  12. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    02 Oct '07 03:541 edit
    A "need" is something one must have in order to avoid some consequence. One can say one needs to eat less and exercise in order to not remain fat, for example. A need is always paired with some consequence.
  13. Cape Town
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    02 Oct '07 06:34
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Part of this thought dealt with the fact that all of man's desires/needs find their satisfaction in objects outside of himself. Hunger-food, thirsty-water, lonely-companionship, amorous-sex, etc. Part of what he was driving at was to contend with the charge that man's desire for God was self-induced.
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    I may not be representing it in the intended fashion, more likely along the lines of what makes sense to me. The basic two-part gist is that the origin demans satisfaction from outside and the outside exists--- maybe not solely for the satisfaction of the need, but certainly represents a key aspect of the same.

    You seem to be going along several different lines:
    1. Mans need for God is not self-induced.
    2. All of mans needs have a possible existent external satisfaction therefore mans need for God implies the existence of God.

    If I am right about your arguments then both are incorrect.
    1. Needs are self induced whether or not there exists a possible external satisfaction for the need. We don't get hungry because of the existence of food. We get hungry because our bodies are designed to get hungry. We may have evolved to experience hunger due to the need for food that our bodies have but to extend that to the claim that all desires evolved due to a bodies need is going too far.
    2. What satisfies a religious mans need for God is not God himself but the belief in God.

    Not all men feel a need for God in the first place.
  14. Unknown Territories
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    02 Oct '07 15:08
    Originally posted by Starrman
    There's certainly no necessary connection between the requirement of satisfaction for a desire and the existence of an external satisfier. That's like saying because I need sex there must be women. It might be true both that I need sex and that there are women, but it's certainly not a valid argument.
    That's like saying because I need sex there must be women.
    Actually, I think that is exactly the sentiment being raised.

    It might be true both that I need sex and that there are women, but it's certainly not a valid argument.
    To disprove the argument, one would have to produce a need for which there is no satisfaction.
  15. Standard memberNemesio
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    02 Oct '07 15:15
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    To disprove the argument, one would have to produce a need for which there is no satisfaction.
    This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If there were a need for which there
    were no satisfaction, then we would expire as a species. Food, drink,
    exchange of genes: these are all necessities. The 'need' for answers
    is not a 'need' in the truest sense, but a desire. I desire to know how
    the sun stays in the sky, I desire to know how the four seasons work,
    &c..

    If you want a discussion on the topic, then define 'need' concisely. I
    guarantee that, if you define 'need' so broad as to include a 'need for
    a nSupreme Being,' then it will prove trivial to find many, many other
    needs for which there is no satisfaction.

    Nemesio
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